Saturday, April 25, 2015

2-Night minimums - Love Them or Hate Them?

!Update!

With all the positive responses we have gotten about this post, thank you very much, we wanted to add another layer to the Tricks in your toolbox...

If you go to the St Augustine Historic Inns Availability page, enter the date of the weekend you are looking to visit, then look for inns that are full Friday, but not Saturday nights (or visa versa)... that's a Gap! While we can not ensure that that particular B&B will allow the one night booking, we can assure you that there is a strong possibility. Travel Safe. 

We have had several bed and Breakfast guests call and say they wanted to stay with us but, for only one night, Saturday night.  But they see we have a Minimum 2-Night Stay requirement for weekends. While this might be upsetting to some more local guests, other out-of-state B&B guests are happy a room is available for the whole weekend.  So we are hoping this article will help folks understand the 2-night minimum requirement and to show how, working with the Innkeeper, they might get you a one night only stay after all.

2-night minimum requirement is a tool that helps longer staying guests plan their trip better. For instance: If you were coming in from New Jersey, or the Philly area using the new Frontier Air flight from Trenton, you would want to stay a long weekend or even 4 nights, right? But wait - your trip plans are destroyed because all the B&Bs/Inns in St Augustine are booked for just one night, Saturday night, right in the middle of your visit… Argh!  So that is the reason for 2-night minimums. The question now is; how do we work within the structure to get a one night booking?

First: Most bed and breakfasts drop their 2-night minimum after a defined period of time. Such as, the Inn on Charlote drop theirs 7 days (a week) prior. That gives the folks who are making long-term plans the time to book the rooms of their choosing. But one week out chances are those folks are done making those plans.  And it’s easy for our more local guests to make plans for next weekend using that one night room. So we release the minimum stay requirement.

The trick is: Sunday morning, check our booking system for Next Saturday’s one-night only rooms.

Second: Fill the Gaps! Gaps are created when there is a one night room left because of the way other bookings affect the booking calendar. Like if someone books Wed, Thurs & Friday. And another books Sunday & Monday nights.  That leaves Saturday hanging out there, all alone.  We call these ‘Gaps’. And we want the Gap filled!  So we announce these Gaps as a ‘Gap Alerts’ on our Facebook page.

The trick is:  Become ‘Fans’ of one or two B&Bs that you like, (we suggest Inn on Charlotte & Hemingway House B&B) and ask them to 'post' their Gap Alerts when they have a one night only rooms.

We hope we have helped, in a small way, to relive the frustration (and animosity) from our more local returning bed and breakfst guests who want to stay, just the one night. Knowing how things work allows us all to work together within the system to make it work for all of our needs. See you bak at the Inn on Charlotte soon.

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