The hospitality industry has been wondering for quite some time what the future of travel will look like. The pandemic has completely changed the world of vacation rentals and we’ve been waiting patiently to see how it will unfold.
As borders open and restrictions loosen, the big question remains: now what?
Some predicted a slow trickle back into holidays, but a different trend has risen: revenge travel. This phenomenon is the first of its kind. “Revenge from who, how, or what?” you might be thinking. After over a year of confinement and severe restrictions, pent-up wanderlust is finally transpiring and at a rapid pace.
Vaccinations are becoming more widespread meaning that many feel armored and ready to explore again, but with exploration comes accommodation. That’s why we’re here to prepare you and your vacation rental business for this evolving trend.
What is ‘revenge travel’?
This new anticipated holiday surge has been coined “revenge travel” and it refers to the idea that people are returning to vacationing not only in large numbers, but with an agenda. Many people were forced to cancel, abandon, or drastically change their travel plans last year and this has resulted in some need for retribution. Guests are ready to take back their freedom and holidays.
Get ready for an increase in bookings
As the rules loosen and countries welcome visitors, we can anticipate a wave of revenge travelers booking vacation rentals. Lives have changed dramatically meaning that people have been anxiously waiting for some sense of normality and the vacation rental industry is no exception to this. People want to move again.
“We’re already seeing a surge in ‘revenge travel,’ as the vaccine becomes more widely distributed and as people become more comfortable with traveling,” said Carolyne Doyon, president and CEO of Club Med North America and the Caribbean. As people began to feel more safe to venture out, the number of holiday reservations have started to multiply.
We can see proof of this growth in other areas of the travel industry, such as airport control. Eric Jones, co-founder of The Vacationer noted that the TSA has been screening over 1 million passengers most days since mid-February, an uptick from the general pandemic lows.
Vaccination cards, eased restrictions, and antsy guests create the perfect environment for a summer boom for vacation rentals. A season full of revenge travel seems likely.
The experts feel confident
According to Transparent’s latest report on the hotel and vacation rental industry, demand, occupancy, rates and length of stay are all on a steady incline. Naturally, some property owners feel leery about this outlook, as they try to plan what the season ahead might hold, but the latest statistics add a layer of security for vacation rentals.
There’s particularly good news for vacation rentals as they demonstrate a strong rebound. The average booking lead time, or simply the amount of time between the booking and check-in, and the occupancy rates have seen an upswing and predict a continuation of this positive trend.
There’s a number of factors that might contribute to this development, such as policy flexibility and the fact that vacation rentals are better equipped for longer stays which could benefit remote workers. Take these markers into consideration when preparing your vacation rental this summer.
What types of travelers are expected to take revenge vacations?
Some folks are still quite skeptical about travel and what it would entail during a pandemic, while others are unleashing their restlessness. But who is staying home and who is seeking travelers’ revenge? Four main groups of travelers have emerged from the rest.
By and large, U.S. travelers have historically been jetsetters, ranking number two on the list of nationalities who travel the most, but a European travel ban and even domestic bans between states, have made some of their top destinations completely off limits.
A vaccinated summer is coming and shifting much of this hesitation which is reflected in some of the upcoming, looser restrictions. Many countries are revisiting their closed borders and anticipating a summer filled with nonessential travel and all eyes are on U.S. tourists.
The European Commission recently announced that fully vaccinated U.S. citizens will be allowed to visit the EU zone starting this summer. European vacation rental owners can rejoice, but this is also great news for rental property owners in the U.S.. The hope is that with European borders open, the U.S. government will reciprocate.
Revenge travel is a movement shaping the future of vacation rentals, both internationally and domestically. The travel frenzy is going to spread, but not everyone is going to be so inclined to jump back into international treks. You should give attention to your global guests, but don’t forget to market to domestic travelers as well.
There will still be a large number of people ready to explore, but maybe only within the comforts of their home country and this is a booking opportunity you won’t want to miss.
This group of tourists may come as no surprise. Pioneering the path for vacation rental trends, millennials are, of course, at the forefront of revenge travel. At the prime of their lives and with a year of savings in their pockets, young people are hitting the holidays hard.
They’re a special breed so you’ll need to market your vacation rental to millennials as much as you can to ensure that you pick up this group of revenge travelers.
A year of confinement forced everyone to stay at home, cutting out additional expenses completely. Without restaurants, bars, spas, or recreational activities many people have been able to put away an ample amount of money and they’re ready to treat themselves.
