10 ways to earn more during peak season

10 ways to earn more during peak season

Peak season 1.jpg


When it comes to getting ready for your area’s busiest travel season, it pays to think ahead. No matter when your peak season occurs, having a thoughtful pricing strategy can help you get the bookings you want. Here’s how some hosts around the world get ready for hosting in high season:

1. Set prices early for your peak season

New nights open on your calendar daily, so you’ll want to ensure your nightly price is always updated. To stay ahead of their availability windows, some successful hosts pick a day of the week or month (depending on how often they host) to update their calendars.


It’s also a good idea to set a custom price for specific nights, weeks, or months now, so guests who plan ahead don’t book high-season dates at low-season prices. Host Jessi of Ciudad López Mateos, Mexico, sets her rates months beforehand. “Don’t leave it for later, because then come reservations with a rate that we didn’t want,” Jessi says. If you use Smart Pricing, you may want to double-check your nightly rate for peak periods, and adjust your maximum and minimum rates accordingly.

2. Attract guests who plan ahead

To set your listing apart, consider opening your calendar six months in advance. Extending the availability window in your reservation preferences can help you attract guests who are booking peak-season vacations now. Plus, if you add an early-bird discount in your price settings of 10% or more to any reservation booked up to 36 months ahead, strikethrough styling (for example, $200) will appear on your original price. Discounts under 10% won’t appear with a strikethrough but can still help your listing appeal to early bookers.

3. Avoid stays that are too short

Requiring guests to stay a certain number of nights can work in your favor. Host Jeff of Caernarfon, Wales, raises his minimum stay during peak season from his usual three nights and limits when guests can check in. “I've set the high season to [a] seven-night minimum and Saturday check-in,” Jeff says. As the busy season gets closer, you can always relax these settings if you find they’re too restrictive.

4. Plan your calendar for big events

If you live in a destination with annual events that draw crowds, some seasoned hosts recommend initially blocking your calendar for those dates. In Austin, Texas, for example, about 417,000 people attended South by Southwest in 2019. Some Austin hosts open their calendars and set prices closer to SXSW every year, so they can compare similar listings and keep their rates competitive.

5. Be thoughtful about extra fees

To set up your listing so guests are more likely to choose it over others in the busy season, study similar listings as well as the highest-rated listings in your area. From there, set your prices and any necessary fees for cleaning, extra guests, and more. New listings come online during peak season, and more fees may lead to fewer guests in the high season. Remember: Guests will compare not just the nightly price of your listing but the overall price—including fees.


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6. Evaluate your listing

Even if your listing is in good shape, it’s smart to re-examine it before you head into your busy hosting season. Are all of your photos up to date? Is it time to hire a professional photographer? Have you updated your accessibility features? Are there any typos or missing info?


Host Pablo in La Paz, Bolivia, created a complete checklist to help prepare for his high season. “It's good to always stop to evaluate,” he says. His checklist includes:

7. Consider activating Instant Book

If you haven’t tried Instant Book before, now might be the right time to try it out. Listings with Instant Book turned on tend to be more popular with guests, since they’re able to more easily plan their trips. Plus, turning on Instant Book speeds up your response rate, which can improve how your listing ranks in search results. During peak season, this could make the difference between attracting a guest—or not. There’s also a filter guests can use to find Instant Book listings only, which could bring more attention to your listing.

8. Think like a Superhost

Whether you’re already a Superhost or you’re aspiring to be one, try hard to respond to guests quickly. (Part of becoming a Superhost is responding to 90% of new inquiries and reservation requests within 24 hours.) You might even consider using message templates for a faster response. “I love the templates and use them all the time,” says Superhost Sally of Snoqualmie Pass, Washington. “When a guest first makes a [reservation], I send them a ‘Thank you for booking’ message. That way they know I got their request.”


