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People book vacation rentals for various reasons, as they offer several advantages over traditional accommodation options. Whether your reasons for choosing a vacation rental include the need for more space, a desire for privacy, budget-friendly, the craving for an authentic local experience, or simply the comfort of home-like amenities. But there are a few terms in the rental listings that you might want to pay particular attention to. You might even want to steer clear of rentals that use them. These sneaky terms can sometimes be misleading or fail to truly capture the essence of the property.

While looking at the reviews left by previous guests can definitely provide helpful insights, but it’s important to approach them with a grain of salt. Remember, everyone has their own unique taste and preferences.

To avoid lousy vacation rental experiences, Elliott Report compiled a list of specific terms to look out for in listings that could be red flags. Their team based their list on thousands of vacation rental cases they have mediated on behalf of consumers.

“It turns out that vacation rental hosts often embed words of warning directly in their property descriptions,” said in the article.

One example is the word “cozy.” Sure, it has its dictionary definition, but in these contexts, it often hints at spaces that are on the smaller side. So, if you see “cozy” in a listing, chances are you’re looking at a snug little spot rather than a sprawling mansion.

A few other words came up such as eclectic, secluded, secure, and rustic. These words can have different meanings and interpretations depending on the context. According to the study, when a listing says it’s “eclectic,” it might mean there’s an “interesting” mix of things, not all of those things are desirable. It could mean, for instance, that the only sink in the place is oddly located over the toilet. Yes, that’s eclectic, but it’s also bad design.

As for “secluded” and “secure,” they can imply being far away from civilization or having an excessive number of cameras watching your every move. And when it comes to rustic, it could be a potential red flag for no air conditioning or limited hot water.

It’s important to remember that just because these words show up in a listing, it doesn’t automatically mean that the owner is trying to hide something or that there’s something inherently wrong with the property. Think of these words as another tool in your screening toolkit before booking a vacation rental. But these terms should definitely lead you to ask some questions about the listing before you commit.

Take a look at other words that made the list here.

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