Planning an Anniversary Trip in the Mountains

CoupleWondering what to do for your next anniversary? Plan a mountain trip! Nothing says romance quite like a mountain retreat in a cozy cabin. And while this spring might not be the best time to go on a trip, what with COVID-19, but it is the perfect time to plan one. 

Here are our tips to help you plan an amazing mountain getaway. 

Rent a cabin

CabinWhen you’re looking through all of the different types of accommodations available for your retreat, consider renting a cabin. Hunkering down in an authentic, private living space is one of the best ways to both feel at home and get the full mountain experience. 

You can find rentals to suit any type of vibe you’re looking for at It’s Cabin Time. Our properties offer a range of amenities from rustic to luxury. Plus, because we are a book-direct site, you will get personal attention to ensure that you have the best possible holiday.

Consider an off season visit

Adirondacks[Browse cabins near the Adirondack Mountains]

Factor your anniversary date into your location planning process so that you can avoid the crowds. For instance, if your anniversary falls in the four months between June and September, you may want to avoid the Rocky Mountains as it will be in the midst of peak travel season. 

Plan for downtime

Smokies[Browse cabins near the Great Smoky Mountains]

Sometimes less is more—especially on an anniversary trip where your main focus is on each other. When you need some rest, or if the weather is bad one day, be prepared to have some fun off the trails. Here are a few ideas.

If you want to enjoy the scenery even in your downtime, try doing a paint and sip; open up a bottle of wine to split while you and your partner paint the view from your cabin. Then later that night, cook a nice meal together either indoors or outside over a campfire.

Beartooth Mountains[Browse cabins near Yellowstone and Glacier National Park]

It’s always exciting to discover a new part of the world with the one you love. Happy vacationing, and happy anniversary! #ItsCabinTime

How to Pack for Your Wisconsin Cabin or Vacation Rental

Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, but packing for one can be quite stressful. This is especially true when you’re not sure what to bring. Well, RentWisconsinCabins.com has you covered. Whether you’re packing to stay at a luxurious estate or a rustic cabin, here is what you need to know. 

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Kitchen

While some cabin rentals are equipped with many amenities, more old fashioned properties may lack conveniences like electricity or running water. Check the listing to find out how equipped the kitchen is, and contact the owner with any questions that the website description didn’t answer. You’ll want to know ahead of time what pots, pans, and utensils are available, especially if you plan to cook. 

Regardless of what’s available at the property, it’s always a good idea to come with your own cooler, a sharp knife, and your favorite spices. 

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Comfort

When you’re spending time in the wilderness, a few basic items can go a long way towards keeping you comfortable. The necessities include bug spray, sunscreen, a flashlight, and a first aid kit. Other comforts you might enjoy having are good pillows, linens, a fan, and extra toilet paper (because you never know!).

Entertainment 

Of course, the whole point of a Wisconsin vacation is to have fun! Come prepared with kindling and plenty of folding chairs for sitting around the fire. Even if you think you’ll spend most of your time in nature, be sure to also bring some indoor activities for nighttime and rainy days. Some fun items to have include a bluetooth speaker, books, board games, and arts and crafts supplies. 

Wherever you’re headed, you’ll have a great time! Enjoy the (book direct savings)* too.

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*At RentWisconsinCabin.com you plan and book directly with rental owners or local property managers. WHY? Booking direct guarantees you get the lowest rental rate because you skip the service fees found on every online booking travel site. Why pay hundreds of dollars more for the same Wisconsin vacation rental?

