It’s no secret that Orlando is a popular holiday destination for families. As the theme park capital of the world, parents and children come from all over the globe every year to see Mickey Mouse and experience the magic of Hogwarts at Universal Studios.
Many of these families come for an extended stay, which makes owning a vacation home a smart investment since you can offer it as a short-term rental to accommodate these visitors. Vacation rentals are more affordable for families who plan longer visits than it would be to stay in a hotel.
So, how can Orlando vacation rental owners ensure that families choose their property for a holiday visit?
Simply specifying “children welcome” on a vacation home listing website is not enough to ensure a property is child-friendly. The reality is that many of these “kid-friendly” homes don’t have what parents need, and this can cause disappointment and frustration. Families want and expect vacation rentals to live up to their claim of being “family-friendly.” Here are a few ideas on the types of amenities your home should feature so your listing lives up to that claim.
Amenities for All Children
- Protected pools – fenced pool, pool cover, alarmed doors or secured area around home
- DVD player and family DVDs, Netflix or On Demand Cable
- Child plates, bowls, cups and cutlery
- Blackout blinds/curtains in kids’ rooms
Amenities for Babies
- Crib or travel crib
- Sheets/baby blankets
- Baby monitor
- Baby seat or swing
- Bottle warmer/sterilizer
- Mini food processor or hand-held blender
- Changing pad or table
Amenities for Toddlers
- Stair gates
- Booster chair for dining room table
- Bed rails
- Outlet covers
- Toddler books and toys
- Step stool
- Potty seat or child’s potty
- Non-slip bath mats
- Umbrella strollers
Amenities for Older Children
- Fun, kid-friendly bedrooms or bunk rooms
- Children’s books
- Toys – indoor and outdoor
- Board and card games
- Game console such as an Xbox or Wii
- Foosball or ping pong table
- Sports equipment
- Kids’ bikes, helmets & pump
Listing Tips to Help Families
You can ensure that your rental listing will stand out from the crowd by highlighting all the family-friendly amenities you offer in your description. Being clear about the amenities you provide will help sell your home to families.
It’s also a good idea to mention any possible problems that may occur during a family’s stay. This may seem counterintuitive, but disclosing these issues helps to reassure parents that you’ve thought about their needs. If there is a pond near your house, for example, let parents know about it and explain how they can keep their children safe. Maybe your doors chime when opened, or there is a lockable screened-in porch.
You can also help parents by giving them information so they can better plan their trip. Including tips on kid-friendly restaurants or attractions suitable for rainy days are helpful. Suggestions on how to buy discounted theme park tickets, and maps of the area will also be appreciated. These touches can lead your guests to write an excellent review of their stay.
Lastly, you can ask your rental guests about their children’s ages before they arrive, so you can add a little something just for the kids in a welcome basket.
As any parent knows, taking children on holiday is no easy task. Whatever you can do to ease that process will mean a lot to your rental guests.
If you’re in the market for an Orlando vacation rental home, contact Team Donovan today at 407-705-2616. We specialize in the area near Disney, and have years of experience working with absentee owners, buyers and sellers.