Even during a pandemic, people like traveling.
With multiple countries slowly coming out of lockdown, and people sick of being home, it’s not surprising that bookings have been going up since May. According to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, “People still want to travel, no matter how bad things get, people still want to connect, but they want to have precautions”.
That’s why it’s no surprise to see new travel trends around this new environment. People want to feel safe. They’re looking for safer commutes, safer environments, and safer stays.
Here’s a closer look at the new travel trends, and how the pandemic has impact traveling:
1. Travel in Greece
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greece government and its people have successfully managed to slow down the spread. This has made out of Greece one of the safest countries to visit right now.
With the country slowly lifting travel restrictions, tourism is starting to get back in track. This, however, with the right precautions. To ensure safe travels, the government has socially distancing rules, indoor areas with limited capacity, and the use of face masks in all public transport.
Twenty four hours before entering Greece, visitors have to fill in a Passenger Locator Form providing their contact details while staying in the country. They may also be subject to random testing.
2. Visitors prefer private homes and apartments that don’t have to share with others and rentals with private outdoor space
Travelers don’t want to worry about COVID-19 when they’re sleeping. Here’s how the pandemic has changed bookings and stays:
Offer zero interaction during check-in and check-out
Travelers prefer to limit interaction as much as possible. That’s why they’ll often prefer a place that offers a self-check-in and self-check-out experience.
If you’re offering a rental space, consider switching from your cordial, in-person meeting to a self-check-in.
Here are a few options:
One very convenient and tech-forward option is the use of a smart lock. Smart locks are digital door locks that connect to your WiFi. All you need to open them is the right app and the right code.
Although some guests may find a bit cumbersome to have to download an app in advance, this is a great zero-contact option. Just remind them of downloading the right app and using the right code, and give them your WiFi password in advance in case they forgot to do so.
A more convenient option for some, keypads let your guests in by simply typing the right numbers into the lock. They’re also usually cheaper than smart locks.
This can be a great option if you usually have guests that aren’t as tech-forward since all they need is to pull out the 4-digit code.
If you don’t want to upgrade your locks, a lockbox can be a great option to allow for self-checkout. Lockboxes are small safes that guests can open with a code. There are lockboxes that are installed on walls, and there are other lockboxes that resemble large locks that can be easily installed in fences and doorknobs.
Although these are a very cheap and convenient option, they do leave your keys exposed for a while, so make sure to install them properly and get sturdier options.
If your rental has external places – renovate them
Right now, guests are more interested in spending time in comfortable places with lots of amenities rather than in crowded tourist spots.
Attract more guests by giving them a lot to do in and around your rental, like:
If your rental has an outdoor space, help your guests get the most out of it. Consider adding patio furniture so your guests can enjoy sunbathing or an outdoor morning breakfast.
Give them the chance to cook by adding a barbecue grill, or add a basketball backboard so they can exercise.
Even small areas can be made cozy and charming with the right plants and the right outdoor fairy lights, so your guests can enjoy a romantic outdoor dinner.
Guests they’re especially interested in outdoor and nature activities—so if you have things like access to nearby hiking trails, now is a good time to add those details to your listing.
Spaces for pets
Since people are traveling more in their cars to avoid the crowds at airports and airplanes, they’re also more likely to bring along their pets.
Offer pet-friendly areas and amenities to attract guests with pets.
And, speaking about traveling by car…
3. Short trips – domestic tourism
Domestic tourism is gaining more and more attraction. Guests simply aren’t ready to fly to faraway locations, and deal with all of the crowds and people in close proximity to them.
That’s why there’s a large travel trend of booking in suburban or rural areas rather than in busy cities.
With lockdowns and self-isolations, this may seem counterintuitive at first. However, it quickly becomes obvious why: secluded areas are just safer.
In a reality where crowds mean higher infection chances, a cottage in the woods or a home close to a lake or empty beach can give a traveler the peace and solitude that’s so needed right now.
4. The days of stay doubled internationally, from 4,5 before COVID-19, to 9 days
Since people are free from a fixed work location and their kids are free from school, guests are looking to increase their stay. With longer stays, you can have a higher occupancy rate and a steadier income.
If you have a rental, you can encourage longer stays by:
- Offering weekly or monthly discounts: Make sure you offer a better price when signing up for a week or a month.
- Rename your listing to advertise long stays: Use terms like “staycation”, “work-from-home”, “family-friendly” and “remote working”.
- Offer and advertise amenities: This is the best time to upgrade your Internet package, getting a better cable bundle, and upgrading your rental’s TV.
- Include cooking supplies: Your place may already have pans and plates, but you should make sure to have salt, pepper, oil, and other cooking items. If you can, offer courtesy snacks or drinks.
- Offer cleaning supplies: Guests want to feel clean and safe, so this is a great chance to offer hand sanitizers, high-quality soaps and disinfectant wipes. Make sure to have tissues, paper towels, and toilet paper. If you can, a few disposable face masks or courtesy brand new reusable ones will go a long way with your guests.
5. Family travel
Family-friendly accommodations are especially popular nowadays. With parents spending more time with their kids, they’re looking for places that offer them space, privacy, safety, and entertainment.
Attract guests with babies and small children by providing:
- Kids’ cutlery
- Changing tables
- Child-proof areas
If you want to attract families with kids or teens, make sure to offer things like:
- Gaming consoles
- Good TV entertainment
- Board games and activities
Make sure to also provide as many cleaning supplies, as well as extra towels and beddings to ensure they’ll have enough during their whole stay.
6. Professional travels/remote workers
Since schools are closed and remote working seems to be the new rule, a lot of people are looking to make the best out of a bad situation by working at a remote location.
Make sure your guests can stay productive by providing the following:
- Fast Wifi: The main thing a remote worker will look for, a fast internet service is the most important feature you can have. Upgrade your internet service and make sure to have a great WiFi reception all around the house.
- Laptop-friendly workspace: That means a desk or table near a power source, with a comfortable chair. If you have a printer or copy machine, make sure to highlight those in your listing description.
- Good lighting: People are in zoom meetings quite often. Offer great lighting and even special features for their online meetings, like specialized beauty lights, or even green screens.
- Adapters and chargers: Everyone tends to forget their chargers. Offer a couple of USB chargers and cables to guarantee they can charge up their gear.
- Iron and ironing board: Help them look presentable online by offering all they need to perfectly press their shirts.
- Coffee maker, tea kettle, and snacks: People get snacky when they work. You can upgrade your coffee maker to a specialized coffee pod machine and give them multiple caffeine options to keep them focused.
7. Last-minute bookings
The pandemic makes it almost impossible to plan ahead of time. That’s why last-minute bookings are so popular right now. People want to make sure that, if circumstances change, they won’t end up losing their money.
Make sure you have that option available for guests, like with the Instant Book feature on Airbnb. Offer free cancelations and acknowledge your sympathy towards the situation in your listing description.
Not sure what your guests will appreciate? Get the full guest experience by staying in your space for a night. You’ll be sure to identify an item or two that could be added to ensure your guests have a wonderful stay.