Vacation rental travel trends of 2022

TravelNest works with booking sites such as Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia and Vrbo to help vacation rental hosts get booked. Based on our booking data, and the findings of our partner channels, these are the travel trends which were most prevalent in 2022. 

By Kate Wilkinson, Content Marketing Executive

Travel trends 2022

According to the Expedia Traveler Value Index study, nearly half of guests around the world say that travel is more important to them now than before the pandemic. A further 43% said that they will be increasing their travel budget next year to meet those expectations. You can download the full Expedia Traveler Value Index 2022 Outlook report here. Using further data from Airbnb, Booking.com Vrbo and Hotels.com, in this article we have outlined trends based on length of stays, booking windows and booking preferences; to help you understand what guests are looking for going in to 2023.

Length of stay

First we will explore how long travellers opted to book accommodation for in 2022, using TravelNest booking statistics as well as data from Booking.com in Q3 and Q4; based on properties in the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Croatia. The majority of bookings in 2022 took place within a 7 day period, with the most preferential booking length being 3 nights. It was less likely that a booking lasted longer than 8 days; but despite this, vacation rental bookings of only one night were also unlikely, with 5 and 7 night stays taking preference over 1 night. This suggests that it is beneficial for hosts to offer shorter minimum night stays, permitting trips which are less than one week. Another influence on this may be the increasing interest in dual-accommodation trips, a demand which Airbnb accommodated earlier in 2022 with the Split Stays feature. 

Booking window

The booking window is how far in advance a guest books a property before the date of arrival. Throughout 2022, there was no distinctive pattern with regard to how far in advance travellers like to make bookings. Equal numbers of guests chose to book from a range of 1 day in advance up to 3 months in advance. Globally, the 0-21 day search window saw the largest growth this year, with a 10% increase on Expedia (view the Expedia Q2 and Q4 reports). However, a historical comparison shows that Q3 2022 search share in the 91-180 day window is up 10% compared to Q3 of 2019. This indicates that travellers are planning further out than even pre-pandemic, which was particularly the case for holiday destinations such as Spain and Portugal in Q3 of 2022 and backed by Vrbo. Therefore, it may be beneficial for hosts to offer guests discounts for Early Bird and Last Minute bookings, which are available for all TravelNest hosts who use Airbnb and Booking.com. 

Property type

TravelNest works with hosts who offer whole, self-contained property rentals. Similar to our partner channel Vrbo, we are unable to offer room only options. Therefore, when investigating property preferences, the property types which we will cover include: houses, cottages, apartments, studios, lodges, cabins, villas, chalets and wigwams. Demand for unique and differentiated vacation rentals on Vrbo continued to grow throughout 2022, along with ‘alternative’ stays such as chalets, barns and chateaus. Demand for villas also experienced substantial growth based on Vrbo Q3 stays, which the booking site predict is due to more people traveling with larger groups and seeking private accommodation options as a result of the pandemic. 

Booking type

Finally, we will take a look at the different ways in which, and reasons for why, guests booked vacation rentals in 2022. To begin with, guests had an overwhelming preference for listings with a flexible cancellation policy. 70% of all TravelNest bookings made in 2022 had a flexible policy, rather than strict or moderate options. Whilst this was a prevalent trend, it did not stop guests from booking those with stricter policies. This type of booking preference also did not outweigh guests preference for low pricing. In short, if a property had a lower nightly pricing, guests would favour this over the cancellation policy. The majority of all bookings made in 2022 (approximately 80%) were made on a mobile rather than desktop. 35% of travellers said that social media influenced their travels, which outpaces more traditional outlets such as travel agents, media publications like newspapers/magazines. Friends and family continues to be the most popular sources of travel inspiration for consumers with 53% agreeing, according to survey results from Expedia

Overall, 2022 has been a positive year for the vacation rental and travel industry. As we edge closer to the end of the year, stay tuned for our 2023 vacation rental trend predictions. In the meantime, check out the top destinations to have on your radar in 2023. 

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