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Vacation Rental in Ocean City MD Aerial View 2

Vacation Rental Forecast for 2019: Ocean City, Maryland

Vacation Rental Outlook 2019: 6 Predictions from Experts

The New Year is almost here, and with it comes our vacation rental forecast for 2019. What are guests looking for in a vacation home? What’s hot in condo rentals and beach rentals? What tactics should property owners try for the greatest return on their investment? Here are six top trends and predictions for owners to watch in the Ocean City, Maryland, 2019 vacation rental market.

1. Bigger (and bigger-feeling) homes


More and more, people booking a vacation rental want room to move—to gather for holiday or milestone celebrations, to give adults and children their own separate space and more. This is playing out for the in a trend toward larger rental homes, especially as multigenerational travel becomes more popular.

For extended family groups, a larger vacation rental property makes sense, according to Forbes writer Christopher Elliott, who extolled the virtues of a California wine country estate that sleeps 10. Such a property might feature outdoor living areas for drinks and conversation, outdoor kitchen areas for group cooking, a pool, onsite spa and more.

Fortunately, you don’t have to own a palace to give guests room to spread out and feel comfortable. With beach rentals, condo rentals and beyond, you can create multiple sitting areas in the space you have. For Ocean City, Maryland, vacation homes, consider marketing such areas as:

  • A game room for those rainy days when the kids can’t go to the beach
  • A crafts station for making art and jewelry out of collected shells
  • A quiet space for napping children (and adults!)
  • A patio for enjoying a crab feast
  • A porch for ice cream socials and wine tastings

If you’re considering making renovations to your property, think about opening up kitchens and dining rooms for more expansive gathering areas.

2. The Millennial traveler


In addition to large, multifamily gatherings, be on the lookout for young singles and couples seeking accommodations for events, sightseeing or just getting away from it all.

Millennials (think later 20s, early 30s) are proving to be avid travelers. Many have stayed at condos and beach houses with their families growing up. They’re comfortable both branching out from hotels for vacation lodging and finding and booking these stays online. So they’re familiar with vacation homes and ready to create some new experiences on their own.

How can property owners adapt to this trend in the vacation rentals market? Offer short term rentals that accommodate entry-level budgets and fewer vacation days. To accommodate large groups of friends on vacation, consider offering multiple properties in the same complex. And treat these younger travelers to the amenities they crave. Beyond the must-have of lightning-fast Wi-Fi, with ample bandwidth for YouTube and streaming content, consider:

  • Spaces ideal for socializing
  • Online/mobile services for booking, billing and beyond
  • Access to bike, scooter and car sharing stations and services

Be sure to mention local venues in your descriptions. If a Millennial traveler remembers a specific boardwalk, beach or crab shack from a childhood vacation in Ocean City, Maryland, you’re likely to jog a fond memory—and possibly inspire a booking.

3. Local outdoor and dining attractions


Along with Argentina, Italy and Egypt’s Nile Valley, Lonely Planet listed two nature sites in the Eastern United States—Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains and the Catskills— among its top destinations for 2019.

This trend is good news for the Ocean City, MD, vacation rental market as well. Travelers looking for adventure will find themselves just a short drive away from:

  • The famous ponies of Assateague Island and National Seashore
  • The boating and camping of Pocomoke River State Park
  • Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, recently named “One of the 10 Best Amazing Places for Wildlife” by USA Today

After a busy day of exploring, vacationers will be looking for culinary adventures as well. Increasingly, travelers of all ages have become discerning foodies, and fortunately Ocean City’s food and beverage scene has grown to accommodate their palates and Instagram feeds

New venues to consider promoting include:

For committed foodies, the OC Foodie Tour provides a 3.5 hour walk through Ocean City dining past and present, with samplings at five locally owned restaurants. The July Greek festival treats travelers to local dolmathes, keftedes, spanakopita and more. And Fall Restaurant Week offers fixed-price menus for the range of budgets and palates.

4. Reliability and consistency


In a world full of apps, texts and tech gadgets, customer service matters more than ever—especially in the vacation rental industry.

“Booking a vacation rental is more of a ‘considered purchase’ than booking a hotel room,” in the words of a report recapping this year’s VRMA Conference.

