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What Is the Average Length of Stay?

The average length of stay (ALOS) definition refers to the number of nights a guest books a vacation rental home. The estimated ALOS is 5.6 nights for most vacation rental channels. However, the average length of stay for booking platforms like Vrbo and Booking.com had higher numbers around 6.7 and 7.5 nights on average. 

Experts have estimated that the average number of nights spent in a vacation rental house will decrease over time. However, we are currently seeing a trend in guests searching for more long-term stays. This shift is most likely due to families staycationing or looking for a change of scenery while having to work or attend school online during the pandemic. 

Average Length of Stay

Why is ALOS Important for Vacation Rentals?

If you are able to calculate the average length of stay in your rental home, you’ll be able to schedule cleaning and maintenance around your stays. You can also predict how much your estimated income will be for the year based on how many guests make bookings and how long they stay. 

Ideally, it is better for a vacation rental property and local tourism in general when the average length of stay is higher. As a rental property owner, you’ve probably noticed the administrative costs go down the longer guests choose to stay. 

One reason for this is that fewer cleanings are needed in a week. When a guest only stays one or two nights, housekeepers have to come in two or three times a week each time a guest checks out. But if a guest stays for 5 or 6 nights, you only need to pay personnel to clean the property once a week. The longer the guest stays, the more money you save, and the higher your revenue. The same is true if you employ a property manager to welcome new guests to the home each time there is a turnover. 

As mentioned, the local economy also gets a boost when guests book for longer periods. Travelers will be able to visit more attractions, eat in more restaurants, and buy more souvenirs the longer they stay in the same area. 

How Is Average Length of Stay Calculated?

If you want to calculate the average length of stay for your rental property, simply add up the number of nights booked for the month and divide it by the number of different guests that booked stays with you. 

For example, imagine you had 6 different bookings last month. Each guest stayed a different number of days, as shown below: 

Guest 1: 3 nights

Guest 2: 6 nights

Guest 3: 4 nights

Guest 4: 5 nights

Guest 5: 8 nights

Guest 6: 4 nights

Total number of nights booked = 30 

Divide 30 by the number of guests (6) = 5

The average length of stay in your vacation rental home is 5 nights. 

Some booking platforms like Airbnb calculate this for you and even show the average length of stay for all the vacation rental homes in your area combined. 

Knowing the average length of stay will help you budget, plan, and bring in the most revenue from your vacation rental property.