When we consider the high and low seasons for vacation rental properties, we often conjure up images of white sandy beaches or perfectly powdered ski slopes. In many cases, it’s true that depending on the geographical location of a property, there will be a higher influx of guests during certain times of the year.
As a vacation rental owner or manager, if you only fixate your efforts on your obvious peak season, you could be missing out on a lot of business opportunities.
Recent research suggests 78% of millennials (many of whom are your potential vacation rental guests) are choosing to spend their money on experiences or events, rather than material things. In addition to this, 55% of millennials state they are spending more on events and live experiences than ever before.
Knowing which events are taking place near you throughout the year can work wonders for your booking calendar. A great practice for owners and property managers is adapting your listing or website description to the event in question. For example, by emphasizing your property’s location in relation to the event site, or by adding extra images in your gallery of the festival or holiday celebration.
Furthermore, creating a buzz on social media about upcoming shows, sports fixtures and so on will help potential guests to see that you know what’s on in your area. Your content will also help position you as a local expert, and help them to trust your website when making their decision.
Without further ado, here is our list of the top 20 events taking place around the US in 2018. Property owners and managers – use these to your advantage in your marketing efforts this year!
St. Patrick’s Day
While not a federal holiday in the US, St. Patrick’s Day carries a huge significance for Irish-American culture. It’s celebrated with large street parades which draw massive crowds in major cities such as Savannah, Chicago, Boston, Houston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Denver, Detroit, Toronto, New York, New Orleans and Seattle.
Date: March 17th
Also referred to as July 4th, Independence Day is a federal US holiday which commemorates the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Many US families look to get away together for the celebrations, so for owners with big properties, plenty of outdoor space and easy access to firework displays, you’re onto a winner.
Date: July 4th
For San Diego proprietors, Comic-Con International is one of the city’s most notable annual events. Attendance in recent years has exceeded 130,000 – and those from outside San Diego will always need a place to stay! If your property is within easy reach of the San Diego Convention Center, use this as a USP on your listings to encourage Comic-Con attendees to book your property.
Date: July 19th – July 22nd
This niche event, Elvis Week, commemorates the life and music of the King of rock‘n’roll at Graceland, Memphis. Thousands of Elvis Presley fans from around the world gather in this Tennessee town to pay tribute to the legacy of Elvis Presley.
Date: August 11th – August 18th
115 Years of Harley Davidson
In late August this year, Milwaukee is celebrating 115 years of the Harley Davidson brand. With carnival-style activities, beach races and country-wide pilgrimages taking place, this event is one to cash in on if you’re a Milwaukee owner. Many hotel rooms will sell out far in advance, so make sure guests can find your rental. List with the local tourism board – Visit Milwaukee – for a better shot at getting noticed.
Date: August 29th – September 2nd
Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated throughout the United States on the first Monday in September. It marks the creation of the labor movement and praises the contributions workers have made to the US in terms of its strength, prosperity and well-being. As Labor Day always falls on a Monday, it provides the perfect opportunity to market your rental for a long weekend Labor Day stay!
Date: September 3rd
Although Halloween is a big event for kids and adults alike across the country, nowhere does it spookier than Salem, Massachusetts. Salem became synonymous with Halloween after the tragic events that unfolded during the Salem Witch Trials. Since the first event in 1982 which attracted over 50,000 visitors, Salem Haunted Happenings has evolved into a large-scale month-long event with activities for everyone.
Date: October 31st
Thanksgiving Day is a nationwide, traditional holiday which gives thanks for the food collected from the harvest. It is typically spent with family, a big hearty meal and, sometimes, a visit to a Thanksgiving Parade. Last year, over 50 million US citizens traveled to celebrate Thanksgiving. If you have a spacious property with a full kitchen that would facilitate the cooking of a turkey and all the sides, plus a large dining and living area to suit a large family, your rental will be at the top of travelers’ lists. Additionally, if you’re in a key shopping destination, travelers will love being able to make the most of Black Friday sales the day after.
