I recently made the decision that I wanted to change my spring vacation plans and instead of heading to a blogging/podcasting conference in Las Vegas, I thought my time would be better spent on a lake, writing articles for this website. When I’m at the lake during the summer months, I don’t want to spend my precious lake time researching local businesses and driving all around the lake. What I’d much rather be doing is sitting on the water in my boat or a lounge chair. So next week when all my blogging friends are sitting in a stuffy conference room listening to another blogger or podcaster share how they create content for their site, I’m going to be gazing across the main channel of the Lake of the Ozarks, taking lots of pictures to share with all of you and actually creating hours of content for this site!
Searching for a Lake Rental
Once the decision was made to head to the lake, I had to figure out where to stay. My criteria was simple: available rentals between Tuesday and Sunday and I wanted a great view of the lake to be inspired! My goal for my vacation is to be reminded of all the little things that made me love the lake so I can share these stories and reminisce with you. I want to hear the sound of the large boats cruising down the lake, I want to watch the waves bounce off the shore and listen to the birds sing in the trees. The easiest way to do all of that is with a deck that faces the water and without anything blocking my view! The closer I am to the water, the better!
Narrowing Down My Rental Choices
As I’ve mentioned in another post about finding a lake home rental, VRBO.com is usually my favorite resource for locating lake homes. I began my search there but wasn’t finding very many lake homes to rent in my price range, so I decided to try their parent company – HomeAway.com to see if more options were available. Quite surprisingly, I found probably double the amount of rentals on HomeAway but they also included all the rentals I found on VRBO. My search became much more time consuming because I had so many options to choose from, so I had to figure out a way to narrow down the results.
I didn’t have a preference for a condo over a house but I had a budget to stick to (I didn’t want the cost to be any higher than the hotel I was staying in Vegas) so that quickly reduced my options. I decided that $100 would be the maximum nightly rate I would spend on any place. Once I added that criteria, only a couple of houses remained.
My next criteria was that I want to be ON the water and where I hopefully see a few boats, even if it’s only on the weekend. I figured that being back in a cove or staying near the end of the little Niangua arm would limit my boat viewing options, so I decided I wanted a place on the main channel or by the Grand Glaize bridge. That knocked the houses off my list.
I also wanted to be near where all the action is. During the summer months, we prefer to stay on the quiet part of the lake during the week so we can ski and wakeboard with few boats as possible. However this time of year, I have a lot of things to see and do and the majority of those are on the east side of the lake. My list was reduced to only the places in Osage Beach near the Grand Glaize Arm.
Finally, with my price set and my location specified, the only thing left was to look at the options each condo had available. These were my remaining criteria:
- WIFI Available
- Nothing Blocking my View of the Lake
- No Condos in a Cove with lots of docks in front the condo
- Deck with Gas Grill
- Coffee Maker had to be available
- No Extra Cleaning Fees or Deposits
Renting a Lake Home or Condo in Off-Season
Luckily for me, April is considered off season at the lake. Almost every posting I found offered great deals if the trip was before May 1. I spent a couple of nights considering my options. I found a couple of condos with amazing sunset views and within my price range. I carefully read the reviews of each condo and made sure there were no complaints that might deter me from staying at the location.
I finally selected my first choice and I contacted the rental property manager to make sure the condo was actually still available. He responded within the hour and sent me a link to accept the terms and make my payment. Since my trip was within 2 weeks of my selection, I had to pay the deposit and the remaining amount at the same time.
Ready to Travel
Now that I’ve made my reservations and cancelled my trip to Vegas, I am ready to pack for the lake! This trip should be much easier to get ready for than in the middle of the summer with a family. Hopefully while I’m there, I will have lots of great stories to share such as, is April a good month to visit the lake? What did I think of my condo? What are the differences between renting a house and a condo? Was the lake as inspiring as I hoped for? I will make sure to take plenty of pictures and hopefully inspire you to visit a lake soon!