What Travelers Want in A Vacation Rental

Here's what a recent survey says vacationers care about

What Travelers Want in A Vacation Rental

Survey Says…What Today's Travelers Want in a Vacation Home Rental

More people than ever want to travel the country and when it comes to accommodations, they don’t want to settle for a basic hotel room or campground. Private vacation home rentals are becoming more popular than ever not just with Baby Boomers but for Millennials, too. From home-sharing sites to luxury vacation rentals, travelers prefer a more customized approach to their annual vacation. Today’s travelers are not interested in living in a single room such as a hotel provides.

Based on recent surveys by Home Depot and Tripping.com the following data shines a brand-new light on vacation home rentals that owners need to pay attention to.

• Of all people surveyed, 79% have rented a vacation home in the past so it’s not new to them.

• Of those, 46% have rented a vacation home in the last year and 52% plan to rent a vacation home in the next year.

• Boomers and Gen Xers are driving the biggest share of rental growth, with a 17% expected increase in those who plan to rent this year vs. last year.


Vacation home rentals of all shapes and sizes are an appealing choice for travelers. A larger home, while netting you more income, is not necessarily the most preferred vacation rental. While single family homes are a great fit for travelers with children, smaller and more economical formats are more popular with singles and couples.


As far as location, the beach is preferred by most travelers, with 74% of respondents preferring to spend their vacations on the coast. There are 83% that simply prefer to be near water — whether the ocean or a lake. Alternatively, 51% and 35% prefer mountainous and city vacations, respectively.


The expectations of travelers regarding their vacation accommodations vary based on age, gender and family situation. However, there are a few commonalities that transcend across all vacationers surveyed.

Millennials want luxury.

• Millennials have expensive tastes—12% plan to rent a villa/estate in the next year vs. only 6% of Boomers and 9% of Gen Xers.

• Older generations, in spite of having higher incomes, are more likely to have stayed in smaller format homes like cabins or cottages than Millennials (75% vs. 64%).

• Millennials are most likely to rent a vacation home with friends (48%). Vacation rentals for the purpose of bachelor(ette) and girls’/guys’ weekends are also popular among both female and male Millennials at 35% and 34%, respectively. 

Women prefer beaching it with friends.

• Women prefer the beach more than men (78% vs. 68%) while men have a higher preference for mountains than women (53% vs. 49%).

• Women are more likely to rent a home with friends (40% vs. 34% men). Nearly 30% of women have rented a vacation home for a gal's weekend with friends (vs. 21% men for a guys’ weekend).

Vacations are a family affair.

• Families matter since 90% of people who rent vacation homes to so with extended family and 36% bring children.

• Family reunions are the top special occasion (41%) for which people will rent vacation homes.

• Homes with equipped kitchens was the biggest reason 71% of travelers with children said they chose a particular vacation rental.

Pets are family, too.

• Half of all vacation renters look for pet-friendly homes.

• Of those, 40% are willing to pay a bit extra for pet-friendly accommodations, most importantly outdoor space (81%) or a fenced-in yard (73%).


While it’s only natural that different types of travelers look for different features in a vacation rental home, most people want the same basic things. The top four features that make a vacation home appealing to a renter is: accessibility to a kitchen, value for the money, privacy and ample space to move around.