5 Questions to Ask Before Booking Your Winter Vacation Rental in Tahoe

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1 Feb 2017
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Tahoe Lifestyle

Choosing the right winter vacation rental in Tahoe can be a tricky one due to inclement weather, snow removal, ice, and parking. Ask these five simple questions before you book your home, and you'll come prepared with the right expectations. Knowing what to expect will help you have a great vacation experience.

1) Where will we be parking?

Some vacation rentals have pictures that show a garage as part of the house, but it doesn't mean you will be able to use it. Sometimes the garage is only available for the home owner's use, and others may have limited parking in it due to storing summer furniture or other items. You'll also want to know how many cars can fit in the driveway since you can't park on the road in the winter. 

2) How easy is it to access the house?

You want to book a home that comes with snow removal and easy access to the front door. Snow and ice can make for quite an adventure when you're trying to unload your car and get into the house. Do a little digging to find out if it has an icy walkway, how far you will need to park from the house, if you will walk under a dripping roofline, if snow removal is provided, or if you will have to go up or down icy stairs to get into the house. South facing driveways are always a plus since the sun helps melt snow and ice faster.

3) Does the house stay warm?

There are plenty of great homes here in Tahoe, but the best homes are well insulated and have plenty of windows that bring in natural light. Look for a home with south facing windows, forced heat, or a fireplace. You don't want to be surprised when you show up and the home feels like living in a cave because it's so cold or buried in snow.

4) How far is the drive to the nearest ski resort? In traffic?

Most vacation rental listings will give you an idea of how far you are from the nearest resort, or you can see it on a map to get a visual. Unfortunately, this is the amount of time it takes if there is no traffic. You will want to factor in snowy weather and ski traffic or actual drive times. Ask the rental management company or homeowner for a realistic picture of how long it's going to take you to get where you want to go.

5) Do I need a 4-wheel drive vehicle?

Some homes look great in pictures, but then you come to find out that they are located up a steep hill that requires 4-wheel drive or chains, making it a pain to get there. Some homes also have steep driveways that are hard to get in and out of if there is a lot of snow or ice. Look for a home with a flat driveway or that is at a lower elevation to make your experience a little easier if there is a storm.

Call to ask questions

The above questions are just a few topics to ask about, and will get you well on your way to finding the right vacation rental for your group. Here at Tahoe Rental Company, we always recommend calling and talking to a vacation rental expert in person because they will be able to answer your questions, provide insight about each home, and help you find the home that will work best for your group. Pictures and descriptions are great, but talking to a real person will be the most effective way to get what you are looking for.