If you’re thinking about a vacation rental for a trip this summer, lock it in soon—especially if your dream house is on a beach. TripAdvisor’s 2015 Vacation Rental Survey has found that a whopping 59 percent of U.S. travelers plan to stay in a vacation rental in 2015—seven percent more than last year. The most popular months to rent are (no surprise) June, July, and August, and the most popular setting for a rental is by the shore.
The survey findings show that more and more travelers are discovering the benefits of a vacation rental versus a hotel—namely, more living space, better amenities (say, a kitchen, or a stunning view), and an at-home experience, all for a lower nightly rate. What adds to the value, survey respondents say, is that you save money by dining in (versus in a hotel restaurant or local eateries), not to mention you get free parking.
I’ve been renting homes for my own family’s vacations since my kids were toddlers and my husband and I came to the realization that we needed a lot more space to kick around in than a hotel room could offer. We’ve rented up and down the Eastern seaboard—South Carolina, the Maryland shore, Rhode Island, Cape Cod—as well as in the Caribbean and Hawaii, not to mention Italy, Spain, and Paris! It’s a particularly good vacation solution when you’ve got three or four generations of a family looking to spend time together: The larger the group and the more rooms you can fill in the house, I’ve found, the greater your savings versus what hotel rooms would cost you.
The southeast is by far the most popular place in the U.S. for rentals this year, as 39 percent of respondents will rent there, versus 16 percent in the next most popular region, the southwest. It’s Hawaii, though, that’s the state with the best reviews on TripAdvisor for its vacation rentals.
As for international destinations, a quarter of poll respondents plan to stay in a vacation rental outside the U.S. Almost half (46 percent) will rent in Europe, 35 percent in the Caribbean, and 16 percent in Mexico. Those travelers will likely discover my favorite benefit of all when it comes to renting a home abroad: true local color. When you’re staying in a little village in Tuscany and you become a regular at the neighborhood bakery and vegetable market, and your kids become friends with the children they meet over soccer in the town playground, that’s when you know you’re living like a local.
You’ll find more advice from Wendy at WendyPerrin.com.