Celebrating Book Direct Day

Why book direct with Southern Vacation Rentals?

Celebrating Book Direct Day

Every year on the first Wednesday of February #BookDirect Day strives to give education to short-term vacation rental guests on the strong benefits of booking directly instead of using a third-party site or OTA (online travel agency). Many people frequent OTA sites like Airbnb, VRBO and Booking.com and then return to these sites every time they book a rental.

At Southern Vacation Rentals we love our renters who book direct, and the relationship built between us and those guests. Even when they find us on OTAs originally, we offer many incentives to those who choose to book with us directly for their next vacation stay.

An often-quoted phrase is that “knowledge is power” and we strive to educate our guests about booking direct. We’ve prepared some travel tips for you to consider the next time you are planning a vacation.

Travel Tip #1: Save up to 30% by booking direct

If you compare prices between one of our rentals on our website with any OTA, you are going to see a price difference. This price difference varies based on the OTA chosen but can be up to as much as 30% higher on the third part site. Imagine what else you could have spent that money on instead of additional fees. Many vacation rental companies list on these sites because they know people use them, but they’d still rather have a direct relationship with you. Third party sites like Airbnb, Booking.com or VRBO have a huge advertising budget to get their name out there, but truthfully, they are more of a search engine charging elevated fees to both you and the property manager.

Travel Tip #2: Savings on top of savings

At Southern we recommend you check out our Gulf Coast deals page, where you can save even more when booking direct. We offer exclusive discounts tailored to you that OTAs can’t match. Some of our recent offerings include 10% off 7+ night stays in 2024 and options for snowbirds booking last minute this year or for next snowbird season. We also offer incentives for guests who are repeat guests with us.

Travel Tip #3: Help! There is a problem with my vacation rental!

It is a simple fact that people want to feel like they matter, and they aren’t just dollar signs. We know that you take a vacation for many reasons, one of which is to escape the normal hustle and bustle of life. Issues can unfortunately arise, so when that happens it is important you get someone to help you as quickly as possible. With most OTAs you aren’t going to get a local team, you will get someone far away with no power to fix your issue. Our local guest services team not only cares about our guests but strives to get a fast resolution for you so you can get back to enjoying your vacation. We also offer a flexible cancellation policy and affordable travel insurance for additional peace of mind when booking direct.

Travel Tip #4: Personalized online experience

To update our website and improve user experience overall, we at Southern recently underwent a redesign. Browse local events and find a rental nearby easily. View your favorite beach area in northwest Florida or Gulf coast Alabama with ease as well. We’ve got search terms tailored specifically to what you are looking for including pet-friendly, snowbird-friendly and luxury just to name a few. Third party sites do offer search terms, it is true, but can often have confusing interfaces, which don’t always fulfill your needs.

Travel Tip #5: Book direct and support local communities all around the United States

As much as we love northwest Florida and coastal Alabama along the Gulf of Mexico, we realize that people enjoy exploring different vacation experiences. Our parent company, VTrips, features a fantastic website hosting local vacation rental brands from all over the country. Want to explore the rest of Florida? Distinctive Beach Rentals has you covered! Want to take a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee? Jackson Mountain Rentals is perfect for that! VTrips also offers vacation rentals in other popular destinations making it a great alternative to OTAs that charge those additional fees. When selecting your next travel experience, booking direct supports the local vacation rental company and local owners by helping them retain a larger share of their revenue, which provides additional benefits to the local economy and community as a whole. 

We hope to see you soon at Southern Vacation Rentals. Until then remember to keep calm, think beach-happy and #BookDirect!