Is It Worth Decorating Your Airbnb for the Holiday Season?

airbnb holiday decoration

In our daily work making vacation rentals sparkling clean for guests, we see homes that get totally decked out for the holidays, and ones that don’t change a thing no matter what season it is.  Is it worth decorating your Airbnb?  That depends.  We’ll argue both sides below.

Team Decorate

Those who wish to create a festive atmosphere in their vacation rental know that there are people who are traveling away from home during a holiday period and may very well like to feel the mood of the season, especially if they never do so in their own homes.  They see decorations and thoughtful touches as one more positive layer to add to a guest’s experience at their home.

Depending on which holiday is being celebrated, various small things around the house can be changed:

  • Themed napkins
  • Lights
  • Elements of the season (pumpkins at Halloween, dipped pine cones at Christmas, flags at the 4th of July)
  • Additions to the welcome basket (mulled wine kit in the winter, gingerbread men at Christmas, champagne and party poppers for NYE, small fireworks for July 4th)

If you really want to go all-out we’ve seen guests put stockings over the mantle with guests’ name on them (so cool!) or wreaths on front doors (really homey).

The flipside of these fun extra touches are keeping track of what things need to be cleaned or placed well.  You’ll want to hang lights so that guests don’t easily trip on them, or make sure that you buy enough stock of items that might sell out (like those gingerbread men) so that you don’t run out halfway through the season.

Team Keep It the Same

Those who don’t want to decorate operate under the time-honored premise of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  They also might not want to take new photos of their space and/or change the headlines of their listing to fit the season.  

They also have the understandable concern that some people don’t go in for celebrating holidays in general or may be sensitive to particular holidays in particular.

But this also means there’s no added stress come holiday season, at least when it comes to their vacation rentals: on their side, nothing changes.  That doesn’t mean guests won’t face delays at full airports, but it does mean that when the guests arrive, they’ll find everything as they expected in reviews and pictures before.

What to Do?

As we said above, the answer to this question will depend on your listing, the location of your listing (perhaps you’re close to a famous pumpkin patch or Christmas market), and your own moods and preferences as a host.  

As cleaners, we’re always going to back you whatever you decide, but we tend to lean towards at least some subtle hints of a season, which might include lights inside/outside, seasonal cookies or teas, and snacks that show your guests that you are mindful of various seasons and wanted to make their stay that much more welcoming.

This content originally appeared in our twice-monthly Guest Book Newsletter.

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