When guests search for the perfect rental, they may scroll through hundreds of homes — and having the right vacation rental amenities can make yours stand out.
But with so many options out there, it can be hard to know which amenities will have the most impact on your property’s success. To help you decide, we collected data from tens of thousands of Evolve homes across the U.S. to uncover which amenities got the highest number of bookings nationwide — and in every region of the country — over the last year.
Use this list of vacation rental must-haves to tap into which investments might help you boost your home’s profit potential.
As vacation rentals continue to be more and more popular with travelers, there are certain amenities that sit at the top of guests’ wish lists no matter where they vacation. From the things that make them search for a vacation rental in the first place to the extras that could make them choose your home over others — here are the vacation rental amenities worth investing in.
Making home-cooked meals — and saving money by not dining out — can be a big reason travelers choose to book a vacation rental over a hotel (especially if they’re traveling with family). Make sure your kitchen is stocked with things like a coffee maker, slow cooker, and full-size refrigerator so they have everything they need.
From bathroom essentials to bedding, complimentary linens and toiletries can go a long way toward getting five-star reviews. As you decide what to offer, think about all the products guests would have access to in a hotel. For example, consider providing feminine hygiene products, an iron and ironing board, and a hairdryer so travelers can pack less — and have backups if they forget something essential, like toothpaste.
Don’t forget to think about the state of your linens, either. Are your towels soft or scratchy? Do the sheets look worn-down or brand-new? And are there blankets for people to cozy up with on the couch or by the fire pit? All of these can impact the kind of comments guests leave online — which can influence bookings you get in the future.
Providing online access isn’t just a consideration for business travelers or remote workers anymore. These vacation rental must-haves help make sure your guests can stay in touch with family, stream their favorite entertainment, and even share their trip (and your property) with friends on social media.
Unless your property is intentionally in a remote location to encourage that unplugged feeling, make sure your connections are up to snuff. And make it easy for guests to log on with all network and password information provided in your welcome book.
With major systems like these, getting or upgrading your HVAC should also include regular maintenance. Check your filters, replace them, and work with professionals as needed to set your guests up for a great experience.
Guests aren’t likely to jam-pack their itinerary day in and out, so giving them the option to kick back with their favorite show or movie can offer a familiar way to relax away from home.
If you have a Smart TV, consider offering logins to streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. Adding a gaming console to your inventory can also be a big way to fuel family-friendly fun for both kids and adults.
Easy washing and drying is a frequent pro when guests are choosing where to stay. For anyone booking longer than a few days, complimentary laundry can make travel far less stressful — especially if children are coming along.
And, a bonus for you: on-site laundry can make things easier during pre- and post-stay cleaning by providing a convenient location to wash linens.
From cozy balconies to full outdoor dining rooms, guests love the chance to enjoy the outdoors without leaving the comfort of their rental. Just be sure to plan for your home’s climate and the extra cleaning that comes with outdoor amenities (like scrubbing grills and washing patio furniture) so you can avoid negative feedback.
Fireplaces can add an extra touch of cozy — and booking value — to any home. But, whether you want to invest in one may depend on the region you’re in. The largest percentage of bookings for homes with fireplaces were made in the Rockies, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, and New England. This makes sense when you consider the colder winter climates, and even the design aesthetics that make these regions such special travel destinations.
On the other hand, only 20% of bookings in the Gulf Coast had an indoor fireplace. If your home is in that region, you may want to invest in a different amenity over a fireplace — or opt for an outdoor fire pit instead. (S’mores on the beach, anyone?)
From luxury rentals to tiny homes, a hot tub is a value-add in properties of all sizes. So if you’re on the fence between a pool and a tub, go ahead and take a soak. Hot tubs tend to have higher booking popularity across the country, lower upfront costs, and lower upkeep needs.
A Family Travel Association survey found that 85% of parents are either likely or very likely to travel with their children in the next 12 months. With vacation rentals remaining a top choice for families due to privacy and space, it makes sense to see kid-friendly amenities at the top. And your property can help keep younger guests — and their parents — happy by providing extras like a Pack ‘N Play, crib, and high chair.
Whether your home overlooks the Great Lakes or the Black Hills of South Dakota, owning a vacation rental in the Midwest can bring guests closer to some of the country’s most popular attractions.
