How to prepare for low season and boost your bookings

By Fred Jéquier

For guests fortunate enough to be able to pick and choose when they're going on vacation, it's becoming increasingly more common to opt for a trip outside of high season, as low-season travel comes with its own rewards. With cheaper flights and little to no crowds at popular destinations, it's hardly surprising that off-season is becoming the time to indulge in a getaway. This is great news for hosts, but we've got five more tips to help you further prepare for low season and ensure you get a boost in bookings.

Whether you own a ski chalet in Colorado or a beach hut overlooking the ocean in Hawaii, let us help you get your accommodation the exposure it deserves, no matter what time of year it is.

1. Rethink your demographic

No matter if your vacation rental is overlooking the ocean or set deep in the heart of the mountains, peak seasons tend to fall around school vacations. Marketing your rental is relatively easy during that time frame, as you can really sell the idyllic family getaway to entice guests to book. Once school starts again, however, you need to think about who is going to be planning their trip and how you can get involved in off-season tourism.

Your target market will likely shift to those who don't have parental responsibilities, such as single people, young couples, couples who don't have children, and those whose kids have flown the coop. This gives you a wide spectrum of people to market to, and you can even try and make your rental appealing for weekend group getaways, encouraging college or school reunions.

2. Adjust your rates accordingly

Photo courtesy of Upwork.

One of the benefits of heading on an off-season trip is that the cost of getting from Point A to Point B becomes significantly cheaper. Major airlines launch all kinds of promotions and discounts to encourage people to head out on a trip, even though most of them are already back to school pick-ups and full days at the office. By lowering your prices during this period of time, you can tap into this demographic that could be swayed by a reduced rate. You'll have guests lining up for a memorable getaway at your accommodation in no time!

3. Minimize your minimum night stay

While your goal is to ensure that your booking calendar is as full as possible throughout the year, guests are looking for a bargain to ensure they end up with the best off-season vacation possible. During low season, you may want to consider changing your minimum night stay to encourage more bookings. You could even go one step further by offering deals for multiple-night stays! Why not offer three nights for the price of two or encourage a week-long stay by giving guests one of the nights for free?

4. Update your unique aspects for all seasons

Depending on your location, your peak season could be in either summer or winter. Nevertheless, you've more than likely got some photos and information in your listing that show potential guests some of the more popular activities for a vacation during high season. To get off-season travelers knocking on your door, you should add some tips and advice about activities, festivals, and events unique to your area for low season, too.

If summer is your high season, let people now about your local harvest festival in the fall or annual Christmas market in winter. Alternatively, if winter is when guests come flocking, make sure you're telling potential guests about the nearest summer fair or outdoor movie series. Additionally, seasonal photos that show how amazing it would be to enjoy a trip to your rental, regardless of the time of year, will also attract more booking requests during the off season.

5. Reassure with reviews

Reviews go a long way in encouraging other people to book a stay. Prospective guests appreciate the chance to read an honest, individual description about someone's time at your accommodation. It's important, however, to make sure you get reviews from guests during both low and high seasons. Even a couple of sentences from a guest that stays with you in the off season may be enough to give a future guest the reassurance they need that your place is perfect for their getaway, no matter what month it is.


Find out firsthand how our Glamping Hub hosts make sure guests come back time and again in our Host Spotlight blog series!