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Travel is a unique and personal thing. Every traveler has a different idea of where the best place to vacation is, how to get there, the optimal time of year to go away, the ideal people to travel with, and the most interesting things to do while they’re there. No two vacations are alike, and you can’t expect any two guests staying in your home to be alike, either!

If you’ve noticed that the guests coming to stay in your vacation rental are all pretty similar (families with young kids, lone business travelers, seniors, etc.), that’s no problem. But could you do more and attract bookings from other groups?

How could you adapt your vacation rental to cater to different types of travelers? Here are some ideas to get you started:

Families with young children

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Many parents will agree that vacationing with young kids (under five) sometimes feels more like work than a vacation! The little ones can be so unpredictable in a new place, and not to mention all of the equipment they require.

Families with babies and toddlers are looking for a place where they feel their kids are safe and comfortable, and that has any additional amenities to make their lives easier.

How to attract them

First off, focus on safety, and make this clear in your listings. If your home has a pool, consider getting a baby gate around it or an alarm on the door. If your home has stairs, offer a gate at the top or bottom to keep crawlers safe. Some parents see pictures of very nice, expensive and breakable objects in the pictures online and can just picture their toddler accidently knocking something over. Tell potential guests that you can store these items away so they don’t have to worry about yelling “No! Don’t touch that!” the entire time they are there.

Offer information in your listing about the closest grocery stores, public parks, zoos and other local attractions that are good for travelers bringing kids along.

You can even go an extra mile and offer baby related items in your home, free of charge. Having a pack ‘n’ play, car seat, high chair or stroller in the home allows them to leave theirs at home and not have to cram it into the car or lug it through the airport.

The first-timer

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This type of traveler is new to vacation rentals. They’ve stayed in hotels as long as they can remember and didn’t ever consider there could be another option. They will have questions, and lots of them. First-time rental guests need constant reassurance that they are making the best choice for their vacation, and need to feel safe. They usually want to see proof that you are legit, so be prepared for them to read each and every review and know the ins and outs of your rental before confirming their booking.

How to attract them

Let your listing speak for itself and sell your rental as far better than any hotel could ever be. Focus on the convenience, the comfort and the “best of both worlds” opportunities for dining out or eating in.

Let them know you’ll gladly meet them at the home when they arrive, and that you’ll walk them through everything. The best thing you can do is be as available and friendly as possible, after all, hotels are known for their great customer service. So send personalized emails, call them if you can, and generally just be very willing to answer first-time guests’ each and every question that will help make them feel at home.

You could even offer a “first-time renter” discount, to show them that you are committed to showing them what they’ve been missing all of this time.

The “away on business” guest

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Also usually partial to a hotel stay, the business traveler is more suited to a vacation rental than you may have previously imagined.

Expect them to arrive in their business casual attire, with their laptop bag and expensive suitcase in tow. For business travelers, the most important features are likely to be high-speed Wi-Fi and convenient access to conference centers and transport. They aren’t too worried about the bells and whistles, they just want a comfortable place to relax after working all day, and are tired of cramped hotel rooms.

How to attract them

Focus your listing around the quiet, well-lit spaces in your home and sell them as perfect, comfortable workspaces for business travelers looking to escape the hotel scene.

Make sure you have the latest technologies when it comes to high-speed internet access, and let guests know you have a printer and scanner available for their use at home.

Location is key for business travelers, as they won’t want to waste much time in the car or on public transport. So be sure to state travel distances or estimated drive times from your home to major points of the city.

Lastly, let them know what extras you can provide extra to give you the edge over hotels: extra laptop or cell phone chargers; luxury travel toiletries; a Nespresso machine, and even shopping and cooking services!

Disabled travelers

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More than 66 million people worldwide have some kind of mobility issue, yet it can still be so difficult to find a vacation rental that meets their needs. Whether these guests require a home on one level or an accessible bathroom suite, they have to be 100% sure that the home they’re planning to rent is suitable for their specific needs.

