Reconsidering 1 day bookings

I currently (still) accept 1 day bookings. In part this is out of a desire to keep activity as high as possible, the feeling that something is better than nothing, and “historically” I’ve had good (i.e. 5 star) reviews for 1 day stays.

But I’m increasingly thinking it isn’t worth the bother. Also, they probably block off periods for which I could get longer bookings, though at least this year I haven’t seen much activity. I suppose it’s always possible to re-allow them if activity seems really low. Right now it’s at a seasonal high.

This post is partly triggered by a 1 day booking request bang in the middle of a 4 day space. I’m on the fence about whether to accept or ask him to cancel (so I don’t have to). But asking him to cancel seems a bit rude.

Oh, and my rental is just one room. So it’s not got the kind of overhead that a whole house has. But regardless, there is still a fair amount of overhead, including the logistics of meet and greet and checkout. And in my case, for a single person staying for one day, I get like Rs 2500, which is around USD 36 at current rates of exchange. Not much money, even in India.

How many people out there still accept 1 day bookings, and if you do so, what is your rationale? Replies from people renting rooms would be particularly interesting and relevant.

I woudl never consider a one-day booking, considering the amount I pay for cleaning and the free taxi service, it would make a loss. In fact I have just increased the minimum stay from 3 nights to 4, as I want to even eliminate the 3 night weekend booking that results in the rest of the week being empty.


I only have the calendar available for 4 day stays. I do open it up for 3 days last minute if the calendar is wide open. It’s not worth it to me to do one or two days. It’s takes too long to clean the entire house just for short stays and many times, the short stay rentals in the past, were the ones to leave the biggest mess.

We allow one night bookings but have a 2 day minimum on a Friday or Saturday. If someone books a Thursday and a Friday leaving Saturday open I usually change it to a 1 night minimum. My rationale is that we get a lot of road trippers in the summer, and business people in the slow months, or folks coming into the city for a concert or sporting event that book for one night. A lot of our competition has 2 or more night minimums so I think we are able to get more bookings. It’s definitely more work, but they are usually low impact guests. They show up, sleep and leave, sometimes without even showering.

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Hi @Arlene_Larsson,

How much do you make for a 1 night stay? Just curious.

Two or three day minimum, depending on the season (high season three, of course).

We’ve sometimes had potential guests request one night stays and if there’s been nothing booked for that date but it’s pretty rare. On the rare occasions we’ve had one night stays I tell myself (probably erroneously) that the guest could be a repeat in future, or could refer us or at least, write a decent review. Only the review thing has happened.

Because both rentals are full apartments, one nighters are bothersome, despite the cleaning fee. When full bathrooms and kitchens are involved, there’s too much cleaning afterwards.

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Hi @jaquo,

Would you hypothetically consider a one day stay if you had a one room rental?

@faheem Our rates vary between $65 and close to $300 depending on the season. We charge a $50 cleaning fee on top of that as that is what we actually pay our cleaner. $65 is as low as I can possibly go and have it not be a loss. I would say my average rate in the slow season is around $75 per night (plus cleaning). This is for a 1 br apt with a full kitchen, free parking and a view (but an older building)

I’m not sure. The turnover could be very quick, especially if the host had plenty of spare bedding/towels etc. and there was no laundry involved for same day turnovers. Plus, if there’s a cleaning fee involved then the host is receiving a nice ‘premium’.

Blocking off a day here and there when other guests could book for longer stays could be an issue but a bird in the hand…

AS you know, we are usually back to back and the occasional one nighter hasn’t interfered with that. In fact, we once had a couple who booked for three weeks despite the fact that there was a one nighter in the middle! They made two consecutive bookings and moved elsewhere for that one night. :slight_smile:


@faheem I think if you are making enough with the minimums in place to make up for a few vacancies here and there, and you are finding one nighters a bother, than don’t allow them! You don’t want to burn out. The other thing I sometimes do is if we have a single night open I’ll raise the price if I’m feeling like I don’t want to be bothered. We hire cleaners, and if it’s close to the date there’s a higher chance one of our regulars won’t be available, so I factor in the pain of having to possibly find a different cleaner, etc. by raising the price substantially. Usually it won’t book, but occasionally it has and yay, more $$ for us!!!


We have a 3 room suite attached to our house with a private entrance. We were getting way too many one nighters and the cleaning and laundry for the $49/night was getting exhausting. We added a cleaning fee to make the single night less attractive. That’s helped somewhat.

