Andrei Stephan
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How To Convert Your Lake House Into a Vacation Rental The Easiest Way

You can gain financially if you choose to convert your lake house into a vacation rental.

One thing is clear: renting a vacation home is a business. So set yourself up for success before you hand over the key to your lake house.

Here are some important things to consider before you enter into the hospitality business.

What to do Before Converting Your Lake House Into a Vacation Rental

Make Sure The Numbers Add Up

Before taking the plunge, do the math. Get out a pencil and paper – or a phone app – and list your expenses and what you can expect to generate using your lake house as a vacation rental.

Some of your expenses will include utilities, maintenance (especially preventative), wear and tear, taxes, and insurance.

You will probably have to do more maintenance and upkeep, and at a higher level of quality than you might do for yourself when you are catering to the expectations of paying quests.

There is a huge time commitment if you manage the property yourself, so be prepared to expend that time and energy running the business.

Research Local Regulations

Look up regulations online by going to your town or city website and plugging in “short-term rental regulations.” 

If you cannot find any, visit the city hall to determine what, if any, regulations you need to fulfill to make your lake house a vacation rental. 

This may require a rental license. Know that you will pay taxes (local, state, and federal) on your income from a lake house rental.

Resort And Occupancy Tax

When researching regulations, some states will require you to get a business license. They will also collect from you the same occupancy tax that they collect from hotels.

Check With Your Insurance Agent

You probably have insurance on your lake house, but a standard policy won’t cover certain types of damages or losses. 

Some insurances won’t cover vacant homes or renters’ property or if an injury occurs on your property or if a renter sues you.

Find out beforehand if you need some sort of umbrella policy and just what will and won’t be covered. This is one area where you don’t want any surprises.

Establish a Rental Agreement

You will need to put your expectations down in writing, and not just the cost of renting your lake property. 

Some of the agreement’s inclusions should address the number of guests that can stay in the house, length of stay and guest responsibilities while at your property. 

Will you allow pets? What about smoking?Do the guests need to straighten before they go and take out the garbage? 

List the times for checking in and checking out, just like at a hotel. 

There are online agreements that you can modify to suit your needs, but make sure you have one in place.

To Manage Or Not To Manage?

It is less expensive to manage renting your lake house conversion yourself, but it is also a lot more work. 

This is especially true if you have no experience doing so or live in a different city or state than your rental. 

Management companies will offer online bookings for your lake house, calendars for availability, email communication with guests, credit card processing, and photographers to take pictures to place online. 

Having a property management company saves you a lot of time and fields all of the marketing and advertising along with inquiries.

They will also confirm reservations and be of support for the guests.

The down-side is that property management fees can be about 10% of the rental, which is a consideration. Some companies also have an initial setup fee, which might be a couple hundred dollars. 

That may seem like a lot, but running your own business takes time, energy, and know-how. 

Establish A Schedule

Decide in advance if there will be times when your lake house vacation rental will not be available. 

Are there any holidays, birthdays, or other times of celebrations that you will want to be using the lake house yourself? 

When you advertise, make sure that you note those blackout dates when stating availability.

Getting Your Rental Ready

Today’s renters expect a lake house vacation to be much like what they would expect if they stayed in a hotel. 

WiFi connection is a must, and a cable package is a plus.

Guests will expect that paper products and necessary cleaning supplies will be available. 

Laundry detergents and cleaner for the dishwasher will also be an expectation.

Linens and pillows will need to be fresh and clean. There should also be additional linens and an ample supply of extra pillows and blankets. 

The kitchen should provide a functional set of pots and pans. Dishes and cutlery, along with glasses and coffee mugs, should be well-stocked. 

Remember that guests will be expecting matching sets, not the extras and cast-offs from your primary residence.

While most people would not expect top-of-the-line furnishings, they also don’t expect to pay to rent a lake house full of hand-me-downs. 

For your part, you will have removed any keepsakes and personal items, along with family photos. 

Just as you would not expect to find someone else’s pajamas in a hotel room dresser, so too, your guest will not expect to see your clothes in the closets or drawers.

If you choose to leave personal items at your lake house rental, designate a closet for those items and put a lock on it. Don’t leave valuable or irreplaceable items at the rental, either.

Get Professional Photos of Your Lake House

Most people who are interested in renting your lake house will look online to see pictures of the house. 

They will choose a place to rent based on photos and descriptions of the property.

Be thorough in your description of amenities, including decks, patios, how many beds, cribs, and games or water toys.

Respond Quickly to Inquiries

You will have competition online. If you get inquiries about your property, be sure to respond quickly. 

