If you have small children in your family, you know how difficult it can be to plan and enjoy a vacation along with them. A vast majority of guests who use Short-Term or Vacation Rentals are families with kids. If you want to attract large numbers of guests to your property, like people with children, it is imperative that you make your properties family-friendly. Families look for a place where they can feel at home, enjoy, and relax during their stay but have the peace of knowing that their kids aren’t going to be stuck in a “touch-free” zone. You know, “Don’t touch that! Don’t touch that!” Yeah, a “touch-free” zone. Here are some useful tips to make your vacation rental Family Friendly.
Families with small kids are always worried about the safety and security of their children. If you want to attract families, it is important to make your property safe for kids and highly secured to give total peace of mind to their parents. Parents should be able to relax with the knowledge that their kids are safe and secure inside your property, whether playing indoors or in the outdoor spaces. One feature that is greatly appreciated by families is electronic surveillance of the property through CCTV cameras and baby monitors so that they can keep an eye on their kids while they are preparing meals or doing other activities. Gates, pool fences, outlet covers, cabinet locks… whatever you can do to keep the children safe will be appreciated.
If there are sharp corners and bends anywhere in your property, your guests may worry that their little ones may bump and hurt themselves. So, placing child pads on child-level corners is a good idea. Also, keep all televisions, glass cabinets, and tables away from the reach of small children and those items secured. Do the same with dressers. Secure them to the walls so little ones don’t open the drawers, begin to climb, and have heavy furniture or televisions fall on them. Kids are likely to hurt themselves by pulling cords and climbing. They bang on tables and break glass objects if they are within their reach. Make certain they are not.
You may not like the idea of stair gates but they are necessary if you have little ones toddling around. While you can install them or simply have portable ones available in the master bedroom closet, they are invaluable for families with children who are either too young or are not used to using the staircase. It is a great safety feature and a MUST if you offer your home to families and have a stairway. Children love to run up and downstairs and may hurt themselves by falling. If you want to keep your guests happy and relaxed make sure you have stair gates installed that can be locked by the adults.
From pool toys to board games, from game systems to books, you want to offer your little visitors things to play with that will keep them occupied. We keep toys in bins marked by age and leave them in our Maids Closet locked away. When a family books, we ask them the age of the children traveling with them and leave out only the age-appropriate bins. Why? Nothing was more frustrating than parents who let their toddlers play with board games meant for older children. Pieces from the board games were being left everywhere but in the board game. Nothing hurts like a lego stepped on with bare feet. So, we decided to do the work the parents weren’t doing and making certain, on our end, that the toys we left were age-appropriate.
Whatever you leave doesn’t have to be new. Kids love any toys and if they don’t already have it, it’s new to them. I’ve been able to pick up toddler-sized kitchens and playhouses from yard sales and wash them down good as new for just a few dollars. The same goes for high chairs and the like. This doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.
The essentials for families with babies and children are listed here but you can add to this list or offer only what you can afford for now. The point is, you want your property to offer (and have listed) all the essentials for traveling with children in order to make the parents’ lives easier. The more you have at your place, the less they have to pack and carry with them. Win-Win! Whatever you do decide to offer to your guests, make certain that the item hasn’t been recalled.
Remember, if you make a family feel welcomed and "at home" enough, they may want to book with you year after year. We spent every single summer in the same place with our kids while they were growing up. They loved it and looked forward to it. It is something they still talk about. So, do what you can to help them have a great time and offer to let them stay next year, too. You can give them a discount - the money you save by not having to pay listing fees to your platform. Win - Win! Happy Hosting!
If you haven't already, take a listen to our Podcast about creating a Family Friendly environment that brings your guests back to you year after year. Listen on our page or using your favorite device and podcast application.
You can also download the show notes from the episode so you have a printable list of the items you'll need. Enjoy!
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