Date: Fourth Thursday of November
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s is a big event around the world – not only in the United States. However, few celebrations come close to the iconic buzz of Times Square and the infamous ball drop. Approximately one million revelers gather at the central NYC destination to welcome in the new year. No matter where your property is located, there’s likely to be something on the agenda to help tourists ring in 2019 like a local. Remember to mention transport options and costs to big event venues in your listing descriptions!
Date: 31st December
This major event in the golfing calendar takes place annually in Augusta, Georgia. Each year, there are around 40,000 four-day badge holders, and some 150,000 daily practice round ticket holders. If your property is in the area, you can advertise it on the Masters Housing website for biggest exposure.
Date: April 5th – April 9th
One of the most well-known and biggest marathons in the world, the Boston Marathon takes place in April every year. Many participants’ friends and family come from all over to support them at this event, so tailor your listings around the Boston Marathon if you’re low on bookings for April.
Date: April 16th
While the Kentucky Derby is just a two-minute race, it caps the fortnight of celebrations known as the Kentucky Derby Festival. It’s the second oldest horse race in the United States and has been coined the “most exciting two minutes in sports”. Vacation rental owners and property managers in Louisville, Kentucky can use this renowned event as a unique selling point for their listings.
Date: April 21st – May 5th
The X Games
This four-day event hosts some of the best action sports competitions in the world alongside world-class music acts. Visitors can expect to see skateboarding, BMX and Moto X in the mix in the heart of Minneapolis. If your property has easy access to the US Bank Stadium, Medtronic Plaza or Downtown East Commons Park, extreme sports fanatics are bound to show interest for their stay in Minnesota.
Date: July 19th – 22nd
Rugby World Cup Sevens
San Francisco will host the seventh Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2018, a first for the US. Both men’s and women’s events will run side by side at AT&T Park (home of the San Francisco Giants) in July. Fans, families and friends alike will need accommodation for the event, and large vacation rentals are perfect for traveling groups.
Date: July 20th – 22nd
A must for any tennis fanatic, this two-week tennis extravaganza takes place in Flushing, New York and hosts over 700,000 visitors each year. Many travelers will want to take advantage of a trip to New York to see the bright lights as well as the US Open, so your property could be located anywhere within easy reach of Flushing to appeal to them.
Date: August 27th – September 9th
FEI World Equestrian Games
The international championship event, administered by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), will take place this year in North Carolina. NC owners listen up: the FEI World Equestrian Games has the potential to be the largest sporting event in North Carolina history, with over $400 million dollars of projected economic impact, and 500,000 spectators over the 13-day event.
Date: September 11th – 23rd
South By Southwest (SXSW) was founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas. Known for kicking off careers of many music industry greats, SXSW is an annual showcase of music, film and other interactive performances. At present, the site links to various hotel offerings, as well as to listings on Airbnb and AllTheRooms – so be quick to get your rental online to have the highest chance of attracting guests in Austin.
Date: March 9th – 18th
Coachella is renowned for being one of the coolest and most fashionable festivals out there. Tickets always sell out fast, but many travelers don’t book accommodation until much nearer the date. As there are two weekends to choose from, there are double possibilities for getting guests to stay at your Cali property.
Date: April 13th – 22nd
The lineup of Sasquatch! music festival is often a perfect choice for indie lovers and singer-songwriter fans, with this year being no exception. Although Sasquatch! has a campsite, many festival-goers choose to stay in the neighboring town of Quincy, WA. For guests, nothing compares to the home-from-home comforts of a vacation rental after dancing along to their favorite groups all day.
Date: May 25th – 27th
The annual Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago’s Grant Park features bands from across many different genres, as well as dance and comedy performances included in its line up. With no on-site lodging options, Lollapalooza goers have to book accommodation for the weekend if they are from out of town.
Date: August 2nd – 5th
Made in America
Founded by Jay-Z, this two-day festival of homegrown US talent brings a lot of tourists to Philadelphia in September each year. While the dates haven’t yet been confirmed, many travelers will already be thinking about their plans to attend. Keep an eye on Made in America’s official website to get first look at the details and prime opportunity to advertise your offering.
Date: TBA September
With this list, you now have a good base of events and dates to take advantage of to get more out of your vacation rental.
Have we missed any important peak travel season events? Let us know in the comments and help us to help thousands of owners!