One of the joys of booking a vacation rental is getting the opportunity to search for exactly what you want in a holiday experience. Guests love that choosing this option over a hotel allows them to be able to consider their unique needs and “wish-list” items—from pets to privacy.
In fact, recent data from TurnKey’s 2018 Consumer Travel Survey shows that 54% of respondents now prefer private vacation rentals over hotels, and an impressive 42% do so because of the unique experiences and aspects these rentals offer, which many hotels cannot match.
Here are 5 reasons vacation rentals are better than hotels for travelers.
Vacation rentals offer more space
The most popular reason travelers choose vacation homes over hotels is simple: space. In fact, 60% of TurnKey study respondents cited “more room” as a reason to choose a vacation rental. Almost any home rental, even a bijoux studio, offers more living space than a standard hotel equivalent.
Apart from bed-and-bath space, vacation rentals offer the additional feature of home-based common areas where groups can either congregate to socialize, seek privacy to work, or simply enjoy some well-deserved downtime.
Vacation rentals are more affordable
Dollar-for-dollar, large vacation rentals can offer significant savings to groups who would otherwise need to block book hotel rooms (assuming there was even availability in their desired vacation location to do so).
Even if the official nightly rack rate looks lower at a hotel, remember: at a vacation rental, the cost-per-day encompasses everything—all the common areas to kick back and relax, fully-equipped kitchens where you can cook real meals with food purchased at grocery-store prices (not room service or restaurants), dedicated property managers to make sure your stay goes exactly the way you want it to and more.
Vacation rentals have flexible and secure check-in
One of the most popular vacation rental home features for guests is a simple, private and convenient arrival and departure process. In fact, study respondents ranked “ease of check in/check out” as one of their top 10 factors in picking a vacation rental.
As opposed to most hotels, where it can be difficult or impossible to arrange “non-standard” check-in/check-out times, vacation rental property managers can easily work with you to find arrival and departure times that work for your schedule and still ensure that the home is vacation-ready for you and your guests.
Some vacation rental homeowners have begun to realize that providing keyless entry systems or lockbox arrangements for their guests makes this process more pleasant and efficient for both guest and manager, and are beginning to invest in this technology.
But TurnKey has taken the concept much farther and developed a proprietary digital-lock system: you’ll be sent a custom code for your property, so you can come and go completely at your own convenience and leisure during the time of your stay. This is especially important for larger groups, where people may be arriving and/or departing in batches, or spending days and evenings doing different things. Because there is one customized key code for the property, there is no need to spend your valuable vacation time organizing key hand-offs or making sure someone is “in charge” for everyone else.
Vacation rentals have amenities you won’t find at hotels
So often, it’s the “little things” that set vacation rental homes apart from hotels. Thoughtful touches homeowners provide to enhance your experience can take a property from one you and your fellow guests enjoy, to one you plan to make a home-away-from-home, year after year. Depending on location, lot size and vibe, vacation rentals can include seemingly simple features that bring your family and friends together in ways that everyone will treasure and remember. Of course every group has its own particular needs and favorite past-times, but perennial (and generational) hits often include the following:
- Gas grills—and comfortable tables and chairs to eat at: vacation guests love to cook and dine al fresco in a climate where it’s considered part of the lifestyle to do so.
- Games for all ages to enjoy—from croquet and badminton (neither of which take much time or effort to assemble or for interested parties to “learn”)—can become the surprise hit of the house party.
- Bikes, scooters, skates and the like (along with the appropriate safety gear to ease parents’ minds) get kids off their devices and out into the fresh air…just like it used to be.
Live in your dream home for a long weekend
Want to know what it would be like to live in an uber-cool beach house or minimalist, modern bungalow by the sea? Or maybe you fantasize about relaxing with friends and family in front of a roaring fire every night in your oversized alpine ski chalet?
Whatever your ultimate fantasy home may look like in your head—and however unrealistic owning it might actually be for you—a private-home vacation rental gives you the opportunity to live your dream…right down to the roaring fire, sea breezes, or proximity to a great live-music or restaurant scene.
In the end, that’s the essential joy of a properly run vacation rental versus the sterile comforts of a hotel… it allows guests to live a life they’ve always imagined, in a way that reminds them of a simpler time. And achieving that balance really is something magical.