While not all travelers completely unplug on vacation, respondents to a recent survey say they browse the web and check email less frequently (62%) while on vacation and more than half (54%) would not give up their cell phone for a week in exchange for an extra week of vacation! Their needs go far beyond a strong Wi-Fi connection though.
Jen O’Neal from Tripping.com had this to say about technology in vacation homes — “Wi-Fi is a necessity! Considering how many people need to work while traveling, or even just want to share their latest vacation photos to friends and family at home, Wi-Fi is definitely a key amenity for vacation rentals to offer.”
How Much Tech is Enough?
So how do you know just how much tech your vacation rental needs? When it comes to expectations, Wi-Fi is a major must-have item, followed closely by cable TV and HDTV, say vacationers. They’re looking for these features in every room, too, not just the living room.
How to Smarten Up Your Home
More than a quarter of vacationers specifically seek out smart home features. The top requests are a smart security system or entry (door locks/video doorbells/garage opener) and a smart TV or electronics. One in four male Millennials planning a vacation expect a smart TV in their vacation rental!
Millennials are slightly less open to “unplugging” than other generations and they won’t compromise when it comes to music. Out of those surveyed 64% say they listen to music the same or more frequently on vacation versus the average vacation renter (47%).
About Tech Device Installs
The key to installing tech devices in a vacation home is to keep it simple, says technology expert Jennifer Tuohy, who writes about home tech for Home Depot. “Guests don’t need to be downloading apps just to turn the lights on,” she says. “The best tech for making guests happy in a vacation home are devices that are simple to use, or those that work autonomously.” She recommends the following top five tech picks:
Recommended Tech Additions
1. Smart Locks. A keypad-enabled lock or a smart door lock is the perfect solution to a vacationer arriving only to discover they don’t have the right (or any) key!
2. Smart Lighting. Walking into a home and having the lights come on automatically is a really nice way to begin a vacation. Smart lighting paired with a smart door lock will make this happen as if by magic: When the door unlocks, the lights come on.
3. Smart TV. A Smart TV with internet connection and pre-loaded with apps such as Netflix, HBO and Amazon is as important as having TV cable access.
4. Streaming Music. All holidays need a soundtrack, and Bluetooth-capable speakers are a must these days. An added bonus would be wireless streaming speakers such as Sonos, with pre-installed house accounts such as Spotify or Pandora.
5. Welcome iPad. Skip the pile of outdated brochures from local businesses and provide an iPad or similar tablet, loaded with apps for local attractions. A Google doc or other cloud-based document pinned to the home screen providing all the details you need to know about the home and the area is an excellent touch. Consider preloading the device with manuals and the apps needed to control the technology in the home.