10 Items Not to Overlook This Vacation Rental Season

By
Real Estate Agent with Windermere San Juan Island

Usually the focus at the beginning of each vacation rental season is on restocking items such as cleaning supplies and paper products.  Although these items are essential, don't overlook some of the smaller items that make a big impact.  

  1. Hair Dryer
    • Hair dryers are bulky to pack and most travelers are use to having them supplied when they visit hotels and expect the same at a vacation rental.  It's a good idea to have at least one hair dryer available in your home, if not one in each bathroom.
  2. Iron and Ironing Board
    • Garments get wrinkled in suitcases and during travel.  They may be visiting for an event or simple want to look fresh when they go out.  Be sure to have an iron and ironing board available.
  3. Coffee/Tea/Hot Chocolate
    • As a courtesy to guests, have a supply of coffee (and filters), tea, and hot chocolate available.  Remember guests check in later in the day often making it difficult to visit the store before their arrival.  It's nice to have warm beverages in the evening while enjoying the sunset or in the morning at sunrise.
  4. Kitchen Staples and Basics
    • Stocking your cupboards with staples such as salt and pepper help guests manage their vacation budgets and the serving size you purchase at the grocery store will usually last an entire season.  Offering a spice rack is a nice kitchen amenity and spices typically last 2-3 years.  Stocking cooking spray will help maintain the quality of your cookware - people are much more likely to use it if it's available.  If people will only use small portions - it may be an item you should consider supplying.
  5. Mattress Pads and Pillow protectors
    • Make sure mattress pads are in good condition with no tears.  A comfortable, quality pad can enhance the comfort of your bed.  Pillow protectors help to maintain and extend the life of your pillows while also assisting in the appearance of cleanliness.
  6. Deck of cards and games
    • Games are a popular past time.  A simple deck of cards offers many gaming options but you may want to expand your variety by including a few board games in your home.  Also, if you have an extra video game system, you may want to consider leaving it in your vacation home (along with the video games if they are difficult to find for rent).
  7. Emergency supplies
    • Be prepared.  Have at least one fire extinguisher in each kitchen of your property along with a first aid kit and flashlight.  If you already have a first aid kit and flashlight make sure that the kit is fully stocked with items such as band aids, alcohol wipes, etc and that the flashlight has fresh batteries.
  8. Check towels and linens
    • Make sure your linens and towels are free from tears and not thinning from usage.  Quality linens are expected - so expect to replace them as necessary.  Don't buy the cheapest - or the most expensive- as linens in your vacation home will wear - shop with durable and long lasting in mind.
  9. Smoke detector batteries
    • Change out all smoke detector batteries before the summer rental season.  This is one of the top reasons we receive after hours phone calls and one of the easiest to avoid.
  10. Opportunities to enhance or bundle television/internet/telephone/long distance
    • Look for opportunities to save money or by offering your guests more by bundling services.  You may check with your local telephone or cable provider to see if there are bundling opportunities in your area.  You may also consider Vonage for enhancing your home telephone service at a comparable cost.

When preparing your home for the season, compare the amenities that you offer to those at a basic hotel or bed and breakfast.  How do you stand up?  At a minimum, make sure you have what others may consider the "basics" when traveling.

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