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Get out and enjoy a Cape Cod and Islands vacation

NECN - The recession has hit the vacation rental market pretty hard in recent summers, but this year's unseasonably warm temperatures have many thinking about summer vacation, so now is the time to book your vacation.

2012 Cape Cod and Islands vacation rental booking season has set a strong pace. Weekly bookings on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket listed with We Need a have measured a significant 16.3-percent gain over the early 2011 season.

The greatest increase has occurred on the Vineyard, whose bookings rose by nearly 26-percent, followed by the Cape's 15-percent, and Nantucket's 8-percent.

For a further historical perspective, early bookings this year have surpassed the difficult 2009 season by as much as 53-percent, and they have even posted gains of over 13-percent above the more robust, pre-recession, 2008 season.

Elizabeth Weedon joined "The Morning Show" to shares some tips on planning the perfect Cape Cod getaway:

Tips for prospective renters:

- Book Now! Timing for booking depends on your needs as a renter.
- Book early if:
1) you're picky about location (especially waterfront or walk to beach)
2) require/desire certain amenities
3) need a larger home
- Smaller homes (three beds and fewer) can book right up to the last minute due to greater inventory/supply

- How to Find the Right Home for You
- Use a reputable site like We Need a
- Target your search: by location, size and price, desired dates, specific amenities (most popular are Internet, linens included, a/c, outside shower), and beachfront/waterfront/water view/walk to beach
- Inquire by email (you can make multiple inquiries at a time) to start, if you wish, but always speak directly with the homeowner or rental manager by phone prior to booking
- Think Outside the Box
- Vacation in the off or "shoulder" seasons (i.e., May/June or Sept/Oct)

Fall bookings have increased dramatically and consistently over the past four years. Prices are lower, inventory is high, the water is still warm, crowds are diminished

Spring bookings haven't seen quite the explosion in bookings, but they, too, are popular options for those looking to save money, increase their odds of getting what they want, and simply can't wait to get on vacation.

Consider a freshwater pond- or lakeside home instead of beach-front property.

More more great ideas for a New England escape, check out We Need a