Private accommodations are the most common method of hosting tourists in Croatia. Without this option, destinations would have to rely on hotel capacities alone, which would never satisfy the demand. But since the renters of private accommodations are not professionals, inconveniences and misunderstandings can occur. A lot of them can be avoided before your actual arrival and before you meet your hosts.
Using online services, such as Like Croatia’s Rooms for you, you can browse a lot of possible places you can stay and see their features. You can also get in contact with potential accommodation renters and deal with the details of your stay via e-mail or telephone. We recommend e-mail because the language barrier is easier to overcome that way, as both parties can ask for the help of more fluent speakers offline. Here are a few things to think about while searching and agreeing to rent private accommodations.
Nature of the surroundings
Decide what kind of a vacation you wish to experience, and seek an accommodation which suits that with its location and infrastructure. For example, small villages tend to be quiet in the evening hours, so don’t pick them if you expect a crazy nightlife on your vacation. Likewise, if your aim is to tend to your nerves with a relaxing experience in Croatia, seek more isolated and peaceful places.
The thing is, your hosts can’t be blamed if you chose the wrong place for your vacation. They can’t entertain you in the middle of the night, just as they can’t help you catch a big fish next to a beach party.
How close are you to your steering wheel? The owner of the accommodation might claim to have a private parking spot, but the space in question can be located off the property itself (on a parking lot, in neighbor’s garage etc.).
Guests who want to use their vehicle frequently, or simply want to keep an eye on it, might find such a revelation unpleasant. Although the owners usually make note of where their parking spot is, making sure you find out is never a bad idea.
If an Internet connection is very important to you, check out its availability and nature of the accommodation. The best option is, naturally, a fast and convenient flat-rate internet provided by a wireless connection. However, in some cases, renters might give you a piece of hardware (such as an usb-stick) required to access the service. This can lead to several problems–for example, your smartphone won’t be able to go online, since they are usually not compatible with such machines. Also, being provided only one wireless gadget means only one computer will have access to the internet at a time. Have two laptops? One will be offline while the other one is running.
In some cases, renters install a network which charges internet traffic, and give you a certain amount of free gigabytes for usage. After that, you are supposed to buy your own data packet (usually acquirable by buying telephone vouchers at the local kiosk). While answering e-mail or checking social networks usually doesn’t involve tons of downloaded data, video calls and online gaming might be more expensive activities you’ll want to avoid.
So to cut things short, if being online is important for your vacation, double-check the connectivity options before booking your stay.
Consider the limits of expected privacy. Some owners might live on the upper floor of the accommodation they are renting, or in the house next to it. That doesn’t mean they invade one’s vacation spot, but more sensible guests might find that an unpleasant surprise.
In cases of larger properties, it is possible that you will have to share a certain amount of space with other guests (that usually involves a hall or front porch). People are often quite aware of the boundaries of one’s intimate space, but still, if you have an excessive need to be by yourself or with your company, resolve privacy questions before renting the space.
Some guests might have unique physical features, and they should consider them while searching for an accommodation. An old villa’s attic turned into a romantic room with a view of the sea? Sounds like a perfect spot for an intimate vacation, but not for those who are very tall, as they might be bumping their heads into a ceiling every now and then. That is a less likely example. Other, more common, ones include having an injured leg and renting a flat with a bath instead of a shower, or one with a lot of stairs. It is always a good idea to think about these issues and mention them to the owner before booking the place.
Other things to consider
It is impossible to think of every little detail while choosing where you will stay, and one should not preoccupy himself with it too much. Naturally, you want a safe and cozy place for your stay, but worrying too much might ruin your vacation before it even begins.
The best thing to do is imagine yourself visiting your own home as a vacation spot. What would you like? What would you hope to improve? And what would be a disappointment? Through that “exercise” you might find what is most important for you, and require it from the accommodation you seek to rent in Croatia.