Book Direct Day is an awareness day on the first Wednesday of February dedicated to educating your guests and the public about why they should stop using the OTA’s and start booking directly with professional hosts.
This year is the 7th Annual Book Direct Day (Wednesday, February 7th, 2024)
What is book direct day?
Book Direct Day is an awareness day on the first Wednesday of February each year that is dedicated to public education about the benefits of booking vacation rentals directly from professional hosts and property managers rather than OTA’s.
The Awareness Day was created by Amy Hinote, Founder of VRM Intel.
What does “book direct” mean?
Book Direct simply means booking your stay directly with the property host rather than going through an online travel website, such as Airbnb or VRBO.
Why should guests book direct?
There are many reasons guests should book direct with hosts and owners of the vacation rentals but the two most common reasons are pricing and communication.
Most hosts who have their own websites for direct bookings offer lower rates to guests who book direct. Many provide additional incentives for repeat guests or referals. Also, when guests book direct they do not pay the extra fees charged by the travel company. (many times these fees are charged to the host so the guests do not see them, but guests don’t understand they are passed through.)
Also, when guests choose to book direct, they can ask more quetions of the host before the transaction goes through, receive better communication and often have a better guest experience.
Is it safe for guests to book direct?
Guests should take precautions when booking direct, such as verifying the host and property are real. Many guests assume that properties are verified by Airbnb, but this is not true – scammers are everywhere. That is why it is important for hosts to build trust with their potential guests by having a website, social media channels, professional email address, and a PMS company that provides a secure transaction experience.
Is it safe for a host to offer direct bookings? What about damage protection, verifying guests and other protections Airbnb provides?
Many hosts, especially those new to the industry, mistakenly assume that the damage insurance Airbnb provides will help them in case of accidental or purposeful damage, but this is not always the case. Airbnb has strict policies about how this damage insurance can be used, when and how much you will get. There are hundreds of thousands of host stories about not being compensated for guest damages.
When you book direct, however, you are in control of your own damage deposit collection as well as additional damage insurance you can obtain for each booking. There are plenty of great companies who provide damage insurance for hosts that are easier to make claims.
Additionally, Airbnb doesn’t always “Vet” the guests as well as you think. Guests can provide fake documents easily.
What are other reasons hosts should choose to book direct?
According to VRM Intel, in 2021 over 2.5 million people were reached on social media by the #BookDirect message. In addition, VRM Intel & Key Data found that direct bookings were on average longer, higher value, and more likely to convert to repeat bookings.
So, if you aren’t booking direct, you should be. And, if you are, you should be educating your guests why they need to be booking direct. Not only with you but also with other hosts.
Use these caption ideas, email prompts and more to promote your website and direct bookings all year – not only on Book Direct Day!
How do I Promote Book Direct Day on Social Media?
Instagram and Facebook Ideas for #bookdirectday
Copy, paste, & edit these to make them fit your property, what you offer, and your policies!
👆1 of the biggest hurdles when it comes to doing anything, especially travel, but what if we told you there was a better way to book your dream vacation rental while SAVING you money and ELEVATING your experience? 😍Enter #bookdirect
Having guests book directly from our site allows us to offer the best pricing because it effectively eliminates fees and commissions you’ll find on those other sites.🤑
Not only will you save money on confusing fees, but we love our book-direct guests so much, we will <INSERT SOMETHING YOU WILL DO TO ELEVATE THEIR STAY>
Ready to book? Check out the link in our profile. Need to get someone on board? Send them this post to give them a little nudge!🤗
3 Reasons You Should Book Direct
- Save money – All those pesky fees are unique to third-party sites. If you want the best price, go directly to the source!
- More personal experience – We love getting to know our guests and making their getaway a truly memorable and unique experience. Booking direct allows us to get to know you and to be the best hosts we can be.
- Grab our visitor’s guide – As soon as you book direct our *NAME OF GUIDE* will be ready in your inbox so you can start planning your getaway.
Have you stayed with us? Let us know in the comments what made your stay special. Haven’t had a chance to visit yet? What are you most looking forward to? Check the link in our profile or send us a DM and we can help you get started planning your trip!
DOUBLE TAP if you LOVE A GOOD DEAL
Did you know that listing sites add service fees as high as 25% of your reservation?😲
We would rather see you spend your hard-earned money💰 towards something that enhances your vacation, like dinner out 🍽️ or ACTIVITY UNIQUE TO YOUR LOCATION🌳!
