by Alfred Mears
Given what’s been going on in the world for the last what feels like forever, you’ve probably not been thinking about vacation rentals. Then again, unless you travel a lot, you’ve probably not been following trends in the vacay rental market at all in the first place. Well, if this sounds like you, there’s only one thing you really need to know about vacation rentals — they are the HOTTEST thing in the travel industry & have been for a few years.
That’s right. For at least the last 5-7 years, rental properties have been the way to go for folks booking trips out of town. In fact, you may have started noticing how much hotel advertising and marketing has gone up. Much of this has had to do with trying to keep their properties in as visible a place as possible for prospective customers. But even with that push, vacation rentals have still remained king. That begs the simple question: why?
Actually, it brings to mind a lot of questions: What makes these lodging options so different? Is there more value in a rental than through an established hotel chain? Is there a sense of safety & security in a vacation rental when compared to a hotel?
If you’ve never heard of a vacation rental, let alone booked one, you’re probably not sure what to think & that’s OK. Heck, considering the way the world has been, well, ‘being’ for the last 16-18 months, no one has really been thinking about traveling anyway. But now that folks are starting to get out again or are at least thinking ahead to 2022, knowing a little about vacation rentals is worth your time. Here’s what to know:
Flexible – Booking a hotel feels like you’re signing away a family member or organ. There’s a lack of flexibility that just makes it a tough call. Then when you actually get to the room & don’t like it, you’re stuck. Vacation rentals aren’t quite the same. You’ve usually got a choice of different floor plans from which to choose ahead of time, making booking a little easier.
A ‘Home Away From Home’ – Unlike hotel rooms, vacation rentals feel like homes. The best rentals have full kitchens available, which can make meals on vacation comforting & easier on the travel budget.
Privacy – Everyone who has ever been to a hotel knows that having privacy is almost impossible. Hotels are built to cram as many available rooms into a structure as possible, which means there’s someone just about everywhere. Rentals, on the other hand, usually mean you & those with whom you travel only.
Amenities – While hotels do offer some nice amenities, they also ‘nickel & dime’ you for everything. If you’re traveling on a tight budget, you’ll end up feeling like you’re in a box with a bed & bathroom. Vacation rentals offer an array of amenities with their booking price, a price (it’s worth noting) that’s not too far off from a hotel rate.
Budget-Friendly – Vacation rentals, for as hot a commodity in the travel industry as they are, have actually not inflated in price as one might imagine. Prices have remained fairly steady, even with significant popularity. Also, rentals are accessible at multiple price points for not much in the way of compromising quality & comfort. You really can’t say the same when budget shopping for hotels & going between one- and five-star digs.
Vacation rentals certainly have made their mark on the travel industry, but where things go from here is a little tough to gauge. It’s no secret that the world has been topsy-turvy for a minute & things don’t seem to be getting better. With that said, it’s worth thinking ahead to what the rest of this year will bring in terms of travel & what 2022 will spell for the industry as a whole. However, as big as vacation rentals have been for the last few years (and even popular through the last year or so), it’s likely they’ll still be king of lodging options down the road.