Finding a Cape Cod summer rental online or though a local real estate agent is easy, but finding a good Cape Cod summer rental isn't quite so simple. Here are 10 things to help you know what to look for before you book.
1. Being there is half the battle. Is the rental for Saturday to Saturday or Sunday to Sunday? Most weekly summer rentals begin on either of those days, but it's a good idea to know when you should show up, how to get the key(s), and check-in/out times before you bother to sit in bridge traffic.
2. Can you hear me now? Unless an analog vacation is your thing (not that there's anything wrong with that, but it would make reading Curbed rather difficult), renter beware. Cell service can be spotty and/or non-existent in certain areas of the Cape and not all rentals come with cable or Internet, so double check with the owner, broker or online review before booking.
3. Is this a BYOB destination? It might be, so make sure to check if you have to bring your own bed linens, beach towels, baby crib, or anything else you might require, even if it doesn't begin with the letter B.
4. Park it like it's hot. While Provincetown's parking issues are a given, it's worth knowing in advance what the deal is at your vacation rental. Pro tip: don't park on top of the septic system.
5. Speaking of plumbing issues, who you gonna call? Knowing the names/numbers of emergency contacts before the inevitable toilet troubles, lock out or lost keys is an awesome idea.
6. Yes, there are stores on Cape Cod. While your rental will likely come with the cupboards bare, the mom and pop shops, national and local chains (and breweries, wineries and distilleries!) across the Cape have got you covered, so no need to pack like you're headed into a nuclear fallout shelter.
7. Where's the beach? With more than 400 miles of shoreline and dozens of lakes, ponds and off-the-beaten path parks, some sort of beach is probably close to wherever you rent, but everything's relative. One person's "short stroll" is another's triathlon, sidewalks are few and far between and bike lanes are even rarer, so make use of Google Street View whenever possible.
8. Who let the dogs out? Pet-friendly rentals are not easy to come by, but obviously, find out in advance if your dog, cat or boa constrictor is welcome for the week.
9. Good fences make good neighbors, but they don't block sound. Whether you're staying in a condo, townhouse, cottage, or mansion on the beach, in the woods, on a suburban cul-de-sac, in town, or on a main drag, chances are there will be other people around. Cue the summer soirees and barking dogs. Knowing cottage colony, condo association or town rules for dealing with noise issues might save you a headache or two.
10. This place stinks! Whether it's stale and moldy or just an overall bad experience, know your rights to recourse/refunds and travel insurance options before you send in a security deposit.
· Cape and Islands Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries, July '14 [Curbed Cape Cod]
· Here Now, 7 of Cape Cod's Best Off-the-Beaten-Path Parks [Curbed Cape Cod]