The origins of hotels have been the popular accommodations for travelers for many years. Hotels extend as far back as the ancient Greek and Roman times.
Yet, did you know that the vacation rental industry dates as far back as the hotel industry? The first documented vacation rental dates as early as 1824. Vacation rentals gained recognition in the United States as inventions and communications expanded. Such as in 1837 with the invention of the telegraph or in the 1950s with newspapers listings.
Vacation rental bookings also increased as online markets expanded. “In 2015, the vacation rental industry was worth an estimated $85 billion. HomeAway alone has more than 2.8 million rooms which are more rooms than the four largest hotel chains in the world.”
So what does this mean for hotels? Well, they are afraid.
Vacation rentals offer multi-space and money saving features. When compared to hotels, this divides the market. Between the two, consumers choose the vacation rental industry.
Think back to your last visit at a hotel. How large was your room? A standard hotel room has a bed, reading chair, bathroom, closet, and desk. One study found that “The average hotel room size in the US is about 325 square feet.”
325 square feet isn’t that accommodating.
Basic vacation rentals include a bedroom, bathroom, living space, and kitchen. If the basic features of a vacation rental outdo a hotel, can you imagine an extra luxurious rental?
Both scenarios show how vacation rentals are better than hotels. It is easy to see how vacation rental properties offer more to travelers.
Ample living space is important for travelers. As is the extra features that make hotels or vacation rentals memorable.
One positive feature is that hotels offer laundry services for bedding and towels. However, travelers have to pay for dry cleaning. This is another reason why vacation rentals are better than hotels.
Vacation rentals offer private utilities for renters who travel for multiple days. This saves travelers on dry cleaning expenses. Rental utilities offer another degree of savings.
Utilities simplify how travelers pack for their vacations (since they do their own laundry). Fewer outfits equal less luggage, which saves money when flying.
Most vacation rental properties have an advantage over hotels with extra features. Just as internal square footage is important, vacation rentals offer outdoor and recreational spaces.
Vacation rentals have higher access to backyards and property. Vacation rental properties combined with local excursions offers traveler’s dual opportunities which hotels don’t.
Arguably, hotels can have these features as well. But the difference is that hotel guests would have to share this space with everyone else.
Vacation rentals are better because they are private. That means the outdoor property, patio, and swimming pool is enjoyed only by the renters.
Another difference is that hotels can draw large crowds. Do you remember a time when you stayed in a hotel and were kept awake by your neighbors? Crying babies and large parties can be heard through thin walls and disturb guests.
Vacation rentals lend the opportunity for travelers to have a private, quiet getaway. Privacy and solitude are two reasons why renters choose vacation rentals over hotels.
Vacation rentals provide interior utilities that save money, such as having a kitchen.
If you book with a hotel, complimentary bagels and juice is your morning highlight. However, this means buying lunch or dinner in the local area. If travelers have a long vacation planned, their food expenses could be expensive.
One study included an interview of vacation budgets (per person):
We can assume that these expenses include flights/travel, accommodation bookings, food, and excursions. We can see that if travelers want to save money, they should cut back the food budget.
Vacation rental kitchens allow renters to save money by cooking their own meals. Most kitchens have pots and pans and range from a kitchenette to a standard kitchen.
Saving money on utilities is the first reason vacation rentals are better than hotels. The second and most obvious difference is comparing their prices.
As we have seen with the square footage example, vacation rentals offer more space at better prices.
This example shows how expensive hotels can be. Not only are vacation rentals cheaper, but they are the most affordable option. Many people can split the cost of a vacation rental and comfortably share the space.
Any money that renters save from their accommodations, can be spent on other areas of their vacation, or saved for another vacation!
Vacation rentals offer the most applicable and diverse properties for renters. The vacation rental industry is strong competition for hotels. Vacation rentals are better than hotels in:
What type of accommodation do you think is better? Share your thoughts and experiences below.