Vacation Rental Etiquette: Dos And Don’ts For Being A Respectful Guest 

In the travel and tourism landscape, vacation rentals have rapidly grown in popularity.

Vacation Rentals
Photo by Andrea Davis on Unsplash

These properties, ranging from quaint cottages to chic city apartments, can provide travelers with a unique blend of comfort, privacy, and immersion in local life that standard hotels may not offer. As appealing as they are, vacation rentals demand responsibility and respect. After all, this isn’t just a temporary dwelling, it’s someone’s property, possibly even their home.

However, being a guest at these properties isn’t just about enjoying these benefits; it also involves understanding and adhering to certain etiquette to ensure a positive experience for all parties involved.

In this guide, we’ll detail the dos and don’ts of being a respectful guest that makes up the backbone of vacation rental etiquette.  

Finding The Perfect Vacation Rental Property 

When looking for a place to stay, consider not only the comfort of the spot but also how your choice contributes to a positive travel culture. While you might be tempted to book the first property you come across, it’s essential to invest time in thorough planning and research to find a rental that fits your needs and respects the norms and expectations of the host and the local community. 

Moreover, to find the best rental property for your trip, it’s crucial to consider some tips, including the following: 

  • Determine your budget: How much can you spend on a vacation rental each night? Be sure to factor in other costs like transportation, food, and activities to set up a realistic budget. 
  • Define your priorities: What’s important to you in a vacation rental? Do you need a specific number of bedrooms or a big kitchen? Create a list of your requirements and preferences to find the right rental. 
  • Start your search early: The best vacation rentals tend to get booked quickly, so starting your search is important. Give yourself plenty of time to view properties and make a reservation as early as possible. 
  • Read the reviews: Before you book a vacation rental, be sure to check some reviews from previous guests. Doing so can help you manage your expectations of the property.

By following these tips, you can search for the perfect rental accommodation for your upcoming holiday vacations.   

Dos And Don’ts Involved In Vacation Rental Etiquette 

Once you’ve successfully booked a rental that fits your preferences, the next step is to understand how to be a considerate and respectful guest. Here are some dos and don’ts to guide you:


1. Do Respect The Property And Its Contents 

Treat the rental property as if it was your own home. Don’t damage any items or remove them from the location. If an accident happens, which can be inevitable at times, be sure to inform the host promptly. The sooner they know about the incident, the quicker they can arrange for repairs or replacements. 

2. Do Follow House Rules  

Most vacation rental hosts will provide a list of house rules. These rules may cover everything from smoking and pet policies to garbage disposal and noise restrictions. Make sure to read and adhere to these guidelines throughout your stay. Not only is this courteous to your host, but it also helps maintain a positive relationship with neighbors.  

3. Do Keep The Property Clean  

Although most vacation rentals include a cleaning service, it’s still good manners to maintain cleanliness during your stay. For instance, you should avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink, trash around the house, or making a mess that would take significant effort to clean up. Remember, a vacation rental is a home, not a hotel. So, keep the property clean and sanitized throughout your stay.  

4. Do Be Mindful Of Energy Consumption  

Even on vacation, it’s essential to be mindful of your energy usage. Turn off lights, air conditioning, and electronics when not in use. Doing so can help reduce your environmental impact and show respect for your host’s resources. 

5. Do Communicate With The Host  

Finally, maintain open lines of communication with your host. Whether it’s about any issues at the property or you’re seeking local recommendations, don’t hesitate to reach out. Respectful and clear communication can contribute to a more enjoyable stay for both you and your host. 


1. Do Not Exceed the Maximum Occupancy  

Before you book, ensure the rental property can comfortably accommodate your group. Overcrowding not only violates your rental contract but it can also stress the property’s amenities and emergency resources, posing potential health and safety risks. If you plan on inviting others over, make sure to clear it with the host beforehand.   

2. Do Not Create Unnecessary Noise  

Whether you’re in a bustling city or tranquil countryside, noise can be a significant disturbance to locals. Keep the noise to a minimum, especially during late-night hours, to respect the peace and quiet of the surrounding community.  

3. Do Not Ignore The Check-Out Procedures 

Vacation rental hosts usually have a list of check-out procedures for guests to follow, such as emptying the trash, stripping the beds, or turning off all lights and electronics. Don’t ignore these procedures. Read through and follow these instructions before leaving. Doing so can go a long way in helping the cleaning team prepare the place for the next guests. 

4. Do Not Leave Your Pets Unattended  

If you’re planning on bringing pets, first make sure the rental is pet-friendly. Once you’re there, don’t leave them unattended for long periods or allow them to damage property. Just like human guests, make sure your pets are on their best behavior during your vacation to avoid problems. 

Being a respectful guest at a vacation rental involves a range of considerations from the booking process through your stay and even upon leaving. As the saying goes, ‘leave it better than you found it,’ and this rings true for vacation rentals. By observing these etiquettes, you can contribute to a positive, respectful, and enjoyable holiday vacation experience for everyone involved.

Team JST

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