They might not be your obvious choice of marketing niche, but one thing is for sure – marketing your vacation rental to senior travelers has plenty of benefits.
Not only are over-65s now living longer, better lives than ever, they’re also some of the highest income earners and, generally, the demographic with the most time and disposable income to travel.
Pair this with changing attitudes towards vacationing which are making the “home-from-home” experience more valuable than ever, and you’ll soon understand why over-65s should be your next go-to market.
Don’t be mistaken – however – there is not simply one type of senior traveler. So whether they’re planning a multi-generational vacation, are looking to escape the winter weather or undertake a hobby holiday, here are some ideas on how you can market your vacation rental to senior travelers.
1. Use your location to its advantage
It’s no secret that many seniors fly south for the winter to warmer weather and attractive areas – and now you can use this to give you the upper hand. If your vacation rental climate stays mild even off-peak, you could think about marketing your rental well ahead of time to capture these guests and fill your shoulder season.
Offering early bird incentives such as discounts, free airport transfers or even a complimentary activity to enjoy during their stay can help lookers turn into bookers!
2. Pitch local recreational activities
Age is nothing more than a number, and when it comes to staying in shape, the over-60s are fitter than ever. With almost a quarter of over-60s working out a minimum of five times a week, this can be a great selling point for your vacation rental. Think about what sporting activities visitors to your town or city like to do best. That could be: golfing; fishing; walking; hiking; cycling; swimming; or simply attending sports fixtures. Additionally, mention any activities that are free or discounted for senior citizens (for example, museums, art galleries, local transport etc.).
The opportunity to undertake their favorite hobbies in a new setting will not only help them to feel active and energized, but it will also help them in the quest for an authentic experience of living like a local!
3. Emphasize property accessibility
In the US, around 40% of people aged 65 and over have at least one disability, with two thirds of them stating mobility as the biggest difficulty. But don’t let mobility be the hurdle that keeps potential guests away from your property.
There are many ways you can adapt your property for disabled travelers and it doesn’t have to be expensive or ugly. If you can make any adjustments to suit seniors with mobility issues, be sure to highlight these benefits through your photos and descriptions. Small touches such as a portable ramp and detachable grab rails in the bathrooms can go a long way in making a guest feel more at home.
4. Add extra amenities
Although they’re now traveling more than ever, that’s not to say seniors are necessarily happy with “roughing it”. So make sure they know your home has everything they need – from the very minute they interact with your property. That might be full kitchen facilities, extensive cable TV, high-speed internet, a working phone connection with unlimited long distance calls – all these amenities will help your guests feel right at home. Top it off with the comfiest mattresses, sofas and outdoor furniture and you’ll be onto a winner with senior travelers!
5. Use Facebook Ads
It may surprise you to find out just how many seniors are using Facebook – more than 62% of online adults over the age of 65 regularly use the social media network. So, make the most of this online community opportunity and tailor some adverts to catch their eye! Using Facebook Ads, you can easily target specific demographics using filters for age, location and interests – based on past senior visitors to your rental.
6. Show off relaxing spaces inside your home
After a day of golfing, walking or generally visiting the area, any guests will appreciate their space to chill out and relax – and this couldn’t be truer for senior travelers. Ensure your home looks as comfy and cozy as possible by adding some perfectly staged photos which show off these relaxing spaces. Whether that’s a reclining sofa, hanging hammock or outdoors day bed, make these areas look as inviting and welcoming as possible!
7. Offer discounts for returning guests
Baby boomers take an average of four to five vacation trips per year, so remember this number in your marketing material! Even though studies show that comfort is more important than money for the older generation when traveling, a little incentive to book early may be just what they need to get their travel plans locked down.
Building meaningful relationships with your guests first time round will create a lasting impression for their stay. Staying in touch with your past guests after departure with a newsletter will also help maintain the relationship and provide you with a way to target them for future stays. Match this with a tempting money-off discount and you’ll be bringing in repeat guests in no time.
Whatever your property’s unique selling point, you can’t afford to miss out on marketing to the older generation – not when they’re one of the biggest growing travel sectors out there. Follow these tips to attract more senior travelers to your vacation rental.