(CNN) – The vacation rental business was already booming before the pandemic, but interest has skyrocketed in the past year.The size of the global vacation rental market is expected to reach $ 113.9 billion by 2027, according to a report by Grand View Research.
In March, Jeff Hurst, president of Vrbo, founded in 1995 as Vacation Rentals By Owner, told CNN Business that the company was having the most successful start to the year in America in 25 years.
In fact, vacation rentals have proven so attractive that Netflix has just released a new series dedicated to exploring some of the best.
«The World’s Amazing Vacation Rentals»Puts the spotlight on some of the more unique vacation rentals, with Luis D. Ortiz, who is also helming the US reality show” Million Dollar Listing, “and vloggers Megan Batoon and Jo Franco competing with each other to find some of the top.
The influencer Jo Franco, one half of the popular YouTube duo “Damon and Jo,” says she has always preferred vacation rentals to hotels as they allow travelers to live “within the culture” of the destination they visit and offer more flexibility.
“I think vacation rentals give people more personalization options,” the Brazilian-born vlogger tells CNN Travel.
“There are some spectacular hotels, but it really depends on the type of trip you want to do. Hotels are designed for tourists, but vacation rentals are designed for travelers. ‘
«[Los alojamientos vacacionales] they can be in the middle of local communities, and that’s a beautiful thing if you go with plans to learn, explore and meet the locals. ‘
“The World’s Amazing Vacation Rentals” follows the trio as they travel to 24 different accommodations, including an igloo in Finland, a Hawaiian cabin with its own private waterfall, and a snake-shaped apartment in Mexico City.
Not surprisingly, many of the featured vacation rentals have seen bookings surge since the eight-episode series premiered in mid-June, and fans have sent Franco and his co-hosts screenshots of their bookings.
“I live for memories and funny stories, so the igloo stuck with me,” admits Franco, “Sleeping in an igloo was absurd. It was probably the most uncomfortable dream, but the most memorable. And Finland in winter was something out of a storybook. It was magical.
For Franco, it was very important that the program include reasonably priced properties, such as a $ 24-a-night property in Ubud, Bali, as well as more luxurious options such as a private island in the Bahamas.
This 28-year-old, whose family moved to the US from Brazil as a child, had little money to pursue her wanderlust in her younger years, but managed to find ways around it by working in shelters. in exchange for free or discounted accommodation and traveling the country on buses.
«Many programs make it seem that [los viajes] They are all multi-million dollar mansions and it is not like that, ”he explains. “You can always find something within your budget.”
For those who want to keep costs as low as possible, Franco recommends opting for vacation rentals that are a bit further out, as these tend to be cheaper, and also force travelers to explore lesser-known areas and hop on public transport.
“Obviously, he verifies that it is safe… security is the highest priority. But there are always those pockets of places that people don’t know yet, and those are the cheapest reservations, the ones that you have to move around a bit ».
«I call them traveler stays. Meet the locals, ask them questions, be curious, because you may discover some history or data that you would never have had access to before.
According Airbnb, cabins are the number one ‘most desired unique stay types’ in 2021, while there has been an 80% increase in interest in treehouse properties and a 63% increase in visits to barns since March 2020.
The vacation rental booking company notes that users have been “looking for non-traditional stays that offer a lot of privacy and outdoor space” due to the pandemic.
“People are really concerned about security and want to be somewhere remote and isolated,” says Franco.
“That is something you can get in a vacation rental that you don’t necessarily find in many hotels.”
And despite ever-changing travel restrictions and border closures, new Airbnb hosts with a single listing who had welcomed their first guests since the onset of the pandemic had already made more than a combined $ 1 billion in February. .
It’s not just tourists who book vacation rentals. The rise in popularity of remote work Due to covid-19 it means that some travelers are booking properties for longer stays from which they can work and play.
“The world is moving towards this space in which people live and work in different places, especially during the covid,” adds Franco.
“I think vacation rentals are going to play an important role in the way people plan their lives. It’s going to be based on these long-term rentals. ‘
“When I go to Greece, I rent apartments for a month, not for a weekend.”
The vacation rental platform HomeToGo it has also observed that travelers are now booking accommodations for longer periods.
“We’re also seeing travelers turning to vacation rentals to book longer stays, with the average length of stay being 11 days (+ 14% vs. 2019) for domestic getaways,” said Mahendra Roopa, Product Manager , machine learning and data science from HomeToGo in a statement earlier this month.
“As the world begins to open up, vacationers are looking to enjoy a well-deserved ‘revenge trip’ and spend time fully immersing themselves in a new destination.”
Another notable trend is that of travelers vacationing in larger groups and opting to rent larger properties.
In April, the vacation rental property management company TurnKey Vacation Rentals noted that the demand for houses with four or more bedrooms had been more than five times higher than that for houses with one bedroom during the month of July, and approximately 60% higher than the requests for houses with two or three bedrooms.
This comes as no surprise to Franco, who often advises young travelers looking to save money to consider spreading the cost of vacation rentals among larger groups.
“I’m always creative when it comes to calculating a budget, because when I started traveling, I slept in hostels with 20 other strangers,” he explains.
«With vacation rentals, you can certainly find affordable options because you can go in a group. You can rent a house, and if you bring three friends, they all share the price.
The domestic travel factor
Although “The World’s Amazing Vacation Rentals” feature properties as far away as Bali and Mexico City, many of the highlights, such as the Alpaca Treehouse in Atlanta, Georgia, which sits inside a bamboo grove, and a cattle ranch. in operation in Montana, they were much closer to home.
There are now more than 1.3 million vacation rentals in the United States, and the success of vaccines is helping drive domestic travel.
The vacation rental search engine HomeToGo recently reported that the demand for searches for national stays has increased 58% this year compared to pre-pandemic searches, while interest in homes located in smaller cities and rural areas also continues to grow.
“The domestic travel boom we are seeing has directed travelers’ attention to the incredible hidden destinations that are available closer to home,” said Caroline Burns, the company’s head of public relations and travel expert, it’s a statement.
“There are countless reasons why staycations they are more attractive, from avoiding the stress of quarantines and testing to offering convenient options for getaways without flights.
However, as the popularity of vacation rentals reaches an all-time high, Franco stresses that those less used to staying in them should be aware of exactly what they are hiring for.
“The first thing is to remember that you are entering someone else’s home and someone else’s community, so you have to be respectful about it,” he says.
Be responsible travelers. In addition, you must know the services you are looking for and ask questions before arriving.
“If you go on vacation for the only two weeks you have off, something as stupid and simple as no coffee machine can ruin your mornings if you’re like me.”