It wasn’t that long ago that most of us considered Hawaii hotels as the only places to stay, instead of Hawaii vacation rentals. Things have certainly changed radically. A study by Goldman Sachs indicated that big trouble is brewing for the hotel industry. The truth is, once someone tries a vacation rental, many don’t go back to hotels according to research. In fact, the likelihood of staying in a hotel in the future is cut in half when people stay in a vacation rental. The vacation rental sector is an agent of change whose growth is significantly outpacing that of hotels.
How big is this change? Airbnb says for example that a new reservation is made every two seconds. The Since Vrbo and Airbnb came on the scene, a change of mindset occurred together that has fueled this skyrocketing industry. Airbnb is now valued at over $30 billion, while Expedia purchased HomeAway in 2016 for $4 billion. The global vacation rental industry is expected to have a total market value of $200 billion within the next three years, up from 2016’s mere $138 billion. It’s interesting to note that while vacation rentals are now popular across all demographics, it largely began with younger travelers as well as those with higher incomes.
At Beat of Hawaii, we prefer vacation rentals hands down when compared to hotel stays of over a couple of nights. Both here in Hawaii and elsewhere. And we clearly aren’t alone. Here’s why.
Advantages of Hawaii vacation rentals:
✓Feels more like being a local in Hawaii with your own home or condo.
✓Better value for money spent, especially when family and friends share together.
✓Kitchens can significantly reduce travel costs and a washer/dryer comes in handy.
✓Kid friendly environment with more space for keiki to play.
✓Opportunity to rent a luxe private properties as well as top value digs.
✓Each one is unique and custom furnished.
✓There are usually no parking fees.
Tips for Hawaii vacation rentals:
1. Be aware that because each vacation rental is unique, it can have its own flare, charm and sometimes quirks.
2. Only stay in legal rentals that are in designated tourist areas. Staying in illegal rentals is problematic at every level, with no help if things go wrong.
3. There are excellent vacation rental companies as well as excellent individual owners who rent their units directly.
4. Vacation rental companies offer something closer to a hotel experience, with more consistent offerings and levels of service.
5. Individuals might offer a better price than a Hawaii vacation rental company, but if something does go wrong, there is a greater chance that you could be out on your own.
6. Booking directly with the vacation rental manager or owner often eliminates third party fees. On the other hand, major players in the industry, like Vrbo and Airbnb, offer a huge number of options, and various forms of buyer protection.
7. Check for cleaning, security deposit, damage waiver and reservation fees. This can be especially troublesome for shorter stays.
8. Research if there a daily resort fee.
9. Since there is no daily housekeeping, check if desired to see if it is offered as an option.
10. Consider trip insurance for prepaid, non-refundable costs.
Advantages of Hawaii hotels:
✓Great for short stays and late arrivals.
✓Rooms vary by size but theme, furnishings and decor are far more consistent.
✓Brands offer even more of a homogenized experience.
✓Sometimes daily housekeeping.
✓Generally no security deposit or cleaning fees.
✓Room service, on-site concierge, restaurant and other facilities, depending on property.
Tips for Hawaii hotel:
1. Check terms carefully. We’re still finding fees that are hidden until you’re near the end of the reservation process.
2. Is daily housekeeping included. In many cases that is becoming optional, even at hotels.
3. Check whether there a daily resort fee.
4. Inspect room details online. How big is it exactly? And there’s a view of what? We have paid the price for not checking details thoroughly enough.
5. Inquire about parking before booking. Rates as high as $45 per day now prevail in Hawaii. Also read Free Parking Waikiki.
6. Consider trip insurance for any pre-paid, non-refundable reservation costs.
7. Check for other amenities. Free WiFi, breakfast, exercise room.
8. When staying at chains, check booking via their loyalty program and/or app. You’ll often either pay less or have better terms.
9. Try checking in later in the day for best upgrade chances.
10. In Honolulu, ask for a corner room or a high floor for a quieter stay and a better view.
Please add your thoughts. Have you switched from Hawaii hotels to Hawaii vacation rentals?
Also See today’s post: Latest Hawaii Tourism Trend: Visitors Up + Spending Down.
Post updated 6/7/19.
Beat of Hawaii photo at Ala Moana Beach Park.