Airbnb Jumps into Spring Break

Travel Tips and Trips

Hotel Booking AppAirbnb, the company that enables travelers to rent a couch, a spare bedroom, condo, or home from locals, is more and more popular with those on Spring Break—college students and families. Airbnb’s share of bookings during spring break rose from 4% in 2015 to 9.5% this season according to Hipmunk, a travel booking site.

In Cancun, where March partying is practically part of the curriculum for hordes of undergraduates at some universities, Airbnb bookings account for 40% of spring break reservations. After all, college students so inclined can stuff more friends into a condo or house than a hotel room, especially if the property lacks an onsite manager.

What to do? As always, couples and families should avoid Cancun and other notorious college break locales if they want a quiet vacation. Parents of college students should have that use-your-common-sense talk once again, the one about drugs, drinking, sex, and knowing whom you are hanging out with. A conversation about the ethical and legal implications of trashing someone’s residence seems appropriate too.

The chart below shows Hipmunk’s analysis of the percentage of Airbnb bookings in the top Spring Break destinations.

Popular Vacation Rental Destinations

Hipmunk’s data, however, suggest that the rise in Airbnb Spring Break bookings isn’t just the result of crafty undergraduates doing the math. Families and couples looking for budget-stretching options also contribute to Airbnb’s bite out of hotel reservations.

Airbnb accounts for 29% of bookings in Palm Springs, CA, 19% in Honolulu, HI, and 46% in Sarasota, FL. Although these areas lure teens and twentysomethings, the destinations also attract families. Some properties listed on Airbnb come with great views, pools, and multiple bedrooms.

“As Airbnbs continue to increase their share of the accommodation market, travelers see vacation rentals as a viable alternative to hotels. Vacationers get the best of both worlds—the creature comforts of feeling like they are right at home while still getting a unique travel experience,” says Roxy Young, vice president of marketing at Hipmunk.

The chart below shows Hipmunk’s analysis of the Spring Break destinations with the most accommodation bookings:

Popular Spring Break Lodging Locales

Hipmunk, for its survey, analyzed bookings for flights, hotels and Airbnb properties the week of March 18, 2016, the week preceding Easter, and compared this information with the data for the same items for the same week in 2015.

Have you booked an Airbnb lodging? If so, why? Are there any reasons why you would not consider an Airbnb lodging? Comment below or connect with me on Twitter, @familyitrips.

Images courtesy Physician’s Money Digest

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