What kind of perks can a vacation rental offer travelers that traditional hotels cannot?

Vacation rentals give travelers that special “home away from home” feeling - literally. In some cases, vacation rentals are luxury homes, fitted with all of the bells and whistles that you would find without leaving your own front door. This sense of home really holds well with travelers.  They love the ability to create their own unique getaway based on the endless options that are available.  A vacation rental allows you to create your own experience by choosing the features and amenities that fit all of your needs.  

Can you tell us your top three things to look for when securing a vacation rental?

"In some cases, vacation rentals are luxury homes, fitted with all of the bells and whistles that you would find without leaving your own front door. This sense of home really holds well with travelers"

I’m a tech guy tied to my smartphone. I need to have access to WiFi internet so I can check in on work even when I’m away.  When the technology is turned off, I look outdoors for inspiration so tremendous views are an absolute must for me.  They offer a sense of restoration, relaxation and serenity, things we all look for during a getaway.  I want to look out the window and see majestic mountain views of Big Sky or the Rocky Mountains.  The final, and perhaps most important feature I look for is location.  I don’t want to be across the street from the beach, I want my villa to literally be on the beach.  I don’t want to be 20 minutes from the mountain, I want my chalet to have ski-in/ski-out opportunities.

How has the vacation rental market grown in the past 2-4 years? Do you find the popularity of vacation rentals is growing with travelers?

The vacation rental market has really taken off in the past couple of years.  Vacation rental bookings increased more than 30% between August 2011 and August 2012. The hotel industry, by contrast, saw three percent growth in 2012, according to the Hotel Industry Pulse Indicator. This indicates that today’s traveler is looking for unique, memorable experiences and base their lodging choices accordingly. Vacation rentals are taking hold rapidly because of the following “perks”:

  • Amenities of Home
  • Space for Large Groups
  • Privacy

How do you expect the vacation rental industry to evolve in the next ten years? What do these changes mean for travelers?

Right now, the vacation rental market is a $56 billion industry in the United States and Europe.  We see exponential growth throughout Asia, India and Russia.  Today’s traveler expects online booking to be seamless and trustworthy.  A big problem for today’s online traveler looking to stay at one of these millions of unique lodging options is that over 80% of these rentals still have to be booked via e-mail and phone, resulting in a cumbersome experience.  Over the next ten years we will see the innovation radically improve online travel sites to allow these millions of unique lodging options to be bookable online.