When you are renting your vacation home on Vrbo, its main features and advertised amenities—location, access to water, and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms—are going to be the primary draws for prospective guests.
But once they’re checked in, it’s the smaller details and thoughtfully curated extras you offer as the host that will help guests have a truly memorable stay. When groups and families have fun, unique experiences together, your listing will benefit from stellar ratings, return visits, and word-of-mouth-recommendations.
Here are five ideas for creating a five-star-rated, traveler-favourite property.
Share insider tips
For guests who have never been to the area, or are looking for off-property activities to do as a family, it’s essential to have a home “guide” that includes everything from local intel to authentic recommendations. In this guidebook, you’ll want to highlight cottage rules and any essential information, like the closest grocery store and nearby restaurants that offer delivery services.
But you can certainly go above and beyond and let guests know things like the best hikes in the area, recommendations for kid-friendly activities, and the dates and times of local farmer’s markets. Even if they never end up leaving the property, it’s a great way to market the broad appeal and key attractions of your corner of cottage country.
Encourage campfire moments
S’mores and cozy fire pits can be a magical part of a rural escape for guests of all ages, so if your cottage doesn’t have a fire pit or fireplace, you could consider installing an outdoor fire bowl or table on the property to encourage more s’more making, campfire singing, and stargazing moments.
Have the ingredients and tools for making s’mores on hand for guests if possible, and be sure to let them know in advance if they will need to pick up any firewood or kindling.
Stock up on board games for rainy days
Outdoor games and equipment for water sports are great to have at a cottage, but you’ll also want to stock up on a variety of board games for both children and adults at your vacation rental if you don’t already have them.
Perfect for rainy days and raucous evenings alike, nostalgic classics like chess, Monopoly, and Scrabble are a surefire way to renew connections and bring families and friends together.
Create comfortable outdoor seating areas
Loungers on docks can create spaces where guests love to spend sunny days, while comfortable seating with plenty of table space on cottage decks or patios serve as the perfect place for memorable meals that can last well into the evening.
But there are many other, more memorable ways you can get creative with outdoor seating to encourage conversations and interactions between guests. For example, consider hanging side-by-side hammocks between trees, or creating an inviting spot for picnics and sunbathing with outdoor floor cushions and all-season blankets.
Curate playlists for fun moments
If your cottage has indoor or outdoor wi-fi speakers that guests can use, consider setting up one or more themed playlists on a streaming service to inspire everything from kids’ singalongs and spontaneous dance parties to morning yoga practice.
Just like mood lighting and room scents, a well-curated playlist can set the tone for your property and make guests feel welcomed during their stay.
Want to give your guests the ultimate “together” experience this season? Learn more about listing your cottage with the help of Vrbo