The vacation rental amenities you provide greatly impact your property’s ability to attract bookings and can make the difference between a one-time guest and a guest who returns again and again. They should enhance the experience you’re offering and reflect the accommodation’s type and location. Above all else, they should appeal to the kind of guests you expect to host.
When potential customers browse their options, amenities can set your short-term rental apart and make it stand out by bumping your property from good to great. Follow this vacation rental amenities checklist to wow your guests and make your property irresistible.
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According to our vacation rental encyclopedia (and the dictionary), an amenity is a desirable or valuable property feature that provides comfort, convenience, or enjoyment.
Your guests have opted to stay in a vacation rental over a hotel, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t expecting excellent service. Investing in the right amenities for your property, even if they appear expensive, will help ensure your business’s sustainability.
Airbnb commissioned a survey and found that a whopping 97% of US travelers claim amenities affect their travel experience. And while the type of rental has the most significant impact on vacation quality, amenities come in second place ahead of shopping/dining, location, culture, and family/friends. Here are the top 10 vacation home amenities searched on their platform:
A full kitchen (not just a simple kitchenette)
Set of wine glasses
How to make your vacation rental stand out
Customers are more and more demanding and can filter their searches according to the amenities they like, whether on Airbnb or other vacation rental listing sites. Therefore, it’s important that your vacation rental offers as many of these requested amenities as possible, as it will help you appear in the most searches.
Make sure you upload quality photographs of your amenities to your website. If your listing has a lot of text to read, a simple, high-quality photo will ensure that any potential customer will find your home’s best features.
Obviously, building a swimming pool or renovating the kitchen is a lot more complicated than including a set of wine glasses. Research your target audience, look at what similar properties in your area offer, and analyze what you can do to improve your vacation rental.
Essential vacation rental amenities for arrival
Guests aren’t just looking for complimentary toiletries and luxurious facilities; they’re looking for a relaxing and hassle-free stay. Bear in mind that some guests have traveled a long distance to arrive at your home, and it’s possible they forgot to bring something or simply couldn’t fit it in their suitcase.
You may want to concentrate on quick wins and provide them with the most common short-term rental supplies.
Here are some essential vacation rental amenities to incorporate into your home that you can add as a bonus.
1. 24-hour check-in
Guests love being able to check in whenever they please. Especially if something doesn’t go to plan on their journey. That doesn’t mean you have to worry about being available 24 hours a day, just make sure you have an automated check-in system in place.
Whether they gain access to your property via lockbox, keyless entry or any other service, this amenity will make a great first impression on your guests.
In this day and age, technology and digital accessibility are considered vacation home essentials. WiFi is necessary for any modern vacation rental. Unless your rental is specifically off-grid and catering to a “technological getaway”, your guests will expect WiFi as part of the rental package.
In fact, not having a fast wireless internet connection could actually deter guests from booking with you, or result in a bad review if it isn’t explicitly mentioned beforehand.
3. Electrical adapters and chargers
Most guests will carry their own adapters, but sometimes even the most seasoned travelers may forget, lose, or break them. Having a stockpile of universal adapters and chargers will make you a lifesaver!
4. Landline phone
It might sound dated, but some guests still appreciate the convenience of a landline telephone, especially if they’re trying to contact someone who’s not so tech-savvy. If your property is off-the-grid this might be an essential item for guests to plan excursions, order takeout, or call local businesses. If necessary, you can be clear in your vacation rental house rules that only local calls are allowed.
5. Tea, coffee, and cooking essentials
Stock your kitchen with a few items ready for your guests’ arrival. After a long day, they’ll no doubt want to rest and put their feet up for a moment. Make sure there’s tea and coffee available as well as sugar, salt, and cooking oils. To go that extra step, you could also contact your guests and ask if they’d like any special supplies in advance. This could be especially helpful for guests with certain dietary requirements and help them feel right at home.
6. Vacation rental toiletries
This is the most basic bathroom amenity you can offer. Guests expect to find travel-size toiletries in any standard hotel, but they’re impressed when they get the same service at a vacation rental.
Before getting ready to explore the local area, your guests may want to freshen up. Be sure to supply soaps, shampoo, and toothpaste.
You can even mount soap and shampoo dispensers on the shower wall and go the extra mile by offering complimentary toiletries such as:
Bonus tip: You could even provide bath salts, bath bombs, incense, and essential oils for a luxury spa vibe!
