How to Make Your Vacation Rental Family Friendly

The Evolve Team
The Evolve Team
June 13, 2018

As schools close for the summer and families begin planning their summer travels, it’s important to make sure your vacation rental is ready for families and groups of all ages. A 2018 AAA survey states that an estimated 88 million Americans will take family trips this year, and making your vacation rental family friendly is a great way to get more bookings from this popular travel demographic. Happy families will leave rave reviews when they’ve been provided with an exceptional stay, and may even become loyalists to your listing!

Improving a family’s trip goes beyond supplying a couple G-rated DVDs. If you really want to improve the experience for all of your guests, go the extra mile. The changes you can make range from supplying inexpensive toys, to investing in a game room – and they’ll help make your property more appealing to family groups so you don’t miss out on these lucrative bookings. Follow our tips below to make sure you’re providing a great experience for kids and adults alike.

1.Supply kid-friendly entertainment

In the Orlando area, where many families with young children like to visit, 43.6% of Evolve homes have game rooms with additions like pinball machines and foosball tables. These game rooms are huge in helping properties stand out against neighboring competitors – even if they’re just converted garages with a few fun amenities.

Don’t have the space to have a dedicated game room, but still want to appeal to a family-friendly demographic? Look into buying video game consoles, like an Xbox, and supplying some board games for family fun! These small additions are less costly than a game room and they will still leave a positive and lasting impression on guests.

2. Make the most of your space

Adding extra sleeping options to your bedrooms and living spaces can help to make your vacation rental more family friendly. Many families opt to stay in vacation rentals because hotels don’t give them the space they need without requiring them to purchase another room.

Trundle beds and sofa beds are great ways to add occupancy to your bedrooms, without completely converting them into kids’ rooms. Don’t go overboard, though. While bunk beds are great for children, they’re less appealing to adults. Adding bunks to all your rooms would run the risk of losing groups of adults who wouldn’t want to spend the night on the top bunk.

3. Stock up on exciting extras

If you were traveling with kids during the summer, what kind of extras would you be thankful for when you arrived at a property?

When you’re trying to appeal to families, there’s a lot you can provide beyond extra cleaning supplies and linens to show your younger guests – and their parents – that you are invested in the quality of their stay at your rental.

If your home is on the lake or at the beach, guests will be thankful if you supply them with some toys and equipment for the outdoors such as:

  • Beach chairs
  • Beach towels
  • Shovels and buckets
  • Sunscreen and tanning lotion
  • Life jackets in child and adult sizes
  • Beach and volleyballs

With that being said, if your property has a pool or hot tub, you will definitely want to consider installing a child safety gate around them to decrease the likelihood of an accident and give parents peace of mind.

4. Be prepared for emergencies

When making your vacation rental more family friendly, you’ll want to give parents and caregivers everything they’ll need in case of an emergency.

Clearly label emergency contacts in a high-traffic area so they’re always visible. You may want to have them outlined and hung up on your fridge, or pinned to a bulletin board.

These contacts should include:

  • The address of the closest hospital
  • The address of the closest Urgent Care
  • The Urgent Care phone number
  • The phone number of the rental’s main point of contact
  • A local non-emergency police number
  • 911
  • The closest convenience store

Also be sure to have a first aid kit that you restock between groups of guests.This first aid kit should include different size bandages, antibiotic cream such as Neosporin, anti-itch cream such as Calamine Lotion, ice packs, and more. When it comes to more toxic substances such as cleaning supplies or other types of medication, try and keep those in a higher cabinet and out of reach of children.

5. Give local family-friendly suggestions for fun

Guests traveling to your property may be unfamiliar with your town and neighborhood, and probably won’t know the best places to bring their family. Show them that you care about their experience both inside and outside your rental by providing them with suggestions of things to do.

Supply them with your favorite kid-friendly spots, such as bowling alleys, movie theaters, ice cream shops, and parks, and possibly even go the extra mile and compile them all in a welcome book.

A welcome book is a great way to give your guests information about your property in a professional and personal way. You can find more information about welcome books and even download our free welcome book template by clicking here.

6. Gift your younger guests

Gifting your guests is a great way to leave a positive and lasting impression that can lead to rave reviews. We usually suggest leaving guests a bottle of wine or baked goods, but guests traveling with younger children might also appreciate a little something for them!

You don’t have to spend too much money to show you care. Anything to keep the kids busy and give their parents some free time is a great way to improve both experiences. Here are some of our gift suggestions:

  • Frisbee
  • Bubbles
  • Playdoh
  • Crayons or colored pencils
  • Crafts

If you want to see more suggestions and find out the amazing impact that this personal touch has on guests, you can click here to read our full gift guide.

Summer is the biggest season for families to travel. School’s out and trips to the beach and lake are imminent. A few steps to make your home comfortable for younger guests might be the difference between getting a booking or losing it to your neighbor down the street. It’s the kind of competitive advantage that can take your property from being an ‘average performer’ to the one that books up quickly at a premium nightly rate and consistently receives 5-star reviews. Even the most frugal families will be willing to pay a little extra if they know that their kids will have a great vacation!

And when you partner with Evolve for management, you add even more to the guest experience — and your business growth. With lower fees, flexible terms, and a whole team of experts, we’re helping tens of thousands of owners increase their income and save time.

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