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Vacation Home Rentals - The Best Way to Holiday! The biggest reason why vacation home rentals are growing in popularity is because they offer experiences that one would never get staying in a hotel

By Devendra Parulekar

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Remember the movie Holiday, where Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz - two strangers from different continents - swap homes to get a break from their mundane lives? Back then, it portrayed a completely new concept of vacation - one that has grown into a full-fledged industry today.

The vacation home rental industry picked up pace sometime around 2008 when the market reached USD 3billion industry in the US alone. Since then, globally, the vacation rental market grew to $100 billion in 2016 and is projected to reach $169.7 billion by 2019. This goes on to show that the average traveller has a rich appetite for adventure fuelled by wanderlust and the curiosity to live like a local, wherever they go. From a fledgeling mom-and-pop setup of the pre-internet era to a flourishing alternative accommodation market that has opened doors to many creative startups, the vacation home rental industry has indeed come a long way. And this is only the beginning.

In India, too, there is a growing trend towards the popularity of vacation homes as opposed to booking resorts and hotels, which has changed the way how the hospitality sector in India works. Moreover, Indians with spare homes are realizing the importance of having a property and maintaining it to drive more revenue. The reason why the trend has been readily accepted is because not only it is more economical but also presents the best of both the worlds by providing the warmth and privacy of your own home along with the luxury provided like a hotel.

The Smart Way to Travel

Smartphones and technology have enormously facilitated the growth of the vacation home rental industry. Whether it's making a booking online on a home rental website, or getting to a remote location using navigation systems, or even being able to communicate in the local language, technology in the palm of your hands has surely been empowering the average traveller. Moreover, review sites help us make an informed choice before booking.

With more travellers leaning towards booking vacation homes, it is apparent that the industry has a lot to offer, such as:

  • More space: Why book a room when you can book a whole house? With vacation homes, one can definitely expect a lot of comfort and convenience.

  • Better affordability: Resorts at prime locations such as beaches or mountaintops charge a bomb for the spectacular views they offer. Vacation homes on the other hand, are a lot more modest, for similar - and sometimes, better - experiences!

  • More flexibility: When you book a vacation home, you don't need to bother with what time the "buffet' will end, so you can enjoy your holiday, your way!

  • No hidden costs: When you book a vacation home, you're dealing directly with the home's owner. That means you know exactly what your stay includes and exactly how much it will cost. There are no surprise fees for parking, internet, pool towels, bottled water etc.

  • Family friendly: Whether you're travelling as a couple or with the entire family, you can choose the size of your vacation home without having to worry about booking multiple rooms!

  • Privacy (FIRST): Homes offer the privacy of 'owning' the entire space for yourself. You do not have to share the pool, or air hockey table with 50 other guests from different social classes.

  • Pet Friendly: When it comes to hotels and resorts, there aren't a lot of options for pet friendly accommodation. But with vacation homes, most of the time, your furry friend is welcome to accompany you!

The biggest reason why vacation home rentals are growing in popularity is because they offer experiences that one would never get staying in a hotel. In a few years, it will topple hotels, reshaping the hospitality industry and the travel industry, with growing partnerships with airlines, car services, restaurants, museums and other touristy spots. What's more, it will stimulate the growth of housekeeping and maintenance services, opening opportunities for local labor.

Gone are the days when there was no place like home…..because with vacation home rentals, home is where the heart is!

Devendra Parulekar

Founder SaffronStays

An avid traveler, photographer and a hacker/ cyber security specialist, Mr. Devendra Parulekar is the Founder of SaffronStays – Where Families Bond, a micro-hospitality collective.
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