No matter who your ideal guest is, it’s important to set up your vacation rental and guest experience with them in mind. When you’re running a family-friendly vacation rental property, there are many ways to make families’ stays go above and beyond what is expected. In this article, we’ll cover our top ten tips for appealing to families and making their vacation experience as amazing as it can be.
- Provide lots of child-friendly entertainment
- Supply extra places to sleep
- Keep an accessible list of emergency resources
- Recommend family-friendly locations and activities in your welcome binder
- Give small gifts to the kids
- Select kid-friendly pieces when furnishing your vacation rental
- Invest in additional security features
- Keep potential hazards out of reach
- Provide a working washer and dryer
- Help families stick to their daily routines
- Main Takeaways
Provide lots of child-friendly entertainment
One of the top strategies for making your vacation rental more family-friendly is to provide plenty of entertainment for the kids. You could try putting together a bin full of kid-friendly books, DVDs, and toys. Make sure that you have a DVD player and various streaming services with kids’ shows. Board games and puzzles are family favorites as well. Providing toys specific to the environment (for example, pool toys or beach/sand toys) is yet another way to supply kid-friendly entertainment.
Parents are sure to appreciate your efforts in entertaining their children, especially if you set up areas where the kids can enjoy all of the amenities. This could be as simple as setting up a small table and chairs near your toy bin. If you want to go the extra mile, a game room with fun activities like ping pong, air hockey, and other games is sure to appeal to families.
Supply extra places to sleep
Another way to appeal to families is to provide enough space for all family members to sleep comfortably. This is where trundle beds (beds stored underneath another bed) and pull-out sofas really come in handy! Be sure to include the total number of beds in your listing so that families with multiple children can rest assured that everyone will have a place to sleep. You could also consider putting bunk beds in some of the bedrooms. However, avoid putting bunk beds in every bedroom, since adults are sure to prefer a king- or queen-sized bed to sleep in.
Keep an accessible list of emergency resources
Put parents at ease by providing an accessible list of emergency resources. Although the chance of things going wrong is small, the peace of mind a simple list of contacts can provide is invaluable.
Some numbers and addresses you may wish to include are 911, a non-emergency police number, the nearest hospital and urgent care, a nearby pharmacy, and the emergency room.
It’s also wise to supply a first aid kit for your guests to use if needed, although you should take caution and store it out of the reach of little ones. Stocking extra Band-Aids in the bathroom is smart, too.
Recommend family-friendly locations and activities in your welcome binder
A welcome binder is important for all guests, but with families, you can really cater it to provide them with an amazing experience. By simply giving recommendations for family-friendly places to visit while your guests stay at your property, you can improve their entire vacation. Families generally enjoy movie theaters, parks, bowling alleys, arcades, ice cream shops, and novelty gift shops. If you know of any other fun family attractions in your area, be sure to include them! If you can work out a deal with local businesses to provide your guests with reduced rates, that’s even better.
Give small gifts to the kids
Another way to win over parents’ hearts is to provide small gifts for their children to enjoy during vacation and take home with them. You can even include them in your welcome gift basket. Small, inexpensive items like crayons, coloring books, frisbees, and craft kits are fun and exciting for the kids. Just avoid giving any gifts that are likely to cause a mess on your property! Bubbles and play-doh are a lot of fun, but they can also lead to unwanted clean-up.
Select kid-friendly pieces when furnishing your vacation rental
If you’re starting your vacation rental business then marketing your specialized kid-friendly furniture is a real game-changer. You might consider purchasing a regulation-size crib, a pack-n-play, a changing table, a high chair, a rocking chair, and an infant swing. These items are large and difficult to travel with, so parents are sure to appreciate them! Another smart idea is to use blackout curtains in the room where you store the crib. This optimizes the bedroom for naptime regardless of how sunny it is outside.
When catering to families, especially those with small children, try to avoid choosing furniture with sharp corners. Any furniture or decorations that are easily scratched, damaged, or broken should be put away as well. If you’d be sad to see it broken, it probably doesn’t belong in a family-friendly rental property.
Invest in additional security features
Security features are yet another addition to your property that makes it more marketable to families. Parents constantly worry about their children’s safety, so providing various security features results in a sense of calm and relaxation for them–which is exactly how you want your guests to feel when they’re on vacation!
Invest in outlet covers, which are inexpensive and simple to use, as well as safety gates for the stairs. Smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers are must-haves. You could even take things a step further by adding security cameras outside the house and providing a baby monitor for parents to use while their little one is napping.
Keep potential hazards out of reach
You can never be too careful when children are coming to stay at your vacation rental property. One option is to put child locks on cupboards that contain potential hazards such as cleaning supplies and laundry detergent. You could also put any toxic materials in high-up spaces that kids aren’t able to reach. This foresight on your part is a small but valuable strategy that not only increases the safety of your property, but shows parents that you care about safety. It cuts back on the risk of accidents and keeps your mind and parents’ minds at ease.
Provide a working washer and dryer
It goes without saying that families tend to have quite a bit of laundry. One of the top reasons families choose to stay in rental properties rather than hotel rooms is the ability to do their own laundry! Providing a well-maintained washer and dryer for the family to use as needed is an extremely valuable amenity. This is especially true if you put in extra effort and provide supplies like laundry baskets, detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, and stain remover. It’s wise to double-check that the washer and dryer are functioning properly in between guests. One way to get bad reviews is to advertise a working washer and dryer, only for a family to arrive and discover that they’re unusable and in need of maintenance.
Help families stick to their daily routines
If you have a family yourself, you probably know how important a consistent routine is for kids. Missing naptime can ruin the entire day! If you want to provide amazing customer service to the families that stay in your vacation rental, ask them how you can help them maintain their routines.
By asking families what you can do to help out with their routines, you’re not only showing that you care, but you’re improving the guest experience overall. Maybe you could offer a late check-out so that the family has plenty of time to pack up and get ready for the trip back home. Or perhaps you could offer an early check-in to accommodate naptime. There are plenty of ways for you to help out and show that you provide unparalleled customer service at your vacation rental.
Marketing your vacation rental property to appeal to families is a great business strategy! But in order to appeal to this particular market, there are various amenities and customer service practices you may need to employ. Here are our top ten tips for family-friendly vacation rental properties:
- Provide kid-friendly entertainment such as books, DVDs, board games, puzzles, toys, and video games.
- Make sure there are plenty of places to sleep so that large families are drawn to your property.
- Post emergency resources in an easy-to-see place in your rental, such as on the refrigerator.
- Include family-friendly recommendations in your welcome binder.
- Offer inexpensive gifts for the kids to win over both them and their parents.
- Choose kid-friendly furniture and consider investing in a crib, high chair, changing table, and other pieces.
- Pay extra attention to security features like outlet covers, safety gates, and smoke alarms.
- Keep potential hazards such as cleaning products out of reach.
- If possible, provide a working washer and dryer and detergent for families to use as they please.
- Ask families what you can do to help maintain their daily routines while they’re staying at your rental property.