10+ ways to get your vacation rental ready for the holidays.


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10+ ways to get your vacation rental ready for the holidays.

By emily.bailey

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Holiday vacation rental | Schlage

Take care of these details to have a major impact when accepting bookings for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.



Is your vacation rental ready for the holidays? It’s easy to imagine what your guests might need for a summer getaway, but as a property manager, making this festive time of year special for them can pay off big for you, too. Take care of these details to have a major impact when accepting bookings for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

Deck the halls … or not

If you know your guests are staying with you to celebrate their holiday, there’s no reason you can’t deck the halls. Some will appreciate being able to enjoy a Christmas getaway without missing out on their favorite traditions.


But when you have multiple bookings coming and going, or if you aren’t sure why someone is staying with you, it can be a good idea to keep your décor more neutral. Instead of a giant Christmas tree or a menorah, for example, try a simple wreath on the door, garland around a fireplace, candles with holiday scents or snowmen.

Give a welcoming gift

No one will turn down a thoughtful gift. A welcome basket is a good idea for any time of year, but you can tailor it for holiday time. Lodgify suggests a basket of hot chocolate or cider mixes. If you’re local to your vacation rental, you could offer a plate of fresh, homemade cookies.

Offer the ultimate package

Try promoting a holiday package to potential guests. As part of their booking, offer a wine or Champaign basket, reservations to a nice restaurant for a holiday meal or tickets to a local theater production. Guests will appreciate your inside knowledge and ability to arrange the details so they don’t have to.

Provide in-home entertainment

Even if guests plan to get out of the house during the holidays, there might be some stretches where there just isn’t anywhere to go. When restaurants, museums and stores are closed for the holiday, give guests something to keep them busy. Board games, movies and books or magazines are a good start. Families might appreciate this as well as it gives them more opportunity to have fun quality time together.

Stock up with holiday supplies

Just as you might supply sunscreen and beach towels for summer guests, think about the things people need at holiday time. Maybe it’s gift wrap and extra tape. Maybe it’s extra cooking supplies like sugar, flour, roasting pans and measuring cups.

Accommodate the whole family

Holiday travelers come in all shapes. You’re likely dealing with entire families booking your rental at this time of year, so consider supplying kid-friendly accommodations like a portable crib and high chair. Use these child proofing tips while you’re at it. If you’re rental is pet-friendly, be sure to make that clear to potential guests so they know they can bring Fido instead of paying for a kennel.

Get the word out

If your holiday bookings are lagging, consider sending a newsletter to past guests letting them know that you are accepting Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s reservations. Make it extra enticing by reminding them of the fun things there are to do around town, especially if they’re holiday-specific, and include festive photography.

Take seasonal photos

Whether it’s for a newsletter or your booking site, show off the holiday ambience through photography. Stage your vacation home with festive décor, highlight an accommodating kitchen that will cater to family gatherings or capture snow-covered views. Make it easy for people to imagine themselves being cozy and spending quality time with loved ones at your vacation rental.

Help them shop

There’s always someone you never know how to shop for. Promote your rental as the perfect gift. Lodgify recommends special discounts or gift certificates for bookings to attract gift-givers.

Set a minimum stay

A three-night minimum stay is a good rule of thumb, whether you’re managing a property during less-popular holidays or during peak season. According to Rented.com, this can deter people looking to check in or out on The Day, making it harder for you to enjoy your own holiday with family.

Price appropriately

Figuring out what to charge for your vacation rental is often a tricky endeavor and the holidays are no different. If you’re in a location that caters more to the holiday crowd, you can afford to upcharge visitors a bit. Just don’t be too ambitious or they’ll look elsewhere. If Christmas or New Year’s is down-season for you, consider lowering your rates.


Managing a rental property successfully means taking care of all the details so that others enjoy their stay, return for a repeat visit and continue supporting your business. Visit the Schlage blog for more tips on managing a vacation home, including how to use smart locks to simplify home sharing and how a strong welcoming statement makes for better business.