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  Edition # 102  
San Francisco, 07-14-2013

Figure [1]: Michael sitting on the patio of a vacation rental on Hawaii.

Angelika In March, we once again packed our bags and went on a trip to the Hawaiian island of Oahu. We've given up on hotels for quite some time already, and nowadays always rent vacation homes, not only because there's no hotels in our favorite spot, Kailua. Since we know exactly what we want and have become pretty familiar with the neighborhood, I always get a place to stay via "vrbo.com" ("Vacational Rental by Owner"). On the site, owners offer their vacation homes from around the world for rent.

If you're looking for a place on Oahu, click on the US map, then drill down to the state of Hawaii, then on the island of Oahu, and you'll see various offerings in different locations on the island. Filtering by the number of bedrooms required, whether ocean front is a must, or availability by a preset date narrows down the search. Inquiries to property owners are usually answered within one or two days.

Figure [2]: Typical vacation rental on Hawaii: wooden floors and rattan style furniture.

Renting a property requires a prepayment of a couple of hundred dollars and sending a signed contract to the owner. The entire rent then needs to be paid four weeks before the rental date. Most owners want it via check or money order, only few accept credit cards, as those require them to pay a processing fee.

Figure [3]: A charcoal grill is a must on Hawaii.

We're pretty amazed every time how flawlessly this process works. The landlords typically aren't on the island, but are living somewhere on the US mainland. Usually, they let a Hawaiian resident manage the property. In March, we rented a place in Lanikai, a small bordering neighborhood to Kailua. I only called the property manager once before we went there and we didn't see him even once during the entire time we were there. The house key was placed inside the house when we arrived, and we left it on the kitchen table when we left. For emergencies, we had the manager's and the cleaning lady's phone number. The place was great, as you can tell by the pictures.

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Latest update: 13-Jun-2014