Larger apartments: do you price for smaller parties?

I host a 2-bedroom apartment that comfortably sleeps 5 but can sleep 7. We have two queen beds, a full-sized daybed, and a medium-sized couch.

We most commonly tend to book parties of 4 or 5. I set the extra guest fee to $25/night above four guests.

We rarely get couples. I’m wondering if it’s worth setting the base price for two people instead of four. I’d math it out so that pricing for 4 doesn’t change, but pricing for 2 is a bit more attractive.

Is anyone else in this predicament?

I’d say couples are the most common group size. We have one room that sleeps 5 but start the pricing for 2 so you may want to try that. Guests don’t want to pay for four when it’s only the two of them. Usually cleaning is easier, too.

Our larger apartment could sleep five (queen bed, quality queen sofa bed and daybed - all beds in their own room) but we limit it to two.

More people equals more mess equals more work, mostly,

Yes, I’ve had people sneak an extra person in occasionally but if the apartment is booked for a short stay, that’s okay. I only supply linens for the one queen bed and towels for two people so the third person has to rough it a bit and I turn a blind eye.

I once had a couple who asked if their adult daughter and her husband could stay for a couple of nights on the sofa bed and I was fine with that, emphasizing that it should only be a couple of nights, because they had asked properly.

An extra person, or even two, is fine for a couple of nights but for longer term stays I would avoid it. I wouldn’t want the extra work, the extra laundry and the additional wear and tear.

Apparently, 25-40% of couples sleep in separate beds!
“Nearly one in four couples sleep in separate bedrooms or beds, according to a 2015 survey by the National Sleep Foundation. A 2013 study from Toronto’s Ryerson University puts that number at 30-40 percent.”


I was raised Catholic and felt a severe shard of guilt while reading this.

I lock off my 2nd bedroom when couples rent (my listing states that there’s another bedroom for an additional charge). I don’t want to clean an extra room and another set of sheets unless I’m charging nightly for it. So far, it’s worked out.


I would not do this. You would be leaving money on the table. Unless your market is saturated that your occupancy is low. I wouldn’t want a couple booking at a low price blocking off a booking of a group of 4 at market rates.

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I have a two bedroom suite, one with a queen, the other with two twins. I price for my max occupancy of four.

There’s little incentive to discount for two: most of my work is in cleaning the bathroom and kitchenette. Whether a surface was used by two or four, I still have to clean it.

It also means I’m not asking about bedding arrangements - the suite is set up and paid for four - they can use all or none of it. Surprisingly often a couple will sleep in separate beds (25-40% sounds about right!), so I’m not put out if they use a twin bed in addition to the queen.

As @Brandt says, it doesn’t make sense to block a higher paying reservation of four with a lower value booking of two. If you find your calendar isn’t as full as you’d like, you might consider adding a linked, duplicate listing that discounts for smaller groups for last minute dates.

@spkrause - We start our home at a lower price for 2 people, and add a per-night charge of $40 per person up to our max occupancy of six (three bedrooms).

We do this because the number of travelers booking vacation rentals in our area is fairly small. There are just not enough groups of 6 to keep us, and the rest of the larger homes, anywhere near full. Since our area is a huge honeymoon (and anniversary) location, we need to price to attract some of that group that is willing to splurge a bit and get a private home.

Whether it makes sense for you will depend on your market.

I mostly get couples so price for 2 then $25 pppn extra up to 4. I noticed one site, HomeAway perhaps, which lets you price for the maximum then offer discounts for less people.