Traditionally, vacations are a means for us to switch off, rest, spoil ourselves, or even sometimes it could be non-stop tourism, stressing to see everything and walking endlessly. The way people travel has evolved and, nowadays, they are often prioritizing a healthy mind and body. Hotels have already been including gyms in their facilities for quite some time, but many times guests who use them are the ones who travel frequently for business or those who like sticking to their normal routine.
So what happened? Millennials happened. Millennials are young travelers who have completely changed the way we explore the world and pick and choose accommodation. First, we saw an increase in traveling on weekends and bank holidays. Then came searching and paying for accommodation on mobile phones, and later booking last-minute. And now, millennials prioritize staying in shape throughout their whole vacation. Due to a change in habits in adults aged 18-35 and the rise of social media, it’s more crucial than ever to get a great photo on vacation. Vacations have never before been so photographed and shared online with everyone.
In a survey carried out by Hotels.com, in which they asked 8,400 people from 28 different countries if keeping fit during vacations was important, 66% said yes, while 42% said that they would be willing to eat less healthy for a few days if they had the opportunity to compensate it with exercise. Moreover, young people who participated in the survey prefer to share photos of themselves at the gym than at the beach on social media. This is a result of the rising ‘fitfluencers’ on Instagram who have hundreds of thousands of followers.
Vrbo analyzed internal data and found that demand for vacation homes that included the term “yoga” grew 65% year over year, and “fitness center” and “gym” grew by 40% and 30%, respectively.
Having a healthy lifestyle has always been a number one priority for many, however, when traveling, it’s very easy to break this rule. For travelers whose fitness is indispensable, they often look for accommodation that will better suit their needs and allow them to maintain their normal routine, but at the same time to do it in a flexible way. As a vacation rental owner, you can provide these resources in your home.
How do fitness and wellness enthusiasts travel?
A fitness traveler is someone who doesn’t want to jeopardize their physical health during their vacations or even one who travels in order to stay in shape.
Additionally, a wellness traveler is someone who prioritizes wellbeing and wants to escape their day-to-day stresses. The term “wellness” is becoming more well-known now, but it’s still not used as widely as fitness. Searching for wellbeing and spiritual peace is something that has emerged as a result of changing lifestyles. Therefore a wellness traveler isn’t someone who simply adapts their trip, but rather who chooses a destination or accommodation with only one thing on their mind: wellbeing and relaxation.
Fitness and wellness vacations are not something out of the ordinary. Bootcamps, yoga retreats and fitness programs from hotels have existed for a long time. Companies have even developed personalized itineraries, including exercise and wellbeing in their programs. Many even offer a professional chef! As a result, accommodations are adapting to this rising trend, and you can, too, if you want to take advantage of this fashion.
Many homeowners have already benefited from converting their vacation rental into retreats or accommodation which is full of ways in which guests can be most active. But how do they do it? Here are our top tips.
Tips for attracting fitness and wellness travelers
Marketing to fitness and wellness travelers is actually quite easy, as their needs revolve around the same things: a healthy and active lifestyle, nature, relaxation, etc. Here are 5 ways you can get more reservations from them.
1. Adapt your property to get more out of it
Does your property have views of tranquil mountains? Can you enjoy the sunset over the sea from your porch? Do you have a fireplace? Do you have space to build a swimming pool? Pay attention to the possibilities that your vacation rental has to offer and invest in providing the best stays for fitness and wellness travelers.
Pick a spacious room to convert it into a communal area where guests can relax after a full day of exercise, or refurbish the exterior to create an unforgettable experience for those who want to practice yoga in a natural environment. Build a gym with mirrors all over the walls, or a long swimming pool to swim lengths. Go as far as your budget allows. All the costs will pay off when you list all the installations and equipment in your vacation rental home. They will add a lot of value to your home!
Don’t forget how important it is for your guests to have a well-deserved rest. Invest in good quality mattresses, pillows and bedsheets – as well as everything else which will ensure that your guests feel like they are sleeping on cloud nine and wake up feeling new.
2. Invest in facilities and gym equipment
If you have the means to set up a home gym, you should not only purchase some top-quality workout machines, but also offer an area where guests can do weights with dumbells, use stretch bands, skip and use other materials that fitness lovers pack when they travel. This way, they don’t have to worry about bringing these items themselves.
You can also include other accessories that travelers need for physical exercise during their vacation, such as trekking poles, bikes and snorkeling masks.
3. Offer food in your vacation rental
Finding restaurants with healthy options is harder when you’re unfamiliar with the area, or if you’re visiting a city for the first time. There are a lot of reasons why it’s a good idea to include breakfast in your accommodation (such as being able to increase your nightly rate), but also, think about your guests.
Be one step ahead of them by providing a nutritious breakfast, include more protein than carbohydrates, giving them energy for the rest of the day. Some of the favorite breakfast foods for fitness and wellness travelers are oats, smoothies, juices and fresh fruits. If you really want to win them over, offer them popular acai bowls, avocado toast or other superfoods.
Also, you’ll need to fill up your fridge with water, so your guests can stay hydrated whilst exercising, and think about including healthy snacks such as protein bars, dried fruits, and nuts. A good idea would be to provide a reusable water bottle, so they can take it anywhere. Add your vacation rental’s logo on it and you will be advertising your business at the same time!
4. Make the most of local events
Is there a yoga retreat near your property? Or an interesting sporting event? Any competition or conference for fitness lovers or yogis? Make the most of the things happening in your town by mentioning these on your vacation rental blog. In addition, explain in your listings what they are about and specify exactly how far away they are.
You may also want to use this opportunity to network and create local partnerships with the organizers. They can offer your property as an accommodation option for participants and you can write about their events on your website. Everyone’s a winner!
5. Give your guests the information they are looking for
By showing your guests you know what they are looking for, they will see you’re a host who can fulfill their needs. In order to achieve this, here are some ideas:
- Recommend local restaurants that offer healthy and local market food. Help them avoid fast food chains and processed foods
- Refrain from recommending tourist buses. Be prepared to give them walking routes, so they can visit all the places of interest on foot.
- Point out to them on a map where all supermarkets and shops stocked with healthy produce are. They will likely want to cook in your vacation rental, or maybe they’ll need specific clothes in order to do certain activities in the area.
- Prepare a guide with activities they can do near your property and a list of companies that offer excursions, places to explore, mountains where they can hike, places to practice yoga, traditional dances in the region, personal trainers, etc.
If you want to go one step further, you can also offer running routes in your area, tips on avoiding jet lag, how to be active from day one, healthy recipes and speakers with a selection of music to exercise or relax.
Remember, by including all these facilities and amenities, your vacation rental will stand out to fitness and wellness travelers. Take advantage of this new trend in the travel sector!