Real estate is known for being a solid investment, and recent traveler trends highlight a clear opportunity to earn extra income by investing in vacation rentals. Plus, when we surveyed over 8,000 travelers, 82% said they plan to book a vacation rental for their 2023 adventures.

Experts also believe these traveler preferences are here to stay, making short-term rental investment a great play for long-term income.

Here are six major benefits that underscore exactly why vacation rentals are a good investment.

In This Article:
Increased Income Potential
Varied Market Opportunity
Offsetting Owner Costs
Even More Revenue Opportunity
A Built-In Vacation 
Home Appreciation

1. Increased Income Potential

Not only is the vacation rental industry showing plenty of income potential, it’s also creating opportunity for what our Real Estate Services (RES) experts consider a “high-reward profile.” 

Most investors look at cap rate — the ratio between a property’s net income and its market value — as a key measure of success, because it indicates return on investment. Our RES team says long-term rental cap rates can hover around an average 4-5% in metro markets (where investors are typically drawn), but short-term rental cap rates can frequently come in at 10% or higher.

This means your ceiling for profitability is significantly higher when investing in vacation rentals than it is with other property options — and that’s more money that could land in your pocket.

2. Varied Market Opportunity

While finding success in long-term rental generally requires a purchase near a major metro area, buyers can find vacation rental properties with profit potential in a wide variety of markets

And since travelers’ favorite locations are scattered from coast to coast, you’re spoiled with choices for vacation rental investment properties –– whether you’re looking for a beachfront property, lakeside rental, mountainous ski house, or cozy cabin.

Ready to explore your options? Our team helps investors find success in markets all across the country.

3. Offsetting Owner Costs

Creating solid revenue streams and growing your income property portfolio are the main investment goals for many second home owners. But there’s also massive value, particularly for first-timers, in offsetting owner expenses from the start. 

From mortgage payments and utilities to insurance fees and maintenance costs, vacation rental income can cover monthly expenses and help your home pay for itself in a shorter time frame. Vacation rental owners are also eligible for certain tax deductions, which could help close the gap between income and expenses.

Bonus benefit: using a vacation rental management company with especially low fees (like Evolve) can help owners break even and start earning profit faster.

4. Even More Revenue Opportunity (with Five-Star Hospitality)

The best part about investing in vacation rental properties is that great guest feedback makes your home more lucrative over time. 

When rental properties hit new listing sites, they have to compete with established competitors for visibility and bookings. But the more five-star experiences you deliver (along with smart responses to any poor reviews), the more sites like Airbnb and Vrbo will show your property to browsing travelers — making it more likely to earn bookings. 

Best-in-class hospitality also makes it easier to raise daily rates (when the market allows for it), increasing your profit margins on any given stay as you establish the value of your vacation rental property. 

5. A Built-In Vacation

Unlike long-term rental investments, a vacation rental property is also a place where you can get away. It provides the luxury of carving out time to spend with family and friends, or to switch up your work-from-home space — without necessarily needing to spend money on accommodations each time you travel.

In other words, you earn rental income and boost revenue when you’re not there, but also save money when you’d like a change of scenery yourself.

6. Home Appreciation

As with all smart real estate investments, you can expect your vacation rental’s market value to appreciate over time. So, if and when you become ready to sell, you’d likely earn more than the previous owners did when you bought it. 

What’s more, when that time comes, Evolve has real estate experts who can help you sell directly to buyers who are looking to invest in vacation rentals.

Take the Next Step Toward Investing in Vacation Rental 

Investing in vacation rentals might feel like a big undertaking, but Evolve’s RES team is here to guide you at every stage of the journey. Our experts can help you: 

And if you’re hoping to buy a rental with proof of performance, our listings for sale page features homes that already have a track record of vacation rental success as Evolve properties.

No matter where you are or plan to buy, we’re here to help you reach your vacation rental goals.

When you’re first starting out as a vacation rental owner, there’s one big question: how much money can I expect to make?

Short-term rental properties can give second homeowners solid revenue returns, and are often more profitable than long-term rentals. But that additional income doesn’t come without costs. From vacation rental taxes and insurance to cleaning and management fees, it’s important to factor a number of expenses into your income calculations to help paint an accurate picture of your home’s profit potential.

That’s where our vacation rental income calculator comes in. Simply plug in your monthly revenue and expenses below, then watch our tool automatically churn out an annual income estimate — all factors considered.

Not sure where to pull all those numbers? Take a peek below our tool to understand your income and expense variables in more detail, and check out our bonus resources that can help you make confident estimates.

Your Income Variables, Explained

The first step in accurately predicting income? Defining each term properly. Here’s a quick-reference glossary of what each variable used in our vacation rental income calculator means.

Moon graphic representing vacation rental nightly rate

Nightly Rate

Avg rate you expect to charge/night

Nights Booked

Avg # of nights you expect to book/month


Your monthly mortgage payment


Monthly costs for heat/hot water, electricity/AC, wifi & cable

Insurance & Property Taxes

Monthly costs for homeowners insurance, liability insurance & property protection plan + your state’s property tax rate

Other Expenses

Monthly sum of HOA & maintenance costs + avg cost of stocking/upgrading your short-term rental

Management Costs

Monthly % of income set aside for management/marketing fees (dependent on how you choose to run your property)

Understanding Income and Expenses

Let’s be real: calculating an accurate income for your investment property can be confusing. Certain elements — like mortgage and utility payments — have fairly standard numerical values you can enter into the calculator without much math. But other components require more contextual consideration, so let’s walk through each step of the process in more detail.

Step 1: Calculating Monthly Revenue

To accurately estimate nightly rate and expected nights booked, it’s important to understand the current market in your area.

The good news: we’ve analyzed thousands of listings across North America to aggregate the most influential performance metrics for you. From nightly rate and nights booked to average lengths of stay and prime booking windows throughout the year, all of the results can be found in our library of vacation rental market analyses. Each gives you a data-backed gauge of how direct competition performs — and, in turn, how much you can expect to charge and book.

You can pull the nightly rate and nights booked averages from those performance reports, then plug them into the vacation rental income calculator above to provide a solid foundation for estimating monthly income (and, ultimately, overall revenue).

But owners who work with Evolve also get the benefit of our proprietary SmartRates algorithm. It adjusts dynamically each night to guarantee your home always paces alongside rival listings — and outperforms in the long run. Case in point: SmartRates has earned our owners 24% more than traditionally-static pricing methods!

Step 2: Calculating Monthly Expenses 

From taxes to marketing fees, your expense estimate relies heavily on custom quotes and individual choices.

First, add up the monthly costs of your different types of insurance — like homeowners insurance, liability insurance, and a property protection plan. (Evolve owners are automatically covered for accidental damages with our Property Protection Plus program.)

Then comes property taxes. How they’re applied varies by state, so be aware of your particular municipal requirements. If you’re not sure, you can plug your rental property’s address into this complimentary tool to receive the right rate.

Once you have an estimate for both, combine the numbers and enter the sum into our vacation rental income calculator.

Next, input your monthly mortgage payment and utilities.

To incorporate what we’ve deemed other expenses, first combine monthly HOA and maintenance costs, cleaning fees, and the average expense of keeping your short-term rental well-stocked for guests.

If you need to make furniture or decor upgrades, put a price to those overarching updates and divide by 12 before adding to your total monthly view of those additional expenses.

Finally, there are management costs to consider. This figure will look different depending on how you choose to run your vacation rental.

If you run a vacation rental without any help:

  1. Select the “I plan to manage my property on my own” option in our vacation rental income calculator
  2. Add up the varying percentage costs of the marketing fees for the marketplaces you plan to use (listed below)
  3. Move the marketing fee slider to match the sum of those percentage fees
Graphic showcasing market fees to list your home on Airbnb, Vrbo,, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, or Flipkey

If you use a property manager:

  1. Select the “I plan to hire a manager” option in our vacation rental income calculator
  2. Slide the bar to account for an average 30-50% fee

If you use Evolve as your property manager (P.S. we list your home on all the top short-term rental marketplaces at no additional cost):

  1. Select the “I plan to hire a manger” option in our vacation rental income calculator
  2. Slide the bar to our industry-low 10% fee

Maximize Your Income Potential with Evolve

Between the steep fees of traditional property managers and the overwhelming responsibility of a DIY approach, it’s hard to strike a cost-benefit balance that guarantees your success. At least, it was until Evolve came into the picture.

For an industry-low management fee (that’s backed by our Risk-Free Guarantee), we’ll apply a data-proven marketing and booking strategy to your vacation rental, boosting your revenue potential while keeping costs (and stress levels) down.

See if you qualify or call one of our Vacation Rental Advisors today to learn more at 877.881.7584.

Digital nomads, rejoice: Work and play no longer have to be separate. While you’re still remote, get some fresh air without using all of your vacation days. Switching up your routine a little can inspire new thinking and deepen your focus — all while you enjoy all the luxuries of vacation on your off-time. 

Ready to get out of the house? Pick one of these places based on how you like to feel at work and change up the scenery.

