Friday, April 29, 2016

Vacation Rental Packing Tips

Packing for a hotel stay is easy, because limited space means you have to stick with essentials. That's not the case when you vacation in a rental property. Larger living areas, multiple bedrooms and a full kitchen allow you to bring everything you need to make your stay homelike and comfortable. 

While all that space gives you lots of flexibility, avoid the temptation to overpack. Keeping it simple makes it easier to prepare for your vacation and settle into your beautiful vacation rental property.


Ask if your vacation rental has a washer and dryer. If so, you can get away with less clothing. But be sure to pack for any weather so you can make the most of even the rainiest--or snowiest!--days.

Towels and Linens

Some properties provide these items, and in most cases you can rent them. Check with your rental coordinator to see if you need to bring your own pillows. Consider packing some extra blankets, too.

Paper Products

Guests typically provide their own bathroom tissue, napkains and other paper products.

Cleaning Products

You should expect your vacation rental to be meticulously clean when you arrive. However, many owners leave a selection of products guests can use for light cleaning during their stay. To be safe, bring basics such as a sponge or dish cloth, dish detergent and an all-purpose spray cleaner.

Kitchen Equipment

Your kitchen should be fully stocked for meal preparation and service for your vacation rental's maximum occupancy. However, if you have favorite equipment that you use frequently at home--a large cutting board, for example, or an extra-sharp chef's knife--you'll appreciate having it in your vacation  home, too.


Pack perishable food in plenty of ice in case you get stuck in traffic. Many guests pack a couple of frozen cooked-ahead meals and a few days' worth of fresh groceries, and then purchase the rest locally after they've settled in and considered how frequently they'll eat in.

Outdoor Equipment

Contact your Rental Coordinator to learn what kind of storage is available for beach chairs, bicycles, ski equipment and the like.


Consider sharing electronic devices such as laptops and tablets to reduce the amount of gear you need to bring. Unless your property specifically offers Internet service, consider bringing your own hotspot.

Some of our regular guests keep a storage container packed with essentials such as linens, kitchen gadgets, paper products, toiletries and other items they routinely pack for vacations. This "go" bin reduces the risk of forgetting something important and makes packing go faster.

Our Long & Foster Vacation Rental Coordinators are happy to advise you on what to bring, based on your destination and your property's unique amenities. Call 800-226-8095 today!

Photo credit: Image by Sohum, some rights reserved

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

5 Ways Travel Insurance Can Save Your Vacation

Travel insurance insurance protects your vacation investment in the event you have to cancel for illness, injury or another covered emergency. What's more, it helps to ensure that you'll have access to the services you need if the emergency occurs during your stay. Although coverage varies by provider and program, many policies offer these important benefits:

1. Coverage for everyone in your party. Talk to the people you're traveling with to make sure everyone has the opportunity to weigh in on the purchase decision.

2. Coverage not just for outright cancellations, but for delayed travel and travel cut short by covered emergencies.

3. Emergency assistance for physician consultations and medical referrals as well as medical and dental services with no out-of-pocket expense, plus assistance to allow a traveling companion to remain with a covered individual who falls ill.

4. Roadside assistance if you need a tow, battery jump or fuel delivery, or you get a flat tire.

5. Coverage for not-so-unusual events such as changes to school year calendars, extended road closings and power outages due to severe weather, and mandatory evacuations due to severe weather.

Although travel insurance is usually offered at the time you book your stay, it's often possible to add it later, as long as you've not yet paid your reservation in full. Contact your Long & Foster Vacation Rentals rental coordinator at 1-800-226-8095 for more information.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Group Vacation Planning Made Easy

Group vacations can be challenging to plan. Often, the group appoints one friend or family member to choose a vacation rental, book the reservation and organize everyone’s payments. It’s a big responsibility, and one that can get the planner in trouble if something goes wrong.   

Vanessa Walker and Vera Stanton, pictured here, have a better way: they’ve created their own travel club, called Just Doing It Our Way, for their group of nine first cousins who travel together. Vanessa serves as the club president, and Vera is the treasurer. We recently met the cousins at the Travel and Adventure Show in Washington, DC and were very impressed by their ingenuity!

