The amenities at your home can make all the difference between a one-time guest and a guest who returns again and again to your vacation rental. Your amenities should reflect the location of your rental property, the type of property you offer, and the type of guest you expect to host. When travelers are browsing through their options, amenities can really set your rental apart and make it stand out by bumping your property from good to great.
According to our vacation rental glossary (and the dictionary), an amenity is the desirable or useful features of a property. It’s a feature that helps to provide 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 great service.
Airbnb commissioned a survey and found that a whopping 97% of US travelers surveyed claim that amenities affect their travel experience. And while the type of rental has the greatest impact on vacation quality, amenities come in second place ahead of shopping/dining, location, culture, and family/friends. Here are the top 10 amenities searched on their platform:
A full kitchen (not just a simple kitchenette)
Set of wine glasses
Travelers are more and more demanding and can filter their searches according to the amenities they like on Airbnb and other vacation rental listing sites, it’s important for your properties to offer as many of these requested amenities as possible. Getting a pool and renovating (or adding) a kitchen is a lot more complicated than some of the other amenities but if you’re trying to get your vacation rental to stand out from the competition, you may want to concentrate on quick wins and vacation rental supplies.
Here are some of the most important amenities you can provide at your vacation rental and that you can also add as an extra bonus.
The Best Amenities For the Overall Guest Experience
Travelers aren’t just looking for free toiletries, they’re looking for a memorable experience, and making this happen will enhance each and every aspect of their stay. Here’s a list of amenities that will wow your guests and make your vacation rental stand out:
1. 24-Hour Check-in
Travelers love being able to check-in whenever they please. Especially if something doesn’t go to plan with 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.
2. Fast and convenient WiFi
WiFi is probably the biggest necessity in any modern vacation rental. Unless your rental is specifically off-grid and catering to a “technological getaway” crowd, your guests will expect WiFi as part of the rental package.
In fact, not having 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. Cable TV or streaming services
Even if they don’t make use of the television, most guests will look for TV access as a must-have amenity in their vacation rental.
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 local news and weather reports.
4. 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 experience to the fullest or just listen to their favorite tunes.
5. DVDs and books
If you’re not too keen on getting cable or Netflix for your vacation rental, providing guests with a collection of films and literature is another great option. Just make sure you have something appropriate for everyone, including something to keep young children entertained on a rainy afternoon!
6. Game console
Especially bigger families with kids will be excited about being able to play with a Nintendo Switch or PlayStation at their holiday home. Also, provide a selection of games for the whole family to make your vacation rental stand out to travelers!
7. Family-friendly games
Spare families from having to pack their entire pack ‘n’ play for their vacation. Provide free kids’ amenities like crayons, books and bathtub toys.
You could even offer some board games and cards for extra family fun! Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, Chutes & Ladders, Twister and Uno are all-time family favorites.
8. Local maps, guidebooks, and recommendations
Be sure to leave a good selection of local information for your guests to peruse. Leave handy information for your most recommended neighborhood restaurants and cafés.
Include pamphlets on prominent local features like theaters, national parks or historical sights.
9. 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 them see you as a lifesaver!
10. 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.
11. Transfers and tours
Instead of making travelers book these services elsewhere, partner with any local businesses and include them as add-ons. There are different types of transfers and tours you could offer, such as:
Airport pick up/drop off
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.
There should always be basic seasoning on hand like salt and pepper, but to really endear your guests, add assorted spices, cooking oils, and a healthy supply of coffee, tea and sugar.
12. 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, 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
13. Complimentary breakfast and custom-stocked fridge
Stock your fridge with a few items ready for your guests’ arrival. This could be complimentary cookies, juices and breakfast ingredients. 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.
14. 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 prepare and 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 tin foil and cling film as an alternative option.
15. Kitchen supplies for clean-up
If your guests booked a more lengthy stay, of course, they’ll want to be able to keep the area where food is prepared clean and sanitary – especially if there are small kids running around as well. 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 amongst 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.
16. 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 holiday. 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.
17. 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
Just because you don’t offer any spa treatments, doesn’t mean your guests can’t enjoy the luxury and relaxation they bring. Bring the spa experience to your vacation rental and pamper your guests with these amenities:
18. 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 totally blown away when they get the same service at a vacation rental.
You can start out by mounting soap and shampoo dispensers on the shower wall and even go the extra mile by offering vacation rental toiletries such as:
You could even blow your guests away by offering bath salts, bath bombs and essential oils.
19. Fresh fluffy towels
Invest in towels that will make your bathrooms look beautiful and your guests clean, dry and warm.
When it comes to ROI, nothing is worth its value like a hairdryer. No one wants to carry around a bulky hair 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.
21. 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 super pampered.
22. 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 and 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 and upgrade their holiday experience.
23. 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.
24. 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 really make your vacation rental stand out to disabled travelers and elderly guests.
25. 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. Especially 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.
26. Scale for luggage
We’ve all gained some extra cushioning while enjoying good food on holiday 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.
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:
27. 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.
28. 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.
29. 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.
30. 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.
31. 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
32. 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.
According to Trip Advisor’s 2016 vacation rental survey, 67% of travelers believe that vacation rentals are better than hotels because they’re able to do their laundry whenever they want (at no extra cost). But what other amenities do they look for in a vacation rental?
33. 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.
34. 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!
35. 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 suitcase, and leave plenty of empty hangers in the closet. A chest of drawers is an added benefit for many guests unpacking their belongings.
36. 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.
37. 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.
Outdoor Experience Amenities
In order to tip your guest experience over the edge, anticipate what your guests will need or want on their stay.
38. 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.
39. 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.
40. 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!
41. 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.
42. 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!
43. Outdoor games
There are many games for the outdoors that can be enjoyed by younger as well as older guests. A football, frisbee or badminton equipment are fun activities that everyone can join!
44. A private pool
This isn’t always a feasible amenity, but according to a survey done by Orlando Vacation Homes 360, 81% of renters said that a private pool was important for them when choosing a rental property. If this is an option for your rental property, consider adding a pool or hot tub. You will be able to raise prices and boost your rental income immediately!
Nothing can top a holiday barbecue party on a pleasant summer evening. Having a barbecue grill will definitely make your property stand out to travelers.
46. 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.
47. 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.
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.
Ensure that your vacation rental supplies all the essentials which will make it stand out by downloading our amenities checklist for vacation rentals!
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