Bust Stress: Vacation Rentals with a Pool

Make your co-workers jealous by joining the company meeting poolside. Lounge in the sun while you knock projects off your list, then enjoy a crisp plunge in the water. Bonus: all of our homes are vetted in person, which means these pools are as good as they look. 

Resort-style pool and hot tub at Goodyear, Arizona vacation rental

Private Swimmer’s Paradise in Goodyear, AZ

Soak in the desert sun from this Goodyear home with a resort-style hot tub and pool combo. Work on your tan while you work from the sprawling patio, complete with a fully shaded outdoor area. The interior’s open layout and farmhouse furnishings are so beautiful that you’ll want to stay in and make meals at home — but when you’re ready to get out, grab ice cream at The Frozen Monkey and take a stroll around South Lake Park.

Palatial Luxury Home In Homestead, FL

If you’re feeling fancy, this Florida short-term rental is like stepping into a palace you can call your own. Here, 6,500 square feet of space is yours — meaning you can find a new place to work remotely every day. Sit al fresco in the expansive outdoor cabana or lounge by the palm tree-lined pool worthy of a magazine shoot. On weekends, day trip to the Florida Keys or take it easy with a bottle of local wine from Schnebly Winery.

Palm tree-lined pool at luxury vacation rental in Homestead, Florida
Lush background with in-ground pool at modern vacation rental in Austin, Texas

Modern Poolside Oasis In Austin, TX

The moment you set your bag down, the cerulean waters of this backyard pool will invite you to take a dip. Catch up with your group beneath the pergola, then swim laps in this sophisticated marvel as the sun goes down. Enormous windows let the light in here and make it feel like you’re by the pool, even when you’re hard at work inside. When you need to get out, experience the big city feeling by taking a walk through downtown Austin.

Honorable Mentions: Enjoy views of your own private lake and private pool at this luxurious vacation rental in Norman, OK, visit this meticulously decorated home with its own mini golf putting green and awe-inspiring pool in the Coachella Valley, or swim by day, stream movies in the home theater by night from this Pigeon Forge vacation rental.

Explore All Homes With A Pool

Get Energized: Vacation Rentals With A Gym

Exercise helps mental health and increases productivity — and companies are encouraging their teams to work out more than ever. These vacation rentals are perfect for a getaway that blends work-life balance, with a home gym to break up your day. 

Charming log cabin vacation rental surrounded by trees and nature trails in Sonoma County, California

Enchanting Log Cabin In Sonoma County, CA

Redwoods and red wine are waiting for you in Sonoma County. This charming cabin is the place to go glamping in the woods while still keeping a wi-fi signal. Nature is your gym here in a home that’s surrounded by trails and a few minutes from the beach, but if you want a more traditional place to exercise, hit the cabin’s small home gym. After a long work week, hop in the car, soak in ocean views, and savor wines from famous vineyards.

Private Forest Mansion In Acworth, GA

Turn your workday into a fairytale at this welcoming Acworth mansion, complete with a pool and its own movie theater. Take your lunch break in the home gym, catch up on emails from the gazebo, and toast to the day by the outdoor fire pit once five o’clock hits. There are so many ways to clear your head — whether it’s playing billiards, or cooking a meal for your group and enjoying it in the sprawling dining areas.

Acworth, Georgia vacation rental with a pool

Honorable Mentions: This budget-friendly vacation home in Glendale, AZ offers all the perks of a private resort, including a pool and a putting green. Or, go big and work remotely from this enormous vacation home sitting over the lake in Kaiser, MO. You can also sit out by your own private creek and access some of Colorado’s most pristine trails from this home amid the treetops in Evergreen, CO. 

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Find Quiet: Vacation Rentals with an Office

Evolve only rents homes with private entrances, which means that every place on our site is perfect for finding focus. But if you’re looking for a getaway where you can separate your 9-5 from your night of relaxation, these picks come with a home office and the bliss of complete quiet.

Living room in an Erie, Colorado vacation rental that also has multiple offices

Enormous Retreat In Erie, CO

This vacation rental is made for remote work retreats with multiple offices, plenty of separate seating areas, and a boardroom-style table. Travel with friends and tackle the workday separately from your own private spaces, then reconnect over a game night in the living room. Wind down while strolling downtown Boulder (just a short drive away) with the Flatiron mountains as your backdrop.

Upscale Cabin In Show Low, AZ

Enjoy a life of luxury from this scenic cabin equipped with its own lofted office for working remotely. Catch up about the day around the outdoor fire pit or sip wine on the sprawling wood patio immersed in the forest. If you feel like getting outside, explore the easy Show Low Bluff Trail on foot or spend a leisurely day fishing at Fool Hollow Lake.

Spacious kitchen in Show Low, Arizona cabin vacation rental, a home that also has a lofted office

Honorable Mention: Work remotely from this vacation rental in Fairplay, CO, and enjoy a cozy, log cabin exterior with a clean, modern interior. 

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Cozy Up: Vacation Rentals with a Fireplace

Good books are meant to be enjoyed next to a crackling fireplace. After a long day at the (virtual) office, sink into the couch at one of these places and find your cozy. All you need to bring is hot cider and groceries — each of our homes comes fully equipped with all the amenities you need to stay in for the night.

Dreamy Dome House In Idyllwild, CA

Hit the road and head to Idyllwild, which sits in California’s San Jacinto mountains. Pets are welcome at this airy dome house that’s a theater to thousands of night stars. Once you’ve closed up your laptop for the day, hit the trails at Mount San Jacinto State Park, then bring home a mountain pie to share from Idyllwild Pizza.

Cozy living room with wood-burning stove and guitar at the unique Dome House vacation rental in Idyllwild, California
Living room with stone fireplace and nature views at Incline Village, Nevada vacation rental

Spacious Modern Hideaway In Incline Village, NV

Rise to the sound of trees rustling out this bright property filled with natural light. Kick your feet up in the loft to get some focus, then spend happy hour in the hot tub before cooking up a feast in the gorgeous, modern kitchen. When you’re ready for fresh air, take an evening bike ride along Lake Tahoe, or just sit out and enjoy the lake.

Cabin In Breckenridge, CO

Breckenridge is an outdoor paradise — and this enormous cabin that sleeps 14 is just the place to enjoy it. Take your calls from the quiet porch, indulge in a midday break to shoot some hoops in the in-home basketball court, and wind down by the fire after an evening of exploring the area’s sites. Window shop along Main Street and grab takeout, or find a hike like Hoosier Pass you can do as the sun goes down over the mountain. 

Rustic Breckenridge, Colorado cabin rental living room with large stone fireplace

Honorable Mentions: Sip a nightcap on a porch overlooking the creek at this vacation home in Frisco, CO, or soak your bones in the hot tub surrounded by trees in this Alto, New Mexico cabin.

Explore All Homes With A Fireplace

Fuel Creativity: Vacation Rentals with a View

Get some new perspective on what you’re working on from one of these places with a view. Find yourself thinking in new ways as you walk along the beach or sit out on the lake, free to let your mind wander. Just be sure to bring a notepad with you as you roam these houses for the moment a great idea strikes.

Exterior view of Bay City, Oregon hilltop vacation rental with stilted decks and lush landscaping

Hilltop Haven In Bay City, OR

If you’ve ever had the dream of looking out to the shoreline from a hot tub, this is just the place for you. This hilltop home in the Pacific Northwest is a destination for remote work, with several cozy seating areas, an unbelievable porch view looking over the coast, and a hot tub where you can dip and drink it all in. After work, take a scenic, slow drive along the Tillamook Bay and end the evening with scoops at the iconic Tillamook Creamery

Lakeview Retreat In Albion, MI

A lake with a private dock is yours at this calming escape in Albion, MI. This home is filled with windows so you never miss the view, even when you’re inside. There are so many places to work at this home on the golf course — whenever you need some fresh thinking, just pick a new room. The spacious kitchen opens right up into the living room, so you can share stories as you prepare the dinner to share. Days off can be spent on the course, dipping in the lake, or curling up next to a roaring fire while keeping the view.

Deck overlooking a private dock and lake at an Albion, Michigan vacation rental
Deck overlooking the ocean from beachfront vacation rental in Topsail Beach, North Carolina

Beachfront Home In Topsail Beach, NC

Creativity is often sparked by a long walk, and here, you can take that walk out on the beach. Sit out on one of the two decks facing the waves, then step out onto the sand when you need a break. Sunsets here look like a postcard, and you can enjoy them from a bright, cheerful house that is decorated to feel like vacation in every room. Spend the weekend grilling up porch on the outdoor barbecue and catching up your beach read in the pristine sand.

Honorable Mentions: Get out into the mountains at this Jefferson, CO cabin with a verdant view of the mountains and its own game room and treehouse. Or, book this cheerful beachfront home in New Smyrna Beach, FL with ocean access and take your morning coffee in the sand

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Enjoy the freedom to work remotely from a vacation rental anywhere, with all the comforts of home. Find your perfect place to get some fresh air and rest easy knowing that it’ll be professionally cleaned and ready for your arrival.