So don’t forget the basics, like giving customers what they expect in terms of quality, amenities and service as they book a vacation home year after year.

This can mean:

  • Dependable upkeep with prompt, effective repairs
  • Consistent (and well-functioning) conveniences such as key-based entry and digital thermostats
  • Perks guests can look forward to stay after stay, such as free gym passes, mid-week cleanings and grocery delivery services

Guests book a vacation rental to decrease—not add to—the stress in their lives. They want to know what to expect as they book a reservation, settle in, enjoy the amenities and wrap up their trips.

It’s important that you never forget the human element: the people making your guests feel at home. Make sure you choose a property management partner that consistently wows vacationing guests with great customer service, which hospitality consultant Debby Hudspith defines as: “Knowing why the customer is there in the first place, making them feel important, building a relationship, responding to requests out of the ordinary and ensuring someone is always available for them, no matter which department.”

5. Value for the vacation dollar


As more and more travelers vacation in large groups, they’re discovering that splitting the cost of a vacation home is a great way to get extra space at an affordable price. Remember that California wine estate mentioned earlier? The rental cost, averaged out across 10 people, comes down to $68 per person per night—far less expensive than most hotels in the area could offer.

In our opinion, typical renters aren’t always on a quest for luxury at the very highest end. They’re on a quest for value. And owners of all sizes and types of properties—from condo rentals to beach home rentals—can fulfill this quest by giving their guests a little extra bang for their buck. For property owners in Ocean City, Maryland, this includes not only space to relax but upgraded amenities and complimentary treats.

Need inspiration? Successful Meetings highlighted:

  • Record players, with music guests can “check out” from a vinyl library
  • A live goldfish as the official property pet
  • Cocktail packages delivered by a personal bartender

Special skincare products, linens and robes have been a rising trend in the hospitality industry overall—especially when they come with a unique story or local hook. But you don’t have to break the bank to make your guests feel special.

Consider providing them with practical perks like blenders and coffeemakers, water bowls and treat baskets for pet owners, or bottled water and energy bars for sports and outdoor enthusiasts. Or try homey treats like fruit baskets, plates of cookies, or homemade soups and breads.

6. A shift to direct bookings


At the VRMA International Conference, which explored the rental market for 2019, several managers of large properties reported a decreased, even eliminated, reliance on online travel agencies (OTAs). Customer service and ability to communicate with guests throughout the booking process were big reasons. And if vacation rental property managers are feeling this difference, you can bet that guests, are, too.

So as the new year begins, remember that you as a local owner of a vacation home can offer many advantages that a global OTA or customer service rep in a faraway call center cannot. This includes things like:

  • Who to contact for a spur-of-the-moment crab fest—or a last-minute registration for the holiday fun run
  • What parks and beaches are most kid-friendly—and what nightclubs have lined up the hottest new DJs
  • What local shops have the best deals on beachwear—or the best under-the-radar happy hours on the boardwalk
  • When to see the wild horses at Assateague Island National Seashore—or to take to the seas for the best white marlin
  • How to catch crabs in the bay—or spot the most elusive gulls and loons during a bird watching hike

And as more travel and hospitality trends emerge for Ocean City, Maryland, vacation homes in 2019, you can be sure that Vantage will be there on the forefront, ready to help you delight your guests and position your properties for success.

Let’s start a great new year together! To make the most of your Ocean City vacation property in 2019, visit our Vacation Rental Management Services page — then contact Vantage Vacation Rentals at 410.723.1780 x 5 or ListingInfo@VantageOC.com.

Assateague Island

OC’s Hidden Gem: Assateague Island

Escape to Island Life at Assateague

Looking to leave bustling Ocean City for the day? Take a trip across the Sinepuxent Bay Bridge and enjoy the island life! Just 10 miles south of Ocean City lays Assateague Island. At a quick glance, Assateague seems like any other state park with beautiful nature trails and an impressive nature center. However, this Island’s beaches are home to over 80 wild horses. While no one knows the true history of the “Assateague Ponies,” many myths have circulated – from being ship wrecked on the island to colonial farmers hiding the ponies from tax collectors. Yet, these ponies are just the beginning of the adventures in store at Assateague Island.

