Watch out world, here come the revenge travelers!
After years of being cooped up, Americans are ready to hit the road. Companies from Hyatt to Airbnb to United Airlines are issuing rosy forecasts they believe will outshine the impacts of inflation, market turmoil, and global affairs. But don’t ask them — ask any average American traveler trying to score a good deal on a resort and airfare this summer. Availability is low and prices are through the roof — unless, of course, you’re booking on KOALA.
We looked at our booking data from last month and saw a few interesting trends.
- While beach destinations remain popular, folks are branching out. Some of our most-booked resorts were in places from Rhode Island to Wisconsin to the California desert. That may be because the most popular spots are already filling up, so consumers are looking elsewhere. If you can snag a reservation on the beach during peak season, go for it. But consider the less obvious places, as long as they’re still appealing to vacationers.
- While prices are rising overall, consumers are still booking deals. In fact, our average price per night was slightly lower than last month (we’re talking a couple of bucks). That’s because our owners are pricing their listings attractively, making sure they’re a little bit below similar resort stays. (Find more pricing advice here!)
- We continue to see a striking number of last-minute bookings. That shows how flexible travelers are these days — many are able to work remotely, and they’re willing to make a quick move when the price is right. The lesson for owners is to choose the most relaxed cancellation policy possible to appeal to vacationers’ need for flexibility.
Do you find this data useful? We’d love to hear your thoughts — send them to us at email@example.com.
Bluegreen’s portfolio is full of family-friendly, drivable destinations across the U.S., which makes summer a peak season for listings at its resorts. April’s most-booked was Bluegreen Vacations Christmas Mountain Village, an outdoorsy spot in the ever-popular Wisconsin Dells. Two-bedroom units went for an average of $97 per night, while three-bedrooms fetched substantially more: $473 per night — which shows you the popularity of large, multi-bedroom units in family-driven spots.
Other big movers for the brand last month? At Bluegreen Vacations Shore Crest Vacation Villas in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., 2BR units booked in July fetched an average of $266. We booked a lot of last-minute trips to Bluegreen Vacations Fantasy Island Resort II in Daytona Beach, Fla.; the $55 average nightly rate shows the impact of pricing to sell.
On the other end of the spectrum, the highest average rates in the Bluegreen portfolio were earned at Bluegreen Vacations MountainLoft in Gatlinburg, Tenn. ($294 for a Combined 2BR unit); Orlando’s Bluegreen Vacations The Fountains ($249 for a 2BR); and Bluegreen Patrick Henry Square in Williamsburg, Va. ($248 for a 2BR).
If you own Club Wyndham and have points you’re not planning to use, run (don’t walk!) to our Club Wyndham Hub, where you can choose confirmed bookings to fulfill with your points. You’ll know the exact amount of your payout before you fulfill. It’s the easiest and safest way to earn cash from your unused points.
Not ready to commit to using your points right now? You can take a wait-and-see approach by creating a listing to see how it performs. Here’s what got booked in April: Club Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort at Disney World does well in all seasons; last month saw 2BR units go for $199 per month, 1BR’s for $134, and 3BR’s fetch $242 per night on average. We booked a lot of vacations at Club Wyndham Kingsgate in Williamsburg, Va. last month; the average nightly price for a 2BR was $154, and $261 for 3BR units. Club Wyndham Ocean Walk is another spot that is popular year-round; last month its 2BR units went for $242 per night.
Curious which Club Wyndham resort gets the highest average rate per night? That would be Club Wyndham Newport Onshore in tony Newport, R.I., where 2BR units earned $683 per night. Not too shabby!
Hilton Grand Vacations
HGV Owners: Have you checked out KOALA’s HGV Community Hub? That’s the place to go if you have unused points you’d like to exchange for cash. (Yes, cash!) It’s an easy process: We list confirmed bookings we’ve received from travelers, you select which ones you want to fulfill, and we send the payout your way. You’ll know exactly how much you’ll earn, and we’ll even chip in the $59 reservation fee.
Want to create your own listing? (Maybe you’re not sure if you’re ready to commit points just yet this year.) Here are the HGV resorts that saw the most bookings in April: Hilton Head Island’s Ocean Oak Resort (average nightly rate for a 2BR unit: $427); the Grand Waikikian in Honolulu (2BR for $870); and Hilton Grand Vacations at McAlpin-Ocean Plaza on Miami’s South Beach (2BR: $578). Translation: Listings in prime beachfront vacations are your key to a successful booking.
Marriott Vacation Club
Need proof that Palm Springs is trending hard? Marriott’s Shadow Ridge Villages, located in next-door Palm Desert, was the most popular resort in the MVC portfolio last month, earning an average of $211 per night for a 2BR unit. A little concert called Coachella helped, too — and led to last-minute bookings at that resort as well as nearby Marriott’s Desert Springs Villas II (1BR average: $473). Smart listers know to position their listings around events like Coachella, where out-of-towners are plentiful but accommodations are scarce.
Westin Vacation Club
Vacationers flocked to Westin’s resorts in Hawaii last month, booking units at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas in Maui, more than any other. Studios there earned an average of $338 per night, mosty for summer check-in dates. Also popular: the adjacent Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas North ($450 for a 1BR) and nearby Westin Nanea Ocean Villas ($708 for a 2BR).
Here’s a roundup of the most-booked resorts among a few of the other brands available on KOALA, with the most popular unit booked, average price per night, and typical booking season:
Ka’anapali Beach Club by Diamond Resorts, Maui: 1BR, $284/night, mostly summer.
Disney Vacation Club
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas Kidani Village, Orlando: 1BR, $580/night, all seasons.
Disney’s Old Key West Resort, Orlando: Studio, $187/night, all seasons.
Holiday Inn Club Vacations
Holiday Inn Club Vacations South Beach Resort, Myrtle Beach, S.C.: 2BR, $330/night, summer.
Holiday Inn Club Vacations Cape Canaveral Beach Resort, Florida: 2BR, $180/night, spring (last-minute).
Hyatt Residence Club
Hyatt Residence Club Key West, Sunset Harbor, Key West: 1BR, $210/night, summer.
Shell Vacations Club
Peacock Suites, Anaheim, Calif.: 2BR, $188/night, summer.
Sheraton Vacation Club
Sheraton Broadway Plantation, Myrtle Beach, S.C.: 2BR, $262/night, summer.
Harborside Resort at Atlantis, Bahamas: 1BR, $328/night, summer.