I recently read a cottage rentals want ad on the internet that inspired me to write this article. I’ll paraphrase it more or less, “Looking for a private cottage rental in the Muskokas…family of 5 is looking to rent a 3 bedroom cottage, privately owned, with satellite, cable TV, wifi, PS3 or Xbox 360, heated swimming pool, sauna, and hot tub, sandy beach area, dishwasher and laundry on site, modern amenities, linens included, well stocked kitchen, large flat land, good fishing and boat included. Do not want to spend more than $400.00 for the entire week MAX! Do not contact me if you do not have what we are looking for in the Muskoka area.” Heck! If such a place exists, I’m moving there! I am curious if they actually got any responses?
Let’s be real here. What are you looking for in a cottage rentals? Seriously? Are you looking for Club Med, Playdium in Mississauga, or a cruise ship? And what’s with the list of electronics for anyway? It’s a cottage! That kinda sorta means that you are going away from all of the busy, commercial stuff to relax and enjoy nature. Otherwise, what is the point? I responded to the ad to ask one question, “How did you come up with that budget?” And you know what? I got a response. “We are looking for the perfect getaway for our family of teenagers so that everyone is happy and pleased and we can work as well, because we have a business that cannot allow for mom and dad to have a vacation.”
Okay, so I get the working thing and the need for the internet thing. Personally, I don’t supply it as part of my cottage rental. I have way too many trees to ever get a good signal for both internet and satellite television. And why would you want to take a vacation where people CAN find you? It’s not a vacation then. And as a parent that will often keep the Blackberry going on vacation, I do understand. So If you’re doing it for your kids, I say send them to camp instead! I know it contradicts the purpose of suggesting a cottage rental, but I mean PLEASE manage your expectations. The more electronics you supply or expect to have, the more your hydro bills go up. So that will also increase the cost associated with the rental fees. Don’t kid yourselves. More is more, period. And the further away from the power source for Ontario Hydro, guess what folks……………. The higher the cost.
Here’s the message: manage your expectations for the average cottage owner. We set up and market our cottage rentals for peace and tranquility, to enjoy nature and all that wonderful lake waters have to offer. Though we try real hard to provide a cottage rental that is both comfortable with good amenities, it’s not about the most electronics or the most amount of hydro sucking appliances that you can find. It’s about getting away from your busy, artificially over stimulated minds, and finding a place that can slow down the commercialised city Joe and Jane. It’s about falling in love again with the world you rarely see, lakes, rivers, large ancient trees, birds of various colours and breeds, and listening the tranquil waters and winds that help you sleep without a prescription, just from sheer fresh country air.