Ever since last spring, many have been looking for an escape from their all-too-familiar environment, and as a result, the market for private home rentals and lodging has predictably increased. Luckily Travel and Leisure offers the following advice so that your next vacation can be booked at a satisfying price and location.
Travelers searching for stand-alone villas, condos, and cabins that allow for social distancing, CDC compliance and ample space for relaxation may need to change up their vacation-booking rulebook in 2021. The normal rules for choosing the right vacation location won’t apply as they have in the past, so keep in mind the following new rules.
When you Should Travel
This year peak seasons will most likely not follow the conventional calendar, and in fact, peak seasons may not even occur at all. This is due to the fact that so many people are now willing to work from home in order to supervise and be near their children enrolled in hybrid or virtual classes.
Alison Kwong, who is a spokesperson for Vrbo, a company that specializes in making informed decisions when booking vacations, said that this year “travel won’t be as closely tied to the school calendar, and many families now have the freedom to start their long weekends early.” Kwong recommended to start any preliminary search for a destination with only a destination, omitting any specific dates. This way, the number of results shown will be absolutely maximized, thus giving you more options.
Being supplied with this unique sense of flexibility when booking will also result in certain destinations offering deals in place of their typical expensive price tags. CEO of Overseas Leisure Group, offers similar predictions, and he is keeping a watchful eye on the coast of Southern California from October to February, Palm Springs from November to January, and Arizona in May.
Where you Should Travel
This year data suggests that more and more people are opting to stay closer to home rather than book a far-away trip. Last year, Airbnb’s top cities for Americans to travel to included London, Rome, and Paris, but this year it’s homes that are near United States National Parks, ski towns, and beaches that are most popular. Specific popularized locations include rentals in the Great Smoky Mountains; Breckenridge, Colorado; Davenport, Florida; and Palm Springs, California.
Additionally, Airbnb reported an increase in searches for lodgings that are private home rentals that are one-of-a-kind , such as their collections oftree houses, geodesic domes, yurts, and tiny houses. Also, while rentals in Europe are often searched for on similar sites, fewer and fewer have thus far been booked, as hesitation to travel particularly far from home is still quite strong.
How Far Ahead you Should Book
In a “normal year,” guests would book a vacation an average of 142 days ahead of a trip, according to Vacasa’s Josh Viner. However, in fall 2020, that window had shrunken to an average of just 40 days due to travel restrictions often changing and the spur-of-the-moment flexibility that working from home can provide.
That being said, you’re always more likely to find the best selection of rental properties and prices the further ahead you plan. The real trick is to double-check all cancellation policies on any property you consider. Companies like Airbnb and Vrbo allow users to filter their search results by which listings are fully refundable. Kwong remarked on these benefits by saying, “booking early gives you peace of mind, but this way you’ll have the freedom to cancel penalty-free if your travel plans end up changing.” In 2021, make a commitment to travel smart and safely whenever you can.
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