One way to plan a vacation is to pick the destination first: the beach or the city or the small town that speaks to you in a relaxing or inspiring way. But a different way to travel is by starting with an event: a concert: a class: or a race as the reason, the anchor for visiting somewhere new. This event starts off as an excuse to go...but ends up being the jumping-off point for adventure and new things. Are you game?
Budapest, Hungary was always been mysterious to me. Maybe its all the spy movies or just the little amount I realized I knew about that part of history or the world. Budapest sits wedged in the seam of Eastern and Western Europe — it's one of those less predictable, irregular European destinations that occupies the in-between.
And when I learned that the famous Budapest Marathon — the kind of race I’ve always aspired to run — lined up with a free week on my schedule, it wasn’t long before I started wondering: what if a trip with a specific purpose could change the way we vacation as a whole?
"What if a trip with a specific purpose could change the way we vacation as a whole?" Watch my marathon in Budapest, only to discover a whole new world.
In this episode, there are a few interesting takeaways for vacation rental professionals:
- Identify local events (concerts, races, festivals, classes) and promote them not just to your former guests -- but to fans of that genre (using Facebook and Google ads to target keywords opens up a whole new pool of potential guests).
- Observe from emails and telephone conversations WHAT your guests are looking to achieve on vacation, then go on deep dives into something in-line to make that experience remarkable. Note: this does not have to cost any money. Because I wanted to run the marathon, Virag found me a running partner and introduced me to the race coordinator -- she would 100% do this for any of her guests.
- The Irregular Tourist: a phrase coined by our guide Eric, I think vacation rentals play into this kind of visitor -- someone who doesn't want to wait in lines, sit on tour busses, or stay at a generic hotel. So look through the "irregular tourist" lens, and ask what you could offer your guests that is not common, not mainstream, not regular -- to truly create memories for a lifetime.
Thanks to Virag, her husband Janos, Eric, Timi, Laura, Eszter, Adam and all of the wonderful people we met in Budapest for leading the way in this "irregular" style of tourism.