Book directly through our website and start planning what you’ll do with that savings.
(photo idea, show a screenshot of the fees for a one-week stay at your property on a listing price)
✨✨ Today is Book Direct Day! ✨✨
Do you know what it means to Book Direct?
It simply means you are booking your accommodations directly from the property’s owners, allowing you to avoid third-party fees, and giving you a better experience overall. 🥳
As professional hosts, we prefer to have you book direct on our website rather than through one of the big corporate listing sites.. 🙌
- Better pricing
- Better communication with your host via email or phone, rather than an app
- More personal experience
You can book direct on our website or just send a DM if you would like more information.
Share this post with your friends and family – let them know the benefits of booking direct!
👨👩👦👦 As a small family-run vacation rental when you #BOOKDIRECT with us you get:
✅ No additional booking fees and better rates overall.
✅More availability with access to our entire booking calendar showing you ALL our available dates (not just the ones we open up on listing sites).
✅Special offers and late deals that are not available anywhere else.
✅Customer care and personalized booking service just for you We read every email, text, message, comment, and review but most of all, we care about out customers!
And on top of all this when you #bookdirect we ACTUALLY do a little happy dance 💃🏻🕺🏻
So wherever you book your getaways this year, whether with us or elsewhere, cut out the middleman.
🙏🙏And finally PLEASE SHARE this post to raise awareness of the importance of booking direct with little independent businesses just like us.
Instagram And Facebook Story Ideas For Book Direct Day
Record yourself talking directly to the camera using these prompts
- Use the hands-free feature so you don’t have to hold down the shutter button the whole time
- Use a tripod or prop up your phone, if possible
- Pick an area with good lighting and a tidy background, at your property is a plus!
- Use the closed caption sticker after recording your stories so people can read what you’re saying if their sound isn’t on
- Don’t worry about perfection, guests want to get to know you and value the “real life” glimpse they see on stories!
- Save all of your book direct stories as a highlight called “Book Direct”
- Explain why you prefer guests to book direct
- Talk about, and show, if possible, any perks you offer for book direct guests
- Share your origin story. Why did you decide to open your vacation rental?
- What do you love most about hosting guests?
- What does supporting YOU support? (your kids’ college, etc.)
- Share your local favorites, while they are shopping small with you, where else can they shop small during their stay?
- Leave a question box sticker and answer any of their questions about you, your vacation rental, and booking direct
- Tell your why story and incorporate your book direct goals and benefits
Social Media Graphic Templates For Book Direct Day
Use Email Marketing To Encourage Direct Bookings
Use these templates to both educate your email list about the benefits of booking direct and to offer a special deal for book direct day!
SUBJECT: It’s time to celebrate book direct day!
There’s a special day coming up that I bet you didn’t know about!
That’s right, Wednesday, February 2nd is International Book Direct Day.
OPTIONAL CELEBRATORY GIF OR SELFIE HERE
I wanted to take a few minutes and share with you, my lovely guests, why booking direct is so beneficial for you, the travelers, and me, the host.
- Saves money! Did you know that third-party sites charge up to 20% extra in fees? YIKES! I want you to have that money so you can enjoy a meal out or another special activity while you’re staying here.
- Better communication between you and yours truly! Cutting out the middleman means you can easily reach me by SHARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO COMMUNICATE and those third parties aren’t involved. I am an expert on LOCATION, that’s why I decided to host IDEAL CLIENT (couples, families, girls trips, etc.) here! Looking for ideas on where to eat, what to do, etc? Ask away!
- I get to offer the best deals! Be sure to stay on my e-mail list, that’s our favorite way to share discount codes.
- You are supporting our small business in the best way possible. For that, we are truly grateful.
I just wanted to say thank you for being on our email list.
I use this list to share updates to PROPERTY NAME, local happenings, discount codes, and SOMETHING ELSE UNIQUE TO YOU… and it’s really awesome to think about how you are sitting on the other end of this either dreaming of staying at our place or dying to come back…and that we get to connect like this.
Thanks for making PROPERTY NAME your first choice for a getaway, we don’t take that lightly!
Email Caption 2
Happy Book Direct Day!
