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Travel Trend: Vacation Rentals Are Booming (And Tour Operators Can Benefit)

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One of the major travel trends of 2021 is that many travelers are opting to stay at vacation rentals, allowing them to avoid crowded common areas and keep contact with others to a minimum. Major rental apps like Vrbo saw their summer properties get fully booked months before they typically do, and the most sought-after stays are at cabins, lodges, and campgrounds in the great outdoors. 

Compared to those staying in hotels, travelers staying in a vacation rental tend to spend a few more days at their destination, giving them more time to plan activities or tours. This offers opportunities for property managers and tour operators to work together and offer guests a well-rounded experience during their stay — encouraging them to come back and make even more memories! 

How to Make the Most of the Vacation Rental Trend

Connect with Local Businesses to Improve Offerings 

If you’re a tour or activity operator, partner with property managers in your area to promote your tours. For example, you could offer a special discount to guests staying at a local vacation rental either by providing a promo code or reselling your tours on the property’s website.

If you manage a property, work with local tour and activity providers to offer deals on local experiences, such as a 20% discount on a tour in the area, to make staying with you even more attractive for travelers. Having a list of operators you work with also makes it easier for travelers to find a tour or activity during their stay. 

When guests plan tours or activities in the area, they tend to stay a bit longer, which helps you increase your occupancy length. It can also bring in repeat customers who had a great time while staying with you.


Offer Equipment Rentals 

Property managers looking to attract more customers might be searching for ways to provide resort-like amenities, such as rentals guests can use during their stay. This is another opportunity for property managers and tour operators to work together to offer rental equipment — such as bikes, kayaks, snorkel equipment, paddle boards, scooters, and more — for hourly or daily rentals. This gives operators an additional source of revenue and helps property managers make their listings more desirable to travelers. 


Keep the Whole Family in Mind 

Don’t forget about your youngest guests! Cater to families traveling with kids by offering options that the whole group can enjoy, such as kid-friendly wildlife tours that include complimentary beer and wine for the parents. 

Families tend to prefer certain time slots, such as early morning and late afternoon tours that allow for naps and other routines for the kids during the middle of the day. Offering the right tours that take into account families’ needs can help bring you more business from travelers staying at vacation rentals. 


Offer Flexible Booking Policies 

As we know, travel plans can change from one moment to the next, so it’s important to maintain flexible rescheduling and cancellation policies, whether it’s for vacation rentals or tours and activities. This gives travelers peace of mind that they’ll be able to change their reservation if needed, and it provides a positive experience with your business overall. 

We know travel trends will continue to evolve as the course of the pandemic changes, but the current vacation rental boom is a good opportunity for local businesses to work together and try out new strategies to attract customers. Take this opportunity to reach new customers and find alternative sources of revenue!

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