Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Vacation rentals more appealing in tough economy

On both sides of the pond, vacation rental companies are reporting a spike in business from value-conscious travellers. In particular, people seem to be looking for self-catering digs close to home.

Boston-based FlipKey says that vacation rentals in ski resorts that draw largely from a local area--such as Loon Mountain in New Hampshire, whose clients are mainly New Englanders--are up, while those in "long-haul" spots such as Aspen are down. Not surprisingly, the company cites economic woes as one reason for the trend. However, the firm also thinks new airline baggage regulations are playing a role, since a family of four could face extra charges of over $300 to check all their skis, boots and gear. According to FlipKey, at least some of these people are choosing to drive a few hours for their vacation rather than fly.

Meanwhile, The Telegraph reports that self-catering holiday rentals within the U.K. are up as well. Even though U.K. rental prices aren't always a clear bargain--a randomly chosen two-bedroom cottage in Cornwall, for instance, costs more than similar properties in Spain and Italy--travellers don't have to fly or drive long distances to reach their holiday home. In addition, the unfavourable exchange rate between the pound and the euro is causing more Britons to think twice about that year (or week) in Provence.

No comments: