The year is quickly coming to a close. For many, that means it’s time for family gatherings, loads of comfort food, a well-deserved break from work, and, most importantly, introspection.
Vacasa took a deep dive into the travel trends in 2019, evaluated the current landscape, and made some data-driven predictions to watch in the year ahead—all about Americans’ vacation preferences and the short-term rental industry at large.
The first two of the three predictions are based on a study conducted in partnership with Allison+Partners in May 2019. The company asked 1,003 Americans above the age of 18 about their travel plans over the next 12 months.
1. People crave hidden gem travel destinations.
Vacasa asked travelers what factor was most important to them while on vacation—and unsurprisingly, the majority (57%) said it’s all about location.
Local teams are based in every market where the company manage’s homes, and they interact with guests on a daily basis. From conversations with them, they’ve found that more people are opting for destinations off the beaten path.
By choosing charming towns and smaller cities outside major hotspots, travelers can save money and escape the crowds. The trend is expected to continue in 2020, especially given the larger cultural focus on the environment and broad awareness of overtourism.
2. Dogs play a huge role in determining where—and when—their owner will go on vacation.
These days, many U.S. households view their dog less like a pet and more like a family member. This trend is extending to travel, with people believing their dogs shouldn’t be left behind during vacations.
Vacasa found that more than half of dog owners (61%) choose vacation destinations with their furry companion in mind, while 64% plan accommodations for trips specifically so they can bring their dogs. Since dog ownership has been increasing in the U.S. year-over-year, it is anticipated that more people will have their eyes on dog-friendly travel destinations in 2020.
3. Interest in alternative accommodations is increasing.
According to Phocuswright, nearly one in three U.S. travelers used private accommodations in 2015, up from fewer than one in 10 in 2010.
The company has seen this trend continue over the years, as more people crave authentic travel experiences. Vacation rentals often deliver a more personalized touch than standard hotel rooms, and they’re more integrated into the surrounding communities.