How to attract them

There are plenty of ways to adapt your vacation rental so it’s suitable for guests with mobility issues. According to Accomable founder and CEO, Srin Madipalli, simply “having one or two adapted rooms in your home can give you the edge over your competition”.

Show off photos of your modern and spacious wet room-style bathroom, which would easily be suitable for a wheelchair user. You can even add some specialist bits and pieces around the house like detachable grab rails, or a folding wheelchair ramp.

You can also let guests know that rearranging furniture is entirely possible if it will make their stay more comfortable!

The groups

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Family reunions, bachelorette parties, guys’ getaways, church retreats and sports teams are starting to utilize vacation rentals for their annual outings. The most important factor in choosing a vacation home is space, but vacation rentals can also be a much more economical option than hotels, too.

They want a place where they can come together in comfort, while at the same time, have enough room to get away and relax in private. It’s likely they’ll have come prepared with an itinerary to ensure they get round to doing all the things they want to while they are on vacation.

How to attract them

The key to attracting group travelers is having a spacious vacation rental to begin with. If you’ve got more than three bedrooms, you’ll find it easier to appeal to potential guests looking to travel in a group.

Ensure your listing provides information about parking facilities for multiple cars, number of beds, number of sofa or inflatable beds that can be provided additionally, number of dining room chairs etc. Most importantly, you’ll need to state the maximum number of guests who are permitted to stay in your rental.

Once the booking is underway, you can go ahead and provide information about public transportation, discount coupons for local restaurants, directions to attractions and a kitchen with a few additional luxuries to make preparing meals for a large group a breeze.

You can also find out if they are celebrating anything and offer a small gesture to help them celebrate, like a bottle of wine for a bachelorette party or candles and decorations for a child’s birthday.

The foodies

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These hungry travelers come to experience the food and culture of the new city. They appreciate delicious meals and want to get a taste of the unique offerings in your area. They’re grateful for a well-stocked kitchen because they also like to cook, and close proximity to popular local restaurants is a must for them.

How to attract them

If your area is famous for a certain delicacy, let it be known in your listings. Big food festival coming to town? Change your title to include it!

The foodies will know what they’re looking for, and one photo of your kitchen won’t be enough. Display multiple photos, from different angles, that show off the best your kitchen has to offer. The essentials won’t cut it, either. You’ll need luxuries like a waffle maker, smoothie blender, sharp knives and of course, high quality non-stick pans.

Let them in on your area expertise when it comes to eating out, too. Provide menus and maps marked with the best local restaurants, and provide some money-off coupons if you can.

Finally, think about leaving a small, food-related welcome gift for them to enjoy when they arrive. Try gourmet coffees, speciality local cheeses or home-made jams.

The lovebirds

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Traveling couples are likely to be celebrating something, whether that’s an anniversary, birthday, wedding or honeymoon. They are going to be looking for somewhere private and relaxing, where the two of them can kick back and chill out completely.

Whether they decide to stay at home, splashing around in the pool or jacuzzi, or spend their time exploring what the area has to offer, this pair of guests want a clean, safe, comfortable place to celebrate a special milestone in their relationship.

How to attract them

Let your photos do the talking here – got a secluded, private beach out front? A cosy two-seater sofa next to the open fire in the living room? A porch swing or hammock for couples to enjoy together? Whatever romantic offerings you have, be sure to show them off in the images.

The same applies for activities or extra amenities you provide – make sure they’re in pairs! For example, two bicycles, two surfboards or two sledges. This will ensure the couple can have a really great time in the area surrounding your rental.

Provide pre-stay information about romantic fine dining restaurants nearby, as well as other unique date night ideas such as mini golf, bowling, brewery tours, art museums, live music venues or natural parks.

As a special gift, leave a bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, or another small romantic memento to surprise them upon arrival!

Who are you going to cater to?

It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to incorporate a few small changes or gestures to your vacation rental based on the guests who are coming in. Making them feel special is the key to repeat business, and can be achieved by simply asking a few questions and going the extra mile to make them feel heard, welcomed and appreciated during their whole guest experience.

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