7. Local maps, guidebooks, and recommendations
Be sure to leave a good selection of local information for your guests to look at. Leave handy information for your most recommended neighborhood restaurants and cafés.
Include pamphlets on prominent local features like theaters, national parks or historical sights.
8. A complimentary welcome basket
For extra flair, offer a welcome basket when every guest arrives at your rental property. This doesn’t have to be an expensive basket in any way, but a simple collection of local goodies – candies, coffee, wine, postcards – is a compelling way to welcome your guests to the area and leave a lasting first impression. Your welcome basket can include:
A welcome book
Local snacks or drinks
9. Transfers and tours
Instead of making guests book these services elsewhere, partner with a local business and include them as add-ons. There are different types of transfers and tours you could offer, such as:
Airport pick up/drop off
10. Office supplies
The option to work from home has given people the freedom to travel without using vacation days. Many digital nomads and remote workers are seeking vacation rentals that give them all the comforts of an office.
Having office supplies like a spacious desk, a lamp, pens, paper, notebooks, and even a computer monitor, will show guests that your property is well-equipped for their work-cation.
Living room and home entertainment amenities
Some of the best vacation rental amenities are typically in the living room, as this is where most guests will gather, particularly in the evenings. Make sure it’s as comfortable, and as entertaining, as possible for them.
11. Cable TV or streaming services
It’s likely there’ll be some guests who don’t want to miss the big game while on vacation regardless of the other amenities available.
The ideal combination would be to offer cable television on a Smart TV, allowing access to Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, as well as live television for sports, news, and weather reports.
12. Surround sound system
Install a whole surround sound system or some high-quality speakers in your property’s living room so your guests can enjoy their movie night to the max.
Guests may also want to use them for some light dinner music or for their favorite tunes as they work out.
13. DVDs and books
There’s nothing quite like a cozy movie night after a long day of exploring. If you’re not too keen on getting cable or Netflix for your vacation rental, providing guests with a collection of movies and books is another great option.
Just make sure you have something appropriate for everyone, especially to keep young children entertained on a rainy afternoon!
Here are some family-friendly favorites:
The Lion King
14. Game consoles
If you have an X-Box or a PlayStation that you’re willing to donate to the home, then be sure to provide a selection of games for the whole family. Even the bigger kids of the family will enjoy a quick game of Madden.
15. Family-friendly board games
Spare families from having to pack their entire pack ‘n’ play for their vacation. Providing some family-friendly board games can mix up the evening and give the kids a break from the TV.
From Pictionary and Twister to Uno and Monopoly, these are great games to get the family to socialize together.
It might be a big add-on if your vacation rental doesn’t already have it, but the investment could be more than worth it depending on your location. If your property is near a ski resort or is famously a winter destination, having a fireplace might be essential as guests consider it a part of the overall experience.
17. Basic workout equipment
It’s not always easy to get to a gym to do your workout while on vacation. With more and more people choosing to exercise from home, supplying some basic gym equipment, such as a yoga mat or some dumbbells, will help guests to not miss out.
Kitchen amenities checklist
It’s important to keep a vacation rental kitchen well stocked with the necessities. A good supply of plates, glasses, mugs, and silverware is an important base. Follow that up with wine glasses and bottle openers as a delightful extra.
18. Small kitchen appliances
For those guests who prefer to cook at home when on vacation, they’ll love it if you provide cookware of all varieties, and kitchen amenities like:
A solid set of sharp knives, utensils for all welcomed guests, a full set of pots, flatware, serving platters, and other eating/cooking necessities
A kettle and a coffee maker. Appliances like rice cookers, crockpots, or blenders can also be very helpful additions.
Modern appliances like rice cookers, crock pots, processors, blenders, juicers, etc.
Coffee pot, coffee, and filters
Corkscrews and bottle openers
Keep in mind that the holiday season is a great time to up your game and provide an impressive variety of amenities that can be helpful to cook big family meals. For example, impress your vacation rental guests with the following Thanksgiving kitchen amenities:
19. Complimentary breakfast and custom-stocked fridge
Save guests the hassle of having to go straight to the store when they arrive. It’s a good idea to have a few items that normally come in large quantities, such as salt, sugar, and cooking oils, as it’s really convenient for guests who are staying for just a few days. Moreover, having a few snacks and breakfast items, such as cereals, juices, and cookies will mean your guests can forget about shopping until the next day.
