Holiday Homes: How to Prepare for Winter Bookings

Landlords will be looking to prepare their holiday lets for guests over the winter period, including Christmas and New Year. Although summer is barely behind us, forward planning is the key to getting the best returns from your property investment over the festive period.

After the challenges of the pandemic over the past 18 months, with two summer holidays disrupted by the virus and consequent restrictions, people will be desperate for a break over the winter months this year.

Christmas wreath

© Paul Maguire /

Not only will it be a welcome escape from normal life, but it will also be a chance to visit loved ones, or to do something special.

As a landlord, you need to make sure everything is up to scratch. It isn’t easy to maintain your accommodation at this time of year, as the customers will have particularly high expectations at Christmas and New Year, so it’s up to you to meet them.

In addition, the impact of the cold weather can hamper your efforts, such as freezing weather that can lead to burst pipes or even flooding. You need to be on the ball to ensure your holiday home remains in peak condition.


Winter holidays boom

Surveys show plenty of people are planning to take a winter break this year. Statistics show 73% of Brits didn’t take a single day’s holiday in 2020, due to the pandemic, lockdowns and a lack of confidence in leaving home.

However, in 2021, there has been a greater interest in domestic travel, according to data from YouGov and the Office for National Statistics. There has been a rise in “staycations”, with people visiting destinations across the UK instead of going abroad.

There has been a 62% increase in bookings for festive breaks, especially for the week leading up to Christmas Day, as people are keen to get away for a much-needed holiday. The most popular destinations are North Yorkshire, Devon and Cornwall.


Winter maintenance tips

Before taking winter bookings, every landlord needs to organise a checklist. Most importantly, as the nights are drawing in, with the colder weather approaching, it’s important to consider the impact of the weather on your holiday home.

Carry out seasonal maintenance to get your property let ready, especially if it has been out of use for long periods over the past couple of seasons. During the winter months, when your property may be exposed to extreme weather, the last thing you want is damage occurring.

Make sure your heating and ventilation systems are working properly, because without them, the property can become damp, leading to mould and the associated damage. Keep the heating on at a low and economical temperature at all times. This prevents damp and helps reduce the risk of the pipes freezing.

Consider adding insulated sleeving to any exposed pipes and your water tanks. This further reduces their exposure to the elements and combats freezing temperatures.

Seal any gaps and openings, such as cracks and gaps around the doors and windows, with caulk or weather-resistant strips. This keeps the cold out and the heat in, while helping to prevent wooden window frames from rotting.


Prepare for storms

We all hope it won’t happen, but if winter storms strike, make sure your holiday home is prepared. Flood prevention is important, so consider whether the location of your property is vulnerable to winter flooding, which can cause significant damage.

If you’re in a potential flood zone, sign up for flood warning systems via the Gov UK website, so you will receive early notification by phone, text or email.

Get ready for snow and ice too, as a cold snap can wreak havoc with your paths and driveway, leaving it hazardous for pedestrians and vehicles. Keep grit or salt stored on your premises, so you can put it on the ground if necessary.

Make sure your roof is in a good state of repair: check for broken tiles, loose slates or gutter damage, which could lead to a water leak.


Ready for festivities

When you’re getting ready for the festivities, think of the practical things you need to do. Providing a Christmas tree and festive decorations might be obvious, but maybe you could consider whether your property is equipped with sufficient seating for a large family gathering on Christmas Day.

You may need extra chairs and tables, or you may decide to get some new furniture to restore the place to tip-top condition after 18 months’ inactivity due to Covid.

Looking at this from a business perspective, you would be wise to consider the overall impression that your property will give to your holiday guests. Get it right and you might persuade people to rethink their future family holiday ideas, when all the Covid restrictions are a distant memory. Strike while the iron is hot!

For reasonably priced holiday home furniture, that can be set up and delivered nationwide, contact Furniture Pack Solutions. Together, we can create the wow factor that will keep them coming back for more.

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