On recent trip to central California, we booked a vacation rental that had already received great reviews, so our expectations were quite high that this rental wouldn’t disappoint. Upon initial inspection, we were correct. This host did a great job in preparation and had everything you would expect in a rental: great location, extremely clean, plenty of kitchen supplies (e.g. pots and pans, silverware, etc.), and entertainment.
Throughout our stay, we found several other things that separate it from other rentals we have used in the past. Most of these items are inexpensive and could be implemented in your vacation rental or AirBnb to help insure you receive great reviews.
Bikes and helmets can be purchased inexpensively, whether you buy new from your local big box store or find a great second-hand deal at a yard sale or craigslist. For rentals close to a city center or key attractions, bikes are a wonderful amenity to offer so that your renters don’t need to drive. Our vacation rental had several bikes that we could choose from, as well as helmets available for our safety. They even provided bike locks, which used easy-to-remember word combinations. Not only were these used to easily secure the bikes on the property itself, but we could then take them along to lock the bikes up while out exploring. It is a good idea to make sure that the renters sign a waiver as well to help release you from any liability.
Neftlix, Amazon Prime or Hulu
Amazon Prime is a great option to allow streaming of TV shows and movies for your renters. Netflix is also a good option and currently costs $9.99 per month for up to two screens at the same time. As a renter, I love having streaming movies available, especially on those days when the local weather may not cooperate with our sightseeing plans, and it is convenient for kids’ shows as well.
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Even if your rental or AirBnb has air conditioning or is located in a cool environment, it is a good idea to have plenty of fans available. These can help keep the rental cool without the need for turning on the A/C, and in some cases this simple affordable addition will help save you money. Guests often like the white noise a fan provides while sleeping especially if the home is close to a busy road or intersection. Dulling the unfamiliar local noises can help to provide a better night’s sleep.
This property had several items you expect to see in a vacation rental bathroom. The basics were there including a hair dryer, soap, shampoo, and conditioner, but it also provided things we don’t normally see such as shaving cream, nail polish remover and suntan lotion. An affordable little addition that could help prevent your renters from needing to run out to the local convenience store.
The refrigerator had 6 bottles of water available to us when arrived. Doesn’t sound like a big deal but we were ready to see the sites right away and it was great just to grab a bottle of water and go. Also notice the condiments all ready to go with clean bottles. You can find the condiments we recommend to have here.
This has to be one of the cleanest grills I have ever come across at a rental property. It may not seem like a big deal, but as a renter, if the BBQ grill is that clean that tells me the owners care and go to great lengths to keep the rental clean -which indeed it was. Also, notice the spare propane tanks made available.
An indoor/outdoor electric tabletop heater was available for our use on the deck as well. This is great for the chilly evenings your renter may want to spend outside enjoying the deck instead of feeling stuck inside the home.
TV Channel Guide
A super simple thing you can do is to laminate a channel guide and leave a copy in each room that has a television. It is quick to reference and durable.
Lights and grocery cards on the key chains
Little flashlights were on the house key chains as well as grocery rewards cards that the renter could use to get discounts at the local store. Again, nothing big or expensive but this really shows the owners put some thought into the renters’ needs and experience.