After the group decides on a budget, each club member contributes his or her share to a bank account in the club’s name. This way, all the funds are ready to go before they book their vacation rental, and they can pay for the reservation in one fell swoop. 

They choose destinations as a group, too. Each member contributes a destination preference to the kitty, and they draw two choices from the entries: a primary destination, plus a backup they use if the primary destination proves unworkable. 

According to the Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA), the kind of travel Vanessa, Vera and their cousins enjoy is gaining in popularity. Referred to as “togethering” in the vacation rental industry, family groups, often consisting of multiple generations, frequently prefer vacation rentals over hotels because they enjoy the privacy and convenience of vacationing together under the same roof.

Whereas the Just Doing It Our Way group consists of experienced group travelers, families considering togethering for the first time should ensure compatibility before booking their vacation rental by scheduling a shorter jaunt as a trial run, Parents magazine suggests. Parents also recommends choosing destinations based on distance from each family member and doing some research ahead of time to find group discounts on amusements, entertainment and sightseeing venues.

Call Long & Foster Vacation Rentals at 800-226-8095 to speak with a rental coordinator who can help you plan your next group vacation. With large single-family and townhome rentals in beach and mountain destinations throughout the mid-Atlantic region, we’ll find you the perfect place to call home during your family or friends’ getaway. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Looking to Try Something Different This Vacation?

Wisp Ski Resort, McHenry, MD
If you know Long & Foster Vacation Rentals from your trips to a particular location, you might be surprised to know we offer vacation rentals in resort areas from NJ to Virginia. With quality rental properties along the mid-Atlantic beaches as well as historic Annapolis and beautiful mountain areas, we make it easy to try new vacation options without sacrificing the quality and service you've come to expect.

Southern Jersey Shore
Long & Foster Vacation Rentals' offices stretch from Ventnor to Cape May. Whether you love the excitement of Atlantic City casinos, Cape May's historic charm or anything in between, choose from hundreds of houses and condos to plan your perfect vacation.

Delaware Beaches
We cover Delaware's entire sea coast, including Lewes, Rehoboth, Dewey Beach and the Quiet Resort area encompassing Bethany and Fenwick Island. Our rental properties put you within easy reach of the area's two boardwalks, a host of dining and nightlife options and beautiful, unspoiled beaches.

Ocean City, Maryland
Whether you prefer to stay in a highrise building with lots of amenities or a home on the bay, Long & Foster Vacation Rentals has a vacation rental that'll make your Ocean City, MD vacation one you'll remember for years to come.

Ocean Pines, Maryland
Located across Wight Bay and the St. Martin River from Ocean City, Ocean Pines is an excellent choice for families who prefer a quieter location away from the hustle and bustle of Ocean City. Community activities, which include pools, golf, a yacht club, parks and planned activities, are open to the public, and some owners provide passes to the oceanfront beach club in Ocean City.

Annapolis, Maryland
Annapolis, MD is a city steeped in history. Located on the Chesapeake Bay, the city comprises the historic downtown area known as Annapolis City; Annapolis Countryside’s beautiful shoreline; and Annapolis-Baltimore, home of the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, shopping and the Maryland Live! Casino.  Annapolis is Maryland’s capital, and it’s also known as America’s sailing capital.
Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
Nature lovers flock to Western Maryland for four seasons of fun in the Deep Creek Lake/Garrett County area. You'll love coming home to any one of our 115 vacation Deep Creek vacation rentals after a day spent enjoying the lake, woods and mountains, any time of the year.

Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia
Smith Mountain Lake is Long & Foster Vacation Rentals' southernmost destination, and it's one that attracts visitors from across the country. With hundreds of miles of shoreline and spectacular mountain vistas Smith Mountain Lake vacation rentals are a perfect choice for vacationers who want a true escape.

Visit Long & Foster Vacation Rentals to plan your next getaway!

Photo Credit: Maryland National Guard. Some rights reserved.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Long & Foster Vacation Rentals Expands into Cape May, NJ

Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. has joined forces with Wilsey Realty, a real estate brokerage and vacation rentals firm in Cape May, N.J. The firm will operate under the Long & Foster brand at its existing location. April Vanaman, who currently heads Long & Foster’s Wildwoods office, will serve as the Cape May branch manager.

