What Vacation Rental Guests Really Want in 2022

March 15, 2022

Trends are reshaping the way guests are traveling, interacting with their environment, and staying in short-term rentals. So, while occupancy levels increase across the sector and demand is expected to grow by 14% from last year, there is plenty of opportunity for property managers to increase bookings and profitability.

Whether it’s remote workers taking advantage of location flexibility or those searching for sustainable, authentic experiences, you need to know what guests are looking for in their travel experience. 

What does your ideal customer want? Have their demands changed since you last checked? Industry trends are ever-evolving, but which ones will stick and what new trends can we expect to drive the market going forward?

Six Key Guest Expectations for Vacation Rentals in 2022

1. Extended stays

Prepare for guests wanting to stay for longer. Propelled by top trends like digital nomadism, remote working, the growth of bleisure trips when travelers bolt-on vacation to business trips, along with a pent-up desire to travel – we’ll see guests opting for extended stays over multiple shorter trips throughout the year. 

Data shows 39% of US travelers want to increase their family travel this year, with 32% looking to spend more time with friends on vacation. These types of guests will expect homely facilities such as larger living spaces, to spend time with friends and family, and a kitchen to prepare their own healthy meals.

2. Excellent guest experience

More than ever before, a frictionless guest experience is at the top of travelers’ priority lists. From the beginning of their vacation journey, when booking a vacation rental, to the communication experience during their stay, guests want a seamless service they can rely on and trust. 

All types of guests are looking for an effortless way to travel, whether it’s business travelers optimizing their time or wellness tourists wanting a stress-free experience. But, travel can be complicated when guests have to book their accommodation, activities, restaurants, and travel separately. Make your guests’ lives easier, meet their changing demands, and deliver a more seamless experience for your customers. One way to do this is to work closely alongside local activity providers and offer guests something special on vacation.


3. Destination, destination, destination 

Destination demand will shift back to a more level playing field. Travelers scattered to rural locations in search of quiet, natural spaces, like woodland cabins and converted barns, to escape the urban jungle at the beginning of the remote working trend, but urban travel is coming back strong. 66% of Americans plan to travel to cities this year, with Florida, New York, and Las Vegas looking like urban hot spots.

Data shows over two-thirds of travelers have been searching for destinations less than 300 miles from where they live. But is domestic travel here to stay? The travel radius is expected to grow this year as travelers book GOAT trips and longed-for experiences.

4. Eco and unique travel

Sustainability is on the rise and guests are putting their money where their values lie. In a bid to preserve overpopulated tourist destinations, travelers are gravitating towards less visited areas to ensure their spending feeds directly into the local community. Booking.com research shows 73% of travelers desire authentic experiences representative of local culture. 

Vacation rental property managers wanting to set themselves apart from the competition should consider the sustainable options they can offer regenerative travelers. 

Alongside this shift is the emerging experience economy, as travelers prioritize memories over possessions. With domestic travel continuing to dominate this year’s travel habits and exceptional experiences in demand, there’s the opportunity for providers to appeal to guests via local experiences and activities.

5. Tech-powered 

Guests have become accustomed to fewer face-to-face interactions and automated technology powering their travel. Tech such as in-room voice assistant SmartHost, can satisfy guest queries like ‘what’s the Wi-Fi password’ or aid in booking local attractions, creating a seamless, simplified guest experience.

TikTok has taken the world by storm, supplying cooking tutorials to dance moves, but did you know the social media app also fuels travel trends? Hashtag #tiktoktravel, is being used by leading influencers, to reach a potential of over 26 billion viewers, to showcase picturesque top travel destinations. These viewers (who aren’t just millennials) could lead to future guests or even referrals.


6. Slow travel 

Travelers are swapping bucket list hot spots for no-expectation experiences, in the rising trend of slow traveling. Guests are immersing themselves in local communities in search of high-value educational and impactful emotional experiences while contributing to the ecosystem of the area.

Slow travel is more relaxing for guests and less taxing on the environment. Lodging providers can help guests find these stripped-down experiences with local itineraries and by partnering with attraction providers in the community.

Get ahead of the competition and attract the impending rush of travelers looking to have new experiences by tailoring your vacation rental to current guest demands. Properties keeping pace with rising guest expectations will be the ones thriving in 2022. 


Xplorie is the leading platform in guest acquisition and retention solutions for leisure lodging providers. Since 1996, Xplorie has leveraged local and complementary activities to help lodging providers differentiate their properties, improve guest loyalty and increase top-line revenue. To learn more about how Xplorie enables lodging providers to deliver an unforgettable vacation experience to guests, visit xplorie.com/partner.