Know your travelers: who's booking and what do they want?

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to get back to what’s important: booking that next vacation! Yes, as school resumes and everyone gets back to work, you can bet that a lot of lunch breaks will be spent on vacation planning. Did you know that there is an 80% increase in travel bookings in the first three months of the year? It’s true - in the dead of winter, most travelers are already planning for their spring and summer vacations. That’s right - booking season is upon us!

As a vacation property owner, it’s important to understand who’s coming your way and how to cater to them. Here are 4 main groups of travelers to think about:

  • Business travelers: They’ll be busy in meetings all day, but no one likes to travel and only see the airport and the inside of conference rooms! Since this group is on the go, make sure the words “free WiFi” or “high-speed internet access” are used in your listing (and true!). These busy travelers are also much more likely to book if you have Online Booking and Instant Booking available. And finally, let them know about some nearby attractions so they can see a bit of the area. A favorite neighborhood pub might be just the place for celebrating after closing the deal!
  • Families & groups: These people are looking to bond through travel. In your listing, play up the fact that there’s plenty of room for everyone, and also try to tell a story that connects with the emotional experience they’re looking to have. For example, instead of mentioning that there’s a great balcony with a view, you might call it the perfect place to catch up over a cup of coffee! This group will also be sensitive to price, so try to eliminate any unnecessary fees, and consider offering a special discount rate to land the booking. And finally, always be sure to emphasize safety (both of the property and the surrounding area) as well as cleanliness.
  • Snowbirds & Retirees: Time to settle in - they’re going to be here for a while! These folks tend to have longer stays, so consider adding a monthly rate to your listing. Also be sure to highlight the amenities that will enable them to stick around for longer - your laundry capabilities, the cookware in your kitchen, and cozy blankets!
  • Millennials: You may be surprised to hear that millennials now make up 50% of vacation renters - that’s more than baby boomers! This group tends to book closer to their travel date, so they’ll be looking for a good deal in a hurry - Online Booking and Instant Booking will be HUGE for them. The thing that this group cares about is the shareability of their trip - a large portion of it will end up on social media. Be sure to give them plenty of suggestions for photo-worthy activities in the area.

Keeping these 4 types of travelers in mind will help you furnish your rental and present it in the best light when you’re listing. When you make the effort to understand your potential guests, it shows - in increased bookings and great reviews.

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