Thanks to the pandemic and generous payments from the federal government, Canadians have saved up quite the nest egg.
With the economy starting to rebound, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promising vaccines for all by September, and a general optimism among Canadian residents, many people are already booking their summer rentals, far-flung vacations and, of course, backyard pools for a staycation with the kids.
After a year that saw three million Canadians lose their jobs, and travel and socialization postponed indefinitely, spending plummeted at the same time that government checks increased disposable income, which many Canadians put into their savings accounts.
Now most Canadians are working again, and they have quite a bit of cash in their pockets. According to Reuters, The Bank of Canada estimates that Canadians have cumulatively saved up to $180 billion CAD.
As a result, rentals for summer vacations have become a hot commodity, in both Canada and the U.S. People have been pent up inside their homes for too long, and they’re ready to get out.
If you’re one of the many people looking for rentals for the summer, here’s a few suggestions to help you find what you’re looking for at a decent price.
Don’t Wait Any Longer
Start right now!
Summer rentals across North America are already booked out months ahead of time. Many rental sites and popular destinations are already seeing record numbers of reservations and fewer cancellations.
According to The New York Times, rentals are booming across the U.S. Toward the end of March, about 90 percent of vacation homes posted on Vrbo for Jersey Shore and Cape Cod were already booked for July. That’s a stark contrast from 2019, when 30 percent of those homes were still accepting rental bookings in March.
The article reported the same trend for the rental site Homes & Villas by Marriott International, where the booking lead time for summer stays reached 147 days this year. It was just 34 days last year.
The point is: Start looking now. Everyone else already is.
Prepare to Pay More
Yes, you can expect to pay more than almost any year in the past.
The competition is fierce, driven not only by the widespread desire to get out in the sun, but also by those who own more than one home. Many second-home buyers want to use their weekend houses, and have more time to stay because of the rise of remote work.
So there’s not just more competition, but also fewer available properties for renting. It’s not just big homes, either. All kinds of properties, from three-bedroom houses to studios and one-bedroom apartments, are already hot commodities for summer vacation.
Booking prices have risen as a result, a trend that will likely accelerate as we get closer to summer. According to Transparent, a vacation-rentals data company, the national average nightly rate for Airbnb rentals for July and August 2021 is around $220. That’s an increase from last year’s $194 and $185 in 2019.
Longer stays are the new normal
Last year saw an increase in longer stays at rentals in popular destinations, and that trend is expected to continue in 2021.
That could be month-long stays or multiple weekends booked back-to-back. It’s part of an emerging trend called “slow travel,” where travelers spend more time away from home, on average, than before the pandemic.
Everything about travel is more complicated right now, and no single article, including this one, can cover it all.
Flights are more competitive, too. Traveling outside the country means learning and dealing with the various requirements for COVID-19 tests and quarantine that each country decides on their own.
There’s also a shortage of rental cars, and shifting recommendations from health care experts. This Forbes article has some great info on these aspects of travel.
Whatever you choose to do for the summer, remember to stay safe and smart!