According to VRM Intel Magazine/Summer2019 edition (original article by Heather Bayer, Cottage Blogger), there are ten inexpensive vacation rental upgrades that will cost less than $100. The list was comprised from guest experiences and reviews in which they’d mentioned that made their vacation experience more enjoyable. Some of these are sort of ‘no-brainers’, while others may have you saying ‘What?’ (my personal notes are in bold print)

  1. USB chargers – the best way is to have a permanent charging station, as this will keep renters from packing away your charging cords. You can buy things like clocks, extension strips, etc. with built in USB charging ports. Each bedroom could have one.
  2. Motion sensor night lights– You may have motion sensor lights outside your home but having a night light that comes on may help a vacationer keep from stumbling over something in an unfamiliar home.
  3. Hairdryers- these need to be in each bathroom. This isn’t a biggie, and probably won’t spur on a 5-star review, but it’s a thoughtful gesture and keeps the ‘choosing the best bedroom’ down to a minimum.
  4. Instant Pot(Now THIS is on MY ‘What?’ list) This is one of the most popular small appliances on the market today, and apparently, ‘everybody’ already has one and knows how to use them.
  5. Portable Bluetooth speaker – Guests are bringing music on their own devices (like Pandora on their iPhones and iPads). These are great to have even though many people often travel with their own. (While this will show you’ve gone the extra mile, I think this little inexpensive item would grow legs because many people that pack up aren’t the same ones that unpack. Items like this would be easily mistaken as “I think this in ours…”
  6. Plug adapters – These are for the international travelers (We don’t see many of these)
  7. Hey GoogleFunny thing is, one of the first 20-25 words my granddaughter said was ‘Hey Google’. This, along with Alexa are other devices many people have at home, as in Amazon revealed they’ve sold over 1 million products that have Alexa built in, and Google probably has the same record. Why would having one of these in your vacation rental home be a good idea? Because more and more people are getting used to them as timers, quick facts, locations of local restaurants, things to do, etc. (Not sure if Highlands is quite ready for this, almost, but not quite. If I ask for the closest BBQ restaurant- it may suggest Clayton or Asheville).
  8. Large bath towels-Being in a vacation rental as opposed to a hotel, means you may have to step it up a bit, and one of the easiest and most noticed are really nice bed and bath linens. (they don’t have to be super thick, but large, absorbent towels – more than they’ll need makes a nice statement. White is best. Colored bath linens tend to get washed together, especially if there’s only one or two of each.)
  9. Plentiful ice trays– The article suggests one ice tray per guest and ask housekeeping to make sure the ice is dumped into your available ice bucket, and refill the trays. (Most homes have ice-makers, but even if they do, it never hurts to have a few ice trays on hand.
  10. Emergency supplies box– The theme in this whole top ten list seems to be that tenants forget things. The article suggests getting a tackle box and fill it with things like band-aids, disposable razors, tampons, hair spray, hair ties, Chapstick, toothpaste, toothbrushes, hair mousse, condoms, mouthwash and a lint roller. (I can see some of these, but come on, toiletries are available at our grocery story and pharmacy, not to mention the million CVS or Walgreens they’re likely to pass until the last hour of their trip. Here’s my suggestions: All of these should be individually wrapped-Small toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, small brush and/or comb, batteries, band-aids, disposable razors, make-up remover clothes (to help save those white bath linens), etc. All of these can be purchased at a Dollar store. Tackle boxes are fine, but a small clear tote with a locking lid (marked on top- Did you forget something?) is a nice touch.)


What are some things you would add to this list?

As a vacation traveler, what are some things you wish were already in place in your vacation rental?