With family travel being the fastest growing niche in the leisure travel industry, family vacations can be the best source of income for your short-term rental property. In a crowded market, however, it can be hard to stand out, and the challenge for vacation rental owners is in attracting families to your vacation home.
That’s why we compiled the following tips to get your vacation rental in front of families who are looking for a comfortable place to relax and rejuvenate on their much-needed vacation. Focus your listing and home upgrades around what families would want. Think: security, accessibility, and kid-friendly features.
Boost Home Security
The most immediate way to increase family vacation rentals is to increase the safety features you offer. Safety is cited as the number one travel concern for Americans, and that worry only heightens when traveling with children.
To combat these fears, start by installing a security system.
You can choose to buy a wired, professionally installed system, or you can also go the DIY route. Going DIY may also help you save money, and you can add customizations that would be preferred by families.
A DIY security system also doesn’t necessarily mean a less effective one. Security experts explain: “Providing the same security as a professional alarm setup for a fraction of the price, a wireless alarm system can be added to as you see fit. Motion detectors, glass-shatter alarms, and gate sensors are all compatible with these DIY kits and you’ll never have to worry about paying for equipment you don’t need.”
No matter what security system you decide to use, however, it’ll be important to provide families with a way of knowing they can feel safe in your rental.
Provide Kid-Safety Accessories
With the home protected, it’s time to consider what other safety features your family vacationers would like. For example, you should provide baby gates so parents with young children can block off whatever areas of the home they want. Other baby and kid-focused safety features include:
- Outlet covers
- Pool fenced in with a gate and lock
- Pool alarm, in case one of the kids gets inside without supervision.
Provide Family Friendly Extras
The less a parent has to pack for vacation, the better. Make your rental even more appealing by offering a variety of other family-friendly extras, like:
- High chairs or booster seats
- Cribs or playpens
- Car seats
- A play room or play area
- Night lights
- Kid-friendly plates, cutlery, and cups
If you want to go a step above this, you can also add a baby monitor and bed rails for your existing beds. Decorating rooms with kid-friendly decorations will also provide comfort for both the children and the parents.
You can find most of these items at your local Goodwill or second hand store. You can also peruse garage sales in the spring, winter, and fall to stock up on new items as you find them.
Brush Up Your Listing
Someone looking at vacation rentals is specifically looking for a “home away from home”—something that offers the comforts and convenience of being in a home while affording them the opportunity to relax and enjoy the surrounding attractions.
Your listing is a chance to show that your rental is where potential guests can have exactly that. Use your vacation rental listing as an opportunity to share about all the kid-friendly features, amenities, and accessories you have around the home. Don’t forget to mention the security system and include photos of the child-friendly spaces as well.
When families are comparing vacation properties, leaving out these details could mean that you lose a booking.
Go the Extra Mile
Show families that you’re dedicated to helping them have a great vacation by including a list nearby family-friendly activities, restaurants, attractions, and possible rainy-day alternatives. Include personal anecdotes if you have a family and have personally visited these spots yourself to show that you know what you’re talking about and are happy to help.
Making your rental family-friendly is the first step in attracting more families to your listing. Be sure to highlight all of these features in your listing so it will stand out as they compare to other, non-family-friendly options.
If you're currently managing your vacation home on your own and are looking for help, consider using an experienced property management firm. At Rented.com, we offer a one-of-a-kind guaranteed income model, so you'll start earning consistently each month, regardless of actual occupancy. Create a private profile to find a local property manager who will help you make the most of your vacation home.
About The Author
Christy Mossburg has been writing for 11 years. She writes about family, education, and professional writing, and has been featured on a wide variety of lifestyle blogs. She lives in Maryland with her husband and dog, and occasionally her two college-aged kids. You can follow her on Twitter @christymossburg.