Every region across the globe has a primary holiday season: that time of year when locals honor traditions, spend time with friends and family, and generally get festive. For Airbnb hosts, this can also be a great time to open your space to guests. In many regions, demand for accommodations during holidays is high, which can boost your listing’s nightly value. Holidays also provide an opportunity to create an extra special guest experience.
You can incorporate seasonal celebrations into your hosting in a variety of ways. We’ve collected some favorite stories from our host community about what hosts do to celebrate their spaces and their guests during festive times of year.
A little decoration can go a long way
Adding a few seasonal touches to your decor can be just enough to provide that extra warmth guests might be looking for if they’re away from home during a festive time.
Sometimes guests have to travel during this time of year to visit family and friends. They really appreciate the extra effort and “homey” feel of the house. I am happy when I see guests on the porch with the pumpkins lit or by the Christmas tree sipping hot chocolate in the mugs I left for them. As a retired teacher, I have an abundance of Christmas mugs and am glad they get used.
Including some holiday spirit can not only make a guest feel good, it might also help boost your ratings as a host.
We purchase little gifts for the family staying Christmas day to open so they will feel at home. Last year one of our guests was so touched that she actually cried. I suppose something like that is one of the few times a host can make a guest cry and still get 5 stars!
Showcasing your region’s best
Many hosts select non-denominational decorations to ensure that their spaces are inclusive to guests of all backgrounds. We applaud their belong anywhere spirit. But, ultimately, how you choose to share the seasons with your guests is completely up to you!
Many hosts find particular joy in highlighting what makes their region or culture unique, and holiday celebrations offer a great opportunity to do just that.
We decorate the house in fall colors, and as Halloween is really picking up steam here in Mexico we decorate with pumpkins and local art pieces made of woven wild grasses from the area. Witches, wreaths, animals like deer, etc. Absolutely wonderful.
Food, glorious food
Food is often the great connector in joining family, friends, and communities. For some hosts, it’s also a way to engage with guests, especially during festive times of year. Many hosts leave out sweets or wine for guests to toast to the season. Other hosts extend the spirit of hospitality even further and invite guests to join them for a holiday meal.
I always prepare special foods and it is very nice to have their company and to share meals made with lots of love. It is very pleasurable, because we create ties and guests always come back. I have never again spent the holidays by myself!
One host noted the unique opportunity that Airbnb provides to connect people and, especially significant during holiday seasons, offer an experience beyond simple accommodations. Hosts have the opportunity to share local traditions that guests from other cultures wouldn’t experience if staying in a hotel.
I think you have to show the guests that staying with Airbnb is not just a hotel-type business, it goes beyond: sharing and exchanging emotions, culture, customs and life experiences.
Going beyond hospitality
Annual holidays are a time when many people give back to their communities and those in need. Some families include acts of giving as a regular tradition and invite their holiday guests to join in these traditions.
In this family we have a Christmas tradition: before dinner, we dress up as Santa and Mrs. Claus, elves, reindeer, etc. and we go to the shelters and hospitals to share a dinner with the people who are there. People who are not doing well or if we find little children in the streets we also give them food. So if our guest would like to join us they can be another reindeer and share love on the street with us!
While hosting for the holidays can offer some business benefits, many hosts simply enjoy including hospitality in their celebrations.
I celebrate with [guests] the whole year, always offering the best of my country and my region. My motto “building bridges” was born thanks to the interaction with Airbnb. Knowing people and being in contact with them is my greatest satisfaction.
We love hearing about how hosts are connecting with guests in extra special ways as part of their holiday celebrations. Do you have a holiday hosting story? If so, please share it in the Community Center.
Enjoy the holiday season, wherever you are!