The Millennial Generation—a group of people between the ages of 18 and 34, also known as Gen Y, many of whom really love their cell phones and social media pages—makes up 31% of the leisure-travel market. Boom. Now that this generation is becoming gainfully employed, the millennials are the group that vacation rental owners and managers really ought to attract.
When determining a particular type of lodging—whether traditional forms like hotels and resorts, or something new like a vacation rental—millennials are considering factors such security, rewards, and cost. But millennials are also considering more alternative, private accommodations that provide a local and culturally satisfying experience. Promoting certain amenities will be a large part of the effort to attract millennial travelers.
So here is a list of a few amenities you might want to consider if you haven’t added them to your page already.
- Free Wi-Fi
I don’t want to be Captain Obvious, but the internet does everything now. Wi-Fi is among the most desired amenities for travelers of nearly any age (right up there with clean linens). However it is especially useful for the younger traveller who has switched from guidebooks to internet bloggers and forums to learn about an area and what to do. Families stream movies and TV from the internet. Business travelers need to get online easily.
And yet it isn’t just for the benefit of the guest. Switching to a more mobile-forward generation can help you out too: Check-ins and –outs can be done online; you can initiate wi-fi operated locking systems; and listing free wi-fi as an amenity could seriously help your chances of getting booked.
- Some grab-and-go breakfast items:
Hotels have continental breakfast and boutique lodgings often include some sort of breakfast. There’s no need to overthink this one, but providing a couple granola bars could be a good idea if only to make one less thing for the guest to worry about as they begin the day of adventures.
- A Book Shelf to Browse
A bookshelf demonstrates a respect for the mind and shows what’s interesting about the person who owns them. If you’re not a big reader, there’s no need to go out and buy a bunch of books. But if you do have a bookshelf that you’re okay with guests browsing, try promoting it on your listing page and website and see what results come about.
- Basic Toiletries
When booking cheap flights, the difference between just a carry on versus a checked bag can be some significant cash. For guests traveling to you on airplanes, providing some shampoo and body wash can make a big difference for them at a fairly low cost for you.
Until the Silicon Valley disrupts Doggie Daycare, young travelers have the problem of not knowing what to do with their furry friends. Statistics show that millennials are adding pets to their families and putting a hold on having children. Of course, whether you allow cats and dogs may have more to do with your building’s restrictions. But if your building doesn’t bar the “fur children,” you might want to consider allowing pets to stay with your guests.
- Rethinking the Kitchen
Access to a kitchen might very well be the greatest amenity for any leisure traveller, but if you’re just renting out a room in an otherwise full house—make sure there is room for your guests to store some groceries. It can be really awkward to ask for help from a stranger to store food without feeling like a burden.
Another amenity you may want to consider adding to your kitchen: the classic, brown paper lunch bags. Picnics are coming back in style from the days of middle school field trips and eating out can be so expensive these days. But why would a traveller buy 80-some brown paper lunch bags if they’re just in town for a weekend? According to a report in Visit Milwaukee, millennials are 62% more likely to add a vacation day to a business trip. What can we learn from this? It would seem the guests hope to go do some site-seeing, but most likely are no longer spending on their company’s dollar. Having the option to pack a lunch could allow for a day to roam the city and have a picnic someplace without the cost of eating out. Paper bags are a good idea for families too who’d like to get outside for a hike or hang out at the beach.
With these 6 revisions to your amenities list, expect to get more inquiries from the younger generation of travelers who are bound to become the next major players for the travel industry.
Matt Potter is a marketing specialist for WebChalet.com. WebChalet is bringing a hotel-like booking experience to the vacation rental industry by empowering small businesses. Vacation rental owners and managers benefit from our dedicated reservation team answering inquiries 7 days per week, a powerful booking engine, and a unique marketing platform.