“Aren’t you just like Airbnb and Vrbo?”

We get that question a lot from people who haven’t worked with us yet. It’s easy to see why. We’re all in the same industry, short-term property rentals. You can find and book great properties on our website or on theirs. And the fact that every Evolve property appears on Airbnb, Vrbo, and other online marketplaces just adds a little more to the confusion.

So let’s clear things up and outline exactly how Evolve is NOT Airbnb, Vrbo, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, or any other online marketplace.

They’re Marketplaces, We’re a Management Company

Airbnb, Vrbo, and similar websites are online “marketplaces” where guests find properties and homeowners find guests. Essentially, they act as a distribution channel for owners or property managers, attracting potential guests to their website but leaving the management of the properties and listings to the owners (or whoever is representing the property) themselves.

Evolve is a vacation rental management company. That means we actively manage our properties on behalf of our owners, ensuring maximum bookings and eliminating the stress of the traditional vacation rental process.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Evolve is a BIG customer of the online marketplaces. We have tens of thousands of properties listed on their sites, and we constantly implement cutting-edge strategies to make sure our owners’ homes are positioned for maximum traffic and bookings.

Behind the scenes, we have teams of specialists working on the hardest parts of managing a vacation rental: marketing, booking, and customer service. Our teams do everything from creating search-topping property listings to dynamically setting rates to answering guest questions and asking for online reviews. We even hire professional photographers at no cost to owners to show each property in the best possible light.

As a result of our approach, Evolve properties outperform most others on the online marketplaces. So we don’t compete with Airbnb, Vrbo and the rest. We work with them–and everybody wins.

Our Homes Are Different, Too: Always Perfect for Vacation

Unlike most marketplaces, we don’t offer home sharing, extended stays, campsites, trailers, or other mobile structures. Each Evolve property has its own entrance and kitchen (typically a house or condominium). A lot of Evolve guests appreciate having the comforts of home when they travel, and our properties reflect that.

We take even more guesswork out of vacation rental by making sure our properties meet our four core standards. We believe guests simply won’t have the experience they’re looking for unless the property they’ve booked is:

By focusing on properties ideally suited for vacationing and making sure each one lives up to our standards, we’re building a brand that guests can trust to have the time of their lives.

A Different Experience for Owners and Guests

Since Airbnb, Vrbo, and the like don’t handle property management, homeowners have traditionally been forced to either hire a local company to do it or fend for themselves. Evolve is different.

We give homeowners performance-focused marketing and booking support, plus the flexibility to choose their own partner(s) to clean the property and greet guests. Evolve handles all guest inquiries, bookings, and pre-stay communications. We can also connect owners with hundreds of vetted partners nationwide that can handle cleaning and guests.  

With Evolve’s help, every guest enjoys a booking experience that feels as professional as the world’s top hospitality brands. We handle all inquiries directly, resolve guest and owners questions, and communicate directly with cleaners to ensure the property is ready for every guest. Our unique approach makes vacation rental actually feel like vacation for owners and guests.

So We’re Not Airbnb or Vrbo, But We’re All Friends

Once you work with Evolve, you quickly discover the difference between our service and all of the others. Soon you’ll book — and earn — more for an industry-low fee that’s backed by an unmatched Risk-Free Guarantee.

Owners should be able to relax, trusting that their property is living up to its potential. And guests should be able to relax with an experience that feels like a big hospitality brand. That’s the Evolve difference.

Learn more about Evolve and how we can help you find success with Airbnb, Vrbo, and other online marketplaces.

Your Free Welcome Book Template Is Here!

Sure, your property listing covers a lot of info about your home — but guests will still have some questions when they arrive. Like, which local coffee shop has the best ambiance? What’s that one trick to getting the dishwasher started? How should they handle check-out?

Your welcome book is the perfect place to answer common questions, and it’s also one of the most searched for vacation rental amenities. By providing essential info up front, you can free guests from encountering snags during their stay.

We think that putting together this important resource should feel easy — which is why we made you a free welcome book template. All you have to do is download it and plug in your home’s info!

Why Make a Welcome Book?

Welcome books have a big impact on your guests’ experience. Here are some reasons to block off a few minutes and fill in this template.

Welcome Books Help Others Navigate Your Rental Property and Treat It the Right Way

Guests want to know how to watch a movie at night or adjust the temperature in your house. Giving them a resource on how to get comfortable living in your rental is sure to make their vacation stress-free for both of you.

Welcome Books Provide Local Highlights and a Sense of Your Personality

The reason many guests book vacation rental properties is to immerse themselves in the location. Recommending restaurants, coffee shops, stores, and more can turn a good trip into the best trip ever. Lead your guests to the most delicious slice in town — or teach them how to avoid crowds at a local attraction — and they’ll want to book with you again in the future.

Welcome Books Show Guests That You Care

Your advice on how to make the most of your property gives guests the friendly engagement they’re looking for. It also protects their personal space and privacy by providing valuable information without requiring personal interaction.

Welcome Books Help You Get Great Reviews

Your guests are likely to reward your thoughtfulness in their reviews. Even better, you or your guest contact may get fewer questions during their stay, and you’ll be sending new customers to your favorite local shops and restaurants, ensuring they thrive!

Sounds pretty great, right? But where should you start?

What to Include in Your Welcome Book

From a friendly “hello” letter to your home’s policies, these are the sections you’ll need to put together the most useful welcome book.

A Personal Welcome Note

Guests who choose vacation rental are looking for a unique home with a real person behind it. Writing a note to personally welcome them to your property is another way to separate yourself from a hotel — and reinforce their decision to stay with you.

Helpful Local Contacts

Make sure your welcome book provides at least one name, telephone number, and email for a local contact near your property. This person can be you, a local property manager, or even a neighbor — but they should be easily reachable, and available to come to the home on short notice. Nobody wants unanswered guest complaints to derail a pleasant stay.

You’ll also want to include contact details and addresses for the following emergency resources, just in case:

Remember, guests don’t have all of the resources they’d typically have at home. They’ll feel more at ease if they know you have their safety in mind.

Your Property’s Policies

Even if you send your policies in a pre-stay email, (Evolve does!) it’s still important to reiterate them at the property. Including policies in your welcome book can help you resolve common vacation rental issues and complaints because guests will have a difficult time arguing that they weren’t aware of the rules.

You should include all of the following information in your welcome book:

An in-home reference guide will help remind guests how best to enjoy your home and leave it in good shape for the next guests.  Another perk of including your policies: you’re way less likely to find broken or misused items after a stay!

How-To Instructions

When your guests can’t figure out simple things like how to turn on the hot tub, they can get frustrated and wind up taking out that frustration in their review of your property. Even if every appliance works perfectly, spending valuable relaxation time figuring out how to use it is no one’s idea of a fun vacation.

Include helpful instructions for your:

This is also a good place to note any quirks of your property. For example, if the Wifi works very well all over the house, but not in the family room downstairs, make sure your guests know that. If they aren’t expecting an issue, they’ll be annoyed by it, but with a little forewarning, they’ll feel like they know exactly what they can expect, and it’s less likely to trouble them.

Where to Go and What to Do

You know all of the insights you’ve collected about your neighborhood? Now’s the time to share your expertise — because everyone loves a good recommendation from a local! Try to suggest activities that would appeal to a range of guest types, such as family-friendly museums or romantic places for a dinner out.

Be sure to give addresses and phone numbers for each of your recommendations. Adding the amount of time it takes to get to the destination is a great idea, too. Include at least a suggestion or two in each of the following categories:

And share places where you personally enjoy going. This isn’t to say you can’t include popular attractions you haven’t visited in person. Just let your guests know that you haven’t tried them yourself, but you’ve heard good things and you hope they’ll tell you how they liked them! You can then use the guest feedback to gauge whether that activity merits a mention in your Welcome Book.

How to Get Around

Help guests explore your area by creating a section devoted to local transit. Be sure to include contact info, directions, schedules and any other details that guests might find helpful, like:

Ready to Create Your Book?

Here’s the good news: we’ve already created one for you. To make things easier for you and your guests we created a free downloadable template. Enter your email in the form below to get your free, customizable copy. Then, type your information into our template, print the completed welcome book, and display it in an obvious area of your rental property, such as the kitchen counter. And if you’re looking to start booking more nights on your vacation rental, we can help with that, too.

It’s no secret: kids can add a little something extra to any situation — and traveling with kids is no exception. But when you know how to plan a family vacation, you set yourself up for the perfect balance of parent-friendly sanity and kid-friendly fun.

From figuring out where you’re headed to bringing down costs, here’s everything you need to consider before starting your next (extremely well-planned) family vacation.

Find family-friendly rentals ready for you and the whole crew in cities all across North America.

In This Article: 
How to Choose a Family Vacation Destination
Amenities to Look for When Booking Vacation Rentals with Kids
How to Budget for a Family Vacation
When to Book Your Family Vacation

How to Choose a Family Vacation Destination

Image of a man hiking with a toddler child on his shoulders. Man and child are dressed warmly, standing on a bridge with snowy mountain and lake scenery

When creating a list of your best family vacation destinations, it’s all about what you and your family love to do together. Because when you’re traveling with kids, the memories you create are what matter most.

