Florida Guide > Accommodation
Things to ask your villa owner part 1
Let' s assume you have already chosen your vacation home from one of the beautiful villas on this site. You have asked how far from the restaurants and theme parks you are situated and looked at the villa website to decide who will have which bedrooms, but now your holiday is drawing closer and you start to concern yourself with some of the finer details you will need to appraise yourself of before your trip.
Based on questions we have been asked by guests in the past, the following are questions you may wish to ask your villa owner before your arrival.
The exact villa address?
Many guests ask this, they want to google it on street view and see the exact situation of the villa or they are asked for it when they go to complete their ESTA.
Many owners prefer not to give out the exact villa address until, at least, they have a firm booking, some will even wait until the balance is paid and as this is usually 10- 12 weeks before arrival this is in good time to fill in the requirements for travel authorization. The reason for this, in the main, is to protect the privacy of guests who may be staying in the property at any given time, it has been known for prospective guests to send ' friends' to the property to view its suitability. Once your booking is in place the majority of villa owners will be more than happy to give you the full address.
If you are driving to the villa yourself you will need the driving directions from your villa owner. Even if you are planning on using GPS it is a good idea to have written directions as a back up as some of the newer areas may not yet register on satellite navigation.
When you receive the directions read them through, make sure you understand them, check wether there are any tolls to be paid and if so are the toll booths manned or will you require coins. You may wish to consider purchasing a pre paid toll package from the car rental company.
The villa owners usually know all the best short cuts as well and can give you tips on how to avoid heavily trafficked areas.
How do you gain entry to the villa?
When renting direct from a villa owner it is highly unlikely that you will need to visit an office to collect keys ( much more likely when you are renting through a tour operator)
The most likely scenario is a key safe (lock box) or a digital door lock. Codes for these will be given to you close to your arrival, for your safety and security they are changed between guests and some villa owners will even let you choose your own code.
Make sure you read through any instructions on how to operate the safes and key pads.
How do I contact the property manager?
At this point it is pertinent to make sure you have the contact details for the property manager in case you have any problems gaining entry to the villa.
How do I operate the security system?
Many villas will have some sort of security system or burglar alarm. Usually the details of its operation will be sent to you with any villa entry codes. Read them through before arrival and make sure you understand them so that if anything is not clear you will have the opportunity to clarify things with your villa owner.
The alarm is likely to be in use when you arrive, an accidentally activated alarm will summon the sheriff and whilst they are usually very understanding, these things happen, your villa owner may be charged and the villa owner may pass any charge on to you, so a clear understanding of any instructions is important.
Continued in part 2
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