People looking online will often email several places at the same time to cover all bases. If you are the first to respond, they have more incentive to lock down your property for rent. 

That means that you will need to check your listing throughout the day and respond immediately.

Vetting A Tenant

It is a good idea to speak with a prospective renter over the phone. You can gain a bit of insight by speaking to a person. 

Be sure to ask the ages of the guests, the number, and their plans while in the area. You will need full names, addresses, and phone numbers. 

You can get a feel for the person over the phone and decide if they are a good fit for your lake house through that conversation. 

While your impression may not always be accurate, it is your best option if you are managing the operation yourself.

Gaining Access To The Lake House Vacation Rental

If you are not planning to meet the guests yourself and don’t have a management company, decide how you will arrange for your renters to access the lake house. 

Keyless entries or a designated area to leave the key are two options. Decide too, how you would like your guests to return the key upon departure.

A Welcoming Touch

Once you have begun your lake house vacation rentals, you are part of the hospitality business. 

It is a nice touch to leave a welcome letter for your guests. 

Helpful information to leave would be the WiFi password, appliance operating instructions (if necessary), local attractions, and a list of local grocery stores and directions. 

Menus to restaurants that deliver would be a nice touch and any other information on the community.

If you manage your property, you need to include a number that guests can call if they have questions or any difficulties while at your lake house.

Cleaning Service

Suppose you are not in the area or chose not to do the cleaning yourself,  find a dependable cleaning crew to clean your lake house after each guest. 

You might have one set of guests leaving and another arriving on the same day. 

That would mean you would have to have a company that could be counted on to arrive on time, clean thoroughly, and be gone before the next guests arrived.

In Conclusion

Converting your lake house into a rental property can yield significant financial benefits. It also comes with its own set of rules and regulations.

Ensure that you know how to rent a lake house and all of the ramifications before you take the plunge.

Inflatable Fun! The Best Lake Floats Review and Buying Guide

The lake is a great place to be, but it is even better with inflatable fun! Lake floats are a must-have when you want to spend time on the water.
A lake float allows you to hang out on the water without having to gas up the boat. You can get a float that holds one person, a group of twelve, and any number in between.
Lake floats are a truly fun way to enjoy the lake, the conversation, and each other's company.

Best Lake Floats Review And Buying Guide

LAKE FLOATS

SUMMARY

Overall Rating - 4.3/5

The Jasonwell Giant Inflatable Unicorn is a huge 114 inches x 55 inches x 47 inches when fully inflated.
This pretty pony can hold two adults or a gaggle of kids, for a total of up to 400 pounds.

Overall Rating - 4.3/5

This inflatable has everything you need for chilling out and going with the flow! It is the best party float for groups of any age. 

Overall Rating - 4.2 /5

Built for six people, there are six cup holders and a built-in cooler for extra drinks and snacks.

Overall Rating - 4.6/5

Make a statement with this large 11 X 14 gallery-style picture frame in a matte black. The frame includes a white beveled mat that is the right size for an 8 X 10 picture. 

Overall Rating - 3.5/5

This extraordinary inflatable will hold up to six occupants. There are three integrated boarding platforms to make getting onto the raft easy.

Overall Rating - 4.6/5

Wow is right! This enormous 12 person island is a full twelve feet in diameter! The true floating party inflatable.

Overall Rating - 4.3/5

Definitely a one-of-a-kind whiskey glass, this 11-ounce rock glass is a real conversation starter.
Each glass is hand-sculpted to make a truly unique gift for yourself or someone else. 

Here are some of the more popular lake floats that are sure to deliver inflatable fun at your lake house.

If you have always wanted to ride on a rainbow unicorn, you now have a chance to do so! You can have one for your very own and ride it to your heart's content!
The Jasonwell Giant Inflatable Unicorn is a huge 114 inches x 55 inches x 47 inches when fully inflated.
This pretty pony can hold two adults or a gaggle of kids, for a total of up to 400 pounds.
Made from thick, soft, and durable premium raft-grade non-phthalates material, it is easy to inflate this beauty.
You can use a hairdryer or an air pump. This unique unicorn has the Fast Valve, which makes inflating five times faster than usual.
Great to use, in a pool as it will keep the kids entertained all day.
It also makes for the perfect gift for a birthday or pool party; it will be a hit!

