While hotels and motels have traditionally been the lodging option of choice for travelers, recent statistics indicate a growing preference for vacation rental properties. According to a survey released in April, 2013 by TripAdvisor, nearly half (49%) of the 1,300 U.S. travelers who responded to the survey indicated that they either have or plan to stay in a rental home in 2013, up from 40% in 2011 and 46% in 2012.
Why such a surge in interest for vacation rentals over hotels? According to the survey, 82% of respondents cited savings and last minute deals as the top reasons. Other motivating factors for the choice included traveling with a large group and the availability of more living space. While not specifically mentioned in the survey, it’s probable that greater awareness of the availability of vacation rentals as a result of increased online marketing and guest referrals are also playing a big role in the shift. After all, how many of you remember childhood vacations spent in a personal residence as opposed to in a major hotel chain?
Each type of lodging facility offers its own unique advantages. Here are the most common ones:
Ultimately, travelers are likely to make their selection for lodging type based on past experiences, personal preferences, budgets, travel purpose, size of the group and their relationship with one another, length of stay, and the availability of lodging options at their desired location. For shorter stays and when traveling alone, the conveniences that hotels offer are hard to beat. But for longer term lodging and with friends or relatives who want to be close, but not too close, vacation rentals often provide the ideal accommodations. And if the convenience of hotel room service is a really big deal, consider hiring a professional chef to come in and prepare those special meals in the comfort and privacy of your vacation rental.