Oct 1, 2011

When you start running your first vacation rental, all the details can be a little overwhelming. One of the many things to decide is what supplies you will provide for your guests. I'll write another time about the frills that guests appreciate. This post is going to focus on basic supplies that you should consider stocking in your vacation home for your rental guests.

A lot is going to depend on the type of property. Are you targeting high end luxury vacations, or a more value oriented vacation? Are guests staying for long weekends, or will you also be catering to month long bookings? Whatever you decide to stock, you will want to make sure that your guests understand. Be explicit in your listings where appropriate. Discuss expectations with prospects, and put things in writing in your rental agreements. You don't want your guests assuming that you provide laundry detergent only to be disappointed that you don't.

Let's look at supplies by room...
Kitchen supplies

One of the items in our Check-Out Checklist is "Be sure to wash all dirty dishes – Load and run dishwasher". So we make sure there is dishwasher detergent. We don't provide kitchen paper, but instead we provide lots of cloth towels. Those are something we have to remind the cleaner to check on between guests. We also provide dish rags/brushes/sponges. For cooking we just stock salt, pepper, sugar, cooking oil, cinnamon, chili powder and garlic powder. At our Sunset Beach Bliss condo we also stock crab boil spice mix.

Adequate ice trays, if you don't have an ice maker. Good quality garbage bags, especially if your trash cans are prone to being visited by raccoons. First aid kit.

Bathroom supplies

We don't supply shampoo. If you have weekend guests looking for an experience similar to a hotel, then you probably should. We do provide soft soap and starter toilet paper rolls and refill these between guests. We also provide hair dryers. They tend not to last long, so we consider them supplies.

Laundry supplies

We don't specifically provide laundry supplies. Some owners ask their guests to run a load of towels before they check-out. If you do that, you should probably provide laundry detergent. There normally is laundry detergent available, but we warn guests not to expect it.

If, like us, you live a long way from your vacation rentals, then it can be challenging to keep all these supplies in stock. You'll need to work closely with your cleaner to restock items. I'll post another time about things that we've learnt to stock for the more unusual circumstances. But this should be a start on the basic supplies you'll need to stock when you start renting your vacation property.

Also read about Stocking your Vacation Rental for Unusual Events.

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