What Travelers Want out of Their Vacation Rentals

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Written by Meghan Coyle
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Edited by Mary M. Flory
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Hotel or vacation rental? Travelers have options when it comes to booking a place to stay for their trips, and in a new survey from TurnKey Vacation Rentals, more people say they prefer vacation rentals to hotels.

About 64% of the more than 1,000 people who participated in Turnkey’s 2019 Consumer Travel Survey said they would rather stay at a vacation rental. That’s an increase from 54% the previous year. The number of people who said they preferred hotel stays plummeted from roughly 22% in 2018 to around 8% in 2019.

Here are some other takeaways from this year's survey.

More space and amenities than hotels

Travelers cited space and amenities as the primary reasons they preferred vacation rentals to hotels. Favorable cost and location are also factors that give vacation rentals the edge over hotels for some travelers.

Location is king when booking

A plurality of survey respondents (around 30%) cited location as the most important factor when booking a vacation rental, followed by guest reviews (22%) and pet-friendliness (15%). Here’s how travelers ranked nine factors, in order of importance:

  1. Location

  2. Guest reviews

  3. Pet-friendliness

  4. Photos

  5. Amount of space

  6. Pool or hot tub

  7. Security

  8. Wi-Fi

  9. Description

Turnkey says location is "twice as important as cost to a majority of travelers making travel plans." Travelers younger than 35 are the exception: For that subset, cost is more important than location, Turnkey says.

Cleanliness is key to a satisfying stay

The majority of travelers surveyed (roughly 59%) cited cleanliness as the most important factor that determines a pleasant stay, followed by pet-friendliness (15%) and ease of check-in and checkout (4%).

The complete list:

  1. Cleanliness

  2. Pet-friendliness

  3. Easy check-in/checkout

  4. Pool or hot tub

  5. Security

  6. Wi-Fi

  7. Quiet

  8. Guest support service

  9. Parking

The bottom line

Vacation rentals aren’t as standardized as hotels, so you have a lot of factors to consider when choosing a place to stay. To get the best bang for your buck, look for vacation rentals in a good location that will fit your needs. If you’ll be cooking meals or want the hot tub all to yourself, find a rental with a well-stocked kitchen or a Jacuzzi in the backyard. With the massive popularity of Airbnb and booking sites like Orbitz and Booking.com getting into the vacation rental game, it’s no wonder more travelers are finding what they want out of rental stays.

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See more cards for Airbnb
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