Charging for extras

how to run a bed and breakfastOne of the threads in the Facebook group last week was around charging for extras, and specifically children, and I thought you’d find the comments interesting.

Overwhelmingly and unanimously everyone said YES and here’s why….

Children are often more work than adults.

They sometimes spill or break things

They sometimes knock things over

They can leave a mess to clear up

They sleep in sheets and use towels that have to be washed afterwards (like everyone else!)

They sometimes need a special breakfast prepared for them

They’re naturally curious and often wander into spaces where you don’t want them to go, so you always have to be aware of them in the house, which can take up more of your time and energy

So what should you charge for them?

It depends…

But first, I’m curious to know why you might be taking children?

Unless you’re running a children-centric activity-type establishment that would be a child’s paradise, here’s some reasons to say no to them and their doting parents

Other peoples’ children are not interesting to other guests who may not feel comfortable about them being there.  Other guests may have booked a special occasion away from their own kids only to be confronted with someone else’s offspring.

They can sometimes stifle proper adult conversation, where certain topics cannot be discussed

They are prone to interrupting, to get their parents’ attention if they feel they’re being left out

They often run around because they have more energy than adults, and this could be noisy

They distract the parents who cannot relax and enjoy your hospitality when their antenna is always on red alert

And then there’s the nappies/diapers left in the bathroom bins!

This is not to say I don’t like children, I do

Very much actually

But as guests at my B&B?

No

Keep in mind that you are running a business, not a kindergarten

Be specific about who you welcome and who you don’t

You’re not obliged to take anybody and everybody

Still want to take children and don’t know how much to charge?

Charge whatever you need to charge so you don’t feel resentful or disrespected

This applies to everything you do

It’s YOUR business, YOU make the rules

Yvonne x

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Yvonne Halling helps B&Bs, guest houses, inns and small hotels to attract direct bookings, reduce commissions to online travel agents, fill rooms in the low seasons and charge more.  For more on charging for extras, CLICK HERE to pick up her free report “How to Make More, Work Less While Adding Huge Value to Your Guests (and your bank account) now.

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14 Responses to “Charging for extras”

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  1. I LOVE children, but like you NOT in my B&B. I have made the odd exception, when nobody else is booked in, and have charged just slightly less than the adult rate. I do advertise as childfree unless all 4 rooms are block booked.

    • Love that Nikki. Making the distinction between what goes in your business as opposed to what goes outside of it. Very important, and thank you for commenting 🙂

  2. Exactly what I thought.
    Now without advertising for children (no playground, no special deals for them) there are some times when it’s difficult to say “no” ( a whole family with just 1 or 2 youngsters, weddings) unless you are ready to lose the whole booking.
    I have always explained was I was charging and as you said provided specific breakfast and services. Some “kids” actually pre adolescents are always hungry and gulp a lot of food….

  3. Totally agree. I try to agree to children at Ninety North only when there are no other business guests – like on a weekend. I also don’t have family rooms, so that puts people off and I don’t mind and will not create a family room. This is not my primary market. At our self catering lodge homes in Swaziland, families are welcome as they book the entire house or themselves anyway. How many people will you be? 6? We charge for 6 people! not 4 adults and two children (unless they are babes in arms and then they come free). The children definitely need watching more, they make a HUGE mess and we have more cleaning to do – sticky fingers on walls and shoes on furniture, GRRRR.

  4. Jan Brosseau says:

    This sounds wonderful, and wish we could do that, however, we are in California where we are not allowed to discriminate against children, etc. We have had mostly respectful parents and well behaved children, however, that isn’t always the case. A screaming child at breakfast is not a good thing, or one left unattended. We can refuse pets, however, not service animals.

  5. We opted out of accepting children around 6 years ago. We are ‘openplan’ and found children were running round our living room , climbing over the settees and parents said nothing. We accept well behaved dogs instead, far less hassle. We only have 2 bedrooms , a twin and a double both en-suite, so no family room anyway

  6. Diana Arnold says:

    We always accepted children, until recently – as we travelled with our son from being a baby – but now I have reconsidered because of the extra work/damage/noise- I love children -but often the parents are not used to looking after their own children – so holidays are quite stressful for them – having the children 100% of the time – so we have removed mention of children from our web site – we do get requests to bring children and we also get guests arriving with a child – not mentioned in the booking – but I am definitely going towards No children – or at least only well behaved children – we have one staying now – age 8 – delightful – so some flexibility remains

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