February 14th is drawing near with all its chocolates, hearts and valentines in tow. Whether you get caught up in the romance or not, there’s no denying the holiday’s attraction for vacation rental owners. Why, you ask? Well, Valentine’s Day is a perfect excuse for weekend getaways.
Last year, TIME pointed out that only about 55% of Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day, but those who do spend an average of $147. This is a great signal for vacation rentals! Your job is simply to entice couples into booking a unique experience at your rental, rather than spending their money on more stereotypical presents.
We’ve compiled some great ideas to help you encourage guests to spend their Valentine’s money on your vacation rental.
1. Create a “Valentine’s Weekend” package for your rental
Your goal is to convince a romantically inclined guest to buy their significant other a weekend getaway for Valentine’s Day. The more you can include with this offer, the more likely they will be to consider it a good substitute for the usual Valentine’s presents.
This package could include items such as:
- Two bottles of champagne or wine
- Assorted high quality chocolates
- Rose petals for decoration
- Extra: two certificates to a local restaurant or spa
You want your guests to know they will be pampered to the maximum on their Valentine’s weekend. Advertise it as a special and certainly charge a higher price than an average weekend rental, but ensure that your service will be outstanding to make up for the extra cost.
2. Advertise a “Special Rate” for the night of the 14th
As Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year, another great option is to advertise a secondary special for Valentine’s Day itself, since fewer people will be able to book a vacation on a Tuesday night. This special would certainly be less expensive than the Weekend Package, but should still include the champagne or wine, box of chocolates, and rose petals. The cheaper price does not call for extravagant touches like a certificate to the local spa or a restaurant, but you could certainly include them for extra points.
A secondary consideration would be promoting the entire week as part of this deal. Think about your rental and the maximum gain you could benefit from. Is a one-night special or an entire week more beneficial for your rental? Are you already well-booked or do you need to make use of a week in February? Pursue whatever option will bring you the most profit overall, and create a deal that will be enticing for your possible guests.
3. Host a Dinner Party for the evening of February 14
If your rental is meant for larger groups or is less romantic in its setting, we have a solution for you, too! Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be for couples – plenty of groups spend the day together to show their appreciation for one another.
Why not advertise a special event for groups of friends for the evening of February 14th? This is a good way at attracting locals and their pals who might otherwise be alone on Valentine’s.
There are two options for doing this:
- Place an individual entrance fee per guest and host a dinner party.
- Offer your rental for a one-night Valentine’s event to a group of friends (with a group discount!), and include all the goodies and party supplies in the fee.
Here are some of our favorite ideas to include for a night like this:
- A competition for the best “how we became friends” story complete with a grand prize (bottle of wine, box of chocolates, gift certificate, etc.)
- Music and dancing
- A photo booth with silly props and a fun hashtag
- Bottles of wine/champagne
- Small box of chocolates for each attendee
- A movie showing after dinner (complete with ice cream and other treats) or a group painting class with a local artist
- Add a themed dress code for extra effort! Whether it’s black tie, costumed, color-themed with pinks and reds, or a fun night in pajamas and slippers!
4. Add extra touches to the bedroom and bathroom
Valentine’s Day is all about the romance, and a guest who books a special Valentine’s getaway will be delighted with little details that provide an extra romantic atmosphere. You’ll want to make sure there is a perfectly set dining room table, with wine glasses and corkscrews in the kitchen, but the main areas to concentrate on will be the bedroom and bathroom.
Provide your guests with fresh white linens and consider adding rose petals to their bed. Place peaceful scented candles throughout both the bedroom and the bathroom and make sure matches are readily available. If your bathroom offers a Jacuzzi, be sure to provide soothing bath salts and lotions, plus fluffy robes for afterwards. You could even leave a small portable speaker handy to play some relaxing music.
Even if your rent your house to the group of friends instead of a couple, they’ll surely appreciate the extra pampering of a soothing bathroom.
5. Work with local business to offer your guests Valentine’s deals
Whether or not you plan to host these Valentine’s weekend and one-night specials, talk to local businesses nearby about discounts they could offer. They might consider helping you out with coupons or gift certificates at a discounted price if you promote their business through your rental in return.
You could make a reservation for two at a local restaurant and arrange for an extra special Valentine’s dinner, have a local spa create a specialized massage package, or create a personalized box of chocolates from a local candy store. If you’re located in a vineyard region, a local winery might offer a few free bottles or a discount on a wine tour for your guests.
You’re the one who knows your rental area best. Consider businesses nearby and determine which ones could be a good fit for your guests. You could very possibly set up a future relationship which will benefit both businesses and any other future guests!
6. Advertise, advertise, advertise!
In order to really benefit from a special opportunity like Valentine’s Day, you have to advertise your weekend packages, special offers, or any parties you might consider hosting and direct them back to your website. It’s important that you set up the room as you would plan to offer it to your guests and take lots of photos highlighting the experience.
Send out an email newsletter to all previous guests highlighting every detail you will offer in each package with the full price, including these photos. Then share the same information on social media, not forgetting the photos, of course!
There are many ideas that you can use to create a wonderful Valentine’s experience for your guests. Be sure to consider the sort of rental property you own, think about the types of guests you usually host, and create a memorable guest experience that will leave them wanting to return for longer!
What are some of your favorite Valentine’s traditions for guests? How do you create a romantic atmosphere in your vacation rental? Let us know in the comments!