Understanding calendar and booking settings
Keeping your calendar updated helps ensure guests can book your space only on the nights when it’s truly free—and when you (or someone you assign to help) are available to host.
If you’re disciplined about managing your calendar and responding quickly to requests from guests, your listing is more likely to appear higher in search results, your profile will indicate a faster response rate, and you may have a better chance of securing bookings.
Setting your availability
Consider setting up your calendar so that the dates you want to host appear “available” to guests and the dates you aren’t free, or aren’t sure about yet, are blocked.
Keeping your calendar up to date and showcasing your availability is important when it comes to securing those first bookings as a Host—the more dates you have available, the more options guests have to choose from. Plus, an up-to-date calendar could help you avoid canceling on a guest, which could lead to penalties.
Here are some of the settings you can use to get the bookings you want:
- Advance notice: You can choose the amount of notice you need to prepare for guests—for instance, avoiding same-day or next-day bookings.
- Preparation time: This setting automatically blocks the nights before and after a booking as soon as it’s confirmed. Some Hosts find this setting helpful because it gives them extra time to follow the 5-step enhanced cleaning process and prepare their space for the next guest.
- Booking window: You can control how far in advance you want to accept bookings with a rolling booking window, which lets you block dates 3, 6, 9, or 12 months from today. As each day passes, a new date in the future opens for booking—so be sure to pay close attention to your calendar.
- Trip length: You can set a minimum and maximum length of stay for your guests and create custom rules for certain days or seasons. For instance, some Hosts require stays of at least two nights, while others require stays of a week or longer during their area’s high season.
- Check-in/out times: You can specify times for check-in and checkout. If you’d like, you can also indicate any days of the week when you don’t want check-ins at all.
Our calendar settings help you gain more control over when guests can book and the nightly rate they will pay. Within your settings, you can:
Manually block dates
Your calendar will show availability based on the reservation preferences you’ve set, but you can also manually block dates during times you’re not available to host, or when you need to reserve your space for personal use.
Sync your calendars
You can sync your calendar with other online calendars to make sure you’re always aware of upcoming bookings. This feature will also automatically block dates on your Airbnb calendar when they’re blocked on your synced calendars.
How guests can book
You can also choose how guests book your space: either by using Instant Book or by making booking requests manually.
Otherwise, you could be surprised by unexpected bookings or end up canceling a reservation due to a scheduling error—which could result in a penalty. Hosts who use Instant Book make it easier for guests to book, and many see an increase in bookings as a result.*
Manual booking requests
Requiring guests to submit booking requests can be a good option if your availability changes frequently and you’re not confident that you can keep your calendar up to date.
You may also prefer manual booking requests if your space has unique features, like extremely rustic conditions, or if you host stays of 28 nights or more and want to discuss details with a guest before they book.
With more info about your calendar and booking settings, you’ll have a better understanding of how and when guests can book your space.
*According to internal Airbnb data collected between October 2018 and March 2020.
Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.