This inflatable has everything you need for chilling out and going with the flow! It is the best party float for groups of any age.
Each person will have an extra-wide pillow backrest with room for four adults or four kids, a cool mesh bottom, and their very own built-in cup holder.
A grab rope makes for easy entry from the water. As if that was not enough, two built-in coolers allow you to take extra drinks or snacks along for the ride.
Fill the coolers with ice and drinks, and you are ready to go! The Bestway rapid rider is ideal for floating down a river or on a lake with friends.
It is constructed with a high-grade PVC and puncture-resistant Fortech to enhance durability and flexibility.
Inflates in about ten minutes and is perfect for summer fun for you, your friends, and the kiddos!
Four grab ropes with built-in grommets can connect the Bestway to anchors, boat, docks, or other floats.

The Intex Inflatable Relaxation Island is an excellent way for you and your friends to spend a day unwinding at the lake.
Built for six people, there are six cup holders and a built-in cooler for extra drinks and snacks.
Easy to get into from the water, the Intex has a boarding platform with grab handles, so if you choose to float alongside, you can quickly board again.
Four of you can use the oversized backrests to lounge, and the other two or three people can perfect their tan on the float's contoured deck area.
Take along the included anchor bag to moar where you choose.
The Inflatable Relaxation Island is the ultimate way to spend the day soaking and floating and having good conversations with your friends.

The absolute best party float, the Bestway CoolerZ Rapid Rider Quad inflatable raft, is like having your own floating island.
Six people can fit comfortably with the extra-wide pillow rests, and each has its cup holder.
If you want to float for hours, put on the detachable sunshade to provide some protection from the sun.
The nice thing is that there is still an area on the float that is always open to the rays so that you can choose sun or shade.
The mesh floor area allows you to dip our feet and legs in the water for a refreshing feel as you float.
There is a convenient built-in cooler bag, so you can float for hours without having to stop to refresh your drinks or snacks.
Made from durable and tear-resistant PVC, the inflatable raft is great for the beach, river, or lake.
An all-around grab line and handles make getting on and off easy or tie off to the dock, boat or anchor.

This extraordinary inflatable will hold up to six occupants. There are three integrated boarding platforms to make getting onto the raft easy.
And you will want to get on to this raft! The Body Glove is a party on the water with its waterproof speakers.
You can listen to your MP3 music by just plugging it into the speakers without worrying about your device; just put it in the waterproof case provided.
Six drink holders for your favorite beverages and two built-in coolers means you can drift on the lake for hours or stay put with the anchor bag.
A mesh cooling area will keep you cooled off as you enjoy the sun's rays.
A great addition to your lake home arsenal, the Body Glove Aqua lounge will be fun in the day and a great way to round out the night.

Wow is right! This enormous 12 person island is a full twelve feet in diameter! The true floating party inflatable.
You will be the most popular person on the lake!
You will be able to offer a seat to 12 of your nearest and dearest. There is a separate mesh seat for each person.
Create your private island in the lake! The open center is like an oasis to dip in and out of the water.
If you want to stay put in one spot, use the included anchor bag or the large grommet for tying off to the dock or a boat.
The bright orange floral pattern will increase your visibility on the water. Wonderful to have at the lake to use as an offshore raft and gathering spot.

Another great offering from WOW, the Tube A Rama has seating for eight partygoers, with a large mesh central deck that people could relax in as well.
Another fun feature is that four of the eight seats are open to the water (the other four are mesh), which allows for diving out of the float and popping back in.
Two cooler wells will hold ice and beverages, and snacks for when you get the munchies. Eight recessed cup holders keep your drink close at hand.
This is one large float at twelve feet in diameter and will be sure to be the favorite place to hang out on in the lake

Buying Guide For a Lake Float

When at your lake house, while you may want to do some swimming or take a tour of the lake in your boat, there are many more times when you would just like to lounge on the water and let the world go by.
Lake floats will help you accomplish that goal. You will be able to drift on the water and paddle yourself back (remember to take a paddle along!), or you can tether yourself to a favorite spot near the dock and just soak up the sun.
When looking for the inflatable that will work best for you, consider what you will use it for.
You may end up deciding to get more than one, especially if you frequently have friends and family visit your lake house.
You might want to get one solely for your use on days when you need solitude and get a large one for company.

Lake Floats

Check The Material The Float is Constructed With

When you are looking for any inflatable, consider first the material that the float is made out of.
You don't want to purchase a float, have a bunch of excited company or kids, and then have a rip or tear ruin all the fun.
Look for a float made with a high-grade PVC that is tear and puncture-resistant. A good quality float should last you several seasons of fun on the water.

Inflating Your Inflatable

An inflatable should be easy to inflate and deflate. There is no way in the world you will be able to blow these up like you would a toy; you would have to start in the fall to be ready for summer.
The easiest way is to use an air compressor, but very few of us have an air compressor. There are several, easy options for inflating your float. 

