Renting a vacation home
Strong demand for short-term rentals has pushed prices up. Rentals are up 27 percent at Hawaii Life, a brokerage service with 320 rentals across the Hawaiian Islands, now averaging $490 a night. HomeToGo.com, a rental company, said the average price for a unit in the United States is up about 10 percent compared to 2019. Some of its most affordable rentals are in Carlsbad, Calif. (the median price is $158 a night), Jacksonville, Fla. ($159), Tucson, Ariz. ($210), and Nashville ($212).
Travel Trends That Will Define 2022
Looking ahead. As governments across the world loosen coronavirus restrictions, the travel industry hopes this will be the year that travel comes roaring back. Here is what to expect:
Keep an eye on fees, especially cleaning fees, which are best amortized over a longer stay. A $100-a-night cabin on Airbnb with a $150 cleaning fee comes to $250 for one night. Spread over a week, it adds closer to $20 a night to the rate. Or look for a rental without a cleaning fee, like one of the tiny homes at Majestic Farm in rural Sullivan County in the Catskill Mountains (from $155 a night).
Consider a big house — which may look expensive — and fill it with friends and family to split the cost. Sasha Hoffman, who runs the group-travel planning service The Sasha Edition, recently rented a villa for 14 on St. Lucia for $1,900; a nearby luxury hotel was charging $3,000 a night for a double. She and her group paid the equivalent of $135 a person a night.
Free home stays
Like other travel services, house-sitting took a hit during the pandemic, but has come back, like home rentals, by providing more privacy than hotels. House-sitting provides free accommodations on platforms like House Sitters America ($49 membership for one year) and MindMyHouse ($20 a year), which match homeowners to travelers.
At Trusted Housesitters ($129 annual membership), where membership is now higher than it was before the pandemic, most arrangements include pet sitting. Recent listings included a two-bedroom, two-cat apartment in Washington, D.C., and a ranch home with a golden doodle near Raleigh, N.C.
The pets “are going to sleep in the bed with you, so you do need to be a pet lover,” said Stephanie Perry, of Dover, Del., who frequently house-sits while running a digital business.
Similarly, home swaps on services like HomeExchange (annual membership $175) and Love Home Swap ($11 a month) allow you to exchange your house with another traveler. HomeExchange said it had 51 percent more exchanges in April 2022 compared to April 2019.