Vacation Rental Trends

In January of 2011 travel services website, TripAdvisor, released results of their second annual vacation rentals survey. As the largest travel site in the world, TripAdvisor assists clients in bringing together travel information on interactive forums. Their survey results showed a significant shift for travelers; for example those who previously frequented hotels, are now choosing to rent a vacation home. Let’s take a closer look.

According to the survey, 40% of travelers plan to stay in a vacation rental in 2011, which is 7% more than 2010. A whopping 51% of those looking for a vacation rental home want a private beach. Living the luxurious and exclusive life of a private beach villa is definitely the trend among summer vacationers. More people are seeking a private home away from home instead of the hotel hopping road trip of days gone by. The emphasis is on family time in one place of luxury rather than hours of traveling.

In shopping for a summer rental home, travelers want lots of room and plenty of amenities. Families are looking for ways to make their dollars stretch further, so a vacation rental with a full kitchen and laundry goes a long way towards enticing travelers. Having all the latest electronic hook-ups is important too. Offer internet access, satellite television and so on. Lots of square footage both inside and out is also important for family activities. Everyone needs their own space at some point, so a vacation rental with reading nooks and play areas will definitely attract attention.

No one purchases anything sight-unseen anymore, and if they do it is with an iron-clad guarantee. No one is going to book a vacation rental without seeing lots of high quality photos. After all, these people are looking for a temporary home. It has to be just right. According to TripAdvisor’s survey, 42% of those who participated said photos of the rental were the biggest influencer of their decision to book. Only 13% said price.

Technology is a key part of everyone’s daily life now. Most people are well acquainted with computers, and still more do their research and travel shopping online. In fact, the aforementioned survey showed 70% found their vacation rentals online. With that kind of statistic it is imperative for a vacation beach rental company to have an online presence, but it is just as important to be on travel sites as well as their own private site. The more exposure there is the better. However, in saying that, there were still 25% of survey respondents who found their rental through word of mouth. More specifically, they read online travel forums like TripAdvisor.

Vacations and travel are synonymous with hotels and airplanes. It has been that way for decades. On the other hand, we have all known someone who goes to the lake every summer and rents a cabin. Combining the two into an exotic beach vacation and renting a cabin is still a blossoming concept in North America. The TripAdvisor survey showed that 22% of vacationers in 2010 didn’t rent a vacation home because they had just never thought of it. Then there is the 36% who said the only time they had used a vacation rental was for a life event such as a wedding or reunion. The most obvious misconception seems to be cost. Since we always seem to hear about celebrities renting their beach villa, it is easy to assume all of them are priced exclusively. Also, with all the marketing by all-inclusive resorts it may be hard for many people to appreciate there are just as good deals to be found in the vacation beach rental market.

Once a vacationer finds a rental they like, they return. The TripAdvisor survey showed 29% of travelers use the same villa each year and book up to six months in advance, just to be sure they get the dates they want. Unlike the hotel and resort industry where a traveler will never know what room they will be assigned, those who use the same vacation rentals repeatedly always know what to expect. There is no guessing game regarding amenities, cleanliness or rental policies. Everything is clear and comfortable, adding to the whole relaxing experience a vacation should be.

If you are a vacation rental home owner, there is definitely a market to tap into. That 22% of the traveler crowd who have not considered a vacation rental as either an option or financially feasible, is just waiting for you to convince them just how easy it is. If you are someone looking for a unique and family oriented vacation idea, consider the beach rental. It doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think, and it is a great alternative to the pomposity of the resort atmosphere. Explore the options of a home away from home!