Homeaway 2018 Travel Trend Report Reveals New Vacation Hot Spots And An Appetite For Non-Traditional Accommodations

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HomeAway®, the world leader in vacation rentals, combed its data to reveal the 2018 Trend Report, fresh with insights into where and how Americans will travel in the year to come.

Move over, Miami. Take a hike, Hamptons. HomeAway®, the world leader in vacation rentals, combed its data to reveal Oklahoma’s Broken Bow Lake, Iowa’s Spirit Lake and Texas’ Hill Country as fast-growing, surprising destinations for Americans vacationing domestically.

The findings are among highlights of the HomeAway 2018 Trend Report, fresh with insights into where and how Americans will travel in the year to come, based on 2017 HomeAway.com demand data. As for non-traditional accommodations, barns topped the list for most popular (call it farm-to-bed vacations).

“Last year’s unexpected new favorites for vacation home rentals, places like Hurricane, Utah, were near national and state parks, showing that groups and families want to combine outdoor adventure with the comforts of staying in a home away from home,” said Karen Fuller, HomeAway’s senior director of global market research. “The trend continues with this year’s surprise destinations, which are all in beautiful outdoorsy places.”

The 2018 trend report lists HomeAway’s top destinations, the nation’s pet-friendliest places and a boost in travelers booking treehouses and houseboats, along with those barns. The full report is available at http://hmwy.co/HomeAwayTrendReport2018. Highlights include:

  • Up-and-coming Vacation Destinations. HomeAway spotted places where demand for vacation rental homes grew dramatically over the past year:
  • Broken Bow/Hochatown, Oklahoma (demand up more than 200 percent year-over-year): These southeastern Oklahoma towns are near Broken Bow Lake, Hochatown State Park, Beavers Bend State Park and McCurtain County Game Reserve. Hochatown bills itself as the Deer Capital of the World. More than half of the vacation homes for rent in Broken Bow have three bedrooms or more, so the area attracts groups and families.
  • Davis, West Virginia (up 300 percent): mountain biking destination near Canaan Valley and Monongahela National Forest
  • Spirit Lake, Iowa (up 200 percent): largest town on Lake Okoboji
  • Texas Hill Country (up 120–200 percent, depending on town): The area, rich with wineries and rivers, attracts short getaway visitors from nearby Austin and San Antonio. Towns attracting more travelers include Dripping Springs, Fredericksburg, Spicewood and Wimberley.

Top Vacation Destinations.

  • Domestic: The beach reigns for vacation home bookers, with Panama City Beach, Florida, topping the list of HomeAway’s hottest destinations based on overall demand, followed by Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, Alabama; Walton County, Florida; San Diego, California; Four Corners (Disney area), Florida; and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
  • International: Paris led an international shift, displacing last year’s demand champ, Whistler, Canada. Rounding out the 2017 international top five (in descending order): London; Rome; Puerto Peñasco, Mexico; and Florence.
  • Barns, Birch, Boats: Hottest Alternative Accommodations. Home-ified barns, treehouses and house boats stood out among atypical getaway abode choices over the past year, with demand up double-digits for each.
  • Pet-Friendliest Places. Fido and Fluffy, pack your bags for Florida and California, home to the top-five pet-friendliest cities in the U.S. for vacation home renters. Four Corners and Davenport in Florida took the two top spots for number of homes that welcome pets, with San Diego, Palm Springs and Big Bear Lake in California rounding out the list.
  • Most Traveled Town in America (Outbound). For the people of Cumming, Georgia, it’s all about going ... someplace else. This Atlanta exurb books vacation rentals at the highest rate per capita of any U.S. city, at a remarkable one out of every three residents.

“Travelers renting homes on beaches and mountains are a mainstay of the vacation home rental industry,” said Fuller. “But as more and more travelers rely on HomeAway and VRBO, it’s interesting to see their preferences evolve. I would not have predicted a demand for treehouses.”

About HomeAway
HomeAway, based in Austin, Texas, is the world’s leading online marketplace for the vacation rental industry with sites representing more than two million unique places to stay in 190 countries, and is a part of the Expedia family of brands. For more information about HomeAway, please visit http://www.homeaway.com.

© 2017 HomeAway. All rights reserved. HomeAway and the HomeAway logo are trademarks of HomeAway. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

HomeAway.com vacation rental demand, September 1, 2015—August 31, 2016 vs. September 1, 2016—August 31, 2017
HomeAway.com vacation rental demand, September 1, 2016—August 31, 2017
HomeAway.com vacation rental demand, September 1, 2015—August 31, 2016 vs. September 1, 2016—August 31, 2017
HomeAway.com number of vacation rental listings accepting pet guests, August 31, 2017
HomeAway.com vacation rental demand from traveler origin, compared with each origin’s 2010 U.S. Census population

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Maddi Bourgerie
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