Sure, you’ll feel the initial increased cost of your work-week commute, driving the kids to soccer practice, and your weekly trip to the supermarket may be slightly more expensive. But an optimist’s perspective would celebrate the anticipated impact on the vacation rental industry- calendars stuffed with bookings.
Yesterday Gasbuddy.com showed an average pump price of $3.928, down about a half-cent from the previous day. While the half-cent decrease is appreciated, consumers need to feel a drop before returning to “life as they want it,” and a half-cent savings isn’t going to have the economists harkening back to the Gilded Age. High gas prices mean scared airlines, causing the reactionary industry to raise rates and introduce additional charges for luggage- evidenced by last month’s sweeping $10 increase on the price of many domestic round-trip airfares by the major airlines.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) had previously predicted the price of a regular gallon of gas to peak at $3.91 this summer. However, that prediction was made under the projection that crude oil would average $112.50 per barrel. The price of crude is dropping rapidly, and even closed last week sub $100 a barrel. The prices at the pumps tend to lag oil by a month, or so, so legitimate decreases in the cost of gasoline should be expected in late June/early July- just in time for the heavy summer travel season.
Since the nature of airline travel typically requires months of advance planning, travelers looking for mid-summer flights are expected to be deterred by the aforementioned increased rates and ridiculous additional charges. The result will be many families that can’t rationalize the costs of vacations now, but by mid-summer, as reassured consumers, they’ll be looking to get-away for some much-needed R&R. And, with the significantly decreased gas prices, a carpool to a desirable vacation home should be the perfect remedy.
For this reason and others, travel forecasters are already calling the summer 2011, “The Summer of the Vacation Rental.” So, the wallet may be a little lighter these days but by mid-summer the calendar should be fully occupied with bookings.
To fully capitalize on the increased summer demand, vacation home owners should:
1. Post Last Minute Deals
2. Be understanding that many families weren’t originally planning this vacation, so they may be a little unorganized.
3. Make yourself accessible. Families will be scrambling, so you need to be prepared to work on their schedule.