top of page

The pros and cons of single-night stays

Deciding whether to allow single-night stays at your short-term rental depends on various factors – and it's a decision that should align with your business goals, property type, and target market (writes James Varley).

I run two country cottages and allow single-night stays at both. Due to our location in the middle of the UK, we often attract guests who are heading north or south and fancy a stopover. We also prioritise maximum occupancy – and it is difficult to achieve that without offering single-night stays.

Below are some considerations to help you make an informed decision about whether to allow single-night stays at your property.

Pros of allowing single-night stays

Increased booking potential

Allowing single-night stays can open up your property to a broader range of guests, including those who may be looking for a quick overnight stay or travellers passing through the area.

Flexibility for guests

One-night stays provide flexibility for guests with varying travel itineraries. Some travellers may have short-term plans, and offering one-night stays can cater to their needs.

Maximising occupancy

Allowing one-night stays can help maximise your property's occupancy, especially during periods with fluctuating demand or when there are gaps between longer bookings.

Attracting last-minute bookings

Travellers often make last-minute decisions. Allowing one-night stays can attract guests who decide to book on short notice, helping you fill empty nights.

Appealing to business travellers

Business travellers, who often have unpredictable schedules, may prefer one-night stays. Catering to this market can help you attract a steady stream of business guests.

Cons of allowing single-night stays

Increased turnover and cleaning effort

More frequent turnover means more cleaning and preparation effort. If managing quick turnarounds is challenging, one-night stays may increase your workload.

Potential for wear and tear

More frequent check-ins and check-outs can lead to increased wear and tear on your property. Consider the impact on furnishings, amenities, and overall property maintenance.

Lower revenue per booking

Single-night stays typically generate lower revenue compared to longer bookings. If your goal is to maximise income per booking, you might prioritise longer stays.

Risk of noisy or disruptive guests

Short-term guests may have different expectations and behaviour. There's a potential risk of attracting noisy or disruptive guests, impacting the experience for both the guests and neighbours.

Possibility of higher cleaning costs

Quick turnovers may require more intensive cleaning efforts. If you're outsourcing cleaning services, the cost per turnover might be higher for one-night stays.

Factors to consider

Property type and location

The suitability of single-night stays may depend on your property type and its location. Urban locations or tourist hotspots may attract more guests seeking short-term stays.

Market demand

Analyse the demand in your market. If there's a consistent demand for single-night stays, it may be worth accommodating this segment of travellers.

Your hosting style

Consider your hosting style and preferences. Some hosts prefer longer-term guests for a more stable and predictable hosting experience.

Pricing strategy

Adjust your pricing strategy to account for the shorter duration of single-night stays. This can help ensure that the revenue from shorter bookings aligns with your overall business goals.

Guest screening

Implement guest screening measures to minimise the risk of disruptive guests. Clear house rules and communication can help set expectations.

The decision to allow single-night stays depends on a combination of factors that are specific to your property and hosting preferences. Regularly reassess your decision based on your experiences, guest feedback, and the evolving dynamics of your short-term rental business.

For more tips and trends from the short-term rentals industry, sign up for our free weekly newsletter.


bottom of page