Lake Floats

Use an Electric Air Pump

Consider picking up some type of electric air pump. Most of them come with various nozzles and are relatively inexpensive, with most around $20.
Most electric air pumps have adapters to plug into an electric outlet or your car adapter.

Use a Shop Vac

Another option is to use a shop vacuum. Check out the instruction manual for your shop vacuum to see how to do so.
It is a pretty straightforward procedure, and this video shows you how this man uses his: How to inflate using a shop vacuum.

Use a Hairdryer

Some inflatables can be inflated using a hairdryer. Make sure that the hairdryer you use is on the cool setting.
That makes it handy to inflate as most of us have a hairdryer in one of the bathroom drawers

Use a Manual Pump

If you are somewhere, you have no power; you might have to resort to a manual air pump.
Rather than a hand pump, which will take forever and be tedious, look for a foot pump. It will also be tedious but won't make your arm feel like it will fall off.

Use a Garbage Bag. No, Really

There is no way I am advocating that you try this method to get air into your lake inflatable.
However, it is quite entertaining to watch, and you have to give the guy credit for ingenuity: How to blow up an inflatable using a garbage bag.

How Many People Do You Want To Accommodate?

When you consider how large of an inflatable to purchase, you should have a rough idea of how many people might be using it.
There is no sense in buying an inflatable that will hold 12 people when you will only ever have three or four.
Conversely, a lake float that contains just two people when you usually have eight or ten, will put a damper on the fun.

Soak Up The Rays, Or Not

The idea of spending time just floating on the water sounds enticing and relaxing. And it can be, but depending on when you are on the water, it can also be hot in the sun.
Some inflatables have detachable sunshades and will protect you from the sun while still allowing you to float in peace.
This is an excellent feature to have with kids who don't want to come in off the water; a sunshade will keep them out of the sun and let them remain on the water.
Remember, too, to always put on sunscreen before you spend time on your lake inflatable.

Amenities On Your Inflatable

While you are gently bobbing on the water and enjoying the view, doing nothing can be a thirsty business.
You can bring along your favorite drink, but unless you have a spot for it, it will be rolling around and spilling before you can finish it.
The beverage holders on a lake float are a genius idea that you will appreciate after using one.
They are handy if the passing boat's wake jostles you or if the water is slightly choppy.
Another amenity to look for in a lake float is the built-in cooler.
Part of the inflatable, the cooler can have a zippered or Velcro opening that covers a well where you can put additional drinks.
Put in some ice cubes to keep everything cool, and you will be able to stay out for hours. Bring along snacks or sandwiches, and you won't have to come back to shore until dinner!

Grommets Are a Necessity

Grommets on a lake float allow for a guideline to pass through on the float's outer side.
With this guideline, you can quickly move the float from one place to another or pull it out of the water.
The presence of grommets also allows you to tie up to a dock, a boat, or another inflatable. It is also possible to use an anchor bag when you have a grommet to hook it to.
Before purchasing an inflatable, make sure that it has grommets; otherwise, the lake float will be unwieldy once inflated.

In Conclusion

Your lake house is a fun place to be. The water that drew you to the lake in the first place is where you want to spend time.
An inflatable float will enable you to do just that, and it will be a great way to spend time with your friends and family.
Floats are truly inflatable fun, and every lake house should have at least one!

FAQ

1

How much do lake inflatables cost?

Prices will range depending on the inflatable size, but they can be as little as $40 or as much as $400.

2

Are inflatables difficult to take care of?

No, they are not. You need to take caution when using an inflatable that you don't drag it over sharp rocks or puncture it when putting it in or out of the water.
Tether your inflatable when it is not in use, so you don't have to go hunting for it across the lake.

3

How do I store an inflatable?

At season's end, bring your inflatable onshore and give it a cleaning. Use equal parts of white vinegar and water and spray the inflatable down. Rinse with fresh water.
If you feel you need something a bit stronger to clean the float, use half a cup of bleach to a gallon of water and spray the inflatable, letting it sit for a few minutes.
Rinse with fresh water. Allow your inflatable to dry thoroughly on all sides before deflating and packing into a large mesh bag until it is time to have fun on the lake again.

8 Vanilla Essential Oil Benefits For Your Well-Being

Vanilla essential oil benefits your overall health. It provides wonders to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Like other essential oils, vanilla can work wonders for your body.

You can incorporate it into your daily meditation to gain the benefits of vanilla essential oils.

Not only is it good for your well-being, but it also provides a pleasant scent to your home.

It is truly amazing how a simple bottle of vanilla essential oil can improve your overall health.

Vanilla essential oil benefits

Benefits of Vanilla Essential Oils

You can find many essential oils available, from eucalyptus and peppermint to rosemary and sage.