Consistent communication is key, and this applies after checkout too. You can send guests a thank-you note via the Airbnb app—and remind them to write a review. To increase your chances for positive reviews, hosts generally recommend communicating with guests from booking through checkout. The more reviews you get, the more potential guests can learn about your space and the closer you are to your hosting goals.

9. Examine your cleaning routine

Think about your cleaning routine now so resetting your space is on auto-pilot. If you generally allow for a day between guests to clean and turn over your space, hiring a professional may get the job done faster. Consider adding a cleaning fee to your listing, but be strategic: Higher cleaning fees discourage shorter stays, and increase expectations for cleanliness.


Prepping for high season is also ideal for major cleaning projects. While assessing his listing, host Pablo of La Paz, Bolivia, also evaluates his space to find out what linens should be replaced, what furniture needs repairing, what supplies could be purchased wholesale, and whether it’s time to deep clean interiors and exteriors.

10. Consider enlisting the help of a co-host

Hosting can be a collaborative effort. For example, host Ivan-Dario of Bogotá, Colombia, doesn’t do it all on his own—he relies on both a co-host and a cleaner. “When I receive a reservation, I inform [my cleaner], and this way, if for some reason I forget any upcoming reservation, she always reminds me,” he says.

Peak-season prep can be simple—and lucrative, if you plan ahead. Just make sure you block dates you can’t host so you don’t have to cancel any reservations, which can lead to cancellation penalties such as paying fees, losing Superhost status, or even getting your account suspended. Once you have a better idea of the dates you can host during your busiest time of year, creating a pricing strategy with some of these tips can help you make the most of your high season.


36 Replies 36
Level 2
Fredericton, CA

Many valuable tips!  Thank you!

Level 4
Athens, Greece

Thank you so much for reminding us!!!

High season is just in the corner and we have to get ready...


Thank you very informative 

Level 1
Paisley, GB

How do I put another room to let on my page 

Level 1
Holmes Beach, FL

Pretty sure you make a separate listing for it, then make sure each one has a distinctive name so it's obvious to your guests, as well as to you. Then be sure to check what areas are shared, if any. 

Level 1
South Woodham Ferrers, GB

Excellent advice. Thank you

Level 1
Temple Cloud, GB

I would really like to know how to place different minimum stay lengths on different dates. Thanks.

Level 2
Anderson, SC

click 'availability settings' at the top of your calendar. click 'edit' for 'trip details.' click 'add another requirement.'  click the arrow down symbol in 'during.' scroll down and click 'specific dates.' click on your desired start date and then click on your desired end date. repeat this process as often as needed.

Level 1
Atlanta, GA

Many thanks!

Level 1
Montreal, Canada

Consider enlisting the help of a co-host,

Except please note that we do not support co-hosts, any bugs preventing co-hosts from co-hosting will be ignored for at least 3 months, usually longer.

Thank you for offering such valuable tips! 

Love it!

Gracias for the helpful tips. I’m going to work on my messages templates right now before peak season. This would help me keep my response rate 100%!!!

Level 1
Cherokee, NC

Thank you for some excellent advice.

Level 1
Lloydminster, Canada

This just answered some questions I have been wondering about.

Level 2
Des Moines, IA

i see no way to apply an early bird discount in my listing. Could someone tell me where to look?

Level 4
Seattle, WA

Need to be on computer not app to get to it.  Go to Listings / Pricing and scroll down below Nightly and Length of Stay Discounts.

Level 2
Glen Ellen, CA

If using Smart Pricing, how do I set a new minimum price starting on a future date? 


i.e. - assume peak season starts April 1.  I'd like the system to use an 'off-peak' minimum for any bookings prior to April 1, but for anyone booking for stays from April 1 on, I want the 'peak' minimum applied.  


I don't see a way to do this? 

Level 1
Palm Desert, CA

Great advice, thanks 

Level 2
Brick Township, NJ

Thank you for the helpful information.

Level 2
Anderson, SC

Anyone know why it reads either ‘level 1’ or ‘level 2,’ below our names?

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