There is no hard-and-fast rule about what should be provided, and the choice is completely up to the discretion of the owner. But, as in ALL aspects of managing a vacation rental, the happiness of the vacationer’s experience is vital to the homeowner’s success. And it is often those “little extras” that can make a world of difference in guaranteeing your guests’ happiness – which, in turn, increases the likelihood of their returning next season as well as posting a glowing guest review to your listing for others to see. So, when in doubt, provide all you can!
The supplies you provide significantly depend on the size and quality of your home: the expectations of a simple, rustic cottage, for example, would be less than of a larger, more upscale home.
Basic recommended provisions
Dishwasher and laundry detergent
Fresh dish sponges, “scrubbies,” and brushes
Basic seasonings such as salt and pepper, but preferably other seasonings as well
Pot holders, dish towels, bath mat(s)
Paper products, including toilet paper and paper towels. Preferably napkins, foil and plastic wrap, and sandwich bags, too.
Hand soap (preferably liquid and bars, but at least one or the other)
Basic cleaning products such as bleach, “409,” “Windex,” “Spic ‘n Span,” etc.
Candles and matches (in case of power loss. For safety, hurricane lamps preferable to loose candles.)
A full propane tank for the gas grill and a spare, or plenty of charcoal and lighter fuel
Vacuum cleaner bags
First aid kit
Board games/puzzles/playing cards
Lobster pot and utensils
Bug candles/Tiki torches
Corn cob holders
Coffee, sweeteners, flour, sugar, cooking oil
Outdoor games: whiffle ball/bat, croquet set, horseshoes, etc.
More items vacationers can use in your rental
The tricky thing is to keep all the supplies available throughout the season, not just to the first few weekly rentals. You may need to keep a locked supply closet filled with replacements, or have your cleaning staff monitor the supplies and replenish them if possible. Often, homeowners request that their tenants replace supplies that they finish.
My advice (contrary to my usual nature): don’t be cheap! The few extra dollars spent on providing these supplies assures the appreciation and happiness of your guests, which is (or should be!) the primary goal of all of us homeowners.
What other supplies do you leave for your guests? Have I forgotten any that you’d recommend?