Northern Wisconsin Cabin Rentals

Arbor Vitae | Balsam Lake | Barnes | Bayfield | Boulder Junction | Bruce | Brule | Butternut | Cable | Chetek | Conover | Crandon | Crivitz | Danbury | Drummond | Eagle River | Egg Harbor | Ellison Bay | Fairchild | Fifield | Fish Creek | Gills Rock | Glidden | Grand View | Harshaw | Hatfield | Hayward | Hazelhurst | Hiles | Holcombe Hurley | Iron River | Lac du Flambeau | Lake Nebagamon | Lake Tomahawk | Lakewood | Land O’ Lakes | Laona | Lublin | Manawa | Manitowish Waters | Manitowoc | Mercer | Merrillan | Minocqua | Minong | Montreal | Neillsville | Ogema | Ojibwa | Park Falls | Pelican Lake | Phelps | Phillips | Pickerel | Pound | Presque Isle | Rhinelander | River Falls | Rice Lake | Sarona | Sayner | Seeley | Shawano | Sherman | Spooner | St. Croix Falls | St. Germain | Sturgeon Bay | Sugar Camp | Three Lakes | Tomahawk | Wabeno | Waupaca | Webster | Winchester | Winter | Woodruff |

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Southern Wisconsin Cabin Rentals

Algoma | Arkdale | Baraboo | Beaver Dam | Black River Falls | Coloma | Coon Valley | De Soto | Delavan | Elkhart Lake | Fennimore | Ferryville | Fountain City | Friendship | Green Lake | La Crosse | Lake Delton | Lake Geneva | Lodi | Lyndon Station | Markesan Marquette | Mauston Mazomanie | Monroe | Montello | Mt. Hope | Necedah | Nekoosa | New Glarus | New Lisbon | Oxford | Packwaukee | Plymouth | Prairie du Chien | Reedsburg | Rome | Saxeville | Sparta | Tomah Area | Trempealeau | Viroqua | Warrens | Wautoma | West Salem | Whitewater | Wild Rose | Wisconsin Dells | Wisconsin Rapids

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Visit our other state-specific websites:

RentMichiganCabins.com

RentMinnesotaCabins.com

RentNewYorkCabins.com

RentMontanaCabins.com

RentTennesseeCabins.com

RentKentuckyCabins.com

Thanks for supporting our growing number of vacation rental website that allow renters to easily connect AND BOOK DIRECTLY with owners and local property managers. Tell your family and friends about our unique websites!

~

JM Creative Group, LLC
Member RentWisconsinCabins.com
Basecamp Location: Middleton, Wisconsin

Five Reasons US Travelers Book Vacation Rentals Direct

When booking vacation rentals in Wisconsin or anywhere in the US, they have two options. They can book directly with homeowners and local property management companies, or they can go through a third-party site like Airbnb, TripAdviser.com and Booking.com and pay more. While the latter is certainly a common route, experienced and savvy travelers are likely to avoid it.

Here are five reasons travelers ditch the big online travel agencies and book direct using the websites listed at ItsCabinTime.com

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  1. Best Price Guaranteed

Third-party booking sites add a high percentage of service fees to the reservation total. A service fee of 20 percent on a $1500 weekly stay is 300 bucks; money that is better spent on a nice meal and a local adventure like ziplining, or shopping in the town you’re staying in. Why pay more for the exact same vacation rental found on book direct websites like RentTennesseeCabins.com.

  1. No Surprises

When you book direct, there are no surprises—hidden fees or otherwise. (You can rest easy knowing your personal information will not be sucked up into the wide world of data mining and aggressive targeted marketing.)

  1. More Flexibility 

We’ve all experienced minor bumps in our travel plans that forced us to modify our trips. Unfortunately, most booking sites are not understanding. The real people interacting with you when you book direct at RentWisconsinCabins.com offer tailored pre- and post-stay communication to ensure you still have a great vacation and return next year.

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  1. Exclusive Options

Did you know that many of the best vacation rentals are not listed on the major sites? Listing on a major site costs money that many homeowners do not want or need to spend. Don’t miss out on these Michigan cabin and cottage hidden gems! 

  1. Better Customer Service

Do you have any questions about the property or the area that aren’t already addressed on the website? When you book direct, you get personalized answers and genuine human interaction. No one can give you better trip advice than local experts. Interested in a remote vacation in Ely, MN? Connect with the rental owners at RentMinnesotaCabins.com

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Bottom line: For the best homes and the best experiences, #BookDirect.

