Vacation Nightmare: Don’t Let It Happen To You

This is a sponsored post but all thoughts, opinions and events in this story are mine and are the truth and nothing but the truth! 

Vacation Nightmare

Winter is the time of year we often start dreaming of warm weather and a trip to the beach. For the last 30 years I have been my families Official Vacation Planner. I enjoy looking at beach houses online and trying to find a spot big enough for my family (we do multi-generational traveling) and one we can afford. It isn’t an easy task.

If you love beach vacations you know that houses right on the beach cost more than those one or two streets away. Houses with pools usually cost more than those without. Every year I have used a website that lists homes all over the world. I find one that meets our needs, put a deposit down and count the days until vacation time.

Only twice in the 30 years I’ve been renting homes have I had a problem. The first time was a house that smelled of mold. When we walked in and we immediately all started sneezing. I went to the people who listed the house and they couldn’t have been nicer. They moved us and upgraded the rental property.

The second time I ran into problems was this past year and I wasn’t as lucky as the first time. In fact, it turned into a nightmare.

What Happened

Because there were so many things that went wrong I’m going to list only the basics here…should you want the whole sordid story complete with pictures and names you can read about it here. 

What Went Wrong

1. The house was advertised as having beach access across the road. Waterfront (whatever that means because we are not near the water) What they didn’t say was to get across the 5 Lane Highway you are risking your life!  

2. Tennis courts were pictured so we brought our rackets. What the picture doesn’t show are huge cracks and torn netting.

3. The back door would not shut. With little kids you don’t want an escape route. The maintenance men came and said they had worked on the door many times but the owners refused to pay for new hardware. They left us a pair of pliers to lock the door. My husband tried and the latch fell apart. We ended up pushing a picnic table to close the door.

4. The ad said free wifi. No wifi. It didn’t work and I’m a blogger. They tried various things but were unable to repair or meet our needs.

What I Did 

The first day I called and reported all the problems. Nothing happened.

The second day I called and reported a little big louder. Nothing happened.

The third day I was mad. The rental agency worked on a few things but the bottom line is they were unable to fix everything. When you pay a substantial amount of money for a vacation you want everything to be as advertised. It wasn’t.

They should have moved us to a different location but they refused. They should have given a large portion of our money back, they refused. After going to their office and speaking with the manager they did refund a small amount of money. It didn’t make me happy. I will never use their agency again, nor will I recommend it to anyone.

What I Should Have Done

Have you ever been in a situation where someone said something to you and then hours later you think of the perfect comeback, but by then it’s too late?

Months after I was back home and the Nightmare Vacation House was but a distant memory it hit me, I should have called my friends at ARAG. I literally smacked myself on the head and said out loud, “What was I thinking?”

What ARAG Does

With a network of thousands of individually selected attorneys across the U.S., ARAG will help you find an attorney nearby; one with expertise in your situation. A professional you can count on to provide legal advice and consultation, review or prepare documents and represent you in court. So, how does it work? When you’re concerned about or experience a legal issue, you have a variety of options. You can speak with a network attorney over the phone or in person, access ARAG’s online resources and legal documents, or call our knowledgeable customer care specialists who listen to your situation and help you throughout the process.

Don’t Let A Vacation Nightmare Happen to You 

If you use VRBO or Home Away, choose a house that has reviews and read them. If there are no reviews, steer clear. Even after you read the reviews if you have any questions about anything, call the rental agency and ask rather than trusting that everything will be as pictured. For example, I should have called and asked exactly what “water front” meant. Believe me, in the future I will investigate every thing in advance!

I definitely will be more cautious from now on and hopefully I will never have another vacation nightmare, but if I do I will be calling my friends at ARAG.


vacation nightmare


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