Let’s Make Vacation Rentals Accessible To All!
You may remember not too long ago we talked about “How we can BreakAway from Home Away.”
The strategy involved marketing vacation rentals to specific niches that are less competitive and highly targeted.
Today I’d like to share with you what I believe to be the most worthy vacation rental niche in our industry.
I’ll explain a little later how beneficial it could be for your vacation rental business if you choose to service this niche.
But first, allow me to share how this niche can benefit other people in a very meaningful way.
There’s A Real Need To Make Vacation Rentals Accessible To Everyone
I got a call from Keith. He called the office – I picked up, he told me, “I need help finding a suitable place for my son Ryan”. His son is just 5 years old.
Keith explained, he really wanted to take his boy to Orlando but was finding it very difficult to find a property.
He shared with me that his child had to travel with special equipment to aid him in breathing.
He mentioned that he had a couple of small requirements for the machines.
The problem is none of the vacation rentals we had were equipped with these fittings.
I had to tell Keith that I couldn’t help him find a place. I could tell by the sound in his tone he was extremely disappointed.
It hurt my heart to send him on his way, with no real options for him, his son and family.
It made me think of how difficult it can be for me to travel with my family.
That day I saw just how frustrating it can be for someone with disabilities to find a suitable place.
You see, there’s more than the extra care and time that goes into planning a vacation for someone who has a disability.
There’s also the compromises travelers with disabilities have to make when traveling away from their homes.
We Need To Create Awareness For The Need!
I believe making travel available for ALL people is a social responsibility we have in our industry.
That’s why I feel the need to share this with you, and why I’m requesting for you to please share this post too.
My hope is that we can help raise awareness of the need for this service in the vacation rental industry.
With your help, I may even be able to help get some of us to consider helping people with special travel needs, so please share.
You may have heard the saying “Do good and good will follow you” – here’s your chance to do some good!
According to the 2010 US Census, one in every five American has a disability.
This number still stood in 2015 with the demographic ranging in ages from 18-65
There are all types of disabilities not just mobility issues. However, within those travelers who have mobility disabilities more people have access needs.
For example, older and less mobile people or people with pushchairs have access needs, which can become a huge obstacle when going on holiday.
Unfortunately, accessible properties are often limited in their inventory. There just aren’t enough of us servicing this worthy, less competitive and surprisingly profitable niche. Why not?
Is It Worth Outfitting A Vacation Rental For People With Disabilities?
However, some can enter into this niche by making some modifications to an existing home. Here are a few examples of features that can better service people with disabilities.
- Provide a wheelchair.
- Pool lift that lifts guest from a wheelchair into the pool and out.
- Walk in/Wheel in shower with detachable shower head hose
- Handicap bars in the shower.
- Bath chair with wheels that gives easy access to the shower.
- Portable Hoyer lift that can lift a guest off their wheelchair and onto the bed or any other seat.
What Does It Take To Be Considered An Accessible Vacation Home?
Check out this resource. It’s the ADA standards for accessible design.
If you’re purchasing a vacation rental you may want to consider the property’s accessibility as a factor in your choice of properties.
Here are a few key property features to look out for, when considering servicing the accessible travel market.
- Larger bedrooms
- Wide doorways and hallways
- Ramps or zero step entrances
- Large main floor bathroom
Below are a few of the benefits of servicing the accessible travel niche.
More Exposure. Having a “handicapped” or accessible property will give you greater exposure on vacation rental listing sites. Some of these websites provide sections on the site that feature “Accessible Accommodations.” Travelers can also search for handicap accessible properties using the website search features.
Search Engine Traffic. Due to the less competitive nature of this niche, you can develop a strong online presence for targeted keywords, resulting in more traffic from Google.
People search for these type of long term keyword terms when looking for a property catering to the disabled. Wheelchair Accessible Vacation Rental in (your location) Handicap Accessible Vacation Rental in (your location)
The More The Merrier! “Accessible vacation rentals” do not just attract travelers with disabilities but they also bring families together!
Accessible vacation rentals are big business. $17.3 billion annually, up from $13.6 billion in 2002.
Since these individuals typically travel with one or more additional persons in their party, the economic impact is actually double, or $34.6 billion.
I hope you see the opportunity for a business boost while servicing people with disabilities.
Partnering Opportunities. There are thousands of websites designed to help travelers who have disabilities. As I explained in the article “How to turn weak seasons into peak seasons“, you should contact and partner with niche sites.
There are hundreds of niche websites that cater to helping travelers in specific niches. These sites provide travelers with accommodation recommendations, things to do, tips and more. Search “accessible travel” websites and see how you can list your accommodations on their site and how you can help them!
At BreakAway Vacation Rentals we want to help travelers and owners rent accessible vacation homes. If you want to advertise an accessible vacation home, or if you’re looking to book one, contact a friendly vacation rental agent, we’d like to help!