Delightful Day Trips

Just visiting the island for a day?  Stop by Assateague’s “Day‐Use” beach to enjoy pristine natural beauty and a variety of wildlife such as sika deer and waterfowl.  But a fair warning: with a full concession stand, qualified beach patrol, warm showers and bathrooms, you will never want to leave! Additionally, the state park offers 3 miles of multi-recreational beach that not only allows but encourages surfing, kayaking, and fishing. Open from 7:00 a.m. until sunset, in-state visitors pay $4 a person and out-of‐state visitors pay $6 a person for a day of fun.

Outstanding Overnight Stays

If one day is not enough for your family, check out the park’s 350 campsites, including pet-friendly areas.  Advanced reservations for campsites at ParkReservations.Maryland.gov are highly recommended, as these spots fill up fast.   In addition, Vantage has just added a new rental property to its inventory that is located directly across the Sinepuxent Bay from the island called Assateague Bay Retreat.  This expansive 4-BR, 4-BA, 5,000-SqFt, home is located on a beautifully-manicured 3-acre waterfront lot in the renowned golf community of Rum Pointe.  Completely luxurious inside and out, this pet-friendly property sleeps 14 and comes with lots of little extras such as kayaks, media room with gaming center, and beautiful views of the bay (and even the ocean from the top floor!)  While you’re here, be sure to check out all the wonderful activities available through the Assateague Island Visitor Center and the National Park Service that the whole family will enjoy:

  • Information sessions, including animal interactions
  • Kayaking tours
  • Paddleboard tours
  • Bird watching
  • Clamming, crabbing and fishing in the marina
  • Biking trails
  • Off‐road vehicle use
  • Junior beach patrol programs

So leave your worries behind and take a short drive from Ocean City to Assateague Island (10 miles) to see the wild ponies and enjoy a relaxing and adventurous island getaway.  Speak with a Vacation Coordinator at (410) 723-2002 or search over 500 vacation rentals of every size and budget at VantageOceanCity.com to reserve your perfect spot!

Mini-Weeks FlexStay Vacation

Escape for an Ocean City Mini Vacation

Customize Your Vacation

Storing decorations, cleaning up sparklers, and heading back to work – do the post-4th-of-July-blues have you wishing for a vacation? Continue the celebration and freedom with a mini vacation to Ocean City. Between work, activities and kids, it’s becoming more difficult to escape for a traditional Saturday to Saturday vacation rental. Vantage’s unique Mini-Week and FlexStay rental properties provide more flexibility, allowing you to customize a vacation that fits your timeframe and budget. Whether you dream of getting away for 3 days or 10,  plan your trip around YOUR schedule, not the other way around!

• 3-Night Mini-Week (Thurs-Sun or Fri-Mon): Perfect for a last minute Romantic Getaway
• 4-Night Mini-Week (Sun-Thurs or Mon-Fri): Enjoy Ocean City like a local – avoid the traffic & skip the lines!
• FlexStay: Check-in/check-out any day of the week and enjoy stays shorter or longer than a traditional weekly visit

Check Out a Few Flexible Properties


Balmoral 107C
3-BR, 2-BA, Sleeps 6 – Just 2 blocks from the beach, this property makes it easy to relax in the sand or splash around in Balmoral’s refreshing Outdoor Pool. Balmoral 107C is located in North Ocean City within walking distance of many popular restaurants, including Pizza Tugos and Ropewalk!


Diamond Bay 5
2-BR, 2-BA, Sleeps 6 – Leave your worries behind and relax in this peaceful North Ocean City Neighborhood! This condo offers an updated kitchen, large fully-furnished balcony, and short walk to the beach.  Not wanting to cook?  Stroll to nearby restaurants, including the Greene Turtle and The Crabcake Factory.


Harbour Island 306K
2-BR, 2-BA, Sleeps 6 – Located in Downtown Ocean City on 14th St., this freshly remodeled bayfront condo has views of the bay and Assateague Island in the distance. Guests enjoy all-new furnishings, a pool, tennis, an on-site restaurant (the Reel Inn), and a short walk to the Boardwalk.


