VRS166 – Vacation Rental Travels with Beth Caro Carson

Editor of the VR industry’s only online magazine for travelers, Beth Carson is a seasoned traveler (45 countries stamped in her passport!) and knows travel from both sides of the check-in desk. Beth dishes about the ins and outs of running a magazine, her gift to vacation rental owners, and delves into surviving one of the world’s most powerful hurricane’s with 4 guests in her house in Fiji, collaborating with her neighbor on a Go Fund Me Campaign, and why HomeAway’s changes can be viewed in a positive light. She also shared some of the secrets of taking a client’s 2 condos from a 6% occupancy to 78% occupancy in just 2 months. Listen up for a fast-paced romp with an industry expert.

Beth is one very busy person so I was happy to track her down in Mexico for a great conversation about her busy year in 2016, and what she has planned for this year.

I first interviewed Beth in July of 2014 on VRS033 and we talked about her Fiji property and how she decided to get into the business of vacation rentals in the first place, so we recap on that as well as her move into condo management.

The online publication Vacation Rental Travels is a must-subscribe for everyone in the industry as it’s the only magazine devoted solely to vacation rentals worldwide, sharing the best of the best with the traveling public. As Beth points out, however, a property doesn’t have to be $20K per week to be featured – it just has to have that special ‘something’ that makes it unique and desired. In fact, if you come to VRSS, you’ll have the opportunity to talk to Beth about your place and talk about how to get it featured.

From discussing Vacation Rental Travels to the crowd-funding campaign she launched to help neighbors in the badly damaged areas of Fiji, to explaining why you should attend events like VR Mastered in Mexico, and VRSS in Toronto, this is a content-packed episode not to be missed.

Beth shares:

  • The reason she ‘felt like Oprah in the aftermath of a cyclone that devasted Fiji.’
  • How she moved a condo owners occupancy from 6% – 70% in five months.
  • Her secret to customer service.
  • The importance of sharing Western traveler expectations with local staff.
  • Why she is an advocate for Book It Now.
  • How she wanted to ‘legitimise the industry’ by attracting travel writers to experience it.
  • The help she got from Matt Landau & how that made a difference.
  • The value of one-to-one training and expert help.
  • Thoughts on buying property and how to get it right.

Links mentioned in this episode

Pathfinder International

International Living

Starfish Blue

VR Mastered

Vacation Rental Success Summit

Vacation Rental Travels

Beth Carson

Thank you for the lovely chat, Heather! Always wonderful to talk business. And such a fun business it is!

Terry Whyte

That was enjoyable and some really, really good resources and tips. Looking forward to Beth’s presentation in May.


What was name of site you said you went to to get the occupancy data of a unit. You were talking about a guy that was getting 6% occupancy then he hired you.

Kim Hughes

HI, Heather, I really enjoy your podcast. I am planning to buy my first vacation rental this year and this has been really helpful.

I listened to this podcast yesterday afternoon. So, it was on my mind last night when I received a cancellation for a vacation rental I had booked for the first weekend in March. I made the booking in January and fully paid. Last week, I received an email that they had to move me to a different house than I booked. Then, last night, I received an email that they had cancelled my booking and refunded my money with no explanation. When I replied asking for an explanation, they said they had overbooked. This experience was so opposite of what you and Beth had been discussing that it really struck me. I know what not to do from this experience (and common sense) and what to do based on what I am hearing on your podcast.

Thank you so much for all you do!!

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