How can you help your guests have a great experience in your vacation rental? By making sure it’s stocked with all the amenities they want as well as the necessities they expect. Guests will notice when you make the effort to exceed their expectations. Any of the extra touches you provide can mean the difference between a three-star review and a five-star review. And the higher rated your property, the more prominently it will be displayed in the search results of vacation property listing sites. To help you make sure that you’ve got all your bases covered, we’ve put together a list of all the items you should stock in your rental.
For the Kitchen
Let’s start with dishes and cookware. The rule of thumb is that you should have twice the number of dishes as your rental’s sleeping capacity. So, if your condo sleeps 4, you should have at least 8 plates, 8 bowls, 8 glasses, etc. It’s no fun washing your dishes after every meal, especially if you’re on vacation. Don’t forget to provide wine glasses and mugs, too. In addition, it’s ideal if your dinnerware matches. When guests see a hodgepodge of different plates or mismatched silverware, it makes the vacation property seem like it’s lower quality.
With regard to cookware, keep an amount that’s appropriate to the number of guests you can sleep. For example, if your house sleeps 12, you’ll want to invest in more than two pots. Usually a set of four to five pots along with two skillets will suffice. Additional cookware items to stock in your kitchen:
- Mixing Bowls
- Serving Bowls and Plates
- Bottle Opener
- Knife Set That Includes Steak Knives
- Cookie Sheet(s)
- Mixing Spoons
- Measuring Spoons and Cups
- Can Opener
- Cheese Grater
Don’t forget about any small appliances that might be necessary, including a microwave, toaster, and coffee maker. You might want to consider providing a blender and a slow cooker, as well. Other items that should be in your kitchen:
- Cutting Board
- Dish Drying Rack (if there’s no dishwasher)
- Plastic Containers for Storing Food
- Aluminum Foil
- Sandwich Bags and/or Plastic Wrap
- Cookbooks the Reflect the Local Flavor
Help your guests keep everything clean by providing the necessary cleaning supplies, paper towels, and trash bags.
For the Pantry
While it’s not necessary to provide your guests with a fully stocked pantry, it is nice to ensure that they have access to the essentials. You’ll want to provide salt, pepper, sugar, and a small selection of some of the more popular spices. As you consider what basic pantry items to provide, consider what guests may need during their stay but that they’ll only use a small amount of. It’s not convenient for guests to have to purchase a pound of sugar if they’ll only be around for a few days. Many of these items have a long shelf life, so they won’t need to be replaced too frequently. Items like coffee, tea, hot chocolate, vegetable oil, and condiments will also be useful and welcome additions to your pantry. Think about what items you’d like to find readily available in a vacation home or condo and go from there.
For the Bedrooms
Start by giving your guests high quality linens and pillows. Comfort should be the name of the game when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep while on vacation. Guests should also have access to extra blankets, pillows, and linens should the need arise. Nightstands with reading lamps give everyone the opportunity to curl up in bed with a good book. Plenty of hangers and storage space in closets will help your guests settle in smoothly. Other things you might consider include earplugs, sleep masks, and suitcase stands.
For the Bathrooms
Figuring out the basic necessities in the bathrooms is pretty easy. Toilet paper, tissues, and towels (at least two per guest) are what you should start with. To be extra considerate, you can provide toiletries (like travel-size shampoo, body soap, etc.) and a hair dryer as well as just-in-case items like cleaning supplies, plungers, and first aid kits.
When your guests aren’t out and about exploring your area, they’ll be relaxing in your home or condo and expecting all the comforts of home and then some. Having wireless internet access as well as cable and/or a movie/music streaming service are essential. Once you’ve got those down, stock your home with DVDs, books, a variety of board games, and, of course, a deck of cards. If you have the ability, providing a gaming console can help to entertain the kids (and kids at heart) on days when the weather is disagreeable.
For the Little Ones
It can be hard to travel with small children, so why not make it a bit easier on the parents who stay in your vacation property? High chairs, cribs, Pack ‘N Plays, nightlights, and baby monitors will take a little bit of stress off your guests so they can better enjoy their vacation.
Other Great Amenities
There’s a lot more that you can offer in your rental that will help to make it an even better experience for your guest. Items that provide an added touch of convenience are especially welcome, including phone and device chargers, irons and ironing boards, extra light bulbs, firewood, and humidifiers (especially in dry climates).
What sort of activities are popular in your destination? Have items that make it easy for your guests to enjoy the area.
Things like sand toys, water wings, sleds, snowshoes, and so many more do a magnificent job of letting guests know that you care about their vacation time. Plus, in a lot of instances, it will help to save them a little money on their trip. Local guide books and hiking/biking trail guides are also valuable additions should your guests find themselves looking for new adventures. If you’re the proud owner of a home or condo rental in the mountains, check out our article on Breckenridge-specific amenities for some more ideas.
Finally, what better way to welcome visitors to your home than with a welcome basket? These baskets don’t need to be overly elaborate or expensive. Focus on providing local products and foodstuffs when you can. But otherwise, having just a few goodies to greet your visitors is a fantastic way to make an awesome first impression.
Focus on Making Your Property Stand Out
Ultimately, your two goals as a vacation property owner are to make sure your guests have a wonderful home-away-from-home and to maximize your occupancy rates. Thoughtful amenities will help you accomplish both of these. You’ll succeed in making your vacation home or condo an idyllic getaway that offers a far more personal touch and immersive experience than a hotel.
For those of who you are new to the vacation rental industry, you might want to learn more about preparing your rental for your first guests. Or if you own a Breckenridge rental property and have questions, feel free to give us a call at (970) 528-9700. We’re happy to help!
Have we missed anything that you think is crucial to an impeccable vacation rental? Let us know in the comments!