“Like Long & Foster, Wilsey Realty has a long history of success in real estate, and we’re pleased to welcome their team to our family,” said Terry Spahr, regional manager of Long & Foster’s Coastal region, which includes all of the Jersey shore. “Together, we’ll build upon and expand the already high quality of support and services that we offer home buyers and sellers, as well as vacationers, in southern New Jersey.”

Currently owned and operated by Gail Wilsey Morrison, Wilsey Realty specializes in traditional real estate services, as well as vacation and second-home sales, in Cape May County. The brokerage also oversees numerous vacation rentals throughout the popular shore markets in Cape May, Avalon and Wildwood, among other neighborhoods. Its team of over a dozen licensed real estate professionals has served the Jersey shore since 2005, and during that time, Wilsey Realty has grown to become a dominant real estate firm in market. Long & Foster’s partnership with Wilsey Realty aligns with the company’s overall growth strategy and expands its presence along the southern New Jersey shore.

With the addition of Wilsey Realty, Long & Foster now has more than a dozen offices in New Jersey. The company also serves as the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate throughout the southern New Jersey market where Wilsey Realty is based.

“We’re pleased to welcome Wilsey Realty to Long & Foster and to expand our presence in the New Jersey market,” said Gary Scott, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. “Long & Foster strives to serve as the No. 1 choice for home buyers, sellers and vacationers in Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, and the addition of the Wilsey Realty team further enhances the high quality of service we offer to clients along the Jersey shore. Together, we will ensure that our combined real estate forces continue to uphold the strong tradition that has allowed our company to grow and succeed.”

Joe Amatangelo, president of Long & Foster Real Estate’s property management and vacation rental division, agreed. “The team at Wilsey Realty brings a wealth of knowledge in vacation and resort rentals that will further enhance the quality of service that Long & Foster already provides its clients, and with their knowledge of the shore, as well as our expert marketing, training and technology, we’re sure to achieve continued success in the region,” Amatangelo said.

Monday, December 21, 2015

3 Tips for a Great Rental Experience

With busy season upon us in our mountain locations and reservation season heating up at the beaches, travelers planning vacations have a lot to think about before booking or checking into their vacation rentals. Here are a tips to help ensure that your rental transaction is a successful one.

Rent from an established company

Rental brokerages such as Long & Foster Vacation Rentals have established reputations built over years of service. Membership in professional organizations such as the National Association of REALTORS and the Vacation Rental Managers Association ensures the company you rent from is committed to and accountable for providing quality vacation rental properties and outstanding customer service.

Read your contract

Rental brokers typically require that guests sign a lease or lodging or rental agreement. Review it carefully before you sign, and consult your rental coordinator if you need clarification.

Ask how to report problems

If your rental documents don't advise you about how to handle maintenance problems and emergencies, inquire before you check in. In addition to providing in-house assistance for maintenance and other issues during office hours, rental companies typically offer an after-hours answering service. However, assistance may be more limited in the off-season.

Ready to book your vacation rental? Call 1-800-226-8095 or visit LFVacations today!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Events in Annapolis, MD

Join the Annual Annapolis by Candlelight to tour homes in the city's Historic District. Purchase tickets at the HIstoric Annapolis Museum.

Meet Santa at the Westfield Annapolis Mall now through Dec. 24.

Head to the City Dock on Nov.29 for the Annapolis City Tree Lighting. See Santa arrive by horse & carriage. The event begins at 5:30 p.m.

View more than 60 glittering holiday light displays at Lights on the Bay at Sandy Point State Park. The lights are open fro 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. through Jan. 2.

Shop till you drop at Downtown Annapolis' Midnight Madness extravaganza. Shops stay open till midnight, and special treats such as photo shoots, free entertainment abound.

Enjoy decked-out boats as they enter Annapolis Harbor for the Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade at 6 p.m. on Dec. 12.

The Ballet Theatre of Maryland performs The Nutcracker at the Marland Hall for the Creatve Arts on Dec. 12, 13, 19 and 20.

The United States Naval Academy Glee Club and the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, with solists from the Metropolitan Opera Company, perform Handel's Messiah at the Naval Academy Chapel on Dec. 5 and 6. Messiah will also be performed at Anne's Church on Dec. 18, 19 and 20.

Visit LFVacations to book your winter Annapolis getaway!