The top three things we tend to associate with Thanksgiving are family, comfort, and food. The key to perfecting your vacation rental property for a Thanksgiving stay is to create an environment that’s conducive to those three things! Provide a space and amenities that will allow your guests to enjoy each other’s company in a comfortable setting while sharing a meal together, and good reviews are sure to follow! Check out our tips for optimizing your vacation rental property for Thanksgiving guests below.
- 1 Set up a dining area
- 2 Stock the kitchen
- 3 Offer groceries as an upsell
- 4 Consider setting up catering or working with a private chef
- 5 Accessorize with fall-themed decor
- 6 Adjust your listing
- 7 Curate recommendations for fall activities
- 8 Offer outdoor amenities
- 9 Invest in simple entertainment options
- 10 Include personalized details
- 11 Highlight Black Friday deals
- 12 Ask guests what you can do to make their holiday great
- 13 Stock up on toiletries
- 14 Plan for the worst-case scenario
- 15 Main Takeaways
Set up a dining area
A nice dining area is essential for a Thanksgiving stay. Ask your guests how many people will be there for Thanksgiving dinner and set up an area where they can all sit together. Nothing says Thanksgiving like a meal with loved ones and friends, so offer up a space where that can happen.
Stock the kitchen
Make sure the kitchen has all the supplies and cookware needed to cook a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. You can even ask your guests their cooking plans and go out of your way to supply the needed utensils. In general, a few good supplies to have include a set of large pots and pans, baking sheets and dishes, and serving dishes. Whisks, ladles, spatulas, sharp knives, and a turkey baster are essentials as well. A meat thermometer is necessary for anyone cooking turkey. If you want to go above and beyond, you could even provide basic ingredients like butter, milk, flour, spices, and cooking oil.
Aside from stocking the kitchen, be sure to include instructions for your kitchen appliances in your welcome binder. Although you may think your stove or oven is intuitive and easy to use, there’s always someone who is used to a slightly different appliance. Put your guests’ minds at ease, avoid confusion and complaints, and simply lay out step-by-step instructions for each appliance.
Offer groceries as an upsell
Upselling is a great way to increase your profits, and offering customized grocery pickup is a valuable service for your guests that they’re sure to appreciate. But if your guests prefer to go shopping themselves, you can provide a list of local vendors with recommendations on the best places to buy groceries.
Consider setting up catering or working with a private chef
Besides picking up groceries for your guests, other upsells you could offer are partnering with local restaurants to provide catering for the Thanksgiving meal or even working with a private chef who can come and cook for your guests. You can discuss these possibilities with your guests through email in advance.
Accessorize with fall-themed decor
A little fall-themed decor can go a long way. If your vacation rental has more of an open, minimalistic feel, keep up the subtle vibes with some added fall colors. But if your vacation rental’s style is more kitschy and cozy, you might be able to add some flashier decor to match.
Adjust your listing
You might want to tweak your listing to feature all of your Thanksgiving-related amenities. For example, you can add photos of a dining room table with lots of chairs and places set so that guests can picture themselves enjoying Thanksgiving dinner there. You can also promote your fully-stocked kitchen with photos and captions detailing the various appliances, utensils, and cookware you’re providing. Your listing should paint a picture of the amazing experiences guests can have for Thanksgiving at your vacation rental. It should make potential guests imagine the memories they can make in the space.
Curate recommendations for fall activities
Does the local area have a fun Thanksgiving Day parade? Are there pumpkin patches, apple orchards, and other fall activities that guests might want to check out? Gather a list of recommendations for different fall activities to include in your welcome binder. You can even personalize it to fit the particular set of guests who are coming to stay for Thanksgiving. For example, a family with young children might be more interested in activities like a hay rack ride. Meanwhile, a couple might be more excited to go to a scary movie marathon together.
Offer outdoor amenities
Guests are sure to appreciate an outdoor seating area, especially if it’s still warm enough in the area to eat outdoors for Thanksgiving. Similarly, a grill is an awesome amenity to have so your guests can make burgers, hot dogs, and any other foods they want for the occasion. Outdoor games like football, frisbee, and cornhole are also perfect for a group activity and lots of family fun.
Invest in simple entertainment options
It’s likely your guests will want to have fun with some games after enjoying their Thanksgiving dinner. Scrabble, Monopoly, Jenga, dominos, chess, and a few decks of cards are all popular choices for families and groups. You’ll also want to make sure that your TVs are set up to watch football and the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Include personalized details
Personalized details are always an effective way of enhancing the guest experience. You can add little details in your welcome letter and put together a welcome basket with various Thanksgiving- and fall-related items.
Highlight Black Friday deals
As you probably know, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. This is a huge time to take advantage of deals and purchase a variety of items at a low price. Ask your guests if they plan on doing any Black Friday shopping, and if so, you can highlight various Black Friday deals in the area. You can note any malls or stores your guests may want to check out, as well as their hours. You should also ensure that your WiFi is working properly so that there aren’t any barriers to online shopping.
Ask guests what you can do to make their holiday great
Guests who stay at your vacation rental property on holidays like Thanksgiving tend to have different needs and higher expectations for their stay than the average guest. To make sure that you’re providing everything they’re looking for, ask your guests directly what you can do to make their holiday great. Do they have any special requests? What do they need to carry out their plans? Try to cater to guests’ needs as best you can; even taking the initiative to ask what they’re looking for makes a big difference.
Stock up on toiletries
It’s a great idea to provide commonly forgotten toiletries; the last thing your guests will want to do after traveling is race to the store before it closes to pick up something they forget. This is especially true over the Thanksgiving holiday, since stores typically have limited hours and close early. Provide toothpaste, toothbrushes, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, face wipes, cotton swabs, and cotton balls.
Plan for the worst-case scenario
It’s always important to have a backup plan, but during a holiday, it’s even more important to plan for the worst-case scenario. Guests are sure to complain if their Thanksgiving goes awry. A couple of things you can do to ensure a great experience are to make sure your cleaning company has someone on-call and see if you can find a 24/7 maintenance service that is willing to stop by if any problems arise. Of course, doing a maintenance check of appliances in your vacation rental before the guests arrive is a good way to prevent issues from arising as well.
Want to make your guests’ Thanksgiving stay as amazing as it can possibly be? Remember the following tips:
- Set up a dining area with plenty of seating and space for everyone.
- Stock the kitchen with cookware, utensils, and basic ingredients.
- Offer groceries as an upsell to add convenience to the guest experience.
- Consider setting up catering or working with a private chef for other Thanksgiving dinner options.
- Accessorize with fall-themed decor to celebrate the season, and match it with the ambiance of your vacation rental property.
- Adjust your listing to showcase the experiences guests can have and the memories they can make at your vacation rental.
- Curate recommendations for fall activities in the area, personalizing your recommendations to the specific guests that will be staying.
- Offer outdoor amenities like a seating area, grill, and games.
- Invest in simple entertainment options like board games and cards; make sure your TV is set up to watch football or the parade.
- Include personalized details in your welcome letter and welcome basket to make your guests feel special and get their stay off to a good start.
- Highlight Black Friday deals and double-check that your internet is up and running for online shopping.
- Ask guests what you can do to make their holiday great so that you can do everything you can to optimize their stay at your vacation rental.
- Stock up on toiletries, so guests don’t have to rush to the store before it closes to pick up anything they’ve forgotten.
- Plan for the worst-case scenario and have contacts ready to stop by and resolve issues if they arise.