6 Amenities to Ensure Repeat Business in Your Vacation Rental


If you have read some of my previous articles, you will know that I always say, “Owning a vacation home is just like owning a business. The goal is to make money, and expenses should always be kept in line with your income.”

Sometimes vacation homeowners take a hacksaw to their expenses and start cutting out all extra amenities in an effort to maximize their profits. This is obviously a huge mistake.

Related: 5 Simple Ways to Maximize Your Vacation Rental Profits

As much as 30% of all rentals for the year can come from repeat customers.

Either those customers continually come back to your property, or they tell their friends and family about your property. If you start cutting amenities to the bare bones, then you will hurt your repeat business. Here is my list of the most popular amenities for vacation owners to offer.

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6 Amenities You Should Never Cut from Your Vacation Rental

1. Free Wifi

This is a must. We live in a society where people want to stay connect either through Twitter or Facebook, and when they are on vacation they definitely what to share their experiences their friends and family.

Wifi is pretty cheap; you can get it for as little as $30 a month.

2. Cable TV and TVs in All Bedrooms

Almost all vacation homes should offer cable TV, so this is a no-brainer.

You don’t have to offer all the movie or premium channels; basic cable will satisfy. It is a really nice luxury to have TVs in all the bedrooms, and it is a really nice feature to have at least one DVD player and a game system, such as Xbox, in the house.

Remember, if the kids are happy, the parents are happy.

3. Pet Friendly Policies

This is a touchy subject with many vacation homeowners, but I will tell you that the owners of the properties that I manage who allow pets get on average about 30 more days booked each year.

We charge guests a $200 non-refundable pet fee, and most pet owners fully expect to pay some sort of fee. With this $200 you could pay every time to have a deep clean done on your property after someone stays in your property with a pet.

4. Pool or Fireplace

This obviously depends on where your vacation home is located. If you have a house in Florida, then a pool is a must-have. If you have a vacation home in the mountains, then a fireplace is a must-have.

5. Washer and Dryer

The more airlines charge for baggage fees, the more popular a washer and dryer become.

6. Welcome Basket

Having a welcome basket waiting for your guest is a foolproof way to ensure that their vacation gets off on the right foot.

Related: How to Market Your Vacation Rental to Ensure Maximum Bookings

Some of the most popular items that go in a welcome basket are: hand soap, location information, a small box of laundry detergent, a small packet of coffee or tea and maybe some cookies. You don’t have to go overboard with this basket, as these items can start to add up, but a little freebies goes a long way with guests.


I’m sure many vacation homeowners have other amenities they offer that guest really like.

This list also changes depending on where your vacation home is located. One of the neatest things we have started to do in the last 6 months or so is to have drink koozies next to our welcome basket with our company’s name on it. Since offering these small gifts to guests, our repeated business has increased by 3%. As an added bonus, I was actually quite surprised at how inexpensive we were able to get these koozies.

What special amenities do you offer your guests to ensure repeat business? What would you add to my list?

Leave me a comment below!

About Author

Trey Duling

Trey Duling has been managing and marketing vacation homes in the Orlando and Disney World area since 2001. His passion is helping investors make their vacation homes more profitable. Please visit his website at http://www.orlandovacation.com/home-rentals/.


  1. Nice article. A note of caution on the liability of wifi…if some vacation tenant or their family member gets caught for child pornography and your name is on the bill paying for the wifi then you have yourself a hot mess. I was thinking about offering wifi but this reason discouraged me. I would love to hear others on this board solution to this liability problem.

  2. Thanks fro the articles Trey. Good info.

    We are about to close on a second home in the Texas Hill Country that we are probably going to rent as a vacation home.

    I have too many questions to ask here, so I’ll ask about the one my wife and I are discussing now. She would like to put in Sleep Number beds. I’m ok with one in the master bed but the other two bed rooms, I’m voting nicer but traditional box spring mattresses. Any thoughts?

    Our stays in vacation homes tend to get rated by a well stocked kitchen, comfortable sleeping arrangements, pet friendly, and for me…cable tv!

  3. I was bitten as a child, and therefore do not harbor the love for dogs that most people seem to. However, your #3 about pet-friendly policies actually having more booked nights made me stop and think. When we get a rental, we may institute this policy. What area of the world are you managing properties in?

    One thing that I, as a renter, really like is when the owner offers decent supplies in the kitchen. I have been in everything from not even supplying salt and pepper to full spice rack filled with things I cannot pronounce. Cooking oil is something that you don’t really remember to pick up at the store. Coffee filters are the same. List the supplies you keep stocked in the kitchen. Offer breakfast products that keep, such as instant oatmeal or pancake mix that you only add water to.

    • Mindy! Excellent ideas. An overstocked kitchen is a thing of beauty. Many vacation rentals are in out of the way areas. If you forget to buy a basic item, it would be wonderful to have it available.

  4. Frankie Woods on

    Trey, what a great list. As I read them I kept saying “yep, yep” to each item as I thought about what I would want as a vacationer. I will definitely keep this article in my hip pocket!

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