After months cooped up, travelers are looking for creative ways to get some distance. And vacation rentals have a lot of appeal. According to our data, many travelers are considering rental options for their fall travel plans. Alternative accommodations (think cabins, cottages and RVs) account for 44% of accommodation clicks for stays this September. And we get it: with more privacy, many rentals offer that social distancing sweet spot. Plus, you can reap all the benefits of having your own personal space, with the added bonus that it’s not your house.

If you’re part of that 44% (or aspire to be), you may still have some questions and concerns about short- or long-term stays during COVID. Here are some tips that’ll help.

Research your destination.

Travel restrictions are changing quickly as more and more states and countries reopen to travelers. But quarantine policies and rules of entry can vary by destination, so it’s important to do some research before planning and also closer to your travel dates. Use our Travel Restrictions maps (both international and domestic) to stay up to date on restrictions, see current COVID-19 numbers by destination and set alerts so that you’ll be in the know when restrictions for any selected destinations change.

If you still haven’t chosen a destination, we’ve added a COVID-19 filter to our Explore map, so you can see the number of active cases in each destination while you’re planning. While both of these resources are great starting points, once you’ve selected your destination, it’s always a good idea to check with applicable government authorities, as well.

Stay flexible.

Even with the most careful of planning, travel plans can change – especially now. Airlines have recently all but done away with change fees, so you can rest easy booking now and canceling later if necessary. When it comes to rentals, you’ll likely want to take advantage of properties with free cancellation. Use the filter (under “Freebies”) when you search to find only properties that are waiving cancellation fees and see these options right in your search results.

Consider the property type.

When you think rental, you may immediately think about a secluded house with plenty of privacy (and many do offer just that), but rentals can also include apartments, condos or homes within larger complexes. The latter may include shared facilities or common areas similar to hotels, but with KAYAK, it’s easy to nix these from your search. If you’re looking at rentals for the privacy they may provide (when compared with hotels), tailor your search and filter by property type. KAYAK allows you to easily omit apartments and condos from your search, or take it a step further and find a unique property that you might not have expected by (from villas to houseboats to castles, you never know what you might find).

Know the property’s safety and sanitation policies.

Read the details on your rental carefully to see exactly what the property is doing to ensure proper sanitation. And if you have further questions, reach out and ask for more information. Regardless of protocols in place, DIY cleaning can offer peace of mind. Even with many properties upping their sanitation efforts, it can’t hurt to bring along a few cleaning supplies (or grabbing them in your destination) and doing a quick wipe down of high-touch surfaces. Pay special attention to light switches and remote controls. If you’re flying, you can even pack some cleaning products in 3oz bottles or bring along disinfecting wipes (which have the carry-on OK from TSA).

Ready to start considering your options. Search rentals now to see what’s available.

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Methodology: KAYAK alternative accommodations data is based on US non-hotel accommodation clicks between 7/1/20 – 8/25/20, for travel between 9/1/20 – 9/30/20, comparing the percentage of non-hotel accommodations to last year.