Visit our newer websites too:

RentNewYorkCabins.com | RentMontanaCabins.comRentKentuckyCabins.com

Thanks for supporting our growing family of state-specific, vacation rental websites where you can easily connect AND BOOK DIRECTLY with rental owners or local managers. Tell your family and friends you found a website without traveler fees!

THE MANY FACES OF BOOK-DIRECT: WHAT ONLINE TRAVEL AGENCIES AREN’T TELLING YOU.

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Middleton, Wis. – The “book-direct” slogan gets tossed around in the hotel and vacation rental industry a lot lately. Two words which seem clear enough have recently become less clear now that Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) are moving to an online transaction model. Today, when OTAs refer to booking direct it does not mean directly with hotels or vacation rental owners/local managers. It means that travelers book “directly” through middleman websites. Wait… that means its no longer actually direct, right?

Travelers beware: many third party booking websites still waive the book direct flag, but only over their website properties. Booking though middleman booking websites is not actually booking direct. The OTA booking path has forked – unpredictable booking fees to the left and new traveler fees to the right – both roads resulting in extra fees for travelers.

Have you been watching the hotel giants spend millions to clarify the meaning and benefits of booking direct? Did they just wake up and ask themselves “How did we become barnacles on the hull of these giant OTA freighters?” Did they wait to long to detach themselves? Their urgent shift to a true book-direct model sends a clear message to the booming vacation rentals industry: You want to control your booking process, customers and rental inventory, not lose control.

Though my JM Creative Group is a start-up business which competes with hotels for traveler dollars, we are inspired by their commitment towards clarifying what “book direct” means, and we embrace the same philosophy for the vacation-rental industry.

The travel business is ever changing and as the industry realizes the priorities of its customers, hopefully “book direct” will actually mean “book direct” once again.

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Vacation Rental Owners/Managers: Book Direct is alive and well.

2009 seems so long ago, but that’s when we launched our first state-specific, vacation rental website: RentWisconsinCabins.com, from a home office in Waunakee, WI. Now we have 6 Live websites with plans for 21 sites by the middle of 2017. We now have ‘legit’ office space in Middleton, WI.

It didn’t take long for rental owners & property managers around the country to tell us that there is a big demand for a listing website that embraces the “Book Direct” philosophy. We speak to vacation rental owners & managers often, and the conversations are similar; “large OTA’s are out of control! They control our inventory, rates and are now charging our renters an extra traveler fee.”  Our consistent growth has confirmed that large OTA’s are not the only advertising choice.

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RentWisconsinCabins.com: Nearly 700 rentals
RentMinnesotaCabins.com: Nearly 400 rentals
RentMichiganCabins.com: Over 200 rentals
Plus our newer states RentNewYorkCabins.com, RentMontanaCabins.com and RentTennesseeCabins.com: Over 200 rentals
…We are just getting warmed up!

Our renter traffic grows an average of 48% every year. Over the last year, our websites attracted over 1 million page views.

Why take on the time & expense to roll out unique websites for so many states? It’s never been done before! By 2012, our Wisconsin website proved that (even from a home office) we can compete long term with large OTA’s in Google Search by targeting regional organic long tail keywords & topics. Search for yourself – go to Google and type in popular terms like Wisconsin vacation rentals; wisconsin cabins; wisconsin cabin rentals, etc. Then try michigan vacation rentals; michigan cabin rentals; mn cabin rentals, etc. There we are!! From these first page results, how many “book direct” websites do you see?

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We also discovered the immediate need for “traveler fee” education. We recently added a question about traveler fees to our survey and were shocked to learn that nearly every respondent had no idea that booking websites charge a traveler fee. What we’ve know for years though is that renters prefer to book vacation rentals with the owners and local managers 25-1.

What do you think of booking vacation rentals directly with owners/managers?

Joe and Team
JM Creative Group
Middleton, WI

Searching for a #NewYork #Vacation Rental? Read these 8 #tips before you book it.

