What to consider when turning your home into a vacation rental property
When turning your home into a vacation rental property, there are lots of aspects to consider in order to make sure you create a safe, welcoming, and comfortable space for your guests to relax and unwind while on vacation.
In this post, we are going to look at some of the main rooms inside the home and tell you how to turn them into hosting havens, as well as share some of our top tips for creating a stand-out and memorable vacation rental home that will lead you to 5-star reviews and a constant stream of happy guests!
Making sure your home-turned-vacation rental is stocked with the right essentials is the first step in making guests feel like they made the right choice in choosing to vacation with you. Adding in as many extra details as possible throughout the home is what will make one-time-trippers turn into repeat guests or happy referrers again and again.
We know that shopping for and stocking your vacation rental can be an overwhelming and time-consuming process if you don’t know where to start, which is why we’ve put together this complete, all-in-one guide to stocking your vacation rental home and ensuring happy guests every time.
After all, happy guests; happy life… or something like that, right?
Let’s get started!
The Living Room
First impressions count and the living room is likely going to be the first area your guests see when they enter your vacation rental home (before checking out the pool or the view) so you want this area to be particularly impressive. It is also likely to be the space where they will spend most of their time during their stay so it should be styled in a way that allows your guests to gather and relax for movie or game nights, or simply taking a nap after a long day of ‘touristing’.
Here are some suggestions for styling the different areas of a living room:
- Your seating area should offer a place for your guests to relax, have great conversations together and feel like they can spend quality time together. Consider the maximum occupancy of your home and provide enough seating for everyone to be able to congregate in the room at once if they like. Layout and position the furniture in the room, so guests face and focus on each other, encouraging a home feeling in the space. Choose a sofa or combination of a collection of smaller pieces with durable fabrics and hardwood frames that won’t sag or pill after just a few years. Also, opt for fabric protection if and when you can!
- Make sure to provide a place for your guests to set down their drinks, laptops, keys, or books. Make it easy to set down the drinks in a safe place and you will avoid the pesky stains! If your home is created for families, opt for a more kid-friendly round coffee table, and avoid glass options. Extra storage is always useful, especially if you are going to use your living room space as an additional sleeping area, so consider purchasing a storage ottoman with a flat tray on top that can double as a table and storage space for extra blankets or a comforter.
- If you don’t have a SMART TV, consider providing a HDMI cable so that guests can hook up their laptops and watch the TV from their own streaming services. Create a safe environment around the TV, especially in homes that children may be staying in, by mounting your TV directly to the wall.
- Make sure your network name and WiFi password are easy to find and include instructions on how to reset the router in case of any glitches. You may need to add internet boosters in other parts of the house to make sure there are no dreaded dead zones.
- Make the house a home. Hang that picture! Empty walls can make your living room feel cold and incomplete. Create a warmer and less bare look with wall art that best reflects the warm and sunny Florida days. Don’t be afraid to get creative and think beyond paintings and photographs, too. You could mount a wine rack or bicycle to a wide wall, include some wall planters or hanging terrariums in key places, or some modern hanging lights to also set the mood you are looking for in your vacation rental. Look for unique elements around seashells, textiles and fun colors of wood!
- Dress up your windows with curtains or blinds to give guests control over their privacy and the amount of light that streams into the living room. Try to stay away from vertical blinds or mini plastic blinds as they can break easily.
Want guests to feel cozy, comfortable, and well-rested? Turn the bedrooms into mini-sanctuaries where guests can relax and recuperate after a long day exploring one of the many local amusement parks or attractions. Here are some bedroom tips:
- Your guests do not want to be tossing and turning all night, so a thick memory foam mattress is a long-lasting and surprisingly inexpensive option for a great night’s sleep. Invest in a waterproof mattress protector to extend the life of your mattresses.
- When selecting sheets, opt for a high-thread-count and 100 percent cotton that will make guests want to stay in bed all day. Provide a blanket for those chilly nights when your guests may appreciate a little extra warmth and a thin blanket for the warm Florida evenings. Always have a spare set of sheets handy for guests.
- Where possible, offer guests the choice of firm or soft pillows to cater to everyone’s pillow preference.
- Blackout blinds are a nice touch for guests who need to sleep in complete darkness so consider introducing roller shades in the bedroom.
- Be sure to position your beds near the power outlets and/or light switches so that guests do not need to get out of bed to turn off the light or have difficulty reaching their phone while it’s charging.
- Guests may want to unwind in their rooms at night or read a book before going to sleep so it would be good practice to place lamps by the bedside or have a dimmer switch, and a nightstand to place their things on while they sleep. Having smaller lighting options with a purpose encourages the use of smaller lights and also allows one to turn them off at ease.
Your bathroom is another room that can make all the difference in your guest experience and how your guests review your rental. The secret to elevating the bathroom experience is to first and foremost ensure that it’s spotless and stocking it with the essentials, and some extras for the luxury touch.
Guests today are more concerned with hygiene than ever before and they don’t want to use the same liquids as the guest before them, so make sure you are stocking your bathroom with travel-size or single-use toiletries.
- Travel-size shampoo and conditioner
- Travel-size body soap/body wash
- Travel-size bars of soap
- Toilet paper
- Body towels (minimum 2 per guest)
- Wash cloths (minimum 2 per guest)
- Hand towels (minimum 4 per guest for today’s increased hand washing)
Beyond the toiletries your guests might expect to find in your bathroom, consider the other elements that might elevate your vacation rental from the rest such as a hamper for dirty towels, shelves or drawers for keeping toiletries or other personal items, trash can, and hooks on the door or walls for wet towels.
Most guests look forward to cooking meals together, saving money on dining out, and eating whatever and whenever they please when they book a vacation rental home over a hotel. However, it is essential that your home’s kitchen is well stocked with the right cooking essentials for them to have an enjoyable experience and cook whatever they may feel like on any given day.
- A general rule to follow with regards to tableware is to provide twice the number of glasses, bowls, and plates that accommodate your vacation home’s maximum capacity. For example, if your home sleeps 5, then provide 10 plates, forks, knives, cups, glasses (including water and wine glasses), bowls. This allows your guests to enjoy more meals before having to wash-up, while also leaving enough tableware and flatware for entertaining purposes.
- Choose minimalist dinnerware that matches, that way meals will look less cluttered and it will also be easier to repurchase when the time comes.
- Provide your guests with a variety of pots and pans so they’ll be ready to create whatever they’re craving. Look for dishwasher-safe items to spare yourself the hassle of scrubbing off your guests’ leftovers after every stay. Start off with a non-stick pan or skillet – an essential for basic cooking like scrambling eggs or making pancakes – and then consider adding extras like a roasting and baking dish, casserole dish, medium and large saucepans, and pizza pan.
- Catering to families? Then consider a child’s needs when stocking your vacation rental kitchen by offering plastic or unbreakable items for the little ones. It’s unlikely that parents will travel with a full tableware set for their children (or bring their own highchair), so win them over by supplying what’s needed for the whole family to dine safely together:
- Sippy cups
- Kid-friendly and dishwasher-safe plastic plates and bowls
- Kid-friendly and dishwasher-safe plastic cutlery
- Kid-friendly and dishwasher-safe plastic cups
Following all the tips above will ensure that your home is vacation rental-ready in no time.
If you are ready to rent out your Orlando vacation home, we would be happy to help. Learn more listing with us and be ready to gift your guests the VIP rental experience of a lifetime!