Rental sites like AirBnB and VRBO are wildly popular with travelers, and while there are many reasons for their market dominance, the thing that really works in their favor is the fact that, by renting a home away from home, travelers have access to a kitchen. This is great for families with small children, for travelers trying to save money, and for those with food allergies, among others. If you’re in charge of outfitting one of the short-term rentals, though, what is it that travelers hope to find when they open the drawers? These 4 items will ensure even ambitious cooks will find what they need in your kitchen.
Critical: A Coffee Station
Even casual coffee drinkers often need a cup of joe to wake them up when traveling, especially if they’ve crossed time zones. Set them up for a successful morning by supplying the coffee and coffee pot, mugs, and sugar. You can offer up creamer or a few other add-ons, but those are just bonus items and people tend to be particular about how they make their coffee. As for the pot, skip the Aeropress or pour over contraptions in favor of a Keurig or a drip pot. The last thing a weary traveler wants to do is solve a puzzle to make their coffee.
Next Level: A Welcome Snack
Just as with hotels, there are many tiers to the world of private rentals and the difference between a property that’s just a place to stay and one that’s a getaway often rests in the hands of the property manager in charge of marketing and maintenance. These are the folks that work with lots of rentals and know the market inside and out, and they know what little details make people come back. One item that ranks high on their list: a welcome snack.
What makes a great welcome snack depends on your location and what you know about your guests, but there are a few options that rarely go wrong. Many in the field recommend putting out a bottle of wine and some chocolates, but play to your strengths. Rural hosts have been known to offer fresh honey or produce, while a plate of cookies is a perfect seasonal treat for the Christmas holidays.
Beyond The Kitchen: Get Grilling
Anyone who knows foodies knows that their passion doesn’t stop in the kitchen. No, their passion extends to all corners, and one thing that will make your property popular with vacationers who travel for the cuisine is a grilling setup. While many rentals may not have room for such amenities, if yours does, consider pairing that grill with an all-seasons outdoor dining area, seating, lighting, and maybe even heat, depending on where your property is located. This is a particularly wise investment if you’re in a warm climate, since many consider that peak grilling season – just don’t forget to leave travelers the contact info for a trusted local butcher.
Think Seasonally: Baking Supplies
While you may not know what’s brought travelers to your property, your goal as a host should be to give them what they need to make the most of their stay, and during the holidays, that might mean providing baking supplies. Don’t worry so much about the ingredients, but stock the space with sheet pans, spatulas, a knife set and other baking basics. Even if you don’t get many holiday travelers, you’re likely to get families celebrating birthdays or other special events, who would be thrilled to whip up a sweet treat.
Furnishing short term rentals can prove challenging because you’re sure to see a wide variety of guests, but don’t let that discourage you from offering up extras. The worst that can happen is that your offerings don’t get used, but when someone arrives to find just what they need, well, consider that hospitality at its finest. Those are the guests who will write great reviews, tell their friends, and come back year after year because they know they’ll be able to cook up a storm, no matter how far they stray from home.