Book early, stay longer, and let kids call the shots: 2022 Vrbo Trend Report reveals coming shifts in family vacations

AUSTIN, Texas – Nov. 17, 2021 – Today, Vrbo® released its 2022 Trend Report detailing how U.S. families are poised to vacation in the coming year, revealing interesting changes in how families plan and think about time away together.

Vrbo’s annual report is based on an analysis of its own travel demand data [1], plus a consumer survey of U.S. families [2]. This year’s trend report highlights how pandemic-era travel behaviors are having longer-term effects, causing families to book vacation rentals further in advance and reevaluate their work-life balance. Additionally, the report unveils a growing appreciation for spending quality time away with family and how kids – and even pets – are having a greater influence on travel planning and decision-making.

“The past 18 months have been a roller-coaster ride, and this year’s trend report indicates that several travel habits we developed are going to stick around in 2022,” said Alison Kwong, Vrbo spokesperson. “Though families have adjusted when and how they plan their vacations, it’s abundantly clear that they are prioritizing spending time away together. They are putting extra effort into maximizing their time off by unplugging and making these trips special for the whole family.”

Key findings from the 2022 Vrbo Trend Report include:

  • Up-and-Coming Destinations: What do Ohio, New York, and Alaska have in common? Destinations in these states all doubled in vacation rental demand during 2021 compared to the year prior, with Cincinnati topping the list with a 125% increase in demand:

    • Cincinnati, Ohio

    • Yorktown, Virginia

    • Niagara Falls, New York

    • Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

    • Matanuska-Susitna, Alaska

  • Kids Call the Shots: After an irregular 18 months, parents are more likely to reward their kids with extra-special vacations and give them a bigger say in vacation planning:

    • Half of the families said they’re more likely to let their kids decide where they vacation, compared to pre-pandemic times.

    • One in three are more likely to let their kids invite a friend.

    • 43% of parents are more likely to let their kids skip school for vacation.

    • One place where parents still rule: 61% of those surveyed said they are more likely to require their children to disconnect from their devices on vacation.

  • Traveling With the Pack: With the huge uptick in pet ownership over the course of the pandemic, more families are opting to bring Fido and Fluffy along on vacation:

    • Vrbo experienced a 40% increase in year-over-year demand for pet-friendly vacation homes.

    • More than 70% of this year’s survey respondents were pet owners, 68% of whom have traveled, plan to travel, or would like to travel with their pets.

    • The top reason for traveling with pets is because families don’t like leaving them, followed by wanting the whole family to be together.

  • The Early Bird gets the Vrbo: This past year, booking activity on Vrbo occurred on average 2-3 months earlier than usual for several major travel seasons, like summer and the holidays. 60% of respondents said they plan to book future vacations earlier than they did in pre-pandemic times.

  • Work Hard, Vacation Harder: As people started returning to the office and employers introduced partial or even permanent work-from-home policies, families changed their outlook on vacation time, flexibility, and work-life balance:

    • 77% of families agreed that they have a greater appreciation for separating their professional and personal lives, compared to pre-pandemic times.

    • 59% of respondents said they are more likely to take a two-week vacation and 30% are more likely to take a sabbatical, while 42% are less likely to check work email on vacation.

Read more about the 2022 Vrbo Trend Report here.


[1] Vrbo travel demand data in the U.S. for the 12-month period ending Aug. 31, 2021 (unless otherwise indicated).

[2] Survey of 1,000 U.S. families conducted during Sept. 2021.

About Vrbo

In 1995, Vrbo introduced a new way for people to travel together, pairing homeowners with families and friends looking for places to stay. We were grounded in one purpose: To give people the space they need to drop the distractions of everyday life and simply be together. Since then, we've grown into a global community of homeowners and travelers, with unique properties around the world. Vrbo makes it easy and fun to book cabins, condos, beach houses, and every kind of space in between.

Vrbo is part of Expedia Group and offers homeowners and property managers exposure to over 750 million visits to Expedia Group sites each month. To learn more, visit www.vrbo.com.

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