New York Vacation Rentals are the trend for 2016! The advantages of staying at a NY vacation rental are numerous. There are lots of pet friendly options, homes with fireplaces and fire pits, chalets and cottages right next to the lake. You have private parking and sometimes piers for your boat. Vacation rentals give families room to spread out and enjoy each other. Something a hotel just can’t offer.

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The time to book our summer 2016 vacation rental is here! What do you need to do before you book your vacation rental? Here are some tips:

  1. Inquire about your vacation rental with the actual owner or manager before you book. They know the property (and the area) best and will have you living like a local on Day 1.
  2. If you are looking to bring your pet, be sure you know the Pet Policy. Some will not allow certain breeds or sizes of dogs. It might also be good to check out if there is a kennel or fenced in area for your pet while you’re out at the lake. Compare vacation rentals with a pet policy versus kenneling them near your home if your on tighter budget.
  3. Know the cleaning policy. Some rental owners or managers charge a cleaning fee and don’t expect much cleaning. There others who expect to have the place ready for the next renters. Whatever the case may be, it’s always wise to take pictures or note any possible previous damage. Be very thorough.
  4. Picking up the keys. Some rentals may have a lock box on the door. Some owners might meet you at the property or have them hidden somewhere. Property Managers might have you stop at their office and pick up the keys. Know before you go!
  5. Ask about mobile phone reception. Vacation rentals in New York can be remote. If you need use your cell phone for directions, or to check in, make sure you will have cell coverage. We recommend you have a physical map in the vehicle just in case. If you have to stay connected, ask about Wi-Fi availability.
  6. Always ask about supplies and what you should bring. Some supply bed sheets but not towels, or vice versa. Some supply both. Always ask about a medical kit or if you need to bring certain kitchen items that you can’t live without (like a bottle opener) or a muffin pan. You get the idea. Some cabins and cottages offer canoes, kayaks or bikes on site.
  7. Check out a calendar of events or a town’s Facebook page to research area events. Keep in mind that rental prices are often higher during summer, holiday’s, and big events.
  8. Ask who you need to contact if you have any emergencies. If there is a leaky faucet or a light goes out, you will know whom to contact.

New York cabin

Catskills, Adirondack Park, Finger Lakes, Upstate …wherever you end up, your vacation will be better in a cabin, cottage, lodge or home. We are just getting underway in New York, but stop by and see our selection New York vacation rentals. Skip the booking website commissions and book directly with the owners and save. If you’re looking for a resort, cabin, vacation rental or lodge elsewhere, check out our other websites:

www.RentWisconsinCabins.com      www.RentMontanaCabins.com     www.RentMichiganCabins.com   

www.RentMinnesota Cabins.com

5 advantages of booking directly with vacation rental owners and property managers

RentMichiganCabins.com invites you to book your Michigan vacation rental DIRECTLY with rental owners and property managers! It’s the best way to avoid ugly booking pitfalls. There are many advantages – here are our top 5.

  1. The commission fees vacation rental owners pay to 3rd party booking websites (typically about 18%) inflates costs, which renters end up paying.
  2. After making your reservation, you can make any changes necessary directly with the rental owners or property managers.
  3. Avoid the double booking jungle and the follow-up attempt to cobble together a discount for alternative travel dates. 3rd party booking websites can be frustrating and full of unpleasant surprises. The owners, or property managers are the best source for current availabilities.
  4. Early check in and late checkout options are best addressed with the owners and managers. Booking indirect means you have to talk to the 3rd party website you booked through who in turn needs to talk to the owners/property manager.
  5. Many of the “middlemen” booking websites have inadequate and poor customer service, plus the booking process can be misleading and confusing. Also, those sites won’t help you with suggestions about “what to do” once you’ve arrived at your vacation rental. Owners and property managers are your best tour guides.

When you send an inquiry, or call about any listing on RentMichiganCabins.com, you’re communicating directly with the vacation rental owner or property manager — the expert who will help you create a memorable vacation experience and give you some tips on how to ‘live like a local’.

Relax. Enjoy your search. You’re on cabin time now!

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