For families with animal lovers, the best zoos in the country could bring you to surprise spots like Omaha, NE or bustling cities like San Diego, CA. For a beach-loving brood, you could consider Myrtle Beach, SC on the East Coast, Port Angeles, WA on the West Coast, and Panama City Beach, FL on the Gulf Coast. And if you’re raising mini adventurers, your ideal vacation might be waiting at one of the top national parks across the U.S.

To zero in on exactly where you’ll make those memories, start with your travel method. Shorter and less complicated travel is usually better for children, so look for destinations with direct flights or an easy train ride, or consider a roadtrip within a few hours of your home.

When exploring the possibilities, try to remember what your favorite fun things to do on family vacation were as a kid. Did you want to bring your pet along for the ride, feel like you were in another country, or get away from the crowds in a small town? Talk to friends and family for recommendations, too — they may even tell you to visit them!

Some vacation rentals are a destination all their own. These unique stays have unforgettable memories built right in.

Amenities to Look for When Booking Vacation Rentals with Kids

Image of the back exterior of a two-story vacation rental with a covered patio and outdoor furniture, along with a fenced pool and hot tub covered by a domed ceiling. The pool area has two lounge chairs and floaties

When family travel plans include a hunt for the perfect vacation rental, you’re on your way to a home-away-from-home experience. With better privacy and more space, you can enjoy meals together, stream top movies and TV shows on complimentary WiFi, and maybe even cannonball into a pool you don’t have to clean yourself.

That’s why our expert team recommends searching for family vacation rentals that have some or all of the following:

These are also some of the most popular amenities among guest reviews, and can make a family trip go smoothly, help save money, and set you up for lifelong memories.

Need a basketball court or a boat dock? There’s a filter for that. Narrow your search on, where you can select these amenities and more.

How to Budget for a Family Vacation

Image of a vacation rental interior with a dining room table and seating for 7 in the foreground, as well as a kitchen in the background with 4 chairs at the island.

When you’re ready to plan a family vacation, always consider the big-ticket items like your travel method and accommodations. But meals, activities, shopping, and emergencies need to be factored into your budget, too.

The good news: activity and food discounts are some of the most common and available options for cutting travel costs. Look for meal coupons, special kid prices, group activity passes, and off-season discounts.

It’s also best to research when your destination is least expensive for visitors. For example, the best cheap vacations in the U.S. are often dependent on when you’re going. This means you may have to decide whether you’d prefer to see a free music festival in the park during the summer, or book less expensive accommodation prices in the winter.

Fully-furnished vacation rentals can offer tons of cost-saving benefits, too, including cutting down on dining out and providing washers and dryers. If your kids are prone to spilling (who isn’t?), complimentary laundry can be a massive help when pinching pennies.

Plus, sharing a home with a group of friends or other family members can help you split family vacation rental costs while also upping the fun factor. Remember that game room? Picture everyone going head-to-head during an epic air hockey tournament, or battling it out on their favorite board games. The best part is it’s all included in the price of your private home.

When to Book Your Family Vacation

Image of a mother and child flying a kite on a beach family vacation with a large rock wall in the background

School schedules play a big role when you’re traveling with kids, and most families make getaways during breaks. These time frames can be more competitive, and travel rates may rise the closer you get to check-in. So when you’re figuring out how to plan a family vacation, deciding when to book is a key piece of the puzzle.

In general, it’s important to book travel and accommodations ahead of the game so you have as many options as possible —  and get the best fit for your family. But how far in advance you book should look different depending on which school break you’re turning into a vacation.

For example, if you want to snag a beach vacation rental for spring break, you could be looking when thousands of other spring breakers are too. With fewer days available for your escape, consider booking earlier than you might for a summer vacation — when months-long “school’s out!” energy gives you more wiggle room to choose the home you’ll stay in.

If you want a snowy cabin rental over the winter holidays, you may want to book even further out to make sure you can reserve a great place to stay at a lower rate.

And don’t forget, most major sites give have cancellation policies available for review during the booking process. Read these closely so you know what you can do — and when refunds are possible — if your plans or schedules change.

Plan ahead: Start building your vacation bucket list by favoriting your family’s top rentals on

Book the Best Ahead of the Rest

Knowing exactly how to plan a family vacation doesn’t have to require next-level wizardry. After all, the best place to travel with kids is wherever you can all have extraordinary experiences together. But, having an unforgettable kid-friendly trip can be a lot easier when staying in a vacation rental that works for everyone.

Book Your Perfect Home

And hey, we get that sometimes choosing just one place to go is tough. So daydream away — and maybe plan more than one trip this year! — with these top places to travel in every season, family road trips with wow-worthy views, and pet-friendly places so your pooch can come along.

With white sand coastline, cliffside trails, and a welcoming downtown atmosphere, San Diego attracts outdoor enthusiasts, culture lovers, and sightseeing families alike.

More than 35 million travelers come to enjoy this California vacation spot every year — which can make investing in San Diego real estate as attractive as a Pacific Ocean sunset. 

To help you understand the earning potential this West Coast market presents, we created a free, downloadable vacation rental market analysis

Inside you’ll find:

The findings in this analysis are based on Evolve’s San Diego market averages in the last year and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help inform smart buying decisions when investing in San Diego real estate.

Download Our Complete San Diego Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

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Why San Diego Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

San Diego draws all kinds of travelers with its array of activities and attractions. There are 31 beaches that make it easy to embrace the sand and surf, while hiking trails and golf courses offer greener adventures. Downtown, visitors can explore boutiques and galleries in the Gaslamp Quarter, plus famous family must-sees like Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo. The city also has many spaces approved for four-legged friends, making it a prime destination for pet-friendly vacation seekers. 

Average temperatures in the area are gloriously moderate year-round. So, while most travelers tend to visit in the spring and summer, San Diego vacation rental occupancy doesn’t see drastic changes. That means owners have an opportunity to book guests in any season and earn consistent income.

The median home price in San Diego currently sits around $880,000, though, and a high upfront cost can be common when investing in coastal areas (especially in California). That said, our Real Estate Services (RES) team says offsetting an investment of this size comes down to choosing the right property — and managing it well.

When you’re ready to explore the market, make your search easier by starting with Evolve homes for sale

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How Much Money Can You Earn with a San Diego Vacation Rental?

With year-round demand from travelers, San Diego presents solid potential for passive income through vacation rental. To better understand what you can make with a San Diego real estate investment, consider these important factors.

Property Size

Because of the variety of travelers visiting San Diego, homes of all sizes have the potential for strong occupancy. According to our data, five-bedroom homes tend to earn the most annual revenue. However, they also make up the smallest portion of available inventory and may be harder to find.

On the other end of the spectrum, one-bedroom homes pull in the most nights booked on average and make up the largest percentage of inventory. This gives investors an opportunity to potentially break into the market at lower upfront costs while still earning consistent bookings.

Property Location

There are two options for a desirable vacation rental location in San Diego: close to the beach, or in the heart of downtown. The San Diego Bay separates the cityscape from the shoreline, so it’s not really possible to have both. But our RES team says there are location must-haves in either scenario.

If you want a beach house investment, look for properties either directly on the sand or just a quick walk away. Proximity to attractions like the Mission Beach Boardwalk or Ocean Beach Pier are also great perks for eager beach travelers. If you prefer the city route, scoop up property near Balboa Park or Seaport Village, and consider your distance from big schools like UCSD and SDSU for the family weekend crowd, too.

Interested in making a beach house investment in other markets? Consider these best places to buy one across the U.S.

Property Amenities

With great weather to enjoy, the most sought-after amenity for San Diego investment properties is outdoor space. A rooftop deck or private balcony adds value to city apartments, while a landscaped backyard with profit-driving perks like a fire pit or hot tub can wow guests booking standalone homes. 

Look for options with scenic water views, too, since many visitors are coming for the beach. And whether you’re right on the water or not, popular beach amenities like towels, umbrellas, and beach chairs can help make guests’ stays more convenient — and earn you five-star reviews.

Download Our Full San Diego, CA Vacation Rental Market Analysis

Consistent popularity, minimal seasonality, and a wide range of potential property sizes make San Diego real estate investing a worthwhile consideration. 

To get a better sense of your income potential, download our free Vacation Rental Market Analysis today. It has tons of useful insights, like:

Evaluating your investment opportunities should feel as stress-free as a paddle along the coves of La Jolla. Make use of our exclusive performance intel to guide your next steps toward vacation rental success.

Popular for cabin stays and endless outdoor activities on the lake, Broken Bow draws two million annual visitors to the heart of southeast Oklahoma. 

Travelers swarm this midwestern treasure for family-friendly attractions and the natural thrills of Beavers Bend State Park. Pair that with the area’s 22 square miles of adventure-packed forest, and you can see what makes a Broken Bow investment property a promising opportunity for those looking to get into the short-term rental game. 

