Final week, I wrapped up a pleasant Vacasa trip rental in Girdwood, Alaska (right here’s the itemizing). We’ve written quite a few occasions in regards to the partnership between Wyndham and Vacasa (See: Wyndham Vacasa: worth is actual!). It is likely one of the most original award partnerships within the area, offering the chance to make use of resort factors to e-book distinctive trip rental properties. In some ways, I love this partnership, however there are some issues I don’t take pleasure in about trip leases. I feel it’s price being conscious of each ends of the spectrum of this partnership as that is undoubtedly a device to have in your belt, but it surely is smart to handle expectations.
Issues I hate about Vacasa trip leases
30-day cancellation coverage
This simply stinks: Vacasa trip leases booked with Wyndham Rewards factors should be canceled 30 days upfront or they’re completely nonrefundable. Once I e-book accommodations, they’re sometimes cancellable till 1 or 2 days upfront and plenty of airline applications supply free or low cost flight award cancellation. In contrast, I actually hate the inflexibility of a Vacasa rental booked via Wyndham Rewards. With two younger children, I do know that one or each might get sick and I’d be caught forfeiting all of the factors if we would have liked to alter plans inside a month of arrival. This makes me hesitant to e-book Vacasa far upfront (although ready till close-in means having fewer choices from which to decide on).
I want that there was some method to cancel a bit nearer to arrival both with out penalty or with a sufficiently small penalty to not be overly punitive.
Variance in high quality
I’ve had excellent experiences up to now with my Vacasa trip leases (together with the place I stayed close to Pigeon Forge and one other property the place I booked a money keep), however I’ve learn sufficient evaluations to know that high quality varies. That ought to be anticipated with regard to trip leases since they’re sometimes individually owned (Vacasa simply manages the rental properties), however nonetheless I discover it to be a weak spot.
As an example, once we discovered some leftover hen wings on the grill at our Vacasa rental, we didn’t have the choice to “name the entrance desk” and have housekeeping deal with it. If we didn’t need to threat waking as much as a bear on the porch, we simply needed to clear it up ourselves.
My greatest situation with inconsistency is the inconsistency of cleanliness. Our most up-to-date Vacasa rental was a big 4-bedroom dwelling that seemed very spectacular at first look. And total, it was fairly good and well-kept. Nonetheless, we seemed extra carefully, we discovered the locations the place consideration to element fell brief like further mud below beds or a pillowcase that had a blood spot on it, and so forth.
Once more, that’s not distinctive to Vacasa leases, but it surely stands out in opposition to my normal award journey experiences as a result of I principally use factors for accommodations, the place I can name for help if one thing doesn’t meet expectations. That’s not really easy to do with a trip rental.
Whenever you need assistance, it isn’t instantly-available
In instances the place you find yourself needing assist, it may be a problem because you’re caught ready for somebody to reply.
As an example, we arrived early on the property in Girdwood, Alaska and the cleaners have been nonetheless cleansing. We requested if we might drop off our baggage they usually had no downside with that (We have been clearly taking some threat since our rental hadn’t but formally began and if one thing have been lacking once we returned we’d have doubtless had no recourse. It wasn’t my thought to drop baggage).
Once we returned after the assigned check-in time, we adopted the check-in directions we had acquired through electronic mail and textual content message, which mentioned to go to a visitor key lock field and enter a code to get the entrance door key. The issue is that the code didn’t work. I attempted the important thing quite a few occasions and it failed repeatedly. After 3 or 4 failures in a row, it appeared prefer it alarmed (it beeped a bunch and stopped permitting code enter for a minute or two), however then it “cleared” and we have been in a position to proceed making an attempt to do the identical factor whereas anticipating totally different outcomes for lengthy sufficient to “journey” it once more.
I texted Vacasa. I bought a fairly fast response they usually mentioned that they might verify with their native staff and get again to me.
In the meantime, all of our baggage have been locked inside the home since we had left them with the housekeeping staff earlier.
Fortunately, the check-in electronic mail additionally included a key code for the storage door. That code labored, so we have been in the home shortly thereafter due to the storage door.
Nonetheless, I by no means did hear again from Vacasa that first night time. The subsequent morning, I messaged Vacasa once more, explaining that we might simply use the storage door to enter and exit however that I wished to observe as much as see if they’d heard something from the native staff. They responded about an hour later to inform me that they might observe up and inside an hour thereafter somebody confirmed up on the door to strive to determine the lock field. She tried the identical code that I did (sorry for not offering a spoiler alert earlier, however now you already know that didn’t work). Ultimately she was in a position to free the important thing and supply it to us to make use of, however she couldn’t get the lock field working, both.
That was a minor annoyance since we had the storage door code, but it surely illustrated the truth that it was all on Vacasa to facilitate a reference to the native crew they usually clearly dropped the ball on that the primary night time.