Jockey Beach 314
Bi-level, 1-BR, 1-BR, Sleeps 6 – Enjoy the best of both worlds! This canalfront condo offers beautiful bay views and is only a short, three-block walk to beach North Ocean City (123rd St.). After a day in the sun, relax in the Outdoor Pool or watch the sunset at nearby Northside Park, which features walking paths, a playground, and long fishing and crabbing pier.


Makai 404
Studio, 1-BA, Sleeps 4 -Just 1.5 blocks from the sun and surf, this bayside condo is a cute-as-a-button efficiency condo.  This unit is located in Mid-town Ocean City (42nd St.) close to the Convention Center and comes with all the Makai amenities, including a Pool, Fitness Center, and a Bayfront Deck.


Sunset Beach 103
3-BR, 3-BA, Sleeps 9 – Unwind with a drink on your private bayfront balcony or take a refreshing swim in the Rooftop Pool. Located in Midtown Ocean City on 46th St., this bayfront condo has it all, with gorgeous sunset views, quality furnishings, and updated kitchen. Enjoy the 2-block walk to splash in the surf or go for drinks at Seacrets (right next door)!

Ready to book your Ocean City vacation rental?  Browse our entire Mini-Week and FlexStay inventory and search for the dates and amenities that you need, or speak with one of our friendly Vacation Coordinators today at (410) 723-2002.

Summer Bucket List

Happy First Day of Summer!

What’s On Your Summer Bucket List?

Hang up your coats and leave your textbooks at home – the First Day of Summer is finally here!  That means more hours of daylight to enjoy all the things that we love most about this time of year.  Whether you’re lounging on the warm sand, splashing in the surf, or strolling along the Boardwalk, Ocean City is the perfect backdrop for making memories. However, just like a seagull swooping in to snatch the last french fry, these precious summer weeks will be gone before you know it.  What’s on your summer bucket list?  Scroll down for a few ideas from the Vantage team of what we are looking forward to most about summer!

  • Rent a boat on the Assawoman Bay
  • Put our feet in the sand at least once a week
  • Ride a motorcycle down Coastal Highway
  • Enjoy warm donuts from the Fractured Prune
  • Get out of the house and into the sunshine
  • Take surf lessons at Malibu’s Surf Shop
  • Float around in the bay with a drink (or two!) at Seacrets
  • Check out a concert at The Freeman Stage
  • Have a bonfire on the beach at Assateague National Park
  • Go for wine tasting at Liquid Assets
  • Watch a sunset at Fager’s Island
  • Attend a full moon party
  • Watch fireworks on the beach
  • Take an early morning bike ride on the Boardwalk
  • Eat Thrasher’s French Fries
  • Spend time kayaking and fishing
  • Learn to paddle board
  • Get up early to watch the sunrise and hunt for seashells

Catch Summer Before It’s Gone

With fireworks in the sky and barbeque on the grill, it is clear summer is in full swing.  Let us help you check off everything on your bucket list!  Our rental properties are filling up fast, but there is still time to treat yourself and your family to that perfect summer vacation.  Looking for an awesome deal?  Speak with a Vacation Coordinator at (410) 723-2002 or visit our Specials Page for reduced rates at select homes.

Movies on the Beach

Fun & Free Activities in Ocean City, MD

Don’t Miss these Fun & Free Activities

With all the expenses involved in planning a vacation, it’s great to know that there are lots of fun things to do once you get to Ocean City, MD that don’t cost anything at all. In addition to our free beaches, the town of Ocean City and the surrounding area offer a variety of free activities ranging from exciting to educational. Several areas around town that you definitely don’t want to miss are our parks and piers that are great sources of recreation. Be sure to check out Northside Park located bayside on 126th St. in North Ocean City, which is home to scenic walking paths, ball fields, a huge playground, an outdoor fitness area, a fishing and crabbing pier, and hundreds of events throughout the year. If you’re staying in the downtown area, then spend an afternoon at the 3rd Street Park, which features basketball courts, ball fields, a playground, a bayfront fishing pier, and the Ocean Bowl Skate Park (small fee required). Stuck with a hot or rainy day? Ocean City also has some fun free activities of the indoor variety, such as Ocean City Center for the Arts, the Assateague Island Visitors’ Center, and the Fenwick Island Lighthouse.

