May 12, 2014

The Must-Haves For Every Vacation & Short Term Rental Home

May 12, 2014

The Must-Haves For Every Vacation & Short Term Rental Home

Over the past few years we have helped countless owners list their homes for short-term and vacation rental. 

We realized that many were asking the same question:


An Air Concierge property in La Quinta, CA An Air Concierge property in La Quinta, CA


"What do I need to do to get my home prepared for vacation & Short Term Rental guests?" 

We're going to answer this question for all of those who are considering getting their home listed or already have and want to check their list against ours.  

Before we just start taking photos and listing the home across a multitude of websites, we first make sure the home is properly equipped. The conversation we have with our clients always starts the same "What do I need to get my house ready for vacation renters?" We decided we would share with you the same list we've been compiling over the years.

*All Air Concierge clients must have the items marked below ("*") before we list a home and begin taking reservations.



vacation rental bathroom must haves

  • *Toiletries: Soap (body/shower and sink/hand), hand towel, body towel, face towel + back up of each (2 per person per room), shower mat, toilet paper (plus backup), shampoo, conditioner.
    • Extra touches: feminine products, disposable razors, scale.
  • *Towels: 4 per bedroom (body, face, hand).  
    • Outdoor towels (2 per person) and if you’re home is pet friendly, then towels for pets too).
    • 1 half of the above towels will be stored securely and not available to guests. 
      • Please note, people will take indoor towels outside, and outdoor towels in.  No matter how well you label and how politely you ask, be prepared for an accelerated wear/tear of your towels. Home Goods & Marshalls / Ross, TJ Maxx are great places to replenish towels affordably.
  • *small trash can in each bathroom


  • *Dishes: (indoor and outdoor (if you have outdoor entertaining/eating space); plates & bowls; 
    • Quantity Tip: Enough place settings and dishes and tableware to handle twice the number of your maximum group size, not because twice as many people will show up, but because guests don't want to do dishes after each use).
  • *Silverware: (indoor and outdoor)
  • *Glassware: (indoor and plastic for outdoor; large & small, wine & water). Mugs, coffee and tea. 
  • *Utensils: (can opener, ladles, spatulas, tupperware, pasta strainer, pots, pans, decent knives, a pot large enough for pasta, saucepans, large and small fry pan, wine glasses, a bottle opener, whisk, pitcher, salad bowl, baking sheet, scissors, corkscrew, big cutting board, kitchen hand towels, condiments (ketchup, mustard)
  • *Kitchen supplies: (garbage can, garbage bags, sandwich bags, dishwashing soap, dishwasher pods, paper towels, kettle)


vacation rental bedroom must haves

  • Bedroom: Furniture in each room (chest of drawers (if no walk in closet)
  • *At least one night stand + lamp
  • TV
  • *Fan (if no A/C) 
  • *Beds/Bedding (on the bed and at least 1 backup set).  Duvet + comfortable > quilt.  Think about laundry.  If you can fit an entire room (or 2) of linens in one load - you've saved time and energy.  Some quilt / bedding covers take an entire load unto themselves.
  • Pillows plus decorative pillows  
  • A reading chair
  • Full-length mirror  
    • An extra touch would be iPhone/iPad alarm clock.
  • *Living Room: Furniture: Coffee table, couches (plus throws and pillows), books, area rug
  • Other Rooms: at least one desk on the property, artwork in each room.
  • *Dining Room:  table & chairs, place settings, area rug


  • *Flat screen TV (+remote) in main room and at least 2 bedrooms 
  • HD channels or Apple TV or Roku Device
  • *High speed wi-fi password protected


vacation rental outdoor must haves

  • Outdoor furniture (table, chairs, umbrella), BBQ (and utensils) welcome mat, storage box, hose, trash can (recycling, trash, landscape)
    • Note: What happens if you receive mail at this residence? US Mail allows for mail holds (so long as only at one residence -- in other words, you can't hold mail at more than one home at the same time).


