Talking 2019 travel trends with VacationRenter co-founder

Phil Santoro, co-founder of VacationRenter, on 2019 Travel Trends, shared his thoughts on what to expect this year in the world of travel.

TD: What do you see travellers looking for when deciding on a vacation rental?

PS: Two criteria we’re seeing more and more travellers look for in vacation homes are whether they are pet-friendly and if they have a pool or a hot tub. These are the two most searched for amenities on VacationRenter.

Why do you think there’s such interest in those two amenities, specifically?

I think pet owners have a hard time leaving their pet for just a few hours, let alone a few days. So, being able to bring your pet along makes logistics simpler, and simply more fun. National pet ownership is up to 68% in the United States today with 37% of them travelling with their pets last year, a 19% increase in travelling pets from a decade ago.

On top of this, it’s often more cost effective to find a vacation rental that is pet-friendly than to find accommodations for your pet while out of town.

When it comes to pools and hot tubs – well, that just speaks for itself. They are the perfect way to relax and unwind. Whether you are looking for a hot tub after a day on the slopes, or for a pool to cool down in over the summer, hot tubs and pools are consistently sought after year-round.

What is the biggest vacation rental trend we can expect to see in 2019?

One trend we expect to see in 2019 is travellers looking for larger vacation homes. We’ve seen the percentage of people requesting properties for larger groups continue to grow and expect this to trend higher through 2019.

This is a great tactic for group and family vacation as it both reduces cost per traveller and creates a space for unstructured quality time between those in the vacation rental.

You recently conducted a survey asking people where they like to travel to experience the things they love in the U.S. Can you tell us a little more about that?

Yes, we recently conducted a survey asking over 1,000 people about their favourite places to travel across several different categories. We analysed all the data to identify trends and give travellers inspiration for trips in 2019.

We asked everything – from the best places for solo travel to the best destinations for foodies to the best location for those seeking outdoor activities. We’re excited to be releasing these results soon.

Can you share any initial findings today?

One high-level finding I can share is that we were surprised to see how popular the western half of the US is. 72% of the winning destinations were in the western U.S., with California a top destination across a handful of categories such as weekend getaways, destination weddings, outdoor adventures, and kid-friendly activities.

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VacationRenterPhil Santoro