HomeAway® is an Austin-based leader in vacation rentals. HomeAway’s corporate headquarters at 5th and Lamar features a human-size birdhouse visible from the street outside. Right now, during the holiday season, the birdhouse is festooned with typical Christmas decorations.
My family frequently uses VRBO.com for lodging in larger cities. HomeAway owns VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner). Airbnb and Booking.com are HomeAway’s largest competitors.
HomeAway analyzed data from popular metro destinations and saw growth in suburban stays during the holiday. Cities that experienced an increase in suburban demand include New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, and Phoenix.
“This data suggests that holiday travelers are straying away from the city experience and choosing the suburbs to be closer to family, without having to cram everyone into Grandma’s house,” said Melanie Fish, family travel expert at HomeAway.
HomeAway found that the top ten U.S. destinations for holiday travelers are:
o Four Corners, Fla.
o Breckenridge, Colo.
o Park City, Utah
o Kihei, Hawaii
o Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
o San Diego
o Lake Tahoe, Calif.
o Cape Coral, Fla.
o New York
Family matters to travelers. 95 percent of parents agree it’s important to be with family at Christmas and seven out of ten kids surveyed said their ideal Christmas is spent with their family, according to the 2016 Kid Holiday Survey.
Here is the big worry among younger children traveling during the holidays to see family members: Nearly half (42 percent) of children surveyed fear that Santa won’t be able to find them on Christmas. To ease this concern, HomeAway has an interactive tool, RerouteSanta.com, that lets children communicate with the North Pole about where they will be on Christmas Eve.