As more and more people explore alternative accommodations options, vacation rentals have become a global phenomenon. So much so that streaming services such as Netflix have taken notice.

Vacation rental TV shows have enjoyed considerable popularity in the past few years, and there are new ones coming out all the time.

In this article, we’ve rounded up our favourite vacation rental TV shows. Some show our industry from the property owner’s or manager’s perspective, while others give us a glimpse into the perspective of guests.

If you’re a fan of home renovation shows, travel documentaries or even reality TV, we guarantee you’ll find a show you’ll love.

1. ‘The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals’ on Netflix

What it’s about:

In this new Netflix series released in 2021, three travellers from different backgrounds – Megan Batoon, Luis D. Ortiz and Jo Franco – visit unique vacation rentals around the globe. 

From Bali to Mexico, they stay at some of the world’s most unique properties, including an eco-friendly “bird’s nest”, a cabin with a private waterfall, a lighthouse, a historic houseboat and more.

Why you should watch it:

The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals is worth watching for the spectacular shots of dream destinations alone. 

However, if you’re a property manager, the show can be quite insightful – especially if you manage quirky glamping properties or luxury rentals

You can get a glimpse into what your competition is doing and see how the three travellers react to the rentals they visit.

Our review:

We like that the show takes its viewers to a large variety of different rentals, from budget-friendly options to high-end, exclusive properties with very different nightly rates.

Each episode features a different rental category. And you even get some information about the destination and the average nightly rates of vacation rentals in the area. 

While we love that the show puts things into context, we wish the travellers were a bit more critical in their reviews. That way, the show would be even more useful for property managers curating vacation rentals.

2. ‘Instant Hotel’ on Netflix

What it’s about:

An Aussie production, Instant Hotel is a vacation rental tv show on Netflix that follows 10 couples who have converted their homes into Instant Hotels (i.e. vacation rentals). They stay at each other’s properties and compete for the prize of the best short-term rental.

Expert judge and interior designer Juliet Ashworth joins the participants on the adventure, adding a professional perspective to the programme.

Why you should watch it:

The useful feedback that homeowners give each other can be quite beneficial for property managers. Juliet’s constructive criticism and deep knowledge of the hospitality industry serves as a guide on how you should present and market your vacation rentals.

Our review:

Instant Hotel is an entertaining show that combines all the unmissable elements of classic reality TV – drama, gossip, outrageous behaviour – with priceless industry insights.

From interior design tips to the importance of welcome packs and guest experience, both seasons of this show are a must-see for vacation rental professionals. 

3. ‘Stay Here’ on Netflix

What it’s about:

A single-season show on Netflix, Stay Here sees designer Genevieve Gorder and real estate expert Peter Lorimer take over the small screen to help vacation rental hosts boost their profit-turning businesses.

No matter what they come across, the two experts always see it as a blank page and a business opportunity. 

They take plain jane downtown apartments, crumbling countryside shacks and roughed-up seaside bungalows and turn them into vacation rentals with character.

Why you should watch it:

If you’re a vacation rental manager or owner who loves home renovation shows, Stay Here is for you – with the added value of precious industry knowledge

While the entertainment factor lies in the home makeover and the owners’ stories, there are plenty of insights on how to make a vacation rental stand out from the crowd. 

Our review:

The show is fast-paced and engaging and sure to have you coming back for more. Genevieve and Peter are a real dynamic duo as they rip places apart and use their expertise to get the property up to par with industry standards and guest expectations.

We’d look forward to another season that tackles challenges such as getting properties in front of a large audience with smart distribution solutions

4. Scott’s Vacation House Rules

What it’s about:

A production for renovation show lovers, Scott’s Vacation House Rules follows real estate expert and contractor Scott McGillivray as he helps homeowners transform their properties.

With many years of experience in real estate investing and home renovations, Scott knows how to unlock the potential of even the most run-down, outdated property.

Why you should watch it:

Scott is a charismatic host and has a keen eye for what makes a vacation rental profitable. His tips to homeowners can be useful for anyone looking to renovate a vacation home. 

Even property managers looking to advise their owners on updating their properties can get something out of it – especially when it comes to rural cottage-style homes.

Our review:

We wish this series was available outside of Canada! If you are in Canada, you can watch some episodes on HGTV Canada’s website

5. Matt Landau’s ‘Sense of Place’

What it’s about:

In this unique series, VRMB’s Matt Landau travels around the world to visit vacation rentals and inspire hosts and travellers alike. His goal is to find out more about this new style of travelling that allows us to live authentic experiences through the eyes of vacation rental managers and owners.

Matt has in-depth discussions with hosts, explores what’s unique about the way they interpret the idea of “home”, joins them on their everyday adventures and puts it all into context.

Even though most of the episodes were filmed over 2 years ago, the show is still relevant and encapsulates the evergreen essence of good hospitality.

Why you should watch it:

Sense of Place is a great series for anyone with a deeper interest in vacation rentals, the sharing economy, global tourism trends and the way that different locations deal and benefit from the rise of vacation rentals. In this exclusive interview, Matt shares why his show is important for our industry. 

Our review:

Matt’s curious and adventure-seeking personality and his unique way of telling the stories of local hosts have got us hooked. He truly gives viewers “a sense of the places” and the people he visits. 

Watch it online for free on Matt’s website or on YouTube

6. ‘Vacation Rental Potential’

What it’s about:

In Vacation Rental Potential, real estate expert Holly Baker teams up with HomeAway (now known as Vrbo) to help families find their first holiday home and turn it into a profitable vacation rental.

The potential buyers know more or less what they want, have an idea of the location (each episode features a popular destination in the US), and have decided on a budget. 

Holly shows them three very different properties and guides them to make an informed decision on which one they should purchase and how they should optimise the home’s rental potential for listing sites.

Why you should watch it:

The discussions between Holly and the buyers raise valid points about the countless things you need to consider before buying a home that’s intended to become a vacation rental. 

Some of HomeAway’s partners make an appearance on the show to give advice and discuss topics such as targeting niches, attract returning guests, managing homes, etc.

Our review:

We love the part when Holly follows up with the buyers once they’ve made their pick and gone through with the purchase. We get to see how they’ve transformed the property and what it looks like as a professional listing. The results are shocking – in a good way.

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