Exploring The Subscription Model For Vacation Rentals

Exploring The Subscription Model For Vacation Rentals

Offering a Travel Subscription

A successful business offers customers what they want. These days, that means offering some sort of subscription for your product, service or, in your case, experience.

Almost 80 percent of adults in the United States paid for subscription services in 2021, according to a survey cited in this NBC News’ article. The traveling industry is now following this trend. Airlines and hotels are already offering subscriptions, and it may be time for you to add a travel subscription option to your vacation rental’s guest experience.


Your Guests Have Interest

If creating a subscription for your vacation rental doesn’t seem worth it, take a closer look at who signs up for subscriptions and who your guests are. In 2021, PaymentsJournal said 86 percent of adults 18 to 34 in the United States had a subscription to a service, and Modern Innkeeper found 75 percent of vacation rental guests fell into this age range in 2020.

Therefore, you may not have to work too hard to generate general interest for a subscription, and travelers may come to you looking for one, despite what others may say.

“The travel business is like the soda business. The only way for brands to grow their market share is by stealing customers from their competitors. And fewer travelers view themselves as loyal to airlines and hotel brands than in 2019,” a travel analyst said in the same NBC News article.

While it may be true travelers aren’t as loyal as they once were, this doesn’t mean you have to “steal” them to create interest around your rental’s travel subscription.


Motivating Subscribers

Delivering spectacular customer service and an unforgettable customer experience can inspire guests to subscribe to your vacation rental subscription. Do both by:

●     Practicing great communication

●     Personalizing solutions

●     Providing amenities

These, plus more ways to enhance the guest experience, can show guests subscribing to your vacation rental is well worth it. Travelers may also be more likely to subscribe if your property has additional perks, such as wellness center features or a space to work.


What Your Subscription Can Offer

It works to your advantage that many who stay at vacation rentals are likely to already have a subscription. However, you still have to ensure your subscription’s benefits are enticing enough. This can help keep your property busy during slower booking periods, such as midweek or your area’s offseason. Let’s look at existing traveling subscriptions to inspire some ideas.


Alaska Airlines

For anywhere between $49 to $550 a month and a yearlong commitment, Alaska Airlines travelers can book 24 round trips in California, Nevada and Arizona. The airline announced most subscribers are booking more flights than they have with the airline before, according to the same NBC News article.

In short, what Alaska Airlines is doing is working.

You can use this as a template if you want to create a travel subscription that offers guests a certain amount of visits a year depending on how many payments they make.



In early 2022, we mentioned Marriott’s loyalty program when we talked about staying engaged with guests. The hotel giant used it to offer guests promotions when they got back to traveling after pandemic restrictions loosened.

The takeaway from Marriott’s program is that incentivizing guests with rewards is effective.

Creating some of your own can help you earn subscribers. An idea is to offer gift cards to places in your rental’s area if guests stay a certain amount of nights. A reward like this can help them see the value in your subscription and keep them coming back.

You can remind them of the potential rewards they have to look forward to by staying in touch with them over email and social media when they aren’t at your property.


Inspire Loyalty and Enhance the Experience

A large portion of your target audience wants to have subscriptions and stay at vacation rentals when they travel. Give them both by creating a subscription for your vacation property, and they may start coming to town more often.