Free Activities Every Day of the Week

No matter what days of the week you are visiting, Ocean City has you covered with fun and free activities that will get you out and about to enjoy the area and your time together.

Daily

  • Family Program at Lifesaving Station Museum – Located on the south end of the Boardwalk, the Ocean City Lifesaving Station Museum holds a different family activity every morning at 10:00 a.m. with interesting topics about marine life, history, and more.
  • 100 Nights of Lights – NEW!  Boardwalk-goers will be treated to a beautiful light display as high-powered searchlights accent the sky with color while dancing in time to music.

Sundays

  • Sundaes in the Park – Bring a blanket or beach chair to Northside Park for Live Music and Entertainment followed by fireworks while enjoying your own ice cream sundae creation (small fee for ice cream).
  • OC Cruzers Car Display (Downtown) – Cruise down memory lane at this classic car show on Somerset St. accompanied by live music or entertainment.  Owners of the vehicles will be available to mingle and educate spectators about their cars.  Held from 2:30-6:00 p.m. on 6/4, 6/18, 7/16, 8/13, 9/10 & 9/24.

Mondays

  • Movies on the Beach (27th St.) – Pull up a beach chair or blanket and enjoy a full-feature family movie on the beach.  Some of the popular movies on the Movie Schedule this summer are Frozen, Finding Dory, Moana, and more.
  • Beach Fireworks (Downtown) – Join us for a festive fireworks display along the boardwalk at 10:30 p.m. in the area of N. Division Street (July 10-Sept. 4).

Tuesdays

  • Family Beach Olympics (27th St.) – Come out for some family fun and competition on the beach, such as sand castle contests, tug-of-war, and relay races. For more info, call (410) 250-0125.
  • OC Beach Dance Party (Downtown) – Bring your dancing shoes or just relax and enjoy the show as Ocean City presents free live entertainment hosted by DJ Batman on the Caroline Street Stage.

Wednesdays

  • Movies on the Beach (118th St.) – Pull up a beach chair or blanket and enjoy a full-feature family movie on the beach.  Some of the popular movies on the Movie Schedule this summer are Back to the Future, The Secret Life of Pets, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and more.
  • Beach Fireworks (Downtown) – Join us for a festive fireworks display along the boardwalk at 10:30 p.m. in the area of N. Division Street (July 10-Sept. 4).

Thursdays

  • Sunset Park Party Nights – Enjoy free live entertainment while watching the sun set over the Isle of Wight Bay (food and beverages available for sale).

Fridays

  • Movies on the Beach (27th St.) – Pull up a beach chair or blanket and enjoy a full-feature family movie on the beach.  Some of the popular movies on the Movie Schedule this summer are Frozen, Finding Dory, Moana, and more.

All the fun, excitement, and relaxation of summer is just around the corner! If you haven’t booked your Ocean City vacation, now is the time to do it. Browse VantageOceanCity.com to find your perfect vacation rental, or speak with a Vacation Coordinator at (410) 723-2002 today.

Vantage’s Top 10 Ocean City Attractions

We want you to help us celebrate our 10th anniversary by having the best summer yet! Ocean City, MD offers the best and most exciting attractions around, and we are giving you the Top 10 that are a must in our book.

