Travel Hack: New HomeAway Data Reveals the Best Time to Book Vacations

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 19, 2018 — HomeAway® is revealing the best time to book beach houses, cabins and condos based on data from the more than two million places to stay that are available to rent on the site. The number of people booking vacation homes doubles in January[i], the busiest booking month of the year on For the first time, the 12-year-old company is sharing all of its peak demand times to help people planning getaways get the best deals from the best selection.

“HomeAway’s data analysts have figured out where the demand surge is for each of the busiest travel times of the year. If you plan your trip before that surge, you’ll have a better chance of finding the perfect home for your group for the amount you want to spend,” Melanie Fish HomeAway’s travel expert said. “Put these book-by dates on your calendar to make sure you’re getting the perfect match for your trips all year.”

Get ahead of the curve. Best times to book a vacation rental for this year’s peak travel dates:

  • Spring Break: Planning peaks in January. Choose a place to stay before January for the biggest selection.

  • Summer: To get ahead of the demand, book in January. Not ready to plan just yet? April 1 is when the majority of places booked on HomeAway have been chosen.

  • 4th of July Weekend: Lock down your stay before May 1 to get ahead of the curve.

  • Memorial Day Weekend: Many book in January to kick off the summer. Need more time? Book before March for the biggest range of home sizes, locations and prices available.

  • Labor Day Weekend: People tend to wait longer to plan their end-of-summer getaway. Book right after the 4th of July to beat the demand surge.

  • Ski season: Book by mid-October for the best selection of ski inventory. Half of all in-season ski rentals booked on HomeAway were snapped up by December.

  • Thanksgiving: This holiday is another favorite for last-minute bookers. You can still beat the demand surge if you book by Oct. 2.

  • Christmas: Book before the end of October, three months before your trip, for the best selection to celebrate the holiday.  

Where are travelers headed?  The beach reigns for 2018 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 travelers are heading to Paris, displacing last year’s demand champ, Whistler, Canada. To round out the 2017 international top five (in descending order): London; Rome; Puerto Peñasco, Mexico; and Florence.

Reminding travelers To get travelers thinking about booking their next vacation, HomeAway is currently running an advertising campaign in the U.S. on television and online. The 30-second spot highlights the features of a home that make it perfect for a family vacation while reminding travelers that makes it easy to find the perfect match for a family’s specific needs.

“Studies have shown families spend ten to 20 hours planning vacations and visit dozens of websites while searching for the perfect trip. The commercial shows how HomeAway and VRBO take the pain out of searching for the ideal place to stay,” said Fish.

The commercial, developed by HomeAway in coordination with Saatchi & Saatchi, London, promotes HomeAway’s sister brand,, and will air throughout the first quarter of 2018. 

[i] Demand for arrival dates 1/1/2016 – 12/31/2017

[ii] Demand for arrival dates 3/10/2017 - 3/18/2017

[iii] Demand for arrival dates 6/1/2017 - 8/31/2017

[iv] Demand for arrival dates 6/30/2017 - 7/4/2017

[v] Demand for arrival dates 5/25/2017 - 5/28/2017

[vi] Demand for arrival dates 9/1/2017 - 9/3/2017 for

[vii] Demand for arrival dates 11/21/2016 - 4/30/2017

[viii] Demand for arrival dates 11/22/2017 - 11/25/2017

[ix] Demand for arrival dates 12/15/2017 - 12/25/2017

In May 2019, the name of Expedia Group’s alternative accommodations business changed from HomeAway to Vrbo.

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

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