To help you understand the investment opportunity this vacation rental market presents, we created a free, downloadable vacation rental market analysis — perfect for potential buyers

Inside you’ll find: 

The findings in this analysis are based on Evolve’s Broken Bow market averages in the last year and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help inform smart buying decisions when investing in Broken Bow.

Download Our Complete Broken Bow Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

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Why Broken Bow Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

From hiking trails and fishing on Broken Bow Lake to mini-golfing in Hochatown and ziplining at Rugaru, Broken Bow gives couples, outdoor enthusiasts, and families plenty of reasons to visit. What’s more: travelers can enjoy the area’s wineries or roll the dice at Choctaw Casino for some adults-only fun.

Broken Bow sees a surge in travel demand that starts in spring and carries through summer — prime time for indulging in the area’s outdoor must-dos. But that doesn’t mean earning potential stops when the weather cools down. After a brief dip during days of high heat, vacation rental occupancy builds again in the fall and continues through the holidays. This multi-season interest can make buying the just-right Broken Bow investment property a lucrative opportunity for earning passive income.

For curious shoppers, Broken Bow home prices currently hover around $210,000. That’s considerably lower than the current median national average, so this Oklahoma hotspot could be an affordable option for investors who want to break into the market right now.

Purple icon of a crystal ball with the words "profit prediction" in the middle with stars

How Much Money Can You Earn with a Broken Bow Vacation Rental?

With a steady stream of travelers throughout the year, a Broken Bow investment property has solid opportunity to earn. To get a better understanding of how you could maximize that potential, consider these important factors.

Property Size

According to our data, travelers visiting Broken Bow often prefer three- or four-bedroom properties (particularly cabins), with both options taking the lead for most annual nights booked. Five-bedroom properties do tend to rake in the most revenue thanks to their size, but be aware: these makes up a small portion of local inventory, which could make it tough to find an ideal investment property for sale.

Smaller homes in Broken Bow also see steady occupancy throughout the year. Plus, one- and two-bedroom properties currently account for the majority of local inventory, making them more common in buyer searches. 

This strong performance across various property sizes means investors can find luck in Broken Bow with a variety of budgets. Just keep cabin investment opportunities top of mind when exploring the market to increase the odds of guests choosing your vacation home over someone else’s.

Property Location

Since outdoor activities are such a large draw for guests traveling to the Broken Bow area, our Real Estate Services (RES) team says proximity to popular wonders like Beavers Bend State Park and Broken Bow Lake can strongly increase your occupancy. After all, the latter is dubbed one of the most beautiful lakes in Oklahoma.

Want to learn more about making a lake house purchase? These are the top things to know — and the best places to buy on the water.

For guests looking to simultaneously stay close to in-town to-dos, look for homes with easy commutes to fan-favorite shops, saloons, and diners that give visitors a down-home feel with a strong dash of quirkiness. Local establishments like Girls Gone Wine, The Oaks Steakhouse, and Doughnut Theory are all good choices to help kickstart your property search.

Property Amenities

With so many Broken Bow guests coming to enjoy nature, providing an updated outdoor space with a hot tub, comfortable seating, umbrellas or shading, and a fire pit helps keep the outdoor fun going at home. 

And while spending time in nature is certainly a top priority for Broken Bow travelers, don’t forget to provide all the top amenities guests are looking for on the inside — including kid-friendly touches for families or even pet-friendly amenities for furry companions. This demonstrates your eagerness to go above and beyond, encouraging guests to leave rave-worthy five-star reviews.

When you’re ready to explore the market, make your search easier by starting with Evolve homes for sale.

Download Our Full Broken Bow, OK Vacation Rental Market Analysis

Travelers flock to Broken Bow each year for its natural beauty and small-town vibes, making it a great option for buyers in search of a strong vacation rental investment. 

Whether you’re looking to buy a new property or considering turning a second home into a profitable business, download our free Broken Bow Area Vacation Rental Market Analysis today. It’s full of helpful insights, including: 

Kick back at the lake while your vacation home does the work for you. Use our free report to equip yourself with key industry knowledge and start earning passive income as a vacation rental owner.

This charming mountain town may be named after just one season, but Winter Park offers year-round adventure for active families, outdoor enthusiasts, and Rocky Mountain lovers alike. 

The area’s world-class mountain biking, blazing fall colors, and massive snow accumulation help bring in two million visitors every year. For anyone looking into Winter Park investment properties, this can translate to income potential that rivals the resort’s 12,000-foot summit.

To help you understand the investment opportunity of this beloved Colorado market, we created a free, downloadable vacation rental market analysis.

Inside you’ll find:

The findings in this analysis are based on Evolve’s Winter Park market averages in the last 12 months and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help inform smart decisions when exploring investment properties in Winter Park.

Download Our Complete Winter Park Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

Purple icon of a cabin with mountains and stars

Why Winter Park Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

Winter Park is built around one of North America’s top ski resorts, as voted by USA Today readers. That level of popularity is largely due to thousands of skiable acres, but also to the resort’s charming mountain village and trademark: Mountain Bike Capital USA. And outside the resort, downtown Winter Park and the neighboring town of Fraser — just a mile down the highway — offer a unique set of local breweries, coffee shops, and tasty eats to provide a well-rounded experience for travelers.

These multi-season activities are clearly taken advantage of when you look at vacation rental occupancy for the area. Winter Park’s first travel surge occurs in the winter months, when travelers come to shred freshly-powdered slopes. The area sees another peak around mid-summer — the perfect time for hiking, biking, and fishing in the Colorado wilderness.

Stats show that’s exactly what the area’s two million annual visitors come to do, too. A study commissioned by the nonprofit Headwaters Trails Alliance found outdoor recreation tourism accounts for approximately 61% of the Grand County economy, and these visitors spend nearly $590 million dollars locally. Because tourism is the main source of industry in the Fraser Valley specifically, Winter Park investment properties could put investors in a strong position to earn.

Colorado’s housing market is famously competitive, with Winter Park’s median home value currently hovering around $817,000. But, this is lower than other ski hubs in the state — think Breckenridge and Vail, which both boast prices over $1 million. For more budget flexibility, nearby Fraser’s slightly lower median home value — currently around $701,000 — could offer a different route to your ski house investment.

Purple icon of a crystal ball with the words "profit prediction" in the middle with stars

How Much Money Can You Earn with a Winter Park Vacation Rental?

As skiers, bikers, and elevation-seekers continue to discover everything the Fraser Valley has to offer, vacation rental owners have mountains of opportunity. But Winter Park investment properties are not one-size-fits-all. Consider these important factors before you make the jump.

Property Size

Perfect for ski crews, holiday gatherings, and big summer outings, larger properties in Winter Park snag the highest number of average nights booked. However, bigger homes make up the lowest percentage of local inventory, which could make your search a bit more challenging.

Two- and three- bedroom homes follow close behind in average nights booked. These property sizes also have the highest percentage of local inventory — giving you more opportunity to shop around. And, while one-bedroom rentals have lower occupancy rates and revenue expectations on average, a less expensive investment could leave more budget to pack your home with guest-pleasing perks — so buyers itching to enter this market shouldn’t rule out smaller homes immediately.  

Property Location

According to our Real Estate Services (RES) team, top-performing listings in the area are split between Winter Park and Fraser zip codes, which provides a broader range of investment opportunities. 

The closer you get to the resort, however, the larger the draw for all-season adventurers. That means that while there’s plenty to do in warmer months no matter your home’s exact location, properties with coveted ski-in/ski-out access often get an extra performance boost in the winter.

Property Amenities

In a multi-season spot like Winter Park, your property should stand out on the snowiest days and during the hot summer season. Start by investing in the amenities travelers look for, then consider extras that give guests the perfect summit experience. Think mountain views, hiking access, and even pet-friendly perks for four-legged trailblazers.
In the winter, your investment property can attract even more bookers and earn five-star reviews with mountain home perks like a fireplace, ski boot dryer, or private hot tub. For Colorado’s famously sunny summer, think about adding warm-weather amenities like air conditioning and an updated outdoor space for post-hike relaxation.

When you’re ready to explore the market, make your search easier by starting with Evolve homes for sale.

Download Our Full Winter Park, CO Vacation Rental Market Analysis

A world-famous and multi-season resort draws people to Winter Park where they discover sights, adventures, and local flavor that bring them back year after year. Add this to a diverse lineup of Winter Park investment properties, and your income potential could be ready for (ski) liftoff.

Whether you’re blazing a new trail with an investment property purchase or riding the rental revenue rails with your current home, our free Winter Park Vacation Rental Market Analysis has what you need. It’s full of important insights, including:

Use our market data to gear up for real estate investment in Winter Park, so your journey feels as smooth as a glide down the slopes on a pow day.

With 24 miles of sunny beaches, challenging golf courses, and unique cuisine, Fort Lauderdale provides a lot of relaxation and even more fun for the wide variety of travelers that swing through each year.