20. Stock with food storage containers
Many guests will probably want to enjoy extensive day trips during their stay to explore the sights in your area. You can ensure that your rental supplies food storage containers for hiking enthusiasts to pack their own lunch for the day. Of course, food storage containers are notorious for getting lost so you could also just provide a roll of aluminum foil as an alternative option.
21. Kitchen supplies for clean-up
If your guests booked a more lengthy stay, they’ll want to keep the area where food is prepared clean and sanitary. In case they’re only staying for one night, you also don’t want them to leave a stack of dirty dishes behind for you to clean up before the next arrival.
That’s why plenty of dish soap, a sponge or brush, a dish drying rack, fresh dish towels, and an ample supply of garbage bags should be among your vacation rental supplies. If your kitchen already comes with a dishwasher you only need to think of dishwasher detergent or tablets and maybe some instructions on how to operate the appliance.
22. Kid-friendly equipment
Parents traveling with babies or small children will be very grateful if they don’t have to pack every single piece of baby equipment to go on vacation. Stock up your kitchen with baby cutlery and plates as well as disposable bibs. You could even go a step further and keep a highchair in your property’s storage to make it kid-friendly for visiting families. Go the extra mile by providing these amenities:
23. Pet-friendly necessities
If you allow guests to bring their dogs along for vacation you can accommodate them by storing a set of pet bowls for food and water in your property’s kitchen. Additionally, you could also keep a few treats as an extra special welcome for your four-legged guests. Their owners will definitely appreciate and remember such an attentive gesture when they review your amenities later!
Bathroom amenities & supplies for vacation rental properties
Just because you don’t offer any spa treatments, doesn’t mean your guests can’t enjoy the luxury and relaxation they bring. On top of the essentials of soap and shampoo, bring the spa experience to your vacation rental and pamper your guests with these amenities:
24. Fresh fluffy towels
Invest in towels that will make your bathrooms look beautiful and your guests clean, dry and warm.
No one wants to carry around a bulky appliance. Hotels sometimes fall short in this department by offering hairdryers attached to the wall. Travelers appreciate dryers that will help them get out the door (and enjoy their vacation) quickly.
You could even dress the dryer up with a bag and hang it on a hook or in one of your bathroom drawers.
26. Other hair appliances
It’s great to have a hairdryer on hand for your guests’ use, but how about straighteners and curling irons? Why not give them access to this little extra to make them feel REALLY pampered?
27. Grooming and beauty items
Apart from basic hygiene supplies, you can also stock the bathroom with some extras for vanity. For example, you could offer shower caps, disposable razors, shaving cream, makeup remover wipes (no more mascara-stained towels!), and face mask samples. Such small additions will make your guests feel like they booked a spa weekend.
28. Personal care kits
If you’re not interested in stocking your bathrooms with all these toiletries, you can create simple personal care kits for your guests and include some useful (and affordable) things like q-tips, cotton rounds, and a small sewing kit.
29. Accessible facilities
Show that you welcome every single guest and are ready to accommodate their specific needs by making your property’s bathroom accessible. This can easily be done by installing a handrail next to the toilet, offering a seat that can be placed in the shower, and providing a low-hanging mirror plus shelf space
Amenities like this will make your vacation rental appealing to disabled travelers and elderly guests.
30. Surface space for storage
This might seem like an obvious point, but if your bathroom doesn’t come with sufficient surface areas it can be a real hassle for visitors. Bigger families or groups will need shelf space to store the toiletries they brought along. If there’s none available, your bathroom will probably descend into chaos after the first day.
By purchasing a simple bathroom shelf you can easily prevent that from happening and minimize the cleanup effort afterward as well.
31. Scale for luggage
We’ve all gained some extra cushioning while enjoying good food on vacation before. It’s simply proof that you’ve enjoyed your vacation the right way! However, the purpose of providing a bathroom scale is actually related to the extra luggage weight your guest might’ve acquired by the end of their trip.
After buying all kinds of souvenirs, gifts, and new clothes they can use the bathroom scale to check if their bags and suitcases are still within the travel weight limit of the airplane they booked. This handy amenity will definitely be appreciated by guests who went on one or two extensive shopping sprees.
