According to TurnKey’s 2018 Consumer Travel Survey, more travelers prefer a vacation rental to a hotel stay. TurnKey surveyed over 1,041 U.S. travelers in January and February of this year, and questions included the frequency of travel in the last year, recent travel destinations and factors influencing choice such as reviews and features when selecting a hotel or vacation rental.
TurnKey’s findings show that 54 percent of travelers prefer a vacation rental, 23 percent prefer a hotel and 23 percent have no preference. The top deciding factor when selecting housing accommodations is guest reviews, with 24 percent ranking it as the most important factor, while 48 percent ranked it in their top three. Nineteen percent ranked location first overall, and 41 percent ranked it in their top three.
As far as the least important factor, pet-friendliness took the spot, despite 12 percent of respondents saying they travel with their pets. (Although pet-friendliness ranked much higher in importance among this 12 percent.)
The survey also found that the average traveler books two to three months in advance (39 percent); it was followed by: one to four weeks (24 percent), four to five months (16 percent), six to eight months (8 percent) less than one week (4 percent), eight to 12 months (3 percent), and over a year (.5 percent).
Where are these travelers visiting? According to the survey, the largest portion is visiting beaches. This was followed by city, mountain, lake, desert, vineyard and “other” destinations. Summer months were the most popular travel time, with July being the most popular month. TurnKey found that these months were most popular among older demographics, whereas Millennials were more likely to travel throughout the year.
A surprising finding was that travelers are planning to go on vacation fewer times in 2018 than they did in 2017, with only one quarter planning more than four trips this year (a decrease from 32 percent in 2017). The biggest drop came from Millennials, according to TurnKey.