It’s one of our favorite days over here. And because you’re probably over there thinking, huh? It’s just a random Wednesday, let me fill you in!
Wednesday, February 2nd is International Book Direct Day which basically means it’s a day for vacation rental owners (us) to encourage our guests (you) to skip those third-party sites and book directly through us!
You’ll save money on silly fees, support our business in the best way possible, and get better access and add-ons. It’s a win-win all around.
So because we are feeling festive, we wanted to offer you a discount code as a thank you for being a part of our community!
Here’s how to get in on it:
- Go to LINK HERE
- Choose the dates you’re wanting to stay (ADD PARAMETERS, ex: between now and the end of MONTH).
- Enter discount code BOOKDIRECT at checkout.
- Badda bing. Badda boom. YOUR PRICE WILL DROP BY %, YOU WILL SAVE $, YOU WILL GET A FREE SOMETHING.
Of course, I’ve got a couple of rules NAME:
- This offer is ONLY for my amazing email community, so please! Don’t share that code.
- You have to book a stay BEFORE WINDOW END DATE.
- This code expires on DAY OF THE WEEK
Okay, let’s get to it!
Want more email marketing tips? Check this out!
Press Release Template for Book Direct Day
(for Facebook and blog, don’t forget a relevant image or carousel of images).
(BUSINESS NAME) Reveals How To Save BIG On Your NEXT Vacation
Vacationing has been at an all-time high over the last year and is expected to continue soaring, but with the prices of fuel, airline tickets, and rental cars increasing, consumers need help saving money and planning affordable vacations.
One of the best ways for travelers to save is by booking accommodations directly with the owners or hosts rather than through a large corporate listing site.
Many travelers and vacation planners don’t realize they are paying additional fees when booking through a listing site such as Airbnb, Trip Advisor, or VRBO. These services often disguise these fees as administrative fees, booking fees, or processing fees that consumers often believe come from the vacation rental owner. Typically these fees can run as much as 20 % of your stay.
Many of these sites also charge the host a fee which they pass on to their guests.
Luckily, savvy consumers are learning that the best accommodations at the best prices can be found without using a listing site, but by going to the owner’s website to find the best rates.
Other benefits of booking directly include better communication with your host. Travelers who book through listing sites are not given the contact info of their hosts until they pay; so important policies and questions about the trip may not be revealed until after the booking is completed.
Often, travelers who book directly with the host will find better cancellation policies, seasonal or weekly discounts, coupons for area attractions, and other exclusive perks and gifts. They may also provide rewards programs for repeat guests or referrals.
Many hosts enjoy helping their guests plan romantic surprises, birthday celebrations, or fun adventures – none of which will happen if the accommodations were booked through an online listing company.
February 2, 2022, is International Book Direct Day. A day where small accommodations business owners help educate the public about the benefits of booking directly with the owners.
As a local accommodations provider, (BUSINESS NAME) would like to invite you to learn more about the benefits of booking direct and how you can help support other small businesses through your efforts.
Some tips for booking direct include:
- Search Google or social media sites and hashtags for vacation rentals in the destination.
- Look through photos and videos of the property.
- Reach out to the host with questions or concerns.
- Look for a history of good reviews on social media and Google, as well as any listing sites they may also be on.
- Look for the secure site lock before using a credit or debit card on the website.
- Be sure you understand property rules and cancellation policies.
- Never send cash, cashiers checks, or money orders, and always get a signed rental agreement to protect yourself. It’s also a good idea to get trip insurance through the host or an independent provider.
- Always be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. Honest hosts and property management companies should have an online presence with their own website, social media sites, a Google Business listing, affiliations with local government or chambers of commerce, or a combination of at least a few of these.
BOILERPLATE: (company info)
BUSINESS NAME is an independently owned vacation rental company in _____ destination—— with more than ___ properties. In 2021, more than 50% of our guests booked directly through our website. Our business hosted nearly 500 families to the area who brought in ___ $ in hotel tax revenue plus countless dollars to other small local restaurants, shops, and local establishments. (Business name) provides jobs to __ full and part-time employees.
Guests who book directly with us enjoy seasonal discounts, loyalty rewards as well as local bakery goods provided by ___ company. We are open to partnerships with other local businesses to provide exceptional guest experiences to our travelers.
For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.mywebsite.com
Want more social media ideas and pre-written captions? Check out the Social Media Suitcase!