What Are Online Vacations?

What are Online Vacations? Owner Will Mello explains how Online Vacations got started and what services it provides to homeowners of vacation rental properties. People more than ever these days are turning...

People more than ever these days are turning to online services to book their vacations. Its part of the internet's overwhelming and prodigious impact on our world says Will Mello, owner of Online Vacations, a website where homeowners advertise their vacation properties. Mello says he developed his online business, because there was a big demand for it.

"The company started in 1993, but we weren't doing internet stuff until about 1994. We bought our first vacation condo in 1994 and at that point we didn't like the fact that rental companies controlled it. So we started advertising it ourselves and renting via the Internet and learned all the rules doing it that way. Within a couple of years it started to become popular to rent-it-yourself. So what we started doing was consulting with people who wanted to rent their own condo or vacation homes. We would help them deal with licenses, taxes, how to find cheap ways to advertise, the importance of finding a good cleaning company, and all of that stuff. We gained popularity like crazy because we were really just being friendly with other people and some folks actually asked us to manage their properties for them. We had our property management licenses down here in South Carolina and decided to make a go with it," Mello says.

Internet businesses like Online Vacations offer a place homeowners can go to rent their vacation properties. Instead of their houses sitting vacant all-year round, renting brings in some nice cash flow and allows for people to be visible at the residence year round.

"We allow homeowners to advertise their vacation rental and manage it themselves. They take the pictures; they upload them. They write the text; they set their rates. It's totally self-catering - they do it all. There's also a calendar they can use to show if a unit is available," Mello says.

Mello says getting your vacation packages online from existing homeowners is the way to go. You can get reduced costs on housing, and deal with the homeowner directly.

"When they have questions about cleaning services and such, we tell them "Don't be afraid to send an e-mail to another homeowner that you don't know and ask them questions". Most homeowners are very willing to help," Mello says.

Mello says the internet has changed the way people book their vacations, as well as for renters. The system works nicely, because people have more options. They no longer have to go straight to travel agencies. Oftentimes, online renters offer amenities that bigger companies can't. They can give you more personal service.

Of course, your online vacation deal will vary from town to town. Prices for rental homes can cost anywhere from 100 dollars to thousands of dollars depending on what type of property you are looking for. Naturally, properties situated in places like Hawaii, where there is a competitive market for tourists, rental costs will still be substantially higher. However, you may be able to get better deals than what travel agencies can offer.

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