When it comes to amenities, the TravelNest team know what makes the difference between a standard property and and standout one. Take a look at the top ten amenities no vacation rental should be without. Have you got them all covered?!
Unless you’re specifically marketing yourself as an “off-the-grid” experience, good WiFi is one of the biggest necessities in modern vacation rentals. One survey found that a massive 96% of respondents rated WiFi either as “Important” or “Very Important”.  And it’s not just for kids either … we’re all accustomed to being able to readily access our email and update our social media accounts wherever we are – for some, not being able to do this could ruin an otherwise restful holiday.
2. Kitchen appliances
According to one survey 64%  of guests in vacation rentals want to cater for themselves. On top of this, a TripAdvisor survey found that 83% of potential guests rate a fully equipped kitchen as a top priority – even above the cost of the rental itself!  So make sure you provide a well-appointed kitchen for them.
The minimum you should be looking to include should be a good range of cutlery, decent crockery and cookware (pots and pans etc), as well as sharp knives, plus a kettle, toaster and coffee maker. We recommend going for high-quality, so go for the best you can afford.
Appliances like a blender, food processor, weighing scales, radio and juicer can also make all the difference to your kitchen and the enjoyment of your guests.
3. Cable/satellite TV or streaming services
Even if your guests don’t actually end up making use of the TV, most will want to see it listed as something you have. Although people are getting away from their normal everyday lives staying in your property, many will still want to keep up to date with their favourite shows, or just occasionally relax in front of a good film. If you can provide access to services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, even better!
4. Washing machine and dryer
TripAdvisor’s 2016 Vacation Rental Survey  found that 67% of guests wanted to see that any property they were interested in had a washer and a dryer. If your guests are staying for more than a week, they may not want to bring enough clothes to see them through (certainly if they’re in a family) so having washing facilities is pretty essential.
If you don’t have a washing machine, then at the very least you need to provide details of where the nearest launderette is. Also make sure you have a washing line or drying rack on hand as well. Providing washing powder and fabric softener is literally a nice touch to include!
5. DVDs, books and games
If you’re not able (or willing) to provide access to cable TV or Netflix, then providing a range of books and films on DVD is a good option – although providing both is the ideal to give your guests a choice. Just make sure that you have things that are appropriate for all the family. Similarly, having some board games, as well as things like pencils and colouring books is always a good idea.
Parents may not have space to bring a huge supply of things for themselves, so they will be happy if they know there’s something to entertain their kids with if it’s a rainy day. Having a toy box in the property is a really great idea – you can include children’s activity books and a selection of toys to keep them entertained. Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, Snakes and Ladders, Twister, Connect Four, Dominos, Snap and Uno are all family favourites.
6. Games console
A gaming console is a really great addition, particularly if you are keen to attract families with children to your vacation rental. If you can, try to include the most recently available console possible, so your investment lasts – we wouldn’t recommend supplying more than a couple of games as this can get really expensive, unless of course you happen to be an avid gamer yourself and have lots spare. Also, when you list the console in your description make sure you list the exact model so guests know which of their games will be compatible.
7. Complimentary welcome basket
First impressions make lasting impressions, and a well stocked welcome basket is a great way to give your guests a warm welcome. You can also tailor the contents depending on who is coming to stay. Everyone will appreciate things like tea and coffee, bread, butter and jam for instance.
For couples on a romantic break you could include a bottle of wine or some chocolates, some sweeties for kids or dog treats if your guests are bringing a dog with them. Including a selection of locally produced items (plus details about where to buy more!) will give guests a great introduction to your local area.
We are used to seeing toiletry packs in hotels, but it’s not necessarily something we associate with vacation rentals. If you really want to stand out and provide that extra bit of luxury, this is a really nice touch. You could include small bottles of shower gel, bubble bath, shampoo, conditioner and soap, alongside fluffy towels, bathrobes and slippers.
9. 24-hour check-in
Guests will really appreciate being able to check-in as and when it suits them, especially if something doesn’t go to plan with their journey. Offering this doesn’t mean you have to be available around the clock, you can make use of an automated check-in system or lockbox. Providing 24 hour check-in is a great service to be able to offer to your guests, and makes an excellent first impression.
10. A hot tub
A hot tub or jacuzzi can quickly transform your property into a romantic getaway. They are much easier to install than a pool and require much less space, just remember that heating costs will go up in the winter so make sure you take this into account when setting prices.
Other things to think about
While that rounds up our top 10 suggestions, there are some other, much simpler (and cheaper!) things you can include too. Here’s our checklist of quick wins:
Electrical adapters and chargers: We’ve all been on holiday and forgotten these so why not save your guests the hassle and cost of buying a new one.
Cleaning supplies: People do want to get away from household chores, but they still want to stay somewhere they can keep clean and tidy. Providing the essentials like washing up liquid, sponges, dish towels and a multi-purpose cleaner is a good way to go.
An iron and clothing storage: The crumpled, pulled straight out of a suitcase look is never a good look, wherever you are!
Items to keep guests dry: We’re not talking about supplying overcoats, but a couple of umbrellas won’t go amiss. Beach supplies: If your vacation rental is near a beach then make sure you have a range of things like beach towels, folding chairs plus buckets and spades – they’ll be greatly appreciated by your guests.
 Orlando Vacation Homes 360, Vacation Rental Survey Results, 22nd February 2016. Available at: https://www.orlando-vacationhomerental.com/research/vacation-rental-survey-results/
 The ideal vacation rental home for millenials, boomers and beyond – Insights from the Home Depot and Tripping.com Survey. Available at: https://www.tripping.com/industry/trends/insights-from-the-home-depot-and-trippingcom-survey
 2016 Vacation Rentals Survey, 10 Insights for Property Managers, 4th December 2015. Available at: https://www.tripadvisor.com/RentalInsights/expert-advice/2016-vacation-rental-survey-10-insights-property-managers
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