Anyone who has ever traveled with children knows what a production it can be to get from driveway to paradise. The airfares, the gas expenses, the car rentals -and man, the car seats – are enough to discourage parents from scratching those plans for the peaceful sanctuary of their own backyard.
Landlords, the trick to convincing families to book your vacation home is no trick at all: Make the experience as stress-free as possible. Whether you own an Orlando vacation home or Hawaii beach rental, you’ll need to frontload all the components of your home that make it kid-friendly.
Here are five strategies to do that.
1. Upload photos with kids in them.
Who can resist tots playing at the beach or throwing a football around the backyard? Depict the space in action so that renters can place themselves in the scene. Sure a clean house with perfectly styled furnishings is attractive, but no different than thousands of other listings competing for the same demographic.
2. Buy bunk beds or twin beds.
While teenagers may want their own rooms, little ones will go giddy for their very own mattress, especially ones dressed with Mickey Mouse linens.
3. Show off multiple “play” areas.
A swing set in a ginormous backyard is a given, but if there’s a den with a pool table, arcade games and karaoke machine, share that on your listing, too. Add old-school pastimes like books and board games for rainy-day activities.
4. Describe your location.
If you’re 200 yards from the Pacific, say and show that. If you’re one mile from Disney World, note that also. And always point out the conveniences nearby, be that a Wal-Mart for midnight diaper runs or public transit to the center of town.
5. Stock up on bulky items that families might have forgotten or didn’t want to lug from home.
Parents with young children will often pass on vacations because all their “stuff” would be too hard to transport. Make it easy on them. The investment of a Pack ‘n Play, crib, stroller, car seat and high chair will pay you off in the future, as renters will remember those amenities and spread the word to their friends.
Valerie Moloney is your resident blogger and the Expansion Markets Editor for Citysearch.com, who oddly enough, feels panicked when asked, "What's the best place to eat in Chicago?" or her favorite, "It's my birthday. Where should we go with a party of six?" No stranger to travel--and traveling with kids--she is a young mom who ODs on the Internet when it comes to planning family trips or buying clothes. Here's hoping she finds you the vacation you deserve.