I remember my first babymoon clearly. I was 4 months pregnant, jet-lagged from a cross-nation flight, and fully asleep during the Cirque du Soleil show. Not really anyone’s idea of a good time. But hey –– you live and you learn. From my experience, I’ve had the ability to make better recommendations to expecting friends. Now I’m happy to share my research and suggestions with our friends in the rental industry.
What’s a babymoon?
Let’s start by answering the question many of you may be asking. The term “babymoon” was coined by British author and childbirth educator Sheila Kitzinger. It meant a period of time for parents to spend alone with their new child soon AFTER the child’s birth. However, today it’s more commonly thought of as a trip or vacation taken by a couple shortly before the birth of a child.
Why you should cater to babymooners
With celebrity couples like Kim and Kanye drawing more attention to the action of babymooning, it’s a great time to capitalize on the trend. According to a survey conducted by Liberty Travel and Babycenter.com, more than 2 million babymoons are taken by expecting parents in the U.S. each year. This in conjunction with the survey also showing 59% of those babymoon vacations included an overnight stay tell us there’s plenty of room for you to profit on the “babymoon-boom”.
When to expect babymooners
The number of births each month are pretty close to even with June taking a slight lead.
Since most doctors highly recommend taking a babymoon during the second trimester, that would mean you’d be most likely to host babymooners December to February. However, with the even spread of births every month and inconsistency of travel decisions, we’d recommend listing to attract babymooners the full year.
Ways to attract babymooners
There’s a couple of steps you can take to get on the radar of future parents that are looking to book a babymoon.
You want to make sure you’re not only advertising to the expecting mother, but also to her spouse. Include mention in the description of things they would find attractive along with any others creative amenities you offer.
2. Target local babymooners.
You may be used to the majority of your guests traveling a considerable distance, but the opposite is true for babymooners. It’s recommended for babymooners to limit travel time with many preferring a staycation. Be sure to keep this in mind when advertising.
3. List local medical facilities.
Let’s face it –– kids don’t always do as they’re told. This is applicable as well to unborn babies. Some decide they don’t feel like waiting for their due date. Believe me, expecting moms take this into consideration when picking a destination. Listing local medical facilities, closest hospitals, and other supporting information will help put her and her spouse’s mind at ease.
4. Share the voice of others.
There are plenty of best babymoon destination lists out there. If your city is listed, that’s even more of a reason why you should target babymooners. Be sure to include a link to the lists as well in the description.
5. Offer a babymoon package.
This could include things like early check-in, ingredients for nonalcoholic cocktails at the property, or a complimentary prenatal treatment at a local spa. Better yet, connect with a local maternity photographer to offer a discount on a session.
6. Leave a small gift for their future little one.
What better way to leave an impression and encourage guest retention than by sending something home for their sweet bundle of joy. Consider buying something small –– like a bib, teddy bear, or blanket –– that’s easy to travel with. How about a “Future Guest” t-shirt with your company logo? Now that’s something I would do.
7. One word: cravings.
During the booking process, find out what a few of their favorite snacks are and stock the house. Nothing is worse when you’re pregnant than arriving to a home with an empty pantry.
8. Oh, the nausea!
Unfortunately expecting moms can’t leave morning sickness at home. Consider stocking the medical bag with pepto and other items to help give mama relief from her tummy troubles.
9. Address health concerns ahead of time.
Any properties with Zika outbreak or any other health concerns should either post confirmation of clearance, or not target babymooners at all. Better safe than sorry I always say!
10. Consider adjusting your cancellation policy.
As I mentioned before, pregnancies aren’t always predictable. It’d be wise for you to expect a higher chance of the couple needing to cancel due to health reasons. Consider adjusting your cancellation policy to provide a full refund or rescheduling abilities in exchange for a doctor’s note. Working with the couple through a difficult time that’s completely out of their hands may set you back a little now, but will most likely be beneficial in the long-run.
Whether you’re in an attractive babymoon destination market or simply catering to the locals, preparing for and advertising to expecting parents can be a lucrative part of your short-term rental business. This is a very special time for your guests, though, so be sure to set the tone and provide a great experience that will lead to future family bookings.