Article Categories

Top Vacation Rental Destinations This Summer

July 19, 2021

Domestic Local Travel Tops in American Vacations

We’re well into the summer short term rental vacation season and vacationers still have a trip in mind, their first since the pandemic began.

Travel bookings and activity are up this summer and Americans are once again experiencing the joys of summer and intend to enjoy more.  They’ve got health break wishes and bucket list items and many want to retry their unrequited 2020 travel plans.

From beach condo rentals to tree houses, almost any accommodation is rentable in 2021.  The types of destinations and amenities sought have changed, and landlords would benefit from adapting this data to their own rental property features and benefits. Outdoor features of rental houses are a big draw.

Rental Shortage Making an Impact

Yet, accommodation availability is a big question this far into the season. More reports suggest accommodations are already booked for the full season, and vacationing hopefuls might be looking more to the fall season for a vacation break.

And with business travel possibly reduced forever (work from home, cost savings) many units that were booked for business travelers are being targeted for a different traveler segment.

With international travel still blocked or constrained, and Airlines pilots and staffing reduced this year, Americans are looking instead to drive to local destinations for their summer getaway. They’re heading to beach towns, national parks, mountain towns and even to big cities for relaxation, family time together, or just some excitement. Travel to Las Vegas is particularly strong despite the scorching summer heat.

VRBO found some interesting insights in their most recent report for the summer:

  • 65% intend to travel more than they did pre-COVID
  • 33% are willing to spend more than they normally would
  • 4% say they are more likely to take their bucket list trip


It will be a major year of recovery for the short term rental market. And given the rising rental rates and continuous demand, this may result in fewer units available in the long term rental market.

Rental Occupancy Growing in Short Term Market.

Rental Occupancy Growing in Short Term Market. Screenshot courtesy of

Airbnb Rental Market Reports

Airbnb has reported that family travel within the USA has risen 6% from 27% of overall nights booked in summer 2019 to 31%. They say with family travel, 42% of the nights booked are in rural destinations, up from 32% during the last normal summer of 2019. Analysts from hotel analytics company STR reports that hotel room rates have hit all time highs and gasoline prices are rising fast, so it won’t be a cheap vacation for Americans finally getting out of their pandemic hideaways.

Airbnb defines family travel as travel with at least one child, so the true picture of family travel is greater than reported here.

VRBO Top Vacation Destinations

Another vacation rental giant VRBO is reporting big growth in short term rentals. They report Hawaii and Southeast beach destinations including Maui and Kauai, Hawaii; Outer Banks, N.C. and Hilton Head S.C. are popular now compared to the same period in previous years.

VRBO believes there will be a shoulder season growing in late summer and fall.

The most searched destinations are southern Maine, Round Top Texas, Cape San Blas Florida, Cape May New Jersey, Lake Powell Arizona, Orderville Utah, Mammoth Cave Kentucky, Kitty Hawk North Carolina, Lake of the Ozarks Missouri and Whitefish Montana. Patios and balconies, barbecue areas and gardens or backyards are the most in demand amenities and features.

At this time of the year, we are normally approaching the off-season when families have a wider selection of Vrbo vacation homes to choose from and can take advantage of warm weather, fewer crowds and lower prices in top beach destinations… families have taken longer vacations to make up for lost time and because their work or school schedules have been more flexible. — Melanie Fish, Vrbo’s travel expert.

AirBnb’s Top Vacations in the US 2021

  1. Whitefish Mountain, MT (near Glacier National Park)
  2. South County, RI
  3. Panama City Beach, FL
  4. West Yellowstone, MT (near Yellowstone)
  5. Florida Panhandle
  6. Northern Wisconsin (near Lake Superior and Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest)
  7. Hilton Head Island, SC
  8. Black Hills, SD (near Black Hills National Forest and Mount Rushmore)
  9. Miramar Beach, FL
  10. Park County, MT
  11. Michigan Upper Peninsula (Great Lakes, Hiawatha National Forest)
  12. Acadia National Park

It’s not quite certain why California destinations are down, however the Western heat and forest fires are likely partly to blame. The Great Lakes states appear to be enjoying a resurgence in popularity this summer.

Why is Everyone Travelling?

Vrbo reports that it’s client’s customers created 15.7 million Trip Boards this past spring and summer. One fifth of them believed a vacation would improve their mental health and act as self-care.

VRBO’s report also discovered:

  • 59% of families say they are more likely to drive instead of fly on their next trip.
  • 61% of families said they are more likely to visit an outdoorsy destination than an urban one.
  • 52% of travelers who took a Flexcation this year found the experience refreshing .
  • 67% of travelers who took a Flexcation said they would do it again.

Vrbo’s top emerging U.S. destinations:

  • Emory, Texas
  • Smithville, Mo.
  • Slade, Ky.
  • Outer Banks, N.C.
  • Mannford, Okla.

Learn more about the short term rental market and whether it might be a good addition to your rental portfolio.

Find out why ManageCasa is the right choice for your property management needs.


More Insight into the industry: Property Management Software | Compare Major Property Software AlternativesProperty Management Firms | HOA ManagementChoosing Rental Property Software |  Software for Landlords | Homes For Rent | Apartments for RentSwitching Rental Property Management Software | Best Rental Property Management SoftwareCommercial Property Management Software | California Housing Market

Get all the latest articles and information via email:

    Thanks for your subscription!

    You have been added to the ManageCasa mailing list.

    Sign Up FREE