10 Essential Items for your Vacation Rental

It’s not until you stay in a vacation rental that you realize what is essential for you, and there are many items that travelers would not think of leaving home without.  However, the things on this following list are a few of those that should be included in any vacation home to ease and assist guests to have a great stay.

1. Pillow Protectors & Mattress Covers
Providing protection for your pillows and mattresses gives you peace of mind and makes your beds look more attractive. Avoid using the plastic variety or any cheaper brand that will be uncomfortable in hot & humid weather.  Full encasement mattress covers will protect from bed bugs, and the hypo-allergenic products will give greater protection

2. Cleaning Materials
Even if you provide a cleaning service, your guests will want to clean up spills, keep the place tidy and maybe dust occasionally.  Providing them with the means to do so may mean you get a much cleaner property when they depart.  It’s also important if you have particular cleaning supplies you use for septic tank protection or other environmental considerations – otherwise you have no control over what may be used.

3. Vacuum cleaner that is operational and effective
A good vacuum cleaner is your friend – if guests are given the ancient one you relegated to the garage years ago and has now found its way to the holiday home, they have every excuse not to get the dog hair out of the carpet.  If you accept pets, a decent vacuum is a must.  Make sure it is emptied prior to each new rental.

4. Carpet Stain & Spot Remover
Accidents do happen and they often happen to carpets and rugs.  Children spill juice; adults spill wine; a plate of chilli gets knocked onto the floor.  If there is nothing available to help the clean-up, it won’t get done.  

5. Fire Extinguisher and CO Monitor
Don’t hide your fire extinguisher in a cupboard – it should be fixed on a wall where it is easily accessible in case of an emergency.  Of course there should be smoke alarms on every level as per your state or provincial safety regulations, together with a carbon monoxide detector.  These items are not optional, so don’t risk your property or your guests’ safety by neglecting to have them serviced regularly and batteries refreshed.

6. Spare Light Bulbs & and assorted batteries
It can be annoying for guests to find light bulbs blown in a reading or bedside lamp, or when a battery operated device fails.  This could be one of their own devices so it’s quite nice for them to have some spare batteries supplied.

7. Power Out Pack and Instructions
Another real essential.  Your instructions about what to do in a power outage should be easily available for guests to read…before they are in a power out situation.  Create a laminated sheet and stick it on the inside of a kitchen cupboard that is regularly used.  Keep a wind-up flashlight and a similarly operated radio in a box, together with some safety candles and a few bottles of fresh water (if your supply is impacted by loss of electricity.

8. First Aid Kit
Buy a comprehensive first aid kit and keep it fully stocked.  Don’t go for the cheapest pack – this list from the Red Cross shows what should be in a good first aid kit, so make sure you have these, at the minimum

9. Hair Dryer
Every hotel bathroom has a hair dryer and they are usually cheap and ineffective.  Give your guests a treat by providing a good quality professional dryer that they will enjoy using.  This is one of those purchases where it’s tempting to go for the cheapest but you can score a lot of guest satisfaction points by spending a few more dollars.

10. Kettle
Although you have probably got a decent coffee maker, have you considered your guests who are tea drinkers?  It’s surprising how many vacation rentals, like hotels, neglect the tea lovers, and it’s a sure fire way to upset them at the start of their vacation if they have to scour cupboards for a non-existent kettle, then end up boiling water in a pan or putting a cup in a microwave.  Ask any tea aficionado –it’s not the same as a brew made with water from a decent kettle.