As the decade draws to a close, we can look back on a real boom in the vacation rental industry.

Vacation rentals are becoming increasingly relevant to the travel sector. The number of vacation rentals is doubling every year, while the number of hotels is growing by just 1.1% per year. We have compiled the most important travel predictions for 2020 that could influence the rental of your vacation home.

Millennials and New Technology

“Young people” continue to be the best clientele for homeowners and vacation rental managers. According to a study carried out by the booking portal, only 20% of generation Y and Z have never stayed in a holiday apartment or a holiday home.

As a result, the technological features of a property will continue to play a major role. The so-called “mobile phone generation” values technology highly and therefore also places higher demands on its accommodation.

Tip: Be sure to include Wi-Fi, smart home devices, automated check-ins, and other extras when equipping your accommodation. Keep up to date and consider new tech trends for your vacation rental.

Eco-Movement and ‘Flight Shame’

2019 was the year of environmental activism. Eco-friendly travel is an ever-increasing trend that will make itself felt in 2020. Now is the time to think about taking appropriate measures and making your holiday home more sustainable. Besides doing the environment and climate a big favour, you will also attract modern and environmentally conscious tourists.

A new term has emerged in the travel industry thanks to the Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg: flygskam, or in English ‘flight shame’. The number of flights has been consistently increasing over the past 5 years, however, the current climate debate could now bring this previous trend to a halt.

Awareness of their ecological footprint has prompted 48% of travellers surveyed by to consider using an environmentally friendly means of transport – which could result in more domestic travel and fewer overseas and long-haul trips in 2020.

Tip: Does your accommodation run on renewable energy? Do you have a vegetable garden and offer your guests home-grown products? Is your home mostly plastic-free or do you look to regulate electricity and water consumption in an environmentally friendly way? These details make a significant difference, and you should mention them in the description of your property.

Tourists against Overtourism – That’s Where It’s Heading in 2020

Renting a private vacation rental is particularly popular with travellers, however, it is also a controversial issue. Besides all the economic advantages, the drawbacks are also becoming more evident – the lack of private housing and the decline in the quality of life of locals are being repeatedly addressed in the media.

Tourists do not turn a blind eye to this reality. According to a study carried out by the booking portal, 54% of the tourists surveyed would like to combat overtourism, and consciously choose less well-known cities and regions.

Regions away from mass tourism, which still offer beaches, mountains, culture, and nightlife – everything a traveller desires – are very much in trend. A total of 62% of travellers would prefer to stay in a very diverse region to cut down on time and travel.

Tip: Travellers long for variety. Inform your guests in advance about various recreational activities in your region by sending them an email with suggestions, or list the most popular activities in a welcome book that you give to your guests upon arrival. 

Family First – Family Holidays with Pets

Cross-generational family holidays will be very popular in 2020. 75% of travellers believe that holidays are the best time to spend time with their family. As older generations today are more active and adventurous, holidays are a great opportunity to spend valuable time with grandchildren – without the parents, who can sit back and relax. As 71% of grandparents believe that parents should spend time alone without their children, the number of grandparents-grandchildren holidays is likely to rise in 2020.

Four-legged friends are also firmly considered part of the family and a holiday without a beloved pet is becoming an unpopular option. Almost 50% of travellers would be willing to pay even more for a holiday home if it was pet-friendly.

Tip: Allow your guests to take pets with them and make sure your vacation rental is family-friendly and child-friendly. Click here to find out how to make your property the ideal place for family holidays.

Minimalistic vs. Unique Accommodation

The usual favourites such as minimalistic, light-flooded beach houses or neutral-looking holiday apartments still dominate the market. They appeal to the majority of travellers and almost everyone feels comfortable in them.

However, a trend is emerging in the American market, which could spread to Europe in 2020. 71% of Generation Y and Z travellers surveyed by Vrbo would consider staying in a unique vacation rental.

These include properties such as converted barns, caravans, and treehouses, but also houseboats, yachts, and even castles. The demand for such unique vacation rentals has risen by 30 % compared to the previous year.

Tip: Have you always wanted to do something with grandpa’s tool shed or the family boat, but weren’t quite sure about it? Now might be the right time to turn this gem into a charming holiday home. Don’t worry, you don’t have to turn your modern, minimalistic accommodation into something extraordinary to keep up with the trend. But you can!