Top tips for attracting more holiday home bookings during the winter months

We know it can be a real worry and struggle to attract bookings in the winter. But plenty of people are out there just desperate for a cosy getaway! To help you out, here are our top tips for attracting more bookings during the winter months.

The UK holiday letting season has been gradually extending over the years and has had a bit of a boost since the pandemic. Interestingly, nearly 70% of Brits travel within the UK, showing a rising trend even before the pandemic. Plus, many people now opt for holiday lets over hotels for more privacy, a home-from-home feel and lower costs per person for larger groups. This means plenty of people are out there looking for a winter getaway, but how do we get them to choose your holiday let? In this blog post, we share valuable tips to help boost your holiday bookings during the winter months.

What are the benefits of holiday letting in the winter?

Cosy Holiday Let Cottage.

There are two main benefits of holiday letting in the winter. The first is an opportunity to increase profits from your holiday home by extending the season. The second is even more valuable: guests who enjoy a winter stay at your property are likelier to recommend it to others and book again for the summer months. How often have you stayed somewhere in winter and thought, ‘This would be even better in summer!’ we do this all the time.

Additionally, letting your holiday home in winter prevents pipes from freezing, reduces dampness, keeps the property secure, maintains heating, and supports the local economy by attracting visitors to local attractions, pubs, shops and restaurants.

Our 5 top tips for attracting more bookings during the winter months

Cosy Cottage Wood Burning Fire.

1. Customise the guest experience for winter holidaymakers

The type of summer guests you attract will likely differ from your winter guests. Depending on your property, families and groups may be more interested in visiting during school holidays, while couples, solo travellers, dog owners, and friends travelling without children may be more inclined to visit during the winter. While these are general observations, it’s beneficial to consider how you present your property to different audiences.

Consider changing your holiday let’s photos seasonally for potential guests. For instance, you could showcase a woodland walk showing off the seasons changing colours, the sun rising over a misty field, a snow-covered landscape, a chilly morning with frost glistening, your holiday let with a fire on decorated seasonally or a cosy hot tub bubbling away on a cold night.

Holiday Cottage Extra Blankets.

2. Prepare especially for your winter guests

Preparing your holiday let specifically for winter guests and transforming it into a cosy home from home is a wonderful way to enhance the guest’s experience. There are a few really simple ways to do this:

If your holiday let has a fireplace or log burner, ensure a fully stocked basket of logs is available for your guests. You can also provide clear and easy-to-find information on where guests can top up on logs, kindling, eco-firelighters, and more.

To make your guests feel cosy, consider putting extra blankets on the beds or in a basket in the bedrooms or wardrobe. You could even add throws on the back of the sofas for your guests to snuggle up under while watching a movie in the evenings.

For particularly cold and wet days, you could also provide additional amenities such as a selection of games (board games as well as video games), a bookshelf of fiction and non-fiction reading material, a Netflix subscription, an entry discount if there’s a nearby spa, pool, and gym, as well as details of takeaway delivery services or restaurants that offer delivery nearby.

Holiday Let Christmas Decorations.

3. Decorate for the season

Whether you love or hate decorating seasonally, adding seasonal decorations to your holiday let goes a long way. It will transform the atmosphere for your guests and boost those critical first impressions. If guests visit during a specific holiday, adding a little decoration to make them feel at home is always lovely. For example, you can place seasonal flowers on the table, add a wreath on the front door, or add a small Christmas tree. Remember to share photos of your decorated property with your booking platform so they can showcase it to potential guests.

Winter Holiday Let Family.

4. Be as flexible as possible

To make your holiday home stand out during the winter, it’s essential to be as flexible and competitive as possible. With so many online options, offering something unique and valuable to guests is critical. To increase your chances of securing winter bookings, consider offering a flexible changeover day and keeping the minimum number of rental nights as low as possible. Two-night stays are particularly popular for weekend getaways. While competitive pricing is important, remember that guests look for value for money at this time of year.

Don’t be afraid of social media! Get engaged and chat with hosts and marketing platforms, especially when promoting last-minute availability. Share, talk, tell, tag, and inform people about space for a last-minute getaway. Though managing these accounts may take some time, they offer a great way to reach a wider audience and highlight your holiday home.

A Winter Welcome Hamper.

5. Use and share your local knowledge!

Sharing your expert local knowledge with your guests is incredibly valuable. While good old Google can provide information, letting your guests have a few “best-kept secrets” or local tips can make all the difference to their trip. Compiling a list of the best local walks and sunset times during the autumn and winter is a great idea. Sharing your knowledge of lesser-known beauty spots can be seen as thoughtful and shows that you’re going the extra mile for your guests.

Additionally, there are many events all over the UK during the low season, such as autumn food festivals and Christmas markets. Providing your guests with an itinerary of what’s on or some handy local information about transportation or what to look out for can be a lovely touch.

If you’re in an area known for its local produce, showcase it to your visitors. Consider supporting local businesses and adding seasonal treats to a welcome hamper, like hot chocolates and marshmallows, mince pies, or spiced fruit teas, for an extra special touch.

Peak District-based holiday let management and support team

We hope you have found our top tips for attracting more bookings during the winter months helpful! With a little extra effort and creativity, you can make the most of this time of the year and keep your business thriving even in the winter.

Matt and Kerry.

We offer a complete end-to-end support service to ensure your holiday or short-let property realises its full rental income and occupancy potential. We operate using our Peak District teams and providers who understand the importance of knowing your local area better than anyone.

Here are a few ways we can support you:

  • A complete property management support service, including cleaning and linen supply.
  • A rolling 3-month contract, so no long-term agreements.
  • 24/7 guest support services and full listing management.
  • Competitive management fees.
  • Full access via your client portal.

If you have any questions about any of the above, you can contact us, and we will help in any way we can. We hope this article has been helpful, and we thank you for your cooperation!

Matt & Kerry Clayton
Pass the Keys – Holiday Let Management in the Peak District