Common Questions about Vacation Rental Homes

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions that you may have. Can’t find the answer to your vacation rental question? Call us at 269.469.1412 and we are happy to assist you. 

Q.  What is your mailing address?
A.  To mail a payment, please make the check out and send to:
      Yellow Bird Vacations
      P.O. Box 315
      Union Pier, MI  49129

Q. How do I go about reserving a property?
There are several means of doing so:
  • You can call us at 269.469.1412 
  • Email us at [email protected]
  • Reserve a property online through our website.  In doing so, we will hold the time for you but you will need to call us to confirm the reservation.  An online reservation is not confirmed until you speak with someone in our office to make sure the property fits your group's need.  Homes do fill up quickly. Your reservation is not fully confirmed until payment is received and you have signed the rental agreement.
Q. What types of payment do you accept?
A. We accept personal checks, Visa, Master Card, Discover card. We can also accept electronic transfers through our payment system. Half of your total payment is due when you reserve your rental, and the remaining half is due approximately 30 days before your stay.

Q. What time is check-in and check-out?
A. Our normal summer check-in time is 4:00 PM Eastern and our normal summer check-out time is 10:00 AM Eastern.  This allows us a window of time to get ready for the next guests who may be arriving.  Please note that our summer schedule is tightly arranged and thus we are not able to allow early check-ins or late check-outs in order to be fair to all of our guests.

Q. How do I go about checking into our property?
A. We ask all of our guests to come to our office to pick up and drop off property keys. We will have information for you, keys and any other pertinent information you might need for the home or the area. If you plan on arriving to the property after our business hours, please contact us as quick as feasible to arrange getting the keys.

Q. Where are you located and what are your office hours?
A. We are located at 19405 W US Highway 12, New Buffalo, MI 49117.

Our office hours during the summer are Monday to Sunday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM EST.  Please note that we are one hour ahead of Chicago time.

During the off-season, we are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM EST.

Q. What is your fax number?
A. Our fax number is 269.310.5940.

Q.  Can I see the property before making the reservation?
A.  We are always happy to make arrangements to preview a house in advance for our guests booking a week or longer  Please note that many of our houses are in use during weekends, so it is most practical to schedule a visit for during the business week.  We do need at least 24 hours notice to make sure that houses are available for showing and the weather must be cooperative.

Q. What can we expect at the property?
A. All of our properties have their own, unique amenities. You’ll find the best way is to research potential properties is by viewing the pages for each property on our website, and we are always happy to answer specific questions by email or phone.  You may generally expect a Yellow Bird property to have cable or satellite TV, high speed wireless internet, central air conditioning and heating,  and clothes washer/dryer access unless specifically noted but please double check if any of these features are must-haves for you.

Q.  What is supplied at the property for our stay?
A.  We provide two rolls of toilet paper per bathroom and one roll of paper towel.  We provide a small number of kitchen garbage bags, dish soap and detergent.  It is best to arrive at the property and inventory what you need and buy from a local grocery or bring what you need.  There are many times where the home will have extra supplies left from previous guests.  We do not provide condiments and spices for health and safety reasons.

Q. What is your cancelation policy?
A. We understand life may get in the way of your vacation and you might need to cancel your reservation.  Our process is simple - if you have made a down payment and then need to cancel, we will attempt to re-book the house.  If successful, we will retain a $300 re-booking fee and refund the rest of your down payment minus credit card fees.  Your deposit is forfeit if our attempts to re-book are unsuccessful.

Q. Can we have extra family or friends to the property?
A. The occupant limit for each property is listed on our website and will be delineated in our guest agreement. Please be considerate of the property, neighbor  and homeowner and do not exceed this number.  If you do, you will be in violation of your contract and we may be required to void it. Also, if staying in an neighborhood in which association rules apply, extra people are not permitted to use the association beach, pool or facilities.

Q. Is smoking allowed at the property?
A. Smoking is never allowed inside any of our properties. If you smoke outside, we do not tolerate cigarette butts in the yard or around the home. If you smoke inside the home, fines may be levied as outlined in the guest occupancy agreement.  Please note that some properties may be deemed as smoke-free, which includes the exterior premises as well.

Q. Are pets allowed?
A. Pets are allowed at some properties and this is detailed on each property page. You can search our website for dog friendly vacation rentals.  Cat-friendly houses are difficult to find and must always be approved in advance by Yellow Bird management.  

Q. Is there any public transportation to the area?
A. Yes, Amtrak provides service to the area several times a day at the New Buffalo stop. Information and schedules can be found at

Q. Are there any cabs or buses which service the local area?
A. Harbor Country Transportation can act as a cab/bus service for you or your group. If departing from the Amtrak stop in New Buffalo, the Four Winds bus will allow you to ride (for a nominal fee) to any of the New Buffalo hotels or to the Four Winds Casino. Please contact each company for more information.

Q.  Are there any hospitals / urgent care centers close by?
A.  Yes, St. Joseph, Mi, has Lakeland Hospital and Michigan City has St. Anthony's hospital.  There is also Franciscan Express Care in Michigan City for the quick doctor visit.

Q. If I leave an item at the property how would the return be handled?
A.  All returned items will incur a $25 fee including shipping.  If the shipping cost alone is over $25 additional fees may apply.