In fact, more than 13 million annual out-of-towners choose Fort Lauderdale as their vacation destination for its endless top things to do — and that makes a Fort Lauderdale real estate investment a hot opportunity for interested vacation rental buyers.

To help you understand the earning potential this vacation rental market presents, we created a free, downloadable vacation rental market analysis.

Inside you’ll find: 

The findings in this analysis are based on Evolve’s Fort Lauderdale market averages in the last year and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help inform smart buying decisions when buying a Fort Lauderdale investment property.

Download Our Complete Fort Lauderdale Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

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Why Fort Lauderdale Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

Peak season in the Fort Lauderdale rental market starts picking up ahead of spring break travel, and lasts through mid-summer as school’s out and temperatures range from the high 50s to upper 80s. The destination attracts snowbirds for longer stays in winter months, too, giving investors multi-season opportunity to earn passive income.

There’s also a wide array of activities and attractions (including the famous Fort Lauderdale Beach, Museum of Discovery & Science, and Flamingo Gardens), offering a little something for guests across ages and interests. That can further increase a vacation rental owner’s ability to grab eager bookers looking for a warm-weather destination to visit.

As for investment cost, Fort Lauderdale’s median home value is currently just over $500,000. This is slightly lower than nearby Miami (which sits around $529,000), but investors looking for a return with a lower upfront cost could also explore less-expensive Florida markets like Tampa or nearby Jacksonville.

Blue icon of a crystal ball with the words "Profit Prediction" inside with stars

How Much Money Can You Earn with a Fort Lauderdale Vacation Rental?

With Fort Lauderdale’s strong peak season and endless entertainment, investors have the potential to earn a sizable income with vacation rental. To gauge how successful you can be with a Fort Lauderdale real estate investment, consider these important factors.

Property Size

According to our data, both three- and five-bedroom properties see the most nights booked per year on average, and those five-bedroom homes generally bring in the highest annual revenue. Larger properties do make up a much smaller percentage of available inventory, though, so three-bedroom options may be easier to find in the Fort Lauderdale rental market. 

That said, Evolve’s current top performer for most nights booked annually happens to be a one-bedroom vacation rental, and our top-earning property is a four-bedroom home. This indicates that no matter what property size you land on for a Fort Lauderdale real estate investment, a great home that hits all the right notes for travelers has the potential to be successful.

Property Location

Since beaches are such a large draw for travelers to the area, our Real Estate Services (RES) team suggests focusing on oceanfront properties or those within two to five miles of the shoreline. 

If homes in this radius are hard to find or too expensive, consider options along one of Fort Lauderdale’s canals in a family-friendly neighborhood like Las Olas Isles to give your guests water views at more budget-friendly price points. Proximity to popular shopping malls like Sawgrass Mills, or golf courses like Eagle Trace Golf Club, can also be great perks for guests that encourage five-star reviews.

Property Amenities

On top of providing all the amenities guests are after no matter their destination, our RES team says offering a private swimming pool and/or hot tub are great profit-driving options to attract and wow Fort Lauderdale guests. Take it further by making sure guests can relax in an updated outdoor space that offers shade and comfortable seating.

In addition, providing upgraded appliances, thoughtful interior design, and a welcome book (or “you made it!” gift) are all ways you can help your Fort Lauderdale investment property stand out to bookers and attract rave reviews.

When you’re ready to take the next investment step, make your property search easier by starting with Evolve homes for sale

Download Our Full Fort Lauderdale Vacation Rental Market Analysis

With its coastal location and booming annual draw, you can thrive in the Sunshine State paradise by buying the perfect Fort Lauderdale vacation rental. To see what your investment future might have in store, download our free Fort Lauderdale Vacation Rental Investment Market Analysis today. Inside you’ll find:

Evaluating your investment opportunities shouldn’t leave you feeling stranded on the beach. Use our report to make achieving success smooth-sailing as you launch your vacation rental journey.

Known for stunning white sand beaches and turquoise waters, Panama City Beach is a top destination for sunshine-seekers, families, and spring breakers. 

Each year, around 4.5 million people visit PCB for its variety of things to do and see, like St. Andrews State Park, Shell Island, and 27 miles of beautiful coastline. This draw is exactly what makes a Panama City Beach vacation rental investment worth exploring.

To help you understand the earning potential this vacation rental market presents, we created a free, downloadable vacation rental market analysis — perfect for potential buyers

Inside you’ll find: 

The findings in this analysis are based on Evolve’s Panama City Beach market averages in the last 12 months and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help inform smart buying decisions when making a Panama City Beach vacation rental investment.

Download Our Complete Panama City Beach Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

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Why Panama City Beach Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

From its sunny shoreline to family-friendly activities like Ripley’s Believe It or Not and Shipwreck Island Waterpark, Panama City Beach attracts families, couples, and solo travelers alike. This opens up interest for a wider guest pool — which, with the right investment property, can translate to more bookings and profit. 

The Panama City Beach high season picks up as spring breakers flock to the area, and remains steady until the end of summer, when school gets back in session. 

The median home price in Panama City Beach has gone up — about 15% from this time last year — and currently sits around $478,000. That’s a bit higher than the national average, but investors can still find options above or below the median depending on the home size and level of work needed. The best news: prime beachfront real estate isn’t necessarily the most expensive; it all comes down to what a home has to offer.

Purple icon of a crystal ball with the words "profit prediction" in the middle with stars

How Much Money Can You Earn with a Panama City Beach Vacation Rental?

With long seasons of guest demand, there’s serious earning potential in the PCB area. To get a better idea of what you can make with a Panama City Beach vacation rental investment, consider these important factors.

Property Size

Many PCB travelers seek properties that can accommodate their entire family — our data shows four-bedroom homes earn the most nights booked on average, while five-bedrooms have the potential to earn the most annual revenue. Just note: four- and five-bedroom properties make up a very small portion of inventory in the Panama City Beach rental market, so they may be harder to come by.

On the flip side, one- and two-bedroom homes tie for the second highest number of annual nights booked on average — not far behind their four-bedroom counterparts. Plus, they make up the majority of available inventory, so you may have an easier time breaking into the market with those property sizes.

Either way, with positive performance across property sizes, buyers can explore a variety of Panama City Beach vacation rental investment options with potential for success.

Property Location

Since Panama City Beach sits right on the Gulf, access to the ocean is key when evaluating investment opportunities. Look for beachfront homes, or properties a short walking distance away. You also want to keep proximity to popular nightlife activities in mind. PCB is a huge draw for spring break travelers, so it’s easier to win bookings if you’re close to entertainment options.

Curious about other investment options near surf and sand? Check out these best places to buy a beach house in the next year.

Property Amenities

Vacation rentals in Panama City Beach can ride a wave of five-star guest reviews by offering beach amenities like towels, chairs, and umbrellas. Having these at the ready for guests can help make their stay more seamless —and save room in their suitcase— making them more likely to rate your home highly (and possibly even come back for a return visit).

It’s also smart to champion PCB’s beautiful weather by investing in comfortable and updated outdoor spaces. A private pool, shaded lounge areas, and a grill for backyard cooking can all wow guests with private, resort-like hospitality.

And while getting outside and onto warm sand are often most important to Panama City Beach visitors, don’t forget to fill your home with the top amenities guests love no matter their location. Must-haves like WiFi, entertainment, and updated appliances — plus special touches like a welcome book or welcome gift — can help you lock in those top-notch reviews.

When you’re ready to take the next investment step, make your search easier by starting with Evolve homes for sale.

Download Our Full Panama City Beach, FL Vacation Rental Market Analysis

Panama City Beach is a must-visit destination for millions of annual travelers looking for fun-in-the-sun. So whether you’re in the market for a new investment property or you want to turn your current home into a money-making asset, download our free Panama City Beach Area Vacation Rental Market Analysis today. It’s full of helpful insights, including:

In Panama City Beach, you can plant your toes in the sand and sip a cold drink while your investment property does the work for you. Use our free report to equip yourself with key industry knowledge and get on your way to earning passive income as a vacation rental owner.

Located in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Bend offers stunning alpine scenery, unique sightseeing opportunities, and outdoor activities for all age groups — and travelers take notice. 

An estimated 3 million people visit Bend each year to enjoy the area’s striking natural beauty. This demand is exactly why there’s strong vacation rental opportunity for buyers seeking a Bend, OR real estate investment.

To help you understand the earning potential of this top vacation rental market, we created a free, downloadable vacation rental market analysis. Inside you’ll find: 

The findings in this analysis are based on Evolve’s Bend market averages in the last 12 months and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help inform smart buying decisions when exploring investment property in Bend, OR.

Download Our Complete Bend Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

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Why Bend Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

With over 160 days of sunshine per year — more than any other area in the state — Bend attracts Pacific Northwest travelers seeking outdoor adventure and picturesque scenery in every season. 