Top 10 Ocean City Attractions

  1. The Beach – With all the fun things there are to do in Ocean City, MD, the real star of the show is the beach! Spend you days under the sun on ten miles of clean, warm, sandy beaches that stretch from the Delaware state line to the Ocean City Inlet. Enjoy a day of relaxation while boats and jet skis dance around in the ocean and dolphins play in the waves. Our beach are free to use, and umbrella and beach chair rentals are available for rent every day during the summer season.
  2. Ocean City Boardwalk – Day or night, the Ocean City Boardwalk provides two and a half miles of pure fun and delicious food. A public tram runs from the north end on 27th St. to the south end at the Ocean City Inlet area from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, as well as various events weekends. Browse hundreds of shops and boutiques for apparel, jewelry, beach gear, and the perfect souvenir to take home. While you’re here, be sure to explore the Inlet area which boasts games, arcades, and amusement rides for the young and young-at-heart.
  3. Seacrets, Jamaica U.S.A. – Take a trip to the Caribbean without leaving the state of Maryland. Seacrets is one of Ocean City’s most popular waterfront dining spots, offering delicious food, drinks, entertainment, and nightlife. Located along the bay on 49th St., Seacrets is known for its laid-back island atmosphere – complete with palm trees, a sandy beach, and a waterfront bar. Be sure to wear your bathing suit on a warm day, so you can relax in a floating tube while sipping on a cool drink
  4. Assateague Island National Park – Become one with nature for the day at Assateague Island National Park, which is located across the Inlet from Ocean City and just a 20-minute drive away from the downtown area. Assateague is home to an abundance of wildlife, including wild ponies that roam the island freely. Enjoy bike and dune trails, camp sites, grilling areas, fishing, and  kayaking. Assateague is also a popular spot for surfers, as its coastline frequently has some of the best breaks in the area. Be sure to stop by the Assateague Island Visitors Center on the mainland just before arriving or leaving Assateague to check out the touch tank, artifact displays, gift shop, and small movie theatre for viewing short films about the island.
  5. Jolly Roger Amusement Park – With two locations, one at 32nd St. and Coastal Hwy. and the other in the Inlet area, Jolly Roger Amusement Park features classic amusement rides for kids of all ages. Guests who feel the need for speed can also check out Jolly Roger’s Speed World, which recently introduced a five-story race cart coaster call the Cyclone. If you’re looking to beat the heat, bring your bathing suit for a day of fun at Splash Mountain Water Park, which features 17 watersides, a lazy river, and multiple pools for the whole family. Vantage guests can save up to 30% on Splash Mountain tickets. Click HERE for more info!
  6. Parasailing – Parasail your way around the island and experience the best views in town. Guests can choose from several height and speed levels depending on their thrill level, and you may even have the option to go up in the air with a friend at the same time! Parasailing is offered in the bay area as well as in the ocean.
  7. Golfing – Whether you are an experienced or amateur golfer, the Ocean City area offers many popular courses for all skill levels. Spend a day out on the links in various golf courses located along the bay and marshlands opposite the island of Ocean City, such as Lighthouse Sound, Eagle’s Landing and Glen Riddle. If putt-putt is the variety of golf that’s more your speed, bring the whole gang for a round of miniature golf at one of Ocean City’s many courses throughout town. Old Pro Golf’s 68th St. and 136th St. locations also offer indoor courses – a great place to spend any rainy or hot days that may come up during your visit.
  8. Tanger Outlets – Never fear a rainy day when you can shop until you drop. The Tanger Outlets are located in West Ocean City and are just a short drive over the Route 50 Bridge from Downtown Ocean City. This beautiful center has been recently renovated with a new facade and landscaping, making for a pleasant shopping experience. Popular stores at the Tanger Outlets include Under Armour, Coach, Gymboree, Famous Footwear, American Eagle, Bass Factory Outlet, and more.
  9. Fishing – Known as the White Marlin Capital of the World, Ocean City has much to offer when it comes to fishing trips and charters. Spend a few hours out on the bay catching flounder, sea bass, and
    crabs, or wake up early to catch the tide just right for surf fishing. If you’re looking for a fun day trip, charter a sport fishing boat at Bahia Marina or Ocean City Fishing Center and venture out into the ocean. You will come back with the freshest dinner for everyone and tales of your day at sea.
  10. Watersports – While there are many things do on land while in Ocean City, many guests don’t realize how much is also available to them on the water. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, sports enthusiast, or just enjoy being outdoors, there are many watersports rentals and services throughout town to keep the fun going on vacation. Hop on a jet ski and cruise around the bay, where you’ll find dozens of little islands and various dockside bars & restaurants to stop along the way. If you’d rather take it slow, try kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding – a great way to get some exercise while exploring the many canals and the waterways in Ocean City. In addition, there are various boating options available such as sailing, windsurfing, pontoon boats, banana boats, and more.

All the fun, excitements, and relaxation of summer is just around the corner!  If you haven’t booked your Ocean City vacation, now is the time to do it.  Browse our website to find your perfect vacation rental, or give us a call at (410) 723-2002 today.