Vacation rentals

Between Labor Day weekend and Thanksgiving, you know what property owners who rent their vacation homes have going on? Nothing. Absolute zilch.

The days off are minimal to nonexistent, the holidays are limited to Halloween -- which doesn't require a whole lot of travel unless you're heading to the Greenwich Village parade in New York, Fantasy Fest in Key West, the witch-averse streets of Salem, Mass., or some other adult-oriented holiday haunt. Travelers' funds are usually recovering from summer travel just in time to go holiday shopping, and the will to pick up and go with the kids in school, football on television and temperatures dropping is often minimal.

Columbus Day weekend, however, gives property owners a bridge date between traditional holidays if they're lucky enough to draw renters with the day off. Vacation rental site Home Away ( AWAY), for example, dedicates an entire page to Columbus Day weekend getaways just to goose rentals a bit. Other sites including AirBnB and TripAdvisor ( TRIP) subsidiary FlipKey are also teeming with owners who consider that weekend and much of fall a low point between summer and ski season.

It's still a bit of a lull amid those two peak stretches and the holiday season, but any extra income a homeowner can get is a bonus. Embrace their desperation.

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