How Much Do You Raise Rates For Holidays, Special Events?

I lurked here for months before I bought the perfect house to use as an airbnb and I have learned a lot from you and also my mistakes!

We have a full solar Eclipse and we are in the direct path in August. I had JUST posted my listing and received a request and accepted without realizing it was during those days. Most people and hotels in our area are tripling rates. Places that were going for $300 a night are now between $900-1200 because of demand! I ate that one but wanted to check with all of you for your expert advice!

I live in Portland, OR, which has become a big foodie destination and also attracts people who love beer and wine. Gorgeous city that is definitely on the tourist map in the last couple of years.

I just started hosting a couple of weeks ago and my calendar is over 50% booked already for the next few months so it is appealing and maybe I was priced too low to start.

When holidays role around, a lot of people have their friends and family in town and it will be a busy time although the winter slows down for normal tourists. If I am normally at $225-250 per night, I am wondering what to book my rates at during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve?

I am taking into consideration that having guests will mean I will have to work during the holidays so considering it like overtime. For others in a similar situation to mine, not living in a resort area, what do you increase your rates to?


I am in a resort are but you might be interested in my method anyway :slight_smile:

My feeling is that hotels have a wealth of data that I don’t have access to but I can still use them as a yardstick for my prices. I always use the same hotel which is close to us (so the location is similar) and check the prices of their standard room.

For special events, I charge the same as they do for a standard room for our one bedroom apartment. Or, if this won’t work for you, you can use a percentage. For example, if a standard room at a local hotel is $100 and your usual price is $75, set your special event price at 75% of what the hotel charges. It’s easy to check at TripAdvisor or a similar site.


for events that all hotels in my city will be sold out. I am raising by 6 time my price compare to my lowest price.

My town doesn’t have much in the way of special events. There are a couple of small music festivals here that are on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends and I raised my price around 25-30%. This Memorial day was booked by someone coming for a wedding, not festival goers. Last year on Labor Day I had an advance booking that cancelled and the two nights were taken by two one night bookings of young couples who decided last minute to drive in from Dallas/Houston. They were thrilled and amazed to find my place was available at 35% less than the hotels. So maybe your eclipse people will cancel and you can raise the price, re-book and thrill someone all at the same time. Maybe your guest will realize how they got lucky and leave a big tip.

It’s hard to say how much I would jack up my rate if I had the chance to do so but I have personal feelings about gouging and avarice that would make it hard to triple my rates.

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I know “charge what the market will bear” is a mantra, but just like I don’t drop my prices by $20 like Airbnb urges me to, I don’t feel comfortable surge pricing much, either, except when having guests would affect me and my family in a major way (holidays).

If I relied on Airbnb to pay my mortgage, or I was hosting a whole home, I might feel differently. :slight_smile:

So my average rate is $70, I occasionally drop it to $65, and I don’t think I’ve ever booked someone for more than $80.

I agree with checking your local hotels if that’s who your competition is. It certainly made me feel better about my prices!

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I have no problem charging more for special events, but to me your place also has to justify that price hike. As much as I would love to charge $300/night if rates were skyrocketing, my place just isn’t high-end enough that I could feel right charging more than $100. I’m thinking of all the metrics that Air rates us on: location, accuracy, value. I’d hate for a few high priced weekends to bring those numbers down and get a few bad reviews on my place because a $300/night guest is nitpicky of my $100/night place and deter future guests. I do like using Beyond Pricing because I can put in my maximum and minimum prices along with my base, and they do the adjusting based on demand in the area and special events. I could do it myself, but I have 4 kids and am too busy to want to squeeze that 1% they charge me, especially when time is money.

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I got my worst review for guests that paid my lowest price…

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Me too. Which is why I have a price minimum to avoid crabby bargain hunters!

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Thanks for the replies! I have adjusted my calendar for the holidays based on feedback. Here is a link to my listing in case anyone wants to check it out and give feedback. I hope it isn’t against the rules to post:

Portland is a unique city that is comprised of really cool neighborhoods that are walkable to many things but they all have their own personality. My house is walking distance to some of the places to eat that everyone who had done some research wants to check out.

I am renting a whole house and it is quite fabulous, really. It is an old 1911 home that was practically rebuilt in 2007, it is over 1400 square feet with two very large master suites, each with their own full bathroom. It is a very nicely equipped kitchen with all new dishes, pots and pans, knives, etc. The furniture is high end and it has a great patio. Once my landscape design is installed, It will have a beautiful large garden with raised beds for veggies and quiet seating areas with hammocks to relax in.

It is located in a residential neighborhood but smack dab in the middle of two of the best streets for eating, drinking and shopping in boutiques, specialty grocery stores, vintage shops and retro clothing stores. It isn’t near any major hotels, just a cool neighborhood. Downtown is about 10 minutes by car or 20 by public transport but staying here, a guest really doesn’t need to go downtown. There is a great park called Mt Tabor nearby with amazing hiking, movies and concerts in the park in the summer.

My calendar is booking up fast and although I don’t want to gouge guests, I do want to charge fair market value and it is hard figuring out what that may be. I had rates low to get bookings but have brought them up based on what other comparable homes are renting for. I thought I would need low rates since I don’t have reviews yet but people don’t seem to care! I do know that with guests during the holidays, it means I am meeting people, taking phone calls and answering texts of guests staying at the house, which does cut into my holiday merry making. :-).

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Nice house and it’s fairly priced. Living in the basement should go a long way towards making sure the house doesn’t get trashed by parties. One error in the listing: you have stayed at Airbnbs (plural) not Airbnb’s (possessive).

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Thanks for the proof read, K9Karma. :wink:

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(ahem…as long as we’re at it: proof read = proofread.

(Tough crowd, huh!) :blush:

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Last day, I was reading a blog on cheap eats destinations in Portland ( It says filling and tasty dishes are available under the $10 mark. From breakfast sandwiches, pizzas, burgers to fried chicken, yummy. Not to mention the demand for beer and wine here. It is indeed on the map for obvious reasons.
I love the concept of landscape design. Beautiful large garden with raised beds for veggies and quiet seating areas is an excellent idea.
Last day, I saw an excellent kitchen idea with a outdoor kitchen products. A nice one.

Do enough research before selecting the landscape designers. Check for their portfolios, collect reviews and communicate within your community to know their services well.

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Beautiful home! We are listed at about $200 Canadian per night for a similarly big fully equipped character home. We have 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.

We are in Ottawa Canada and this year is our 150th Anniversary of Confederation. We are walking distance to Parliment where there is a huge celebration planned.
We started getting booking requests in September. We upped our rate to $325 per night and it was snapped up then.

Hope this helps!

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