32. First aid kit
Safety is one of the most important parts of the guest experience. Although no one expects or hopes for it to happen, getting cuts and bruises on vacation is not unusual. Rather than letting small accidents ruin a vacation, you can help to offset unpleasant experiences by providing a first aid kit, either in the bathroom or an accessible location in the house.
You should include the basics of a first aid kit, like bandaids, gauze, antibiotic ointment, disposable gloves, and medical tweezers. If you want to be extra thorough, you can include other items such as bug bite creams, kids’ bandages, pain relievers, ice packs, a digital thermometer, and saline solution.
33. Heated floors
Have you ever had an amazing shower or bath only to step out onto frigid cold tile? Remember that if you’re trying to emulate a spa experience for guests, you have to think of every little detail down to the flooring. Heated floors, especially for winter-focused accommodations are going to be a big plus for guests.
If you were already planning a vacation rental renovation in the bathroom, you might as well add heated floors to your list to give your guests the added comfort of temperature-controlled flooring.
34. Robes and slippers
Sticking with the idea of luxury, providing robes and house slippers for guests will help to solidify the spa feeling. You can hang them nicely in the bathroom or in the bedroom if you have more space there.
Take it a step further by making them branded! Have your vacation rental logo imprinted on the robes or tops of the slippers to round out the experience and make your accommodation that much more memorable.
Bedroom amenities for your vacation rental
As we all know, the quality of our sleep determines the way we feel the next day. So if you want your guests to be happy with your rental, make sure they have a comfortable night in your rental. Here’s how you can do it:
35. Premium bedding and plumped-up pillows
We know you don’t want to spend a fortune on linens, but investing in some good quality sheets that last and wash well will make all the difference for your guests. Spend some time layering up the bed with comforting blankets and fluffy pillows for a sleeping experience your guests will never forget.
36. Sleep masks, earplugs, and other gadgets
Another way of improving your guests’ nighttime routine is by providing single-use sleeping masks and earplugs. You could even provide gadgets like alarm clocks, sound systems, or white noise players to help them drift off peacefully.
37. Blackout curtains or blinds
Many people have trouble sleeping in a bright environment. They’ll thank you for installing some blackout curtains or blinds in the bedrooms of your vacation rental. Especially if the bedroom windows are facing the sun – be it at night in summer or in the morning – this should really be on your amenities checklist for vacation rentals.
38. Air conditioning or electric fan
When guests arrive during the hot season it’ll greatly improve their comfort to be able to cool down the area where they lay down to rest. In case your property has no air conditioning installed you should at least have one fan per bedroom to provide them with a cooling breeze at night.
39. Bedside outlets
Make sure to position the head of the beds near the outlets of the room. If that’s not possible you could also connect cord extensions so your guests are able to charge their devices at night while keeping them nearby to set an alarm for the next day
40. Mosquito nets or lights
If the bedroom windows of your property allow it you should fix mosquito nets to their frames to protect your guests from being bothered at night. Alternatively, you could also provide a mosquito light that they can plug in when they go to sleep.
Cleaning and storage amenities
The convenience of being able to do laundry in a vacation rental is very appealing and something that most hotels can’t offer. Keep reading to find out what else guests look for in a short-term rental.
41. Cleaning supplies
The act of simply providing cleaning supplies and placing them where guests can see them will encourage them to clean. Prepare a small rental cleaning kit and stock it with recognizable, branded products. You can even prepare special instructions on which products to use to clean each area of the house, such as kitchen counters or shower doors.
42. A washer and dryer
Ideally, your vacation rental will have its own washer and dryer, that you’re happy to let guests have access to. Guests love to be able to keep up with their own laundry while they’re away, some even like to go home with fresh clothing at the end of their vacation.
If your rental does not have a laundry room of its own, it’s important to let your guests know if there is a coin-operated laundromat nearby or down the street. Whatever the situation is, provide clear directions for your guests’ ease. Make sure you have a washing line or drying rack on hand for those more delicate items, as well!
43. An iron and clothing storage
An iron and an ironing board are must-haves for wrinkly clothes coming out of suitcases. Provide a simple suitcase stand in the closet so guests don’t have to bend to the ground to sort through their suitcases, and leave plenty of empty hangers in the closet. A chest of drawers is an added benefit for many guests unpacking their belongings.
44. Shoe and coat rack
Encourage your guests to prevent inside spaces from getting dirty in the first place by providing them with storage space for dirty boots and wet coats right upon entrance.
