A Guide to Short BreaksHow to holiday let
The short break market is booming with just over a quarter of all bookings being short breaks. Couples and groups of friends are more likely to holiday in the UK, book at shorter notice and rather than take a two-week holiday, aim for a number of short breaks throughout the year. With this demand, combined with the potential increase to your income per week, it is beneficial to offer short breaks when you can.
Should I be offering short breaks?
Ultimately the decision is yours, however by not allowing short breaks you would be losing out on potential income from bookings. Rental income for short breaks is charged as a percentage of the weekly rental so, we tend to charge 60% of the weekly cost for two nights, 70% of the weekly cost for three nights and 75% of the weekly cost for 4 nights.
Should you have 2 x 2 night stays and 1 x 3 night stays in a week, the income you would receive would be 190% of the usual weekly rental. We offer you the flexibility to change the percentages if you wish. If you accept dogs, the full dog charge of £38 per dog will be paid to you, irrespective of whether the stay is for a week or a short break. Even better, if you accept more than 1 dog, the charge will be multiplied by the number of dogs. Short breaks appeal to groups of friends specifically, who are more likely to be looking for time away to fit around other commitments.
When can I offer short breaks?
Basically, whenever you wish! You can offer short breaks that span two letting weeks, for example Thursday – Sunday and we will always phone you and your housekeeper. For instance, we would not accept a booking from Friday to Monday if your changeover day is a Saturday without asking you first (so you have the option to decide if it’s suitable).
What about arranging housekeepers?
If you have a flexible housekeeper and they are able to do any changeover day, then this is the ideal scenario. You could get a 3 night holiday followed by a 4 night holiday in 1 week. If you have a housekeeper who can only work on 1 day of the week, we can set you up to accept one short break a week only (and block off the rest of the available days in that week once a reservation is taken).
If you have a housekeeper that can only work on Mondays and Fridays, we can set you up with short breaks, Monday to Friday, Friday to Monday. If you have a flexible housekeeper, or look after the housekeeping yourself, it opens up the possibility of more short break bookings. Classic Cottages offer a fully managed service and can help to find housekeeping staff who are flexible. If you would like to know more about this, please get in touch.
What is the most popular duration of a short break?
3-night breaks tend to be the most popular choice as guests are then able to enjoy a luxurious long weekend. You can choose a minimum number of nights if you wish to. If you block off your property for a few nights, we recommend opening up short breaks for the remaining days of that week so guests can see you are available and be able to book and fill in available space. If you block out a long weekend that spans over two letting weeks and both weeks are set to “No Short Breaks” you would not appear on any searches for the remaining short break days.
How far in advance do guests tend to book short breaks?
We used to see an influx of last-minute short break bookings, but now it is increasingly common for short breaks to be booked up to 18 months in advance. It is not always a last-minute option!
What time of the year is best for short breaks?
We recommend offering short breaks all year-round as it opens up the likelihood of more bookings, especially in shoulder months. If you don’t wish to take short breaks during certain weeks of the year, we can make those periods “Weekly Bookings Only”. You can choose not to take them during August for example and accept them during June and September. There are no set rules and you can take short breaks all year long, or only accept them for two weeks of the year, the choice is yours.
Interestingly, we do find that you are more likely to get two back-to-back short breaks in the school holidays than at any other time. The earlier the first short break comes in the better chance you have of booking another one to fill the gap. You can even put gaps on the special offers page if you wish! And it is also possible a guest who stays with you for a short break may well return for a longer 7-night stay in the future!
If you have any questions, we are more than happy to talk you through your individual circumstances and set your property up with your bespoke settings just for you. If you would like any further advice, please have a chat with your area manager or our owner support team on 01326 555500, we would be delighted to help.