There’s something unique and special about summer vacation. It’s a time of relaxation and fun with family and friends. However, it can also be a time of stress. Summer guests often book more extended stays than other times of the year and spend a good portion of their time outside or at local attractions. Juggling a to-do list and the needs of many different people can be challenging—for the guests and your team.
So save yourself (and your guests) the worry and the headache by stocking up on these 10 essential items that every summer vacation requires.
The Logistical Stuff
While these items aren’t especially fun or summery, they are vital, especially to the people orchestrating this trip! In addition to physical copies, consider using an in-home tablet to keep all the critical information in one place.
A copy of the vacation rental agreement
Your guests will receive a copy of the rental agreement in their email between booking and confirmation. But it’s a good idea to offer them a hard copy of it, just in case they need to refer back to anything, like your cancellation policies or check-out times.
A local area guide, with discounts
Nothing beats recommendations from a local. Partner up with local businesses to curate a guidebook, complete with discounts! Ask your team for their top picks, and include a short review of each and directions from the property.
A welcome letter
It doesn’t have to be fancy or long-winded. Still, a sweet note welcoming guests to the property (maybe even on local stationery?) is a nice touch. If you can swing it, handwriting the letters (or hiring someone to handwrite them for you) rather than typing it gives it a little extra authenticity.
A goodie basket
Gift baskets can add to the guest experience. Fill yours with a combination of utilitarian essentials (like dishwasher pods and laundry detergent) and fun extras (like a magnet of a local landmark or a set of postcards).
The “Cannot Live Without” Stuff
Save your guests a trip (or two) to the local grocery store by stocking up on these critical items.
Toilet paper and Kleenex
Between the number of people and the length of the reservation, it’s easy for summer vacation rental guests to go through a lot of toilet paper. So don’t be skimpy!
Another summertime essential is Kleenex. Guests who suffer from seasonal sniffles will be grateful to find a box or two waiting for them.
As with toilet paper, towels are one of those things that get used up quite quickly in a vacation home. Make things easier for your guests by offering towels for multiple purposes: towels for the house, towels for the pool, and beach/river/lake towels. If the property comes with a washer and dryer, offering guests complimentary laundry detergent is helpful so they can keep everything fresh. If the property doesn’t have laundry, schedule a towel swap at about the mid-way point of the guests’ stay.
First aid kit
Between bug bites and minor bumps and bruises from outdoor activities, guests will crave the convenience of a small medicine cabinet set up in their vacation rental. Cover your bases with the essentials: Band-Aids in a few different sizes and styles, moleskin or the like for blisters, a set of tweezers for splinter removal, over-the-counter ointments for cuts and bug bites, and small bottles of Asprin and Benadryl.
The Unique, Seasonal Stuff
Don’t forget to treat your guests to a few seasonal odds and ends—it’s summer, after all!
Set your summer guests up with the snacks of the season, like popsicles or s’more fixings. It’s also a nice gesture to provide a few allergy-safe snacks, just in case.
Sunscreen (and aloe vera)
For whatever reason, sunscreen is one of those essentials that is easy to forget to pack. Why not save your guests the trouble by providing it for them? Choose a reef-safe option (especially if you’re in a beachfront market) with an SPF of 35 or higher. And don’t forget the aloe.
Now that we’ve covered the most important items to stock up on, it’s time to consider a bonus item—something fun and specific to your market. For example: If your rental has a pool, give your guests a silly pool float (yep, even if it’s all adults). If the property is on the beach, offer sandcastle-building toys or a few kites to fly. Is your property in the mountains? How about a local hiker’s guide or a pamphlet on native wildflowers? Add a walking map of the downtown area or an umbrella for an urban market. This last item is strictly for pleasure, so let loose a little.
Stocking your vacation rental for summer saves you and your guests time and stress, improves the overall experience, and helps your brand stand out from others. From covering the logistics to providing a small, silly gift specific to your market, you’re showing your guests that their experience matters.