As someone who has never tried using them, it is quite challenging to pick the best scent.

If you consider which essential oil is perfect for your home and meditation, you may always consider vanilla.

Why? It is because vanilla smells sweet and warm, offering you a comforting feeling.

Besides, it blends well with other fragrances, making it one of the most popular scents. On top of these reasons, vanilla essential oil benefits your body and mind.

Here are some of the top vanilla essential oil benefits:

#1. Essential oils like vanilla can improve cancer patients’ quality of life.

Based on a study in 2015, essential oils are very promising in terms of various cancer treatments.

Although more research is advised, there has been evidence of cancer patient quality of life improvement using essential oil therapy.

Essential oils like vanilla are rich in phenylpropanoids and terpenes, which are associated with pharmacological properties.

One of the essential oil effects is having health-promoting attributes, making them ideal for aromatherapy.

#2. Inhaling vanilla essential oil can heal digestive disorders.

Like other essential oils, inhaling vanilla scent can balance out the hormone levels and treat digestive disorders.

It is because vanilla has specific properties that can get rid of the toxins in the body.

It also improves gut health, which plays a vital role in the immune system.

Vanilla essential oils can be used as both antibacterial and antifungal that can eliminate the harmful bacteria. Unlike antibiotics, they keep certain bacteria that benefit the body.

#3. Meditation works best with essential oils.

Many people meditate to improve their mental health. But aside from improving your focus and concentration, performing meditative practices can offer you several health benefits daily, such as reducing the risks of chronic diseases and fighting substance addiction.

Many mediation experts recommend using essential oils like vanilla to ease stress and anxiety.

With continuous use and daily meditation, you can improve your well-being and fight depression.

#4. The scent of vanilla can alleviate your anxiety.

No matter how many times you avoid stress, there are instances when you feel anxious about your surroundings. Besides, several factors can contribute to how you feel.

For example, too much office workload can add to your pressure, making you feel stressed.

That’s why it is recommended to diffuse essential oils like vanilla. Inhaling them reminds you of the good times, helping you unwind and relax.

#5. The vanilla scent helps repel mosquitos.

Using standard mosquito repellants can cause skin irritations. It is because they contain chemicals that might not be safe for the skin.

That’s why it is recommended to use vanilla essential oils as a natural way to repel these insects.

Aside from getting rid of mosquitos, another benefit of essential oils is portability.

Meaning, you can bring them anywhere since they are packed in bottles. You can bring vanilla essential oils with you during your camping or hiking trips.

#6. Vanilla essential oil is good for your skin.

Vanilla has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it suitable for your skin and hair.

These are some of the main reasons why vanilla essential oil is used in many beauty products.

Probably you might be wondering how vanilla is infused in topicals. For better understanding, vanilla beans are fermented with alcohol to obtain the vanilla extract. It can be blended with a carrier oil to produce the vanilla essential oil.

If you are suffering from a skin health condition, it would be best to consult a doctor first. You can ask the health professional if it is advisable to use vanilla essential oil.

If allowed, you can add drops of vanilla essential oil to topicals like lotion. You can apply it directly to the affected areas.

Since it has antibacterial properties, the vanilla essential oil can soothe redness and irritation. It also works well in preventing breakouts.

#7. Vanilla serves as an aphrodisiac.

Men’s sexual drive decreases as they age. As a woman, you can use natural ways to bring the romantic spark between you and your partner.

You may consider diffusing vanilla essential oils in your bedroom to fill the area with vanilla aroma.

The scent of this essential oil can work as an aphrodisiac that can increase your partner’s libido.

Besides, it also has relaxing properties that can help both of you to unwind, improving your mood in bed.

#8. Vanilla works well as an antioxidant.

The vanilla extract is rich in vanillin, a phenolic compound that helps neutralize free radicals. Since it is loaded with antioxidants, it can prevent skin damage.

It also keeps your skin healthy because vanilla is rich in B vitamins. Among these are niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B6.

Diffusing vanilla essential oils benefits those people who will be able to inhale it.

Breathing antioxidants prevent oxidants from multiplying in your body.

Since it eliminates the free radicals from your body, inhaling vanilla essential oils can also boost your immune system.

It is indeed challenging to pick an essential oil, given that there are many choices available.

Vanilla could be your best pick because it has a sweet and subtle scent perfect for everyone’s preference.

Besides, vanilla essential oil benefits your physical, mental, and emotional health.

From alleviating your stress and anxiety to reducing inflammation, the vanilla essential oil is undoubtedly a must-have at your home and workplace.