Experts like Alan Fyall believe that people are ready to make use of these newly accumulated funds and splurge on trips. He predicts that most US travelers will opt for domestic trips, but still spend extra on things like extended stays and upgraded airfare.
Everyone could use a little break from the “new normal” and a luxurious getaway is what experts believe will provide this release. But be mindful that this spending splurge is going to be a calculated one. Vacations have been halted for over a year and guests aren’t going to blow all their savings on a whim, but rather have well thought out getaways. Luxury travelers are looking for five star service, so make sure your property reflects this desired top quality. Figure out how to market to luxury travelers and the bookings will fall into place. The demand is there, but vacation rental owners need to make sure their property connects with the right audience.
How can I prepare my vacation rental for revenge travel?
Ready to get back out there after a previously slow season? To help recoup some of those losses, you’ll have to prepare your vacation rental property to fit the needs of your incoming guests.
Get your listings ready
Even with the rise of holidays, travelers are bound to be more particular about their trips since they’re taking less of them. This means that you need to wow your potential guests and create a visual that has them booking instantly. Learn how to take professional photos for your vacation rental to persuade guests that your home is right for them.
Upload these photos to your listings on main OTAs like Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com or Expedia. But make sure you have a channel manager in place to help you sync your calendar, rates, and bookings across all channels. You’ll be able to deal with more OTAs while providing the same outstanding service to your guests, as well as minimizing the chance of human error.
To safeguard your property from any unknowns, avoid any unpleasant surprises and save yourself from future headaches , make sure to get vacation rental insurance.
Market your property
So if your properties and listings are at their best, you’re ready to focus your attention on brand visibility. After all, what’s a glamorous vacation rental if it’s never seen?
While using listing sites like Airbnb are great for getting your property in front of a high number of travelers, it’s also important to build your own website to have your own online space that you have complete control over. This allows you to guide inquiring visitors to specific pages when they want to learn more about your services, and it also allows you to communicate directly with potential guests. A bookable vacation rental website transmits professionalism and trust to prospective clients.
Don’t forget that when you have your own website, you can customize it to add any content that you feel might be pertinent during these revenge traveling times. Make sure to optimize your content for SEO, create pages to highlight your COVID-19 cleaning protocols, make a list of family-friendly activities that your guests can do at home, and mention any amenities or services you might have like an office space or grocery delivery.
Revenge travel is going to take all shapes and sizes and you might pick up local tourists from your town ready to take a staycation. Relaxing on home turf is nothing new, but it’s going to be especially prevalent during pandemic travel. Go old school and utilize our print marketing strategies to pick up local vacation renters.
Ensure you’re on top of your upsurge in “revenge travel” bookings and all of your calendars with vacation rental software. You’ll have the ability to manage all your bookings, tasks, guest communications, and finances on a single platform. Get the most out of your vacation rental business and provide the best experience for your clients with this software.
Prepare your property
Keep in mind that guests are always more likely to travel during a break. Maximize your booking opportunities by advertising for holidays. For example, you can encourage people to take part in patriotic festivities by marketing your vacation rental for the fourth of July. The revenge travel trend paired with public holidays means more potential guests to fill your vacation rentals!
Post-pandemic travelers are opting for the great outdoors for their upcoming vacations. To cure cabin fever, people are seeking out experiences and vacation rentals that are a breath of fresh air, literally.
It’s great news for those who needed the extra push in making a beach house rental investment, but that doesn’t mean city rental properties can’t join in on the fun. Keep a couple of small, portable outdoor games like a badminton set or a frisbee at your rental property for guests to use during their stay.
Visitors want to put down the mask and explore during their revenge travel. Show them that your property is a haven for all things outside. If you still feel like your property needs a nature revamp, check out these outdoor amenities to add to attract guests.
Remembering the restrictions
We know that these changes are exciting and we’re ready to jump on the bandwagon too, but it’s important to proceed with caution. Guests are still checking to make sure their stay is readily equipped for a safe and comfortable vacation. We have some tips on how to protect your vacation rental so that your properties are ready for reservations and if you’re still unsure on how to keep your vacation rental sparkling, we’ve also made a handy vacation rental cleaning checklist to help ease your worries.
Travel is forever changing, but post-covid travel is even more erratic. It’s important to stay up to date on all the travel trends so you can create a better experience for your guests and ultimately increase your bookings.