Categories: Guides & hacksHosting

How to Earn Money With Your Remote Rural Property by Hosting Campers

Hipcamp partners with landowners like you (who become Hipcamp Hosts) to connect your property with folks who are looking for places to stay and camp outside to help you earn extra money. All you need to get started is a flat spot where someone can pitch a tent or park an RV, or a structure (such as a yurt, canvas tent, or tiny cabin) for them to spend the night in.

You don’t have to be located in a top travel destination to run a successful Hipcamp and monetize your land. No matter where you’re based — or how far your land is located from a major city — there are Hipcampers out there who will be happy to pay to experience your slice of heaven. With the right prep work, you can turn your remote property into a profitable destination people will be excited to visit.

6 ways to turn your property into a profitable place for camping:

1. Be a guide to your town, county, or region

Let your Hipcamp campsite listing double as a regional guide to draw guests to your site. The key is share the unique things to do and experience where you live to help guests picture their visit.

Get your guide off to the right start by answering these questions:

  • What makes you excited about where you live?
  • Where do you bring your friends when they visit?
  • Where are the best meals or grocery stores in the area?
  • Is there fresh produce or seasonal foods in your region that visitors should know about?
  • Where should they go to watch the sun rise or set? For stargazing?
  • Consider seasonal activities near your region: are there fall leaves, snowshoeing, spring flowers, swimming holes or festivals?

While creating your guide, brainstorm on who your target demographic is and how you can appeal to them. If someone is taking a road trip through your region, where might they be coming from or going to? How can your property make for the perfect layover? If you are near a city, you may be drawing guests who want a reprieve from urban life or to experience the countryside. What authentic things can they try that the locals like to do? What plants or animals might they encounter at your site?

Pro-tip: a picture is worth a thousand words, so include as many as you can. This will help your guests visualize themselves on your land and choose your Hipcamp with confidence.

Photo by Rob B. at Bent River Farm, North Carolina.

2. Network with regional providers

Think about nearby providers a visitor might like to connect with while on their trip. Depending on your region, your community might offer guided outdoor activities (rafting, climbing, or skiing), tours of historical sites, spas, agritourism activities (U-pick, wine tasting), or breweries. Getting in touch with these businesses will allow you to steer your guests to fun activities during their stay. In turn, these providers will be able to tell their clients that your Hipcamp is a lodging option in the area. It’s a win-win, and you may discover more opportunities as you grow your local network.

3. Add features that will draw people in

A beautiful, relaxing campsite can be all the draw your guests need to book a stay at your Hipcamp. Building out a comfy campsite with a fire ring, table, and tent platforms is a good start. (You’ll find guides to setting up the perfect camp in the hosting section of the Hipcamp Journal.)

Take the next step towards campsite greatness by installing some outdoor lighting, like string lights, to make the nights more welcoming. You can also add desirable features like a hammock, rope swing, or a dedicated space for yoga and meditation. Another simple way to make your guests feel connected to your camp is a library with guides or pamphlets to local parks, birding or mushroom foraging field guides, and history books about your region. Board games and cozy camp blankets are also nice to have on hand.

Hipcampers also love taking photos, so the more Instagrammable your campsite is, the better. What are the best photo opportunities on your land? You might want to consider adding fun murals or face-in-the-hole boards that beg guests to take photos. (Don’t forget to include your Hipcamp’s name somewhere on the work.) Unique amenities like outdoor bathtubs will also draw people in from near and far, and make your campsite more profitable.

Special amenities like an outdoor bathtub will make your campsite more Instagrammable and more profitable. (Photo by Ann N. at Cedar Bloom Soul Pad, Oregon.)

4. Diversify your accommodation options

While a basic campsite is a great Hipcamp offering, adding tiers of accommodation to your property can diversify the demographic you attract (think new campers who don’t have their own gear yet.)

Depending on your budget and time, you can build your own A-frame cabin, or add other structures like a cob house, yurt, or tiny house. Many Hipcamp Hosts have added new or vintage trailers to their land for guests to sleep in.

Though the upfront costs of adding a structure might feel intimidating at first, they quickly pay for themselves: not only can you charge more for stays in camping structures, they’re also weather- and season-proof. That means you stay open longer and at a higher nightly rate. Score!

Make your Hipcamp a full-on glamping destination by adding unique luxury furnishings and features. As this guide explains, a glampsite can start with something as simple as a spacious tent with a bed inside. Adding features like an outdoor shower, kitchen, or furniture can increase comfort, as well as amenities like coffee, tea, towels, or brunch.

5. Include extras that campers will pay more for

With Hipcamp’s Extras feature, Hosts can offer extra services and products for their guests to purchase during checkout. This means you can offer specialized tours, workshops, or classes at your site that will draw guests and earn you extra cash. Tours can be guided trips to regional activities that you know and love, like a Geology Desert Walk, Wild Foraging Forest Loop, or Birding Estuary Trip. Workshops can share your expertise to your guests, such as Beekeeping 101, How to Hickory Smoke Barbecue, or Landscape Watercolor Workshop. Whatever your passion or skills, there is potential to turn it into an Extra that will bring more Hipcampers to your site.

Photo by Maegen L. at Charming Rustic Cabin, Colorado.

6. Boost SEO and your online presence

One of the best ways to draw traffic to a remote Hipcamp is through effective SEO (search engine optimization) and a well-established online presence. This guide walks through some basics of SEO to apply when creating your listing. If you’re in a truly remote or underserved region, strong SEO could make your listing a top search result for camping or lodging in your area.

Once your Hipcamp listing is live, spread the word to your network by posting links on local Facebook groups and to your own Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You may even want to make a dedicated Instagram account for your Hipcamp to showcase the beauty and pace of life at your property. You can also create a unique hashtag for your property and encourage guests to use it.

Monarch Hot Springs, CA by Janelle Somoano.

How to start earning extra money hosting campers on your land

We hope this guide inspires you to see the potential of hosting Hipcampers on your property. If you’re ready to take the next step, it’s free to start a listing. Why not earn extra income to help pay for property taxes, home expenses, and future dream projects? Learn more about becoming a Hipcamp Host. (Use the promo code JOURNAL and get an extra $100 when you host your first Hipcamp guest.)

Vincent Levy wishes he was camping every night. The West Coast is his home and he loves spending time in the Cascades, High Sierra, and the SoCal desert.

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