How far in the future do you open your calendar?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10
996 Views

Curious.

 

Last year we opened a year in advance. With COVID cancellations it was a terrible idea because dates were booked and people waffled back and forth on whether they could come/cancelled at the last minute/wanted to rebook at an old rate etc. We are also steadily increasing our nightly rate so this year we are doing 6 months out with the hope of getting to a financial goal at year's end. 

 

What do you see as a best practice? I have had a few people request dates that are not yet available (and will ultimately cost more per night...)

45 Replies

Re: How far in the future do you open your calendar?

in
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Level 10

@Laura2592 

I allways use a 3 months booking window, but i guess most hosts are using a larger booking window.

Re: How far in the future do you open your calendar?

in
California, United States
Level 10

The most successful/in demand listings that are similar to ours open up 3 months in advance. I would look at the listings in your area to get a sense of what might be appropriate. You can usually tell if you go to reserve a date and see what's available. 

Re: How far in the future do you open your calendar?

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

@Laura2592 I open my calendar with the 'seasons.' Right now I'm focused on Now - Spring. In a couple of months, I will open the busy summer season in one fell swoop. Once summer starts booking and dates/events are set, I will start thinking about the fall. And so on . . .

Re: How far in the future do you open your calendar?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

I've always done a 3 month window. For one thing, my guests seem to book a month or 3 weeks in advance, not much more than that. And I never wanted to be chained to having to be around for some booking 6 months or more down the road, in case I decided to go somewhere myself.

 

It also seems like more possibility of guests cancelling if they book way far ahead, because so many unforeseen things can happen in peoples' lives that change their plans.

 

I can see where it would make sense for hosts to have their calendars open a year out if they live somewhere there is a major event that guests tend to plan and book for far ahead so they are assured of finding accomodation at a reasonable price.

Re: How far in the future do you open your calendar?

in
South Korea
Level 10

@Laura2592 

I used to alternate between a 9 month window or 12 month window. Since I used to host a lot of exchange students, I would usually start to get inquiries about the spring semester (March~June) in September of the previous year (usually no more than 4~5) and have a confirmed booking no later than mid January, then for the fall semester (September~December) inquiries would start in April and I'd have a confirmed booking by mid-July. For gaps between the long-term stays, open dates within a 3 month window would have a min-stay of 3 nights, for anything further out I'd increase the nightly rate to discourage bookings and adjust to my normal rates at a later date. 😀

Re: How far in the future do you open your calendar?

in
United Kingdom
Level 10

For us in the UK, since the pandemic started there is a bigger problem than "will the guest still want to come". It's "will I still want to, or be in a position to, host". If I ever reactivate my listing, I am going to be extremely cautious, and start with a very short window, probably a month or 6 weeks.

Re: How far in the future do you open your calendar?

in
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
Level 10

@Laura2592,

I have  the booking window for my guesthouse set at three months.  We get some early planners, but most bookings occur within 90 days of arrival.  I was thinking about changing to six months as part of testing the new strict 30-day cancellation policy, but our pool of eligible guests is very small since currently we can host only guests who don't need to quarantine.  

Re: How far in the future do you open your calendar?

in
Oregon City, OR
Level 10

6 months in the basement guest suite, 1 year in the vacation homes— bc people frequently want to book their next year’s vacation when checking out and that’s our preferred guest. (But 2021 will be our final year so now the window is shrinking.)

Re: How far in the future do you open your calendar?

in
NY, NY
Level 10

@Lisa723  Why are you shutting that place down after this year?

Re: How far in the future do you open your calendar?

in
Oregon City, OR
Level 10

@Ann72 We’re planning to make it our primary residence!

Re: How far in the future do you open your calendar?

in
NY, NY
Level 10

That’s awesome, @Lisa723!

Re: How far in the future do you open your calendar?

in
NY, NY
Level 10

@Laura2592  A year out, always.  I get very few bookings that are close to the travel date.  July is mostly gone by the end of January.  I raise my prices in September for the next season.

Re: How far in the future do you open your calendar?

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Laura2592  Pre-Corona, 6 to 10 weeks. Mostly just because I needed that much flexibility for my own schedule, to take up work projects that might leave me without the spare time to commit to hosting duties. But for people traveling within Europe, Berlin is not a destination that demands much advance planning, and I seldom get people coming for an important fixed-date event such as a wedding or Beyonce concert.

 

Whenever the pandemic starts truly winding down, if I were to resume hosting I think I'd start with an even shorter opening frame. Having any kind of plan for even a month out has come to feel hilariously futile now, and after all these cycles of lockdown/relax/lockdown it'll be hard to shake that mentality.

 

Re: How far in the future do you open your calendar?

in
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
Level 10

@Andrew0,

Is there a systematic way to set the booking window to just a month?  I thought 3 months was the shortest period.

Join the conversation