The solo traveler of the 21st century is not about to wait around to meet their soulmate before they set off on a travel adventure. And with the new online culture of local meet-ups and local tour services, a solo traveler can feel more secure and comfortable even while venturing alone far off the beaten path.
Your vacation rental might be the perfect home base for solo travelers visiting your area. Now you just have to use your own local savvy and Airbnb management to let them know how to find you and book their stay!
First, Get to Know Today's Solo Traveler
What kind of an individual is today's solo traveler? What is this type of guest looking for in a vacation rental?
The first thing to know about today's solo traveler is that they can be a diverse group of folks! Some may be traveling primarily on business (the bleisure group) with a few days off for leisure. This solo traveler is likely to want peace and quiet when at your property, a reliable internet connection and some local amenities like dry cleaning.
Other solo travelers may simply be on their own simply because their partner couldn't break away from work or they don't have a friend who was free to join them.
Still other solo travelers may literally be traveling for their career - as in, they are travel writers, documentary filmmakers or local culture researchers who are there to immerse themselves in your area for their work.
Here, it is unrealistic to expect your vacation lodging to be all things to all solo travelers. But you can take a look at what you offer and begin to develop an idea of which niche of solo travelers your property will be most appealing to.
Next, Anticipate the Solo Traveler's Away-From-Home Needs
Solo travelers can be (but are not always) more adventurous and informed about local amenities and offerings than groups. This is because they have only themselves to rely on to plan their daily itinerary, get around, do research and be safe and smart while traveling.
The best way to anticipate the solo traveler's away-from-home needs is to imagine yourself standing in their shoes. What would you want or need if you were all by yourself in an unfamiliar area? Which services would you expect? What unexpected services would you most appreciate? Most of all, what services would make you feel so at home that you would re-book at that same property the next time you traveled to that area?
Remember, MEAL Is Always Appreciated
Rental properties often offer mealtime flexibility in two ways large hotel chains cannot: in food budgeting and preparation. Vacation rentals can meet this need by offering basic kitchen amenities like a coffee maker, a frig, a microwave and some dinnerware.
But solo travelers don't always have the means or the time to go grocery shopping or make meals for themselves. This can make offering a prepared breakfast option very attractive to those who are traveling solo!
Even if it is something as simple as offering a little deli of prepackaged breakfast foods, coffee or dry goods that can be prepared by adding hot water or milk, the solo traveler can appreciate these simple extras in a way families or groups may not.
Consider Offering Extra Services A La Carte
While many people who always travel with others don't realize it, traveling solo can actually be more expensive! This is because the solo traveler doesn't have anyone to split bills with. So whether it is toilet tissue, a bunch of fresh grapes or an internet connection, the solo traveler foots the bill the way they do everything - alone.
A la carte services can help solo travelers still have a homey experience without busting their budget. Consider adding much-appreciated offerings such as small bundles of paper goods (toilet tissue, tissues, paper towels or napkins) and personal care packets (toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shower gel, deodorant, razor). Offering these for free can be a real bonus if your own budget permits!
These extra-value-added freebie items can also entice the solo traveler to use you for fee-based extras such as bicycle or vehicle rentals, ride sharing discounts, tour packages, tour guide services and similar other extras. To really stand out to a solo traveler, you can assemble a handy guide to solo-friendly adventures and excursions and contact information to local hosts and tour guides who can make the solo traveler's experience in your area rich and rewarding.
Take the Initiative With Communication
Guests who are traveling by themselves have the full weight of responsibility on their shoulders for all aspects of their trip. While traveling solo can be exciting, it can also be exhausting and stressful!
Anything you can do to minimize your solo guest's stress will stand out and likely translate to five-star reviews and recommendations to fellow travelers. You can do so much to make your solo guest's stay friendly and welcoming just by reaching out to say hello, communicate rental rules, offer your assistance, stop by to shake their hand and give them a warm welcome to your area!
You should always offer your solo guests a way to contact you quickly - a cell phone number is ideal for texting or calling. Remember, you may be the only person they know in the whole country or city!
Volunteer a Menu of Local Fun Activities!
Solo travelers may spend more or less time at your property depending on their schedule and the reason for their trip. But you can expect that when they are with you, they will be enjoying valuable down-time to rest and recharge.
Think about what you would want to do while you were away from home - perhaps you would like to read some local books or magazines, watch movies or play video games, luxuriate in a warm bath or browse the internet.
Tailor your pricing and packages to the solo traveler
Make it clear that you offer rates and packages for solo travelers and issue a warm welcome to these travelers!
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