71% of Travelers in the U.S. & Europe to Book a Vacation Rental in the Next 18 Months

Paris and San Diego - April 29, 2021


Europ Assistance and its subsidiary Generali Global Assistance announces the international survey findings of the first Vacation Rental Barometer

Key Takeaways

  • Vacation Rentals are among the top choice above all other forms of accommodation for 78% of travelers, continuing even beyond the pandemic with 86% indicating they would book one in the next 18 months.

  • Consumers are excited to travel again with 80% of those surveyed planning to travel in the next 18 months, with approximately half of the travelers surveyed (49%) planning to travel domestically.

  • Respondents indicated travel is a good motivator to take a COVID-19 vaccine with 21% of Europeans who were undecided about taking one indicating that it being a mandatory part of travel would push them to get vaccinated.

  • Vacation rentals are largely booked for leisure but there is an interest from a quarter (22%) of travelers who indicated they would book for work related reasons (9% for business travel and 13% for an extended stay for work / digital nomad / flexcation).

  • Travel Insurance uptake is expected to increase with 70% of Europeans & 54% of Americans indicating they would be more likely to purchase travel insurance in the wake of the pandemic as health risks that can impact their trip, like cancellation in the event of COVID Infection or confinement, become a top of coverage for 43% of travelers surveyed.

Europ Assistance (“EA”) today announced the international findings of its first Vacation Rental Barometer. The complete set of US findings will be released by EA subsidiary Generali Global Assistance (GGA) in the coming weeks. EA surveyed 8,700 travelers across eight countries in the US & Europe from February 28th to April 1st, 2021. These survey respondents, who indicated they would be traveling in the next 18 months and planned to book a vacation rental, were surveyed on their booking preferences, travel habits, and changing adoption and utilization of vacation rentals.

Francine Abgrall, Group Head of Travel at Europ Assistance: “Throughout the pandemic, vacation rental has been one travel sector that has been less negatively impacted than others. As the overall travel industry prepares for travel to pick up, we wanted to know the sentiments of travellers about their upcoming travel plans and in particular whether the favourable trend towards vacation rental would persist. We felt it was important to gauge the sentiment of the average traveler to provide ourselves and our partners, leaders in the Vacation Rental booking industry, with valuable insights. Overall the travelers we surveyed are excited to travel again, while Europeans indicated they would prefer to travel abroad Americans opted to stay closer to home. When deciding what type of accommodation they would like on their next trip, 71 percent indicated they would book a vacation rental.”

Chris Carnicelli, CEO of Generali Global Assistance: “Given the pent-up demand for travel it’s not surprising that approximately 80 percent of respondents indicated that they planned to travel in the next 18 months. Based on the findings of our Vacation Rental Barometer and current industry trends, we anticipate that travelers will flock to vacation rentals as they look to have a relaxing socially distanced getaway.”

Upcoming Travel Plans

  • 71% of travelers indicated they would book a vacation rental in the next 18 months.
  • 47% of Europeans are planning a summer trip (from July – September) compared to 35% of Americans with summer being the most popular travel season among all respondents (45%).
  • 23% of Americans indicated they planned to travel this spring (from April – June) compared to 13% of Europeans.
  • 21% of American travelers indicated they planned to travel this fall, while Europeans were more likely to wait until 2022 & beyond to plan their trip when compared to Americans (20% vs 17%).  

Destination Preferences

  • 49% of all travelers surveyed indicated they planned to take their next trip domestically with Americans (71%) the most likely to travel close to home.
  • 55% of European travelers on the other hand indicated that they plan to travel abroad.
  • Travelers in Spain (57%), Italy (54%) and Portugal (51%) opted to take their next trip domestically while more travelers in Belgium (29%), Germany (39%), the UK (40%) and France (45%) had plans to travel abroad.

Accommodation Preferences

  • 78% of travelers are more likely to book a vacation rental above all other types of accommodations in the next 18 months and 86% said they would be more likely to continue booking them after the pandemic.
  • While it’s not surprising that 77% of travelers indicated they would choose a Vacation Rental for leisure instead business (9%), there was a significant minority (13%) of Digital Nomads who indicated they would be extended stays while working remotely.
  • Top Three Motivations for choosing a Vacation Rental: Comfort, Tranquility, Privacy

New Travel Habits

  • Top Three Criteria when picking a destination as a result of COVID: Destination has clear cleaning protocols, How crowded the location gets, Who they travel with
  • Vaccine availability was most likely to impact travel plans for both Europeans (83%) and Americans (82%).
  • 66% of Europeans and 64% of Americans indicated that making COVID vaccinations mandatory to board a flight wouldn’t impact them as they already planned to take the vaccine.
  • 21% of European travelers who were undecided about taking the vaccine indicated they would consider it if it was mandatory to take a flight.

Travel Insurance Preferences

  • 70% of Europeans and 64% of Americans indicated they would be more likely to purchase travel insurance as a result of the pandemic.
  • 44% of Europeans compared to 33% had purchased travel insurance when booking a vacation rental in the past.
  • The top three coverages that reassured travelers looking to book vacation rentals are: 1) cancellation in the event of COVID Infection or confinement (43%), 2) Medical Assistance & Repatriation (22%), 3) Reimbursement of unused travel days in case their stay is interrupted (20%)
  • 23% of Americans favored coverage for reimbursement for unused days compared to 20% of Europeans
  • While Europeans (23%) found more peace of mind from Medical Assistance & Repatriation coverage compared to Americans (17%).

Survey Methodology

From February 28th to April 1st, 2021 through survey provider Phonic, Europ Assistance surveyed 8,700 online respondents who are planning to take a trip and are planning on booking a vacation rental in the next 18 months. The study consisted of fifteen questions and was sampled within the United States, Spain, France, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Untied Kingdom.

About Europ Assistance Group

Founded in 1963, Europ Assistance, the inventor of assistance, supports customers in over 200 countries and territories thanks to our network of 750,000 approved providers and 41 assistance centres. Our mission is to bring people or corporates from distress to relief – anytime, anywhere. We provide roadside assistance, travel assistance and insurance, as well as personal assistance services such as the protection of the elderly, the protection of digital identity, telemedicine and the Conciergerie. The vision of our 8,000 employees is to be the most reliable care company in the world.

Europ Assistance is part of the Generali Group, one of the world’s leading insurers.

About Generali Global Assistance

Generali Global Assistance (GGA) is a leading brand comprised of Travel Insurance & Assistance, Medical Risk & Home Care Management, Identity & Cyber Protection, as well as other care services. GGA is part of the Generali Group, which for over 190 years has provided peace of mind to its clients and their customers and is now supported by more than 72,000 employees worldwide. Our success has been built on establishing trust by putting the customer at the core of everything we do, offering assistance and protection during our customer’s most difficult and stressful situations.

To learn more, please visit: https://us.generaliglobalassistance.com/

Media Contact

Generali Global Assistance

M Group Strategic Communications (for Generali Global Assistance North America)


Europ Assistance

Jean-Xavier Franco
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