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The holidays are just around the corner. Are you ready for the busy booking season? From taking advantage of the high demand to adding festive touches throughout your space, there are so many ways to make the most of this time of year. Here are our top 10 tips.

 

1. Get ahead of the rush

Did you know that New Year’s Eve is one of Airbnb’s most-booked nights of the year? “We usually get bookings for New Year’s Eve as early as August,” say Branka and Silvia from Zagreb, Croatia. And it’s not just the New Year. Guests typically make their travel plans months in advance, so it’s never too early to update your calendar for the season. What you don’t want is for someone to book your space before you’ve had a chance to update pricing, availability, and other requirements.

 

2. Plan your calendar

Are your holiday plans set? Be sure to block off any dates in your calendar when you won’t—or might not—be available to host. And if you’re listing your space on other websites, use the calendar sync feature to avoid double bookings and associated cancellations.

 

3. Take note of special events

In addition to holidays like Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, some cities have special events that draw lots of visitors. Are any popular local festivals or concerts on the horizon? These dates will be important to know as you set your calendar. Stay in the loop about what’s coming to your area by connecting with your local tourism bureau, joining social media groups, and signing up with an event app or website.

 

4. Play with pricing

Do a bit of market research to figure out how to best price your space for the season. That means looking at the competition, whether it’s other Airbnb hosts or local hotels. Another option? Turn on Smart Pricing, which will automatically update your nightly rate based on your settings and over 70 factors that can influence price, including seasonal demand. Just be sure to set a minimum price so your rate will never fall below a number you’re comfortable with.

 

5. Consider a minimum-stay requirement

Once you have a sense of all the holidays and other important dates, customize the settings in your calendar. Many hosts choose to set a minimum-stay requirement for popular dates.  Requiring guests to book a minimum number of nights can mean less time managing your space—and cleaning!—while maximizing your earnings.

 

6. Revisit your House Rules

With all the upcoming festivities, now’s a great time to clarify what guests can and can’t do in your space. Are they allowed to host a New Year’s Eve party? What about having a few family members over for Thanksgiving dinner? You may want to make your House Rules more strict or lenient this time of year and remind guests that they need to agree to these rules before they book.

 

7. Welcome families

For parents traveling with children, a family-friendly space can be its own cause for celebration. Attract more guests and make their experience even more enjoyable by stocking up on the amenities families love, like a crib, high chair, toys, and board games. Consider also providing info to help your guests make the most of your city. Superhost Elsie from Nashville puts it in her guidebook. “Having a dedicated space in your guidebook for activities to do with kids makes all the difference.”

 

8. Add a festive touch

Want to create an extra special stay for guests? Let the season inspire you, from bringing in festive holiday decor to sharing local foods and traditions. “[Guests] really appreciate the extra effort and ‘homey’ feel of the house,” say hosts Kelly and Larry from New Braunfels, Texas. “I am happy when I see them on the porch with the pumpkins lit or by the Christmas tree sipping hot chocolate in the mugs I left for them.”

 

9. Keep weather in mind

Does your area get lots of snow during the holiday season? Or maybe your summer starts in December. Visitors might not be familiar with your region’s typical weather conditions. Consider stocking your space with any must-have items like umbrellas, snow shovels, or even sunscreen—these types of amenities go a long way toward making guests comfortable. And remember to provide any need-to-know instructions. For example, host Monica from Ormstown, Canada, tells guests: “The driveway is cleared by one of our tractors when it has stopped snowing; the front steps and landing is the responsibility of the guest.”

 

10. Don’t forget about safety

Speaking of weather, your gas heaters, generators, and chimneys may be used more in the colder months. With that use comes an elevated risk of home fires and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Outfit your space with one or more fire extinguishers, along with a smoke and CO alarm.It’s also a good idea to have chimneys and heating vents serviced annually, checking for things like blockages and corrosion. It’s a hectic time of year—take a few simple precautions and make safety one less thing to worry about.

 

What are your tips for festive, fuss-free hosting over the holidays? Share in the comments below!

83 Replies

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Durban, ZA
Level 2

An exciting time to go that extra mile to make it feel festive and your guests in the festive mood.

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Ballston Spa, NY
Level 4

Yes, I really do try to think of all those things.  Thanks

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Bozel, France
Level 1

Good points, thanks for the tips.

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Ardmore, PA
Level 2

Make sure if you have a Christmas tree up that the guests staying there during the time that it is up are ok with it. There may be religious  reasons or health reasons they would prefer it not up when they are there 

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Asheville, NC
Level 3

If it is YOUR Christmas Tree, up for YOUR holiday a guest should be accepting or ignore it!

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Victoria, Canada
Level 2

Probably not too many people have a problem with the ancient pagan tradition of a decorated tree for winter solstice. But perhaps a fake one is a good idea for those with allergies.

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Princeton, NJ
Level 2

Do you charge per person after the initial l bookedings?

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Kailua-Kona, HI
Level 2

We put a small table top Christmas tree out. If the guests are uncomfortable...they can simply move it into one of the closets, however...our AirBnB unit is separate from our main home so we tend to have a little more flexibility. 

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Newburgh, NY
Level 2

If a guest is religious and cannot be open to others religious belief (host) then they should not travel  or stay with host of the same belief . That’s my opinion other host may feel its necessary to compromise to accommodate . I feel if I am staying with a family then I should respect their religious belief and be okay during their celebration .

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Virginia Beach, VA
Level 1

Great tips ! 

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
New York, NY
Level 2

Excellent info. I hadn't thought of a lot of these points - and will be taking action on them. Thanks.

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Brevard, NC
Level 2

One thing I can think of is to forego the smelly stuff, like candles or perfume/cologne or plug-ins  in the home (or at anytime of year) for those, like me, who have chemical sensitivities.

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

Level 1

Good tips, much thanks. 

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Guanajuato, Mexico
Level 2

Always prepare for the unexpected especially if you allow partying, alcohol, and who knows what else

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Parkville, MD
Level 1

Thank you for the tips/reminders... much appreciated

The holidays come in so quickly along with the chilly snowy weather ... always good to stay ahead and on ones toes!

Happy holidays! 

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