Travel demand peaks in summer months as visitors come to raft and fish along the Deschutes River, climb in the Cascade Mountains, and hike around Pilot Butte. It holds strong in the fall as leaf-peepers arrive, before tapering off toward the end of the year — but starts to rise again around the holidays and lasts through early spring as winter sports enthusiasts flock to Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort

While outdoor adventure drives a significant amount of Bend’s year-round foot traffic, it’s not all the city has to offer. Bend has thriving downtown hotspots like The Old Mill District, a trendy riverside neighborhood with shops, restaurants, breweries, and art galleries. This all means investors can grab consistent occupancy via a variety of traveler interests.

Bend’s median home value currently hovers around $669,000. Though pricey, it’s more approachable than its northern West Coast neighbor of Seattle (where values sit around $831,000). And with so much for visitors to do in the area, the right investment property in Bend, OR can bring year-round vacation rental income opportunity that helps you offset costs and earn steady profit.

Green icon of a crystal ball with the words "profit prediction" in the middle with stars

How Much Money Can You Earn with a Bend Vacation Rental?

With natural beauty and entertainment for the masses, income potential for Bend buyers is solid. Here’s a closer look at what a successful Bend, OR real estate investment looks like, and what you can do to earn more money in the long run.

Property Size

Five-bedroom properties see the most nights booked on average and bring in the most annual revenue in Bend, making them a top choice for area investors. Note however, that these home sizes make up the smallest portion of available inventory — so it may be trickier to nail down your dream property.

If larger properties aren’t in the cards for you or your budget, our data shows one- to three-bedroom homes also see steady year-round occupancy, with two-bedroom properties earning the second highest number of nights booked after five-bedrooms. The best news? All three of these home sizes make up the majority of the local available inventory, broadening your options if you go this route. 

Overall, this wide range of well-performing property sizes gives buyers flexibility during the search for an investment property in Bend, OR — so you can confidently dial in on homes that fit your budget and suit your goals.

Property Location

According to our Real Estate Services (RES) team, proximity to the area’s biggest attractions is key to drawing in the most guests. Conveniently, the bulk of available homes in Bend sit on the perimeter of the downtown area. This makes it easier for investors to find a home with a walkable — or bikeable — commute to city must-sees like the Bend Ale Trail, Hayden Homes Amphitheater, and High Desert Museum.

If you’re looking to provide a more nature-forward retreat for guests, consider homes near the Mount Bachelor area or close to Smith Rock State Park. Properties a little more off the beaten path offer travelers a chance to truly escape the hustle and bustle of life.

Property Amenities

No matter the location of your Bend, OR real estate investment, guests will appreciate the ability to stay close to nature. So, be sure to provide an updated outdoor space for easy access to the fresh air at all times. Think: a sun-soaked deck for lounging, a spacious backyard for kids to play in, or a patio with a private hot tub for ultimate relaxation. 

When guests are ready to venture out into nature, you can make that extra easy for them with on-site access to hiking trails. And of course, don’t forget all the top amenities that travelers have come to expect (and love). 

Many Bend visitors are also looking to bring a furry friend along. Consider making your property pet-friendly to appeal to even more eager bookers. Add a dog bed and provide treats to welcome four-legged companions — and their humans’ five-star reviews — by demonstrating your willingness to go the extra mile.

When you’re ready to explore the market, make your search easier by starting with Evolve homes for sale

Download Our Full Bend, OR Vacation Rental Market Analysis

This area’s demand for adventures shows no signs of slowing down, making it a prime opportunity for potential buyers seeking a Bend, OR real estate investment. And of course, the idyllic, scenic location doesn’t hurt either.

So whether you’re considering turning an existing home into a source of income or seeking a new investment property with potential, download our free Bend Vacation Rental Market Analysis today. It’s full of helpful insights, like:

Evaluating your investment opportunities should feel as relaxing as a scenic stroll (or float) along the Deschutes River. Use our report to help guide smart buying decisions on your path to vacation rental success.

When booking a dream vacation, you want to be in one of the best places to stay. But with so many options at your literal fingertips, sometimes that can feel a lot like looking for Waldo in a room full of striped sweaters.

Not anymore.

When we surveyed over 8,000 guests about their 2023 travel plans, the majority — seriously, 82% of ’em — said they want to stay in a vacation home on their trips this year.

Enter: our exclusive, first-ever list of Best Places to Stay. From quaint tiny homes to cozy cabins made for memory-making, these are the most amazing rentals for families, friends, and solo travelers alike. Broken down by category, they’re undeniable fan favorites that consistently receive rave reviews, hold stellar star ratings, and are highly sought-after by guests. All you have to do is book your faves — then pack your bags and go.

Don’t forget: you can favorite your top picks to save and reference whenever it’s time to plan the next 2023 adventure.

Evolve’s Best Places to Stay were chosen based on a variety of selection criteria, including star ratings, guest reviews, booking data, home amenities, and location.

In This Article: 
Best Tiny Home
Coziest Cabin
Best By the Beach
Most Secluded Space
Best Lean Into a Theme
Most Family-Friendly 
Most Wow-Worthy Views

Best Tiny Home

Tiny homes are special because the coziness of a quaint space creates the perfect chance to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life — whether that’s solo or with your favorite human (or even a furry friend). Evolve’s guests and their five-star reviews have spoken, and these are our tiniest best places to stay.

Winner: Quaint Studio Near Hot Springs National Park

Image of a tiny house vacation rental in Hot Springs, AR with an open gate leading into the backyard with patio furniture.

This miniature marvel in Hot Springs, AR entertains national park enthusiasts from all over the world thanks to its ideal proximity (just minutes away!) to Hot Springs National Park. The snuggly hideout is also close to popular thrills found at Magic Springs Theme Park, and sits less than one mile from downtown. There you can roll the dice at Oaklawn Casino, or take a stroll through Garvan Woodland Garden.

When you’re ready to kick your shoes off, it’s easy to do in the private backyard. Those traveling on a budget can also find all the amenities needed to vacation comfortably — and affordably — inside this small treasure.

Book This Tiny Home


Charming Waterfront Home in Bay St. Louis, MS

Bryson City, NC Cabin with Hot Tub & Views

Tiny homes at the top of your travel list? Book any of these pint-sized properties for a small-but-mighty trip.

Coziest Cabin

A cabin invites you to surround yourself with the sights, sounds, and experiences of the great outdoors. It becomes one of the best places to stay when you throw in a comfy bed and private hot tub, too. You’ll find all that and more inside these top picks.

Winner: Chic Cabin Retreat Near Broken Bow Lake

Image of a large cabin at dusk in Broken Bow, OK with an accessible front porch, decorated with outdoor lighting and surrounded by trees in the forest

Located just three miles from Beavers Bend State Park and Broken Bow Lake, this top vacation rental in Broken Bow, OK is designed for year-round style. By that, we mean beautiful, modern design in every single room. (Yes, there’s a bathtub chandelier.) 

Here, every retreat comes complete with a private hot tub in front of the fireplace on the covered deck, a second fire for s’mores around the wood-burning pit, and an indoor fireplace to boost the cozy factor even more. Evenings can be spent in the spacious living room or out on the patio — both have wide-open woodland views and their own Smart TV. Or, you could head to nearby Hochatown to taste-test your way through all the wineries, breweries, and local eateries.

Book This Cozy Cabin


Cozy Creekside Cabin in Cosby, TN

Peaceful Pet-Friendly Cabin in Brevard, NC

From serene mountaintops to sparkling lakesides, cabin rentals like these make every vacation a cozy one.

Best By the Beach

When you’re staying in the most amazing rentals right by the ocean, it’s beach time all the time. So toss your watches and meet your fam on the sand at these best places to stay by the beach.

Winner: Beach Condo with Sparkling Ocean Views

View from inside a beach vacation rental beach with themed beach decor and an ocean view from the balcony

Inside this sunny condo on the west end of Panama City Beach, FL, you get views of the Gulf with access to all the amenities of Celadon Beach Resort. We’re talking two pools, two hot tubs, a fitness center, and an on-site beach. But take your time deciding what to use first, because the private balcony overlooks the water — and it’s calling your name. With room for six guests, this is the perfect family trip to the quieter side of the city (and sand). Yet, it’s still within easy reach of golf clubs, adventure parks, and tasty oceanside eats.

Book This Beach House


Sunny Virginia Beach Studio Steps From the Sand

Private Galveston, TX Condo with a Babe’s Beach Balcony

Ready to dip your toes in the sand? Find your next blissful beach rental from gulf to coast and beyond.

Most Secluded Space

From tucked-away villas to sheltered chateaus, we narrowed down the most secluded vacation rentals using their local population and distance to a major city — so you can really get away. While they’re hidden from the crowds, these gems aren’t-so-secret anymore.

Winner: Log Cabin Hideout in the Rocky Mountains

Image of a vacation rental cabin in the Rocky Mountains covered in snow with a hot tub in the foreground

The “Burrow” in Blue River, CO is a classic cabin in the woods: there you’ll find snuggly blankets, rustic handmade decor, a backyard fire pit, and a serene forest surrounding the home. Nestled five miles from mountain town Breckenridge, you can soak in the private hot tub, lounge in front of the wood-burning stove, or go into town and ride the gondola up to Peak 8, where there’s Rocky Mountain views you won’t soon forget. With room for nine guests, you can even make it a group getaway any time of year — the high ceilings and open layouts do a great job of helping you feel tucked away while still giving everyone plenty of space to breathe.

