Guest expectations don’t end with a bed and a roof, and your efforts shouldn't either! Whether you’re preparing to list your properties on Airbnb or are a seasoned industry veteran, it never hurts to review the essentials. We’ll cover everything you need to know to meet your guests’ expectations.
The best place to start is with the basics. In fact, if you plan to use Airbnb to list your vacation rental, there’s a short checklist of designated essentials that Airbnb recommends for hosts to provide their guests in order to ensure a comfortable stay. These include:
- Toilet paper
- Hand and body soap
- One towel per guest
- One pillow per guest
- Linens for each guest bed
As long as you consistently provide these minimum supplies, you can indicate this on your listing by checking the “essentials” box under the Amenities section during the listing creation process. Airbnb strongly encourages all hosts to include the essentials.
While these items cover the bare necessities as deemed by Airbnb, this is by no means a complete representation of everything that a host should provide to their guests. This is simply a basic list - and you certainly want to be better than basic!
When creating your Airbnb listing, you’ll find a checklist of all potential amenities you can provide. Every amenity that you select will be included in your property details. This adds to the appeal of your rental and lets your guests know what they can expect when they stay with you.
When you consider that your guests are seeking a “home away from home” experience, you’ll gain the perspective of what a standard guest will genuinely expect. Keep in mind that your guests will likely not even know what they’re missing until the need for it arises, and this can make for a frustrating experience.
Luckily for you, our comprehensive guide will make sure that nothing falls through the cracks, plus some extras that are sure to add a little ‘wow’ factor to your rental!
The recipe to a tasteful kitchen
If a guest books a vacation home with a kitchen, they probably have intentions of putting it to use to supplement at least some meals during their stay. Provide them with the basic tools to prepare and serve a meal, being sure to include a reasonable supply of items for the number of guests your home accommodates. It’s also wise to stock basic cleaning supplies to enable your guests to keep up with inevitable little messes during their stay.
- Tea kettle and coffee maker - include a small assortment of teas and coffees
- Plates, bowls, cups and glasses - at least one or two per guest
- Silverware - at least one or two complete settings per guest
- Knife set and cutting board
- Cooking utensils
- Salt and pepper shakers
- Pots and pans
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- Can opener
- Corkscrew/bottle opener
- Oven mitts
- Dishwashing soap
- Dish towels
- Bottle opener
- All-purpose cleaner/disinfectant
- Mop, broom and dustpan
- Cleaning rags
- Paper towels
- Garbage bin and trash bags
Not having enough of an item can be a pain point for guests as well, especially when it comes to items like plates and utensils. When purchasing “per guest,” make sure you supply enough for your maximum number of guests plus a few extra.
Functional facilities for the whole family
Bathrooms should be thoughtfully stocked. Consider all the little things that a guest may have forgotten to pack, but can’t live without. Providing a few extras can earn you bonus points and appreciation, especially when you save your guest a trip to the store as they’re getting ready for a night out! Travel-sized items are ideal as they are easy to buy in bulk and replenish for each new guest.
- Bath towels - two per guest in each bathroom
- Hand towels - two per bathroom
- Wash cloths - two per guest in each bathroom
- Beach/pool towels - one per guest, if applicable to your location
- Toilet paper - fresh roll on each holder, and extras under the sinks
- Toiletries - hand and body soaps, shampoo/conditioner, hand lotion, disposable razors, toothpaste and toothbrushes
- Air freshener
- Bath mat
- Hair dryer
Bedrooms that promote R&R
Beyond the quality and configuration of the beds themselves, you have a bit more to ponder when setting up comfortable, inviting bedrooms. Whether or not you include electronics like TVs, game consoles, computers, etc. in individual bedrooms is a matter of your preference, but there are a few elements that are more standard than optional.
- Fresh bed linens and pillows - provide extras in closets
- Bedside tables - alarm clock on one, lamps on both
- Dresser and closet - provide clothing hangers
- Safe for valuables
Just in case - better safe than sorry
Of course, you always hope for a flawless and uneventful stay for every guest when it comes to issues of safety. A step in the direction of a safe experience is a smartly-equipped, well-maintained rental. Depending on your location, there are likely laws in place regarding safety features that you must include in your rental, but regardless of local laws, you’d be wise to supply the following items, just in case.
- Smoke/carbon monoxide detectors - test functionality regularly
- Swimming pool safety gate/alarm - if applicable to your property
- Swimming pool life buoy/life ring - if applicable to your property
- Fire extinguisher
- Emergency contact list
- First aid kit
Little extras for big impressions
Some items that may be viewed as extras in one destination may be more of a common expectation in another location. It’s never a bad idea to review other listings in your area to get a feel for the competition and to see what added features and conveniences they offer their guests.
The more you are willing and able to provide, the more likely your guests are to have an over-the-top experience - and that’s sure to reflect in their reviews, and their plans to rebook when they visit your destination in the future.
- Washing machine/dryer - if applicable, include laundry detergent
- Televisions - should be cable-enabled, with remote controls
- DVD/Blu-ray players - consider stocking a small selection of movies
- Video game consoles - consider stocking a small selection of games
- Starter food item basics (i.e. wine and cheese welcome basket)
- BBQ grill - include grilling equipment and a at least half full gas tank/charcoal and starter
- Outdoor furniture
- Books, magazines and board games
- Pens, pencils and notepads
- Clothing iron and ironing board
Generally, consider what’s essential to a positive, comfortable, safe and enjoyable stay for your standard guest. It benefits you to consider who your standard guest is.
Does your area tend to cater to business travelers? Consider adding charging stations and an enhanced office area. Is your destination located in a region that is particularly known for wine, or a specific culinary style? Welcome your guests with a sampling of locally-sourced food and drink items and a few restaurant recommendations.
If your vacation rental is located in a primarily family destination, you’re sure to make the little ones happy by providing coloring books, games, pool floats, etc., and Mom and Dad will appreciate the thoughtful gesture!