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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

Level 1

Very good and interesting points.

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Tel Aviv-Yafo, IL
Level 2

GREAT IDEA! 

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Everett, WA
Level 3

I include my guests on festivities like Thanksgiving and Christmas! I add an extra table at home! 

 

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

Level 2

Wasn't thinking of anything for the festive season. Really great tip I'll tap into a few of them. Thank you!

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Castries City, LC
Level 2

Thoughtful ideas, A festive look will be more welcoming.

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

Level 2

Not very insiteful.  More information with regards to marketing and making your guests feel welcome during the festive times would be more helpful. A few simple and elegant decorating ideas might be a bit more in tune with be a "host" .  Customer service ? 

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Kottayam, IN
Level 1

Make the guest feel that they are one among you, and encourage them to mingle with you or take them around the surroundings for a walk

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Brick Township, NJ
Level 1

I think the best way to go with decorations would be more generic winter decorations that do not impose any religious beliefs, but can still be festive. Poinsettias, pine cones, snow men or snow women, holly berries etc. are what I'm going with. Add some mini white lights and your good to go! 

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 10

hello @Christine2385 , I live New Zealand where we have summer sun, usually at Christmas so celebrate Christmas in a different hemisphere, alas we grew up with using things like Cotton wool for snow, home made decorations for the tree that depict a winter setting.

Simple, in expensive decorations.

 

I've been privileged to have worked in a shop that exclusively sold Christmas decorations and products so change my theme and colours when I put my tree up.

 

 

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Bend, OR
Level 2

When we host over any holiday I make sure to check in with my guests on decor or special items. There are many people who don't celebrate all holidays. 

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Staunton, VA
Level 2

Very helpful

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Seattle, WA
Level 1

I appreciate the thoughtful information and look forward to hosting during the holidays.

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 10

Hello folks, Come to New Zealand for a nice Summer Holiday & Christmas at the beach or in a Park/ Domain with sheep and cows and pheasants amongst other animals and the flowers!!

 

Central To All Home & Location, Remuera, Auckland

https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/23257352

 

Mulled wine is always nice to share and have on cooler days.

 

See you soon

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

in
Jodhpur, India
Level 2

Common agendas very well put together. I am sure a repeat reading would definitely help.

Suryagarh Heritage- Jodhpur

Re: 10 ways to make the most of holiday hosting

Level 2

Being a Summer Christmas, I alway make sure the the tree is up and and the lights are twinkling on the balcony. I always ask if there is anything my guests need and accomodate if I can. 

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