In addition to the best amenities for vacation rentals in the U.S., travelers are also booking Midwest rentals with these extras.
Packed with waterfront attractions, river riding opportunities, and three of the states with the most lakes in the country, getting on the water is a huge draw for Midwest travelers. Homes with water access entice these guests by putting them right near the shoreline. With this in mind, you could boost bookings even more with amenities that help them enjoy the prime location, like kayaks, paddleboards, life jackets, and deck chairs.
Whether it’s Ozark sunsets in Missouri, water views over Lake Erie, or even the cityscape of Chicago, there’s no doubt the Midwest offers an abundance of vista opportunities. If you invest in a vacation rental that shows these off, you may snag more bookings than a property without.
Home to lakes, rivers, and miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline, Northeast traveler demand is focused heavily on water activities. Guests may be visiting to catch trout from nearby streams or hook saltwater fish from the ocean. And booking data backs this up with one other amenity to consider for your Northeast vacation rental.
Waterfront homes let people experience Northeastern waves to the fullest. From lakes in the Catskills to the rocky coast of Maine, they combine location convenience with photo-worthy views in a way guests love. Narrowing in on New England specifically, travelers frequently booked waterfront homes and properties with complimentary outdoor gear, like kayaks or paddleboards. So even if you’re not right on the shore, you could increase your home’s booking potential by stocking your home with these extras.
From mountainous scenery to rivers running through the heart of a city like Austin, TX, the southern U.S. is filled with opportunities to explore nature, enjoy the warm weather, and tour some of our country’s most famous locales. Additional amenities that help guests do that — and not do it alone — can help you land bookings.
Complimentary bikes guests can ride into town or kayaks that help them get on the water save extra time and offer convenience when planning activities. Make sure these amenities are well maintained and have secure storage places so all of your guests can enjoy.
According to our data, the South had one of the highest percentages of bookings with pets — more than 30% of total vacation rental bookings in the region. So while people are heading outside to enjoy the weather, they’re also bringing their four-legged friends along for the ride.
If you make your rental pet-friendly, consider adding additional touches that make pet travel easier — like bowls, treats, washable beds, and extra poop bags.
Home to world-famous national parks, mountain recreation, and outdoor adventure, the Rocky Mountains, Pacific Northwest, and Southwest areas draw explorers, climbers, skiers, and adventurers of all kinds — including the four-legged variety. You can help draw them in with these extra amenities.
Pets were included in 30% of total vacation rental bookings in the western states. This could signal guests wanting to take advantage of pet-friendly hiking trails, dining establishments, and even dog beaches in places like San Diego, CA and Bend, OR.
Make your pet-friendly rental even more bookable with amenities like leashes, a fenced yard, or pet/baby gates.
Famous for its tropical climate and sparkling coast, guests escape to the Gulf for a beach getaway. That means fishing on the open ocean, paddling into the surf, and sunbathing all day (at the beach and at their home-away-from-home). These are the next-level amenities travelers are booking to turn these vacations into playcations.
With coast right there in the name, it’s no surprise to see water access as one of the best vacation rental amenities on the Gulf Coast. Waterfront properties give guests easy access to the surf and provide views they want to return to year after year. If you have the access, think about how you can feature it in your property listing to help draw guest interest.
While the saltwater brings people to the Gulf Coast, pools may help secure their bookings since 40% of bookings in this region included one. Having this kind of access helps entice travelers who are looking to beat the heat (and crowds) of the beach. Whether you can add a private pool or invest in a condo community, it’s a great entertainment option for groups of all ages.
With activities like fishing, surfing, and kayaking on guest itineraries, properties can get more bookings by providing easy access to complimentary gear. Kayaks, paddles, and life jackets let them skip the hassle of tracking down rentals themselves — and they may be more likely to pay a higher daily rate.
Amenities are only one piece of the vacation rental puzzle. As an owner, there’s a lot more to manage if you want to earn more revenue — from getting on the best vacation rental sites to figuring out welcome gifts, interior design, and more.
That’s why we created a free downloadable guide sharing our biggest secrets to success. It’s full of important insights, including:
The right setup for your vacation rental investment can prepare you for a great experience — and pass it on to your guests.