So you’ve decided to try something different for your next stay and you’re looking at treehouse rentals. Good for you! Guests who stay in treehouses rave about the unique and special experience.
However, renting a treehouse is also unique when it comes to what may or may not be included in your stay. Be sure to heed the advice to know before you go. Here are our top tips for treehouse rentals to ensure your stay is just what you hoped for.
Staying in a treehouse isn’t like other accommodations. It’s not like camping out, where you bring everything in to the camp site and then take everything out with you. It’s not like a hotel, with room service and restaurants close by. It’s more of a hybrid situation – you’re in the woods with some amenities, but some you need to bring with you.
Determine your priorities for your treehouse rental.
Think about your location first to help narrow down your search. Are you looking for a remote location or one within walking distance of shops and restaurants? Do you want to be close to hiking trails, parks or the water?
Do you want to be completely private or is it okay to have several other properties around you? Whichever you choose, you may have to research a bit to figure out how the treehouse is situated in comparison to others.
Do you want to eat all of your meals in the treehouse? Check out whether the kitchen has everything you need. Do you need running water or is a compost toilet okay? Is electricity, heat or AC important to you?
If you’re taking your pet, check whether the treehouse is pet-friendly. Some allow pets, while others don’t.
We rented a small studio at the beach and I took a frozen lasagna for dinner one night. One problem – there was no way to heat it up. While we could make coffee and keep drinks cold, that’s about all we could do in this rental.
Now think about the amenities that are important to you. Do you want a hot tub, wifi, fire pit, TV, grill or hammocks? You can find all of these things when you rent a treehouse but need to review the amenities list closely.
Ask about extra fees and cancellation policies.
I know I’ve gotten excited about a place that seemed reasonable but after going through the booking process, realized that all those additional fees pushed the property beyond what I had budgeted.
Make sure you know all the costs before you book, including any reservation, cleaning or pet fees. If you think you may need to cancel, read the cancellation policy carefully. Policies vary widely on Airbnb and VRBO.
Read the reviews.
My husband was on Amazon one day and said, “I need to buy some new black socks. There are more than 1,200 reviews for the ones I like. This is going to take all day.”
While I don’t recommend going to those lengths, especially for something as ordinary as black socks, guest reviews are really important when it comes to renting Airbnbs, VRBOs and from other sites.
This may be the most tedious of our tips for treehouse rentals, slogging through dozens of guest reviews. But in addition to determining if this is the right treehouse for you, you can learn so much from guest reviews, like what to pack, what’s close by, what they wish they had known before they came. It’s worth the extra time it takes to go through the reviews.
Read the fine print.
Here’s one of our top tips for treehouse rentals. Unlike a traditional home rental, you can’t assume anything is included with a treehouse rental. For example, many popular treehouses don’t have electricity, a bathroom or running water. As many treehouses are built deep on wooded lots and sometimes up a steep hill, a four-wheel drive may be recommended.
Some treehouses are reached by swinging bridges or long staircases. They have bedrooms that are accessed by ladders or a spiral staircase. That may be a critical detail to know if accessibility is an issue for anyone you are traveling with.
Some treehouses don’t allow children or pets. There may be a fire pit but you are not allowed to bring your own firewood due to concerns about pest infestation.
Remember It’s not about luxury. It’s about unplugging and enjoying your stay in the treehouse.
If you are the kind of person who thrives on room service and spacious living quarters, staying in a treehouse may not be for you. Accommodations are generally on the smaller side with minimal services. But what you may not have in amenities, you’ll make up for with charm, coziness and a new experience.
You’re in the woods. Pack accordingly.
Unless you’re sightseeing nearby, you don’t need a lot of clothes and fancy shoes. If you’re climbing bridges to get into your treehouse you’ll want closed-toe shoes. Also think about bringing bug spray, sunscreen, bottled water and flashlights for navigating the woods at night.
If you’re going to be doing any hiking, bring those hiking boots. Shampoo, soap and conditioner may be supplied, but possibly not. Pack your own just in case – that is if you have a shower. And bring a shower cap if you use one! They are becoming scarcer and scarcer, even in the nicest hotels.
You may want to bring books to read, a journal to write in or maybe a board game to play while you’re enjoying being unplugged.
Check out these treehouse rentals for amazing treehouses:
• 12 Stunning and Unique Houses in Asheville
• Here’s How to Find the Best Hocking Hills Treehouses
• 33 Tennessee Treehouse Rentals, From Luxury to Rustic
Find out what’s close by.
Can you walk or drive to places to eat? Are you going to want to go out to eat? If coffee is included in the mornings, you may want to bring along yogurt and granola bars to relax without heading out first thing in the morning. If there’s no mini fridge or you have more than can fit, bring a cooler to keep your items cold.
When we stayed in Candelight Forest in North Georgia, we knew there were some restaurants a short drive away. But it was a rainy Sunday and we also knew we would be so cozy in the treehouse, we wouldn’t want to leave. We had checked out the kitchen and saw it had a small microwave so we packed a dinner we could heat up and enjoy there.
When we stayed in the Dove Men+Care Elements treehouse, we knew we wanted to drive to Chattanooga and check out some restaurants there, so we didn’t bother with a lot of supplies.
Peter Bahouth is the owner of the most wished-for airbnb in the world, a three-level treehouse. Although they can walk to restaurants, his guests don’t want to miss a minute in his treehouse, so he suggests they order food delivered to their nest in the woods.
And the last one in our tips for treehouse rentals is …
Last of our tips for treehouse rentals: Book early for the best selection of treehouse rentals.
Treehouse rentals have never been so popular and they can book up fast, especially during the warmer months. Start your search early if possible to make sure you get the treehouse on the dates you want.
If your dream treehouse isn’t available, you can either choose other dates, or search around for an equally enchanting getaway.
– Jan Schroder, Editor-in-Chief
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