Investing in Vacation Rental Properties: Choosing Location

Considering more millennial families are traveling than ever before and airlines are expanding to new destinations, investing in a vacation rental property has tons of potential. 

But no matter if you see owning a vacation rental as a fun side project or a full-time pursuit, picking the right property is crucial. RealtyHive is starting a blog series on vacation rentals to help you make the best decision. To kick off this series, we’re covering location.

What should I look for in vacation rental property location?

This all depends on the intent of your rental — in other words, the purpose that it serves.


If the city is your guests’ main attraction, you’ll want to own a place in the city — not outside of it. Whereas long-term tenant renters might find a place outside of the city more attractive and affordable, vacationers want to proximity to the heart of the action. 

An exception to this is if your place is close to fast and easy public transport that makes the city super accessible. This can also work if you’re just outside of the city but have a highly appealing property (like this gorgeous home in Florida), something unique that’s not found in typical downtown rentals.


Sometimes we all just need to get away. A cabin in Upper Peninsula Michigan, a secluded home in beautiful California, or any other property that serves as a place of respite has tons of appeal.

Views, beautiful landscape, and access to outdoor activities (such as canoeing or hiking) are all essential. Most people won’t rent a place in the middle of nowhere. Even if a retreating renter does nothing besides hang out at your vacation rental, they’ll take comfort in having options.

Some other recommendations to make your remote rental a success:

  • Stock up on board games
  • Provide bikes, snowshoes, a kayak, or anything else that’s fitting for your area
  • Include a list of nearby hikes or things to do
  • Keep kitchen essentials like spices and cooking utensils on hand in case guests want to cook in.

Beach or Mountain

It doesn’t matter if it’s a property in Jamaica, a Belizean condo, or a snow-covered chateau. When people want a beach or mountain vacation, they want to be close to that which they seek.

Aim for on the beach or less than 5 minutes away (walking), and if you can get a property with views of the ocean, even better. For mountains, those stunning views and proximity to a ski hill or cross country/snowshoe trails is also essential. If looking to buy near a ski hill, aim for 15-30 minutes or less (driving).

We should also note: lakes don’t always have beaches, but that doesn’t rule out their desirability! If you’re going for a lake property, get one that’s either on the lake (especially true for private/smaller lakes) or walking distance to a lake that’s more public (think beaches, boat rentals, etc.).

Do I need to live near my vacation rental property?

The benefits of living near your rental are that you can manage things yourself, save money (you won’t have to pay a management company), and can quickly respond if an issue arises. You can fix problems instead of leaving the matter in the hands of others. Bad service leads to bad ratings, which affects your potential for future renters (and subsequent profit).

The drawbacks of living near your rental are mostly if you don’t live in a highly attractive destination for tourists. If you’re not in the best vacation spot, finding a more desirable place is in your best interests.

How close should the property be to all the action?

We covered this a little bit in what to look for in a vacation rental property, but the answer is right there or really close. Even if the point of your rental is for people to get away from it all, a property can still be “right there” in terms of a remote location.

Whether looking for your first or fifth investment property, search through RealtyHive’s listings! With properties all over the world, there’s no limit to your vacation rental potential. Look for a perfectly located real estate investment today.

Emily Wottreng
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