Dave Anderson of Jones Around the World is a full-time travel blogger and festival photographer from Southern California. He's lived in six different countries, loves learning new languages and has a strange obsession with hummus. We recently asked for Dave's travel insight and advice for property managers on making their vacation rentals more appealing to long-term travelers like himself. Here's what he shared:
Can you talk a little about your passion for travel? How did you catch the travel bug?
It all started after I spent one semester in Rome during my junior year of college. I fell in love with living abroad, forming friendships with people from around the world and experiencing different cultures.
What are the most important lessons your international travel experiences have taught you?
Well, the more I travel the more I realize that travel (or even living abroad) should be considered an absolute must in anyone's life. Especially from America, I feel like we don't put enough emphasis on international experience and I think that needs to change. Another lesson I have learned from travel is that the world is honestly filled with amazing and friendly people. While there, of course, have been some rude encounters along the way, I really do believe that people are so nice and loving all over the world.
What destination do you find yourself returning to (or wanting to return to) over and over? What should a first-time visitor make sure to check out there?
Barcelona, Spain is my favorite city in the world. The city is beautiful, the food is amazing and I just love Spanish people! I have lived there for two different summer seasons and I can't imagine a better place in the world during those long summer days. There's always something to do - it's just so much fun.
For first timers: utilize the public transportation, sightsee often and be careful about the pickpockets.
How often do you stay in rental properties as opposed to a traditional hotel? What do you like about staying in vacation rentals?
I love renting out Airbnb's as often as possible. I feel more at home when I have keys to a place, a kitchen of my own and local neighbors. If I do stay at a rental property, it tends to be for at least a week to a month.
How can property managers make a vacation rental more appealing to a long-term traveler like yourself? What do you look for in a place to stay?
Wi-Fi is easily the most important aspect to a full-time traveler who works online. As far as getting it noticed, you'd need to just get it up on as many of the sites as possible.
What types of travel accommodations do you tend to avoid? Why?
I'm pretty much open to all types, it just depends on the destination and budget.
Can you talk about one of the most unique lodging experiences you've had? What set it apart?
I stayed at a really amazing guesthouse in a Castle in Albania. The location was obviously perfect, but the owner was really friendly and made us feel at home. He gave us really great ideas on how to spend our days and the best places to eat.
You spend a lot of time visiting music festivals - what do you love about the festival scene? How can going to a music festival help travelers get to know a destination better?
Music festivals are one of the best ways to make local friends wherever you are in the world. Music is a universal language and when you can connect with strangers over the love of the same artist, you can really form a friendship with them quickly. When it comes to the atmosphere at festivals, people tend to be more friendly and open to meeting new people (that's half the fun). We're all there to escape reality for a bit, dance to our favorite music, and enjoy a solid party!
What tips or tricks can you offer for finding lodging near a music festival? What are some dos and don'ts?
While I do think camping festivals are pretty great, they can be quite hard to deal with unless you live nearby and have quality camping gear. My top tip would be to book in advance and find the closest property to the festival grounds. Most festivals these days are prepared for the large influx of people attending, but if you can walk home after the festival that's always nice. I just love camping festivals because you just go back to your campsite.
Whether your vacation rental property is near the site of a music festival, bustling nightlife downtown or in a quiet spot in the country, we can help you attract more travelers.