  • *Cleaning supplies (broom, mop, kitchen counter cleaner, vacuum, furniture cleaner, floor cleaner, paper towels, glass cleaner)


  • *Owners area: lockable closet to store supplies (paper towels, toilet paper, back up linens/towels, firewood, wine, candy, electronics not accessible to guests) – only accessible for owner/manager/cleaning crew), back up key lock box on the property / hidden

THE EXTRAS - (items not expected but highly appreciated)

1. Full-length mirror
Everyone isn't the same height, a medicine cabinet mirror is a liability within itself due to the fact that short sized guests will need a chair to see their outfits. Acquire a full length mirror that can be easily hung on the bedroom door of the rental home. 

2. Liners in trash cans
Having trash bags in all of the garbage cans throughout the vacation home adds to the aura of cleanliness. Ensure that you do the same with bathroom trash cans, also. 

3. Starter pack of coffee, creamer and sugar
These household items are ideal if you receive an abundance of guests during the night time. Everybody enjoys a cup of Joe in the morning and your nighttime guests are no exception. 

4. Salt And Pepper
Chances are that when your guest arrives, they may intend to cook frequently, but they more than likely aren't going to pack spices within their suitcase. Providing some spices or salt and pepper at the minimum can be helpful and demonstrate a level of consideration on your part in the guests eyes.

5. Emergency Supplies
You should always expect the best, but prepare for the worst, especially if you reside within an area that is prone to being affected by natural disasters. But by keeping a first aid kit, flashlights, battery-powered radio you can do just that. 

6. Cleaning supplies
Stock the rental home with mops, brooms or cleaning supplies that the guests can utilize. 

7. Hair Dryer
Most guests won't pack a hair dryer within their suitcases. They may expect this to be in a vacation home due to the fact that a large majority of hotels provide hairdryers. When it comes to household conveniences, for a small investment of $10 you can provide yet another convenience to your guest.

8. Iron & Ironing Board
No one likes sitting on the floor to iron clothes on a small dorm sized ironing board. Consider purchasing a full sized ironing board to add to your list of household conveniences that will be observed by your guests.

9. A Deck Of Cards
A deck of cards can provide an endless source of entertainment to keep your guests preoccupied during the rainy days. While you can provide a variety of games such as chess, checkers and bingo. At the minimum, a deck of cards will suffice.

10. Facial Tissues
Another set of essential household items are facial tissues. Some guests may have an allergy related conditions and as such, may feel repulsed at the fact that they have to resort into using toilet paper to blow their noses. 

11. Fans
To add an extra layer of comfort, you can place a few tabletop fans within the closets in the event that you don't have air conditioning. 

12. Guestbook
A guestbook can provide valuable feedback about your guests' stay, that you can use to improve the experience that future guests will receive as a whole. The guest themselves may be delighted at the reviews that others gave before them and might find some tips about activities within the area that seem interesting and thus encourage a revisit in order for them to participate in said activity.

13. Pillow Protectors and mattress pads
Having these items implemented is a great way to ensure that the mattresses and pillows last longer along with the fact that it adds to the overall perceived cleanliness of the unit. In some states it may even be a documented requirement to do as per to your local ordinances and regulations.

14. Potholders
Don't let your guest run the risk of acquiring a burn injury while picking up a teapot. Keep a few potholders around the oven to avoid possible injury and to provide a small layer of convenience. 


A NICE TOUCH (yet one more step up)

Movies/DVDs (even though most can be watched through a TV, a nice touch for a cabinet) stocked fridge, cupboards, seasonings, some popular magazines left out, bathroom essentials (Tylenol, Aspirin, mouthwash, toothbrushes), fresh flowers and a bottle of wine chilled. Britta/filtered water pitcher in fridge with freezer full of Ice cubes and a cloth ice pack for an a sprained injury or bee sting, bookshelves stocked with accent pieces and bestsellers, outdoor games (bocce ball, dartboard, Frisbee) and all kinds of board games, desktop PC or at least a printer, electronic candles and light bulbs (storage), flashlights and batteries, assorted toys and puzzles. For cold weather homes, firewood. For beach/coastal homes - beach chairs, umbrellas, coolers.

 Welcome Package: flowers, wine, snacks, coffee, maps, brochures, coupons


Let Us Help You Get Started With Renting Your Home


Tagged: vacation rental tips