Book This Secluded Space


Meditative Mountain Cabin in Morristown, VT

Pet-Friendly Lakeshore Retreat in Wedowee, AL

Best Lean Into a Theme

What’s better than enjoying a completely unique experience during that once-in-a-lifetime trip? Nothing. Of all the top vacation rentals, these take the cake for the most dedication to their dream theme.

Winner: Dreamy Creekside Treehouse with Private Island Fire Pit

Image of a vacation rental treehouse with a bridge leading to a fire pit in the foreground

Experience your own woodland fairytale in this tucked-away treehouse just outside Cosby, TN. Any duo looking for full-blown forest surroundings (down to the unique kitchen accents!) is sure to enjoy a stay here. You can enjoy soaking in the hot tub with river views from the wraparound deck, or cross the private bridge to warm up by the fire pit on your very own island in the stream. 

For a change of pace, get your fill of adventure in Great Smoky Mountains National Park — some trails start just four miles from the treehouse. You can also pack your day with fun at nearby Dollywood, before retreating to your refuge in the trees.

Book This Treehouse


Epic Dino-Themed Retreat with Hot Tub (& Life-Sized T-Rex!)

Out-Of-This-World Villa with Star Wars Home Theater

From a renovated gas station to a chic shipping container, these unique vacation rentals all provide a one-of-a-kind experience.

Most Family-Friendly

Families need a place to stay that plays to every age and offers fun for all. Get ready for a kid-friendly getaway in one of these winning homes with tons of five stars from families.

Winner: Forested Family Cabin with Spacious Deck

Image of a game room inside of a family-friendly vacation rental.

Nestled in the Stanislaus National Forest outside of Twain Harte, CA, this kid-friendly cabin sleeps eight people (plus your furry family member!) and has all the features that make for memorable moments. Enjoy views from every angle as you whip up a meal in the spacious kitchen, or sit back with some drinks on the fully-fenced deck. Gather for board games in the large living room (games included), then take on arcade favorites and foosball matches in the bonafide game room. 

If outdoor adventure is more your family style, there’s tons of opportunity to explore with nearby trails. You could also take a quick day trip to Yosemite National Park just over an hour’s drive away.

Book This Family Cabin


Modern Family Escape with Games, Grill, and Fire Pit

Hakuna Matata Cabin with Hot Tub

Your relaxation begins at booking: All of our best places to stay are backed by our Rest Easy Promise, so you know your vacation rental will be safe, clean, and ready for your arrival.

Most Wow-Worthy Views

The best vacation rentals are even better when they come with sights that’ll knock your socks off. “Picturesque” puts it mildly when it comes to these stunning top stays.

Winner: Adobe Studio in Sedona with Panoramic Views

Image from a vacation rental home patio in Sedona, Arizona with a beautiful view of the red rocks and canyons

Wake up surrounded by 360-degree red rock views when you stay in this scenic studio in Sedona, AZ. Colorful and comfortable, the home has everything a a few people need for an epic escape, complete with hike-in/hike-out access to Coconino National Forest

Start your day with coffee on the patio and panoramic sights, or take in the sunrise from side-by-side hammocks. Then make your way to the famous Tlaquepaque arts village just three miles down the road, where you can wander through local artisan shops and galleries in an old-world setting. Head back to laze around in the bright sitting room, and end the evening stargazing through floor-to-ceiling bay windows from the comfort of your bed.

Book This Scenic Studio


Scenic Sevierville, TN Cabin with Private Pond & Fire Pit 

Bright Cabin Near Yellowstone with Stunning Mountain Views

Book Your Best Place to Stay with Evolve

The most amazing rentals should give you that home-away-from-home feel and create the perfect space to make memories that last long after you unpack the suitcase.

Don’t let our list of the Best Places to Stay be your last source of inspiration for 2023’s travel plans. From the top places to travel each season to vacation-worthy small towns across the U.S. — and even can’t-miss roadside attractions you could find along the way — we have what you need to make this year your most adventurous one yet.

Surrounded by the Sonoran Desert and packed with things to do, the city of Scottsdale provides a unique escape for vacationers. Fine dining, high-end shopping, luxurious spas, weekly ArtWalks, and over 200 top-notch golf courses set the stage at this highly popular southwestern hotspot.

Both the activities and the sunny weather draw 11 million visitors to this travel hub each year, which creates serious profit potential for buyers who make the right Scottsdale real estate investment.

To help you understand the earning opportunity of a Scottsdale vacation rental investment, we created a free, downloadable vacation rental market analysis. Inside you’ll find: 

The findings in this analysis are based on Evolve’s Scottsdale market averages in the last year and provide a general baseline for performance potential. They’re designed to help inform smart buying decisions when investing in the Scottsdale rental market.

Download Our Complete Scottsdale Vacation Rental Investment Analysis

Green icon of a Southwestern home with cactus, shrub and stars

Why Scottsdale Is a Great Place to Own Vacation Rental Property

Multi-generational families on spring break, retirees embracing downtime, and golf enthusiasts chasing the sun continually pin Scottsdale as a must-visit location. The surrounding mountain parks have trails for all skill levels, while the downtown area — with Fashion Square, Old Town, and the Arts District — hosts an eclectic array of live events, cultural activities, and other attractions.

It’s no coincidence, then, that Scottsdale tourism starts to climb early in the year. Occupancy rates peak from February through April as big local events like the WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale and the Major League Baseball Cactus League hit the calendar, and kids get out for winter and spring breaks. Demand tends to dip in summer months (when temperatures in the area can pass 100 degrees Fahrenheit), but it typically rises again from October to December as snowbirds and families return for holiday travel.

The median home price in Scottsdale currently hovers around $751,000. This number has been on the rise in the last year, reflecting high real estate investment demand. Here’s the great news: our Real Estate Services (RES) team says those interested in the Scottsdale rental market could also break into a nearby area at a lower cost. Mesa’s median list price clocks in around $413,000, for example, Tempe sits at roughly $447,000, and Phoenix is at about $399,000.

Green icon of a crystal ball with the words "profit prediction" in the middle with stars

How Much Money Can You Earn with a Scottsdale Vacation Rental?

With established, tourist-centric demand and dual-seasonality, investors can generate solid revenue in the Scottsdale rental market. To gauge just how much you can make with vacation rental, consider these important factors.

Property Size

When evaluating home size, four- or five-bedroom properties are where it’s at in Scottsdale. According to our data, these larger homes tend to see the most nights booked and make up over a third of local inventory. Plus, multi-bedroom properties of this size usually allow you to charge higher daily rates — creating a snowball effect that could lead to higher total annual revenue.

If you’re after a smaller investment property, three-bedroom homes are another viable option, as they host the most total nights booked after four- and five-bedrooms. They also make up over a quarter of the Scottsdale rental market’s available inventory, further expanding your house hunting options. 

As you search for the right Scottsdale real estate investment property, remember that multi-generational family groups are popular travelers here. So look for properties that give you the opportunity to add sleeper sofas, bunks, and daybeds. Boosting the occupancy of any home size can help increase your earning potential in the long run.

Property Location

Guests want to be close to downtown and Old Town, so our RES team says it’s wise to look for homes in residential neighborhoods just north or east of that central area. You can find more competitive home prices in these convenient communities, while giving guests privacy and easy access to popular must-sees like Taliesin West and McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

As a bonus, investing in the northeast area of Scottsdale also gives guests the quickest commute to nearby trailheads and mountain views.

Property Amenities

From its spas and golf courses to high-end dining options, Scottsdale is often seen as a place for luxury vacations — so your guests will appreciate and expect all the top amenities at their vacation rental, too. 

Bring resort-like touches into your home by designing your interior with high-end furniture, appliances, and bedding. Create thoughtful outdoor spaces by shading patio areas and adding lounge seating, playful putting greens, and gas grills. And if you want to go the extra mile, our RES team says swimming pools are the number one amenity guests look for when they travel to Scottsdale. 

As a family destination, it’s also important to make your home kid-friendly with amenities like entertainment systems and cribs. Lots of families traveling to Scottsdale hope to bring along their pets, too, so champion pet-friendly hospitality by including thoughtful touches like water bowls, toys, and doggy beds — both inside and outdoors.

When you’re ready to explore the market, make your search easier by starting with Evolve homes for sale

Download Our Full Scottsdale, AZ Vacation Rental Market Analysis

Year after year, millions of travelers come to Scottsdale for sunshine and fun — and that means vacation rental investors have the opportunity to earn not-going-anywhere profit. 

Take a deeper dive into this market’s performance by downloading our free Scottsdale Vacation Rental Market Analysis today. You’ll find tons of useful information, including:

Searching for the right Scottsdale real estate investment should feel as refreshing as an ice-cold lemonade on a sunny Arizona day. Use our insights to keep you cool as you navigate your way to vacation rental success.