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I’m wondering why you chose to do that rather than setting a minimum? I understand that it makes the one nighter more worth your while but it’s still the same amount of work. Or do you get a cleaner in for the one night stays?

Hi @Arlene_Larsson,

This year really hasn’t been great, but I don’t know if disallowing 1 day bookings would have made a significant difference. And really the logistical headache is a big part of why this is becoming a nuisance. Also, for foreigners I have to fill in that freaking form, and if the 1 nighter is a foreigner, that’s quite a lot of pressure. Cleaning isn’t too big an issue for me, but it does require making someone is there at the right time to do it. More logistics. At the end the question is how much one is willing to do for USD 36-40.

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I’m willing to do all that laundry and cleaning for a little more $$. Setting a minimum means I wouldn’t get those one nighters at all. Having a cleaning fee makes one night more expensive so I don’t get alot of them.

Not ideal, but it helps.


Exactly how I feel about it, except there’s no forms to fill out.

We have a single room with a private bath in our home. More than half of my bookings are one-nighters. We are mostly a “drive through” location - people find we are a convenient mid-way stopping off place when traveling. I don’t charge a cleaning fee (do it myself) and our rate is in the middle range for our area. Competition has tripled in the 2 years we have been hosting but we had the exact same occupancy rate this year as last. (147 nights)


I love one night bookings and will take them all day. I also have a 4 night max which I sometimes drop to three nights when it’s really busy. I am an on-site host primarily renting one queen size room but I do have an additional overflow double room available but only to the original booking party as there is only one private bath for guests. It’s their choice if they want to bring friends and share the bath. There is also a very nice outdoor shower that most guests prefer so they do have two showers available. I am on an island on the NC coast and am very much a seasonal destination. I am a widow, in my 60’s, and have been hosting for about 2-1/2 years. I went through quite a bit of trial and error figuring out what worked best for my situation and this is what stuck. I do all of my own cleaning. I have no self check-in. I provide a Continental breakfast with multiple coffees, whole bean or ground, drop or french press and hot teas along with several juices, half and half and homemade jams. If I’m here around 5:00 I will provide snacks and a bottle of wine. What I’ve found is the one night and other short them guests are here to visit the island and the beach so they are out and about and not hanging around my house. I charge from $59-$139 for the main room - price is demand driven - and I get a cleaning fee from $25-$35. In peak season with both rooms rented I can make around $225 a night which more than covers my costs. I can have the room cleaned spotless and ready to turn in 3 hours. After over 120 official bookings with a solid 5* rating, I’ve had no problems preparing for the next guests. The one night stays are my bread and butter. They are in and gone. Not here long enough to make a mess. The down side of this style is that my bookings are not very far out and occasionally a random one nighter will drop right in the middle of a four day weekend. It used to bother me but now I hardly worry because time has shown me repeatedly that those odd nights will book. And they do. Right now I have zero upcoming bookings but starting in February they will start up and I will be going full force with my one to three night guests as there are not that many shared homes and/or hosts who take short term rentals in this area so have carved out a great niche. I also advertise outside AirBnB and take direct bookings from people who have stayed previously. This also helps fill in gaps. I love what I do, I provide a lot of amenities as well as four darling pugs to play with. I am established well enough that I do not take guests with pets nor do I offer early or late check-ins/outs. I just say no. I have everything explained very well in my listing, reiterate it on the walkthrough and am available for questions at all times. So in answer to the OP, I love one nighters. Cheers.


I rent my basement in-law suite, a 1-bedroom, and allow one night bookings in the slow winter season with an increased cleaning fee (I clean the unit myself). In the busy summer season, I have a two-night minimum but open the calendar to one night stays when I have gaps in the calendar.

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I ran into a situation last spring with 2 very bad guests who gave me 1 star each. It was near the end of a period and I didn’t have time to contest the reviews on Air. So I temporarily reduced my minimum to 1 night. Because a review counts the same for one night or seven months, my metrics healed.


I do think this depends on your type of space.

I rent a whole house with three bedrooms. When I started on ABB, I took anyone and everyone, even single night bookings to get some reviews. Now that I have reviews and superseller status, I have dialed it back a bit. I do all of the cleaning on top of my demanding 50 hour/week day job and getting the whole place ready was crazy-making, but I am glad I did it that way. I bumped up my cleaning fee to $85 and that helped a bit. But now I have a three night minimum and will see how that works. That’s the nice thing, though; you can rework your settings and see how it goes. I like that.

But if I rented a single room or smaller suite in my home, I would look at this differently.