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jul 18

How to spruce up a rental

Vacation rental bliss (Courtesy reiner.kraft/Flickr)

It's summertime and you may be renting a condo or apartment for vacation. How can you personalize a stranger's place to make it feel more like home during your stay? Some tips:

Before you go, ask the owner about the basics. Do you need to bring beach towels? a DVD player? tennis rackets? Then come prepared.

Pack your favorite pillow. It'll always be nicer than what the landlord provides.

Pack your favorite kitchen items. Chef's knife. French-press coffee maker. Non-stick baking tray.

Order groceries from a local store. Request delivery for the evening you you arrive, to make sure your pantry is stocked with necessities such as sturdy paper towels and charcoal briquettes for the grill.

Set the mood. Example: A light dimmer, which works like an extension cord with a switch and plugs in to any standing or tabletop lamp, allows you to mellow out harsh lighting. In-line dimmer switches sell from $8 on Amazon. Don't forget your iPod or CD player,with essential music. Find out if your rental has compatible speakers, or if you'll need to bring a portable set.

Share your tips for sprucing up a rental in the comments. Sometimes it's the little things that can make a vacation rental feel more like a home.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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