45. Scented products
In addition, you could buy a room spray and hang a deodorizer block in the toilet. These products might not necessarily improve the hygiene of your vacation rental but an orderly environment that also smells pleasant will further enhance the feeling of cleanliness and comfort.
46. Vacation rental safe
It’s imperative that guests feel secure during their stay. Beyond the standard steps to prevent vacation rental burglary, guests want to make sure their own belongings are safe inside your home. Including a vacation rental safe in the bedroom or closet spaces will allow guests to lock up what’s important to them.
Outdoor experience amenities for vacation homes
In order to tip your guest experience over the edge, anticipate what your guests will need or want during their stay. If you have a large outdoor space, try to incorporate some of the following:
47. Outdoor furniture
If you want to fully equip your outdoor space you can furnish it with a table, chairs, sun lounges, an outdoor couch, or a hammock. These rental amenities will enable your guests to fully relax and enjoy their time outside.
48. Sun protection
In outside areas, you should provide your guests with means to protect themselves from direct sun exposure. You could, for example, put a sun umbrella or even a whole gazebo on your property’s terrace to offer some shade to your guests.
49. Beach supplies
If your vacation rental is located near the beach, be sure to offer beach towels, fold-up chairs, and a cool box. If you have them, you could also provide bodyboards or inflatables for more sea fun!
50. Items to keep them dry
Does it rain frequently at your vacation rental? Be sure to provide spare umbrellas or even a couple of plastic poncho raincoats for guests.
51. Bikes and other tips to get around
Provide your guests with instructions on how to get around the city, this includes metro maps, bus schedules, and driving routes. Another great amenity to have on hand is a couple of bicycles for your guests to enjoy the area like a local!
52. Outdoor games
Supplying a football or a frisbee will get your guests outside and keep them active. Parents will especially appreciate this as the kids burn off that excess energy!
53. A private pool or a hot tub
Who doesn’t love a glass of champagne in the bubbles of a hot tub under the stars? Although these amenities aren’t always feasible, any property that advertises itself as a luxury vacation rental will most likely boast one of these.
Nothing can top a family barbecue on a warm summer’s evening. Having a barbecue grill is a huge attraction, especially to those guests booking for the 4th of July.
55. Outdoor lighting
Your guests might want to enjoy warm summer nights way past sundown. Enable them to do so by installing warmly colored outdoor lighting around your property’s outside sitting area.
56. Parking space
Many guests will travel to your vacation rental by car. Naturally, they’ll need a parking space for their vehicles. If possible you should provide them with this option – either on your own property or by directing them to nearby parking spaces.
57. Metered EV charger for vacation rentals
Electric vehicles are the future and it’s becoming increasingly common for guests to bring or rent these cars while on vacation. By including an EV charging station at your property, you’re not only leading the way for the future of vacation rentals, but you’re also setting yourself up for the “wow factor” of your guests. Be one of the few VR owners to offer such an innovative amenity.
You can choose to either measure the cost of the kWh (kilowatt per hour) used or mark up your base rate to counter the expense of EV charging. Either way, it will be a huge perk for guests and might even be a tax-deductible expense for you!
Bonus: How to stock a vacation rental home
Ultimately, the amenities you decide to stock in your vacation rental will depend on its location, property, and guest types. Additional amenities may also be stocked to make it go from a “good rental” to the “perfect rental” category.
For example, if you own a beach vacation rental, it would be important to stock it on extra towels, picnic baskets, spare coolers for the beach, and even some snorkeling equipment and a pail and shovel for the kids. A cabin rental will require other things such as water bottles, hiking trail maps, and even some hiking gear.
You can always provide your guests with basic amenities and still get good reviews. However, if you really want to impress them, it’s important to go the extra mile! A great way to decide on the best amenities for vacation rentals is by going around your property, picturing yourself as a guest and asking yourself “what do I need in here?” and most importantly, “what would be great to offer to make my guests feel like royalty?”.
If you’re worried about offering too many vacation rental supplies and amenities, you can keep track with an inventory checklist and include everything you offer, and have it signed by the guest. Both parties agree on all of the items that are left in the vacation rental, as well as their current state.
Download the free vacation rental amenities checklist
With over 50 amenities to choose from, it can be a challenge to keep up. Ensure that your property supplies all the essentials by downloading our amenities checklist for vacation rentals below!
Don’t see the form to download our Vacation Rental Amenities Checklist? Click here.
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