Paperwork might use some readability
One factor I feel Vacasa might enhance upon is explaining what required paperwork you’ll have to submit as you’re making the reservation. In a few rental cases, it has been required that I e-sign a separate rental settlement after reserving and ship it again through electronic mail earlier than the keep, however I wouldn’t have recognized that if I hadn’t learn the emails carefully. Once I make a resort reservation, I usually don’t even take a look at the e-mail affirmation, however it’s a must to bear in mind to do this with Vacasa.
No day by day housekeeping
That is true of just about any trip rental, however you haven’t any day by day housekeeping whenever you e-book a Vacasa trip rental. I take pleasure in returning to my resort room after a protracted day to a clear / straightened room. I miss having another person to scrub the place up every day once I keep in a trip rental. This isn’t a knock of Vacasa however fairly a mark of how spoiled I’ve develop into by good accommodations.
Issues I like about Vacasa trip leases via Wyndham Rewards factors
Glorious worth for factors
Since you’ll be able to e-book properties costing as much as $500 per bed room per night time (when accounting for common nightly price to your stick with all taxes & charges included), you may get glorious to excellent worth for factors. It should price you simply 15,000 Wyndham Rewards factors per bed room per night time for a Vacasa Trip rental — and 10% lower than that in case you have one of many Wyndham Earner bank cards. That’s a terrific deal.
With this most up-to-date rental, we have been in a position to snag a big 4-bedroom home that might have simply slept 10 or extra individuals for 54,000 factors per night time (15K factors – 10% cardholder low cost x 4), which was a good deal in comparison with the money price of about $846 per night time all-in. At over 1.56c per level it wasn’t essentially the most spectacular Vacasa worth I’ve seen, but it surely was actually higher than our Affordable Redemption Worth.
A few years in the past, I stayed in a “1 bed room” cabin within the Pigeon Forge / Nice Smoky Mountains space that had a loft with a pull-out couch that might sleep 2 and a loft above the loft with a futon mattress to sleep two extra.
Since there was only one precise “bed room” in that property, it price 15,000 factors per night time (or 13,500 factors per night time as a Wyndham Rewards Earner bank card holder) for your complete place.
No taxes, cleansing charges, or different bills
I like that Vacasa leases booked via Wyndham Rewards incur no taxes or charges of any sort. You don’t pay a cleansing price and even provide a bank card quantity up entrance. The reserving course of simply entails utilizing your factors and it takes minutes on the cellphone.
You may mix factors from two visitors
Greg has beforehand written in our information to reserving Vacasa leases that you could mix factors from two individuals (I don’t know whether or not it’s potential so as to add factors from greater than two members). Every individual should use factors in complete night time increments. In different phrases, we have been in a position to e-book one night time from my account and two from my spouse’s, however we couldn’t have carried out 2.5 nights from her account and 0.5 nights from mine.
What impressed me essentially the most was that the method for that was fairly seamless. The cellphone agent knew what to do and the ensuing reservation got here below one single affirmation quantity for all three nights, so there was no concern about having to take a look at from the primary reservation and into the second, and so forth.
For full particulars on the reserving course of, see: Wyndham Vacasa: Nice worth is actual.
You may switch factors from Capital One or Citi
Each Capital One miles and Citi ThankYou Rewards switch 1:1 to Wyndham Rewards. Transfers from each are instantaneous. Sadly, the latest 20% switch bonus from Citi expired final night time.
Distinctive properties potential (a lot of area, fascinating areas, and so forth)
For fewer or roughly as many factors as many chains cost for normal resort rooms, you may get really distinctive whole properties or far more room than you’ll with a resort.
Not all resort factors are created equally, however as some extent of comparability, a normal resort room at a 4 Factors by Sheraton was going for 44,000 Marriott Bonvoy factors throughout our dates. We paid 54,000 Wyndham Rewards factors for a 4-bedroom home. Whereas it wasn’t really our highest-value redemption ever, it was nonetheless higher than paying for 3 rooms for 3 nights at a resort. With 7 whole individuals, we might have wanted a naked minimal of two rooms at one other resort. This was a significantly better deal by comparability.
Here’s a full tour of the property:
And listed here are some footage of this most up-to-date Vacasa rental:
Trip leases are extremely popular, notably for household vacationers, since they usually supply far more room than a resort room. The principle disadvantage for individuals who take pleasure in award journey is the truth that there usually aren’t cheap methods to e-book trip leases with factors. Nonetheless, we now have written extensively in regards to the Vacasa partnership with Wyndham Rewards, and I just lately took benefit of the possibility to e-book a four-bedroom property with Wyndham Rewards factors. Whereas we encountered a number of the normal cleanliness shortcomings right here and there and had an issue with the keybox, we very a lot loved our keep total. Trip leases will most likely by no means be my most well-liked technique of journey as a result of I take pleasure in extra predictability in the case of lodging, however I think about that once we want a trip rental we are going to proceed to hunt out possibilities to make use of our Wyndham Rewards factors to nice worth with Vacasa trip leases.