10 Essentials Every Short Term Rental Host Should Provide

10 Essentials Every Short Term Rental Host Should Provide

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Welcome to the world of Airbnb hosting or vrbo hosting or even hotel management. You're in the hospitality business now.

Whether you're just starting out or looking to enhance your guest experience, creating a welcoming environment is key to getting all those five-star reviews!

And let’s face it. That’s what you want more than anything.

Hi, I'm Laura. When I founded Bottiful Home in 2017, I couldn't have predicted that some of my best customers would be short term rental owners and managers. But I'm so glad it worked out that way.

I love making products that make your job easier.

Today, I'm giving back by giving you some of the best tips from customers just like you.

Whether you run a short term rental, or you just love hosting guests in your home, these tips will go a long way toward getting you those five-star reviews and keeping your property booked perpetually.

You may not have thought of #6 or #9 yet.

Have more to add to the list? Leave it in the comment section below.

Let’s level up your hosting game and make your Airbnb a home away from home for your guests.

1. High-Speed Wifi

In an era where staying connected is more important than ever, offering high-speed Wi-Fi to your guests is a must. 

Whether your Airbnb guests are leisure travelers looking to stream their favorite shows or business travelers needing to stay on top of their emails, a reliable, high-speed internet connection is a non-negotiable essential.

It's not just about browsing social media or streaming movies, it's about providing a seamless, home-away-from-home experience.

And many travelers are looking for a short term rental that’s comfortable to get some work done in too.

If your short term rental has good wifi but it doesn’t get great coverage all over the home, you can add a mesh system that extends the wifi to improve coverage.

I use an Eero mesh system that makes accessing wifi possible even outside my home. I’ve had no issues with wifi anywhere inside my 5-level home after installing this mesh system. You can choose any system you like. This is just the one I have experience with, and it’s well-rated on Amazon.

Imagine your guests being able to effortlessly connect their devices upon arrival, instantly sharing their excitement about your property with friends and family online, or simply relaxing after a day of exploring with their favorite online content.

A strong, reliable Wi-Fi connection can greatly enhance the overall guest experience, leading to better reviews and, ultimately, more bookings.

If you’re hosting a “remote cabin” or similar experience, make sure it's noted clearly in your listing that there will be no internet access. This isn’t an area in which you want to surprise your guests.

Remember, a connected guest is a happy guest.

2. Bottiful Home Refillable Bottles

Next up, let's talk about eco-friendly amenities with Bottiful Home's refillable shower bottles.

These aren't just any shower bottles. They're a statement of style, an epitome of practicality, and a nod towards sustainability.

Your guests will be delighted stepping into the shower to find these sleek, refillable bottles filled with shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.

True, some guests will prefer to use their own products they brought with them.

But you can’t go wrong thinking a few steps ahead for the guests that will enjoy this pampering, luxury experience.

It's a small touch, but one that can make a big difference.

It shows your commitment to reducing single-use plastic waste and caring for our planet.

What's more, they're so much more aesthetically pleasing than the store-bought bottles the shampoo and conditioner typically comes packaged in. so you can save money by purchasing shampoo and conditioner in bulk refill pouches and just refilling your Bottiful Home bottles as needed.

It's these thoughtful details that elevate a guest's stay from good to unforgettable.

And what's more unforgettable than a host who cares not just for their guests' comfort, but also for the world we share?

After all, who doesn't appreciate a stylish, practical, and eco-friendly touch?

You’ll love the Bottiful Home refillable shower bottles are preprinted and ready to fill right out of the box.

Your housecleaners will love that they’re easy to see through so a quick glance will tell them when refills are needed.

3. Coffee Maker with Supplies

Now, let's move on to a morning necessity - a coffee maker with supplies.

Nothing quite says 'good morning' like the smell of freshly brewed coffee.

A coffee maker in your Airbnb is more than just an appliance; it's a comforting reminder of home and a way to start the day on the right foot.

This is one way to set yourself apart from the competition, including hotels.

Do you ever use the coffee in the hotel room? I have on occasion. It’s not great coffee.

It's not enough to have just the machine.

Consider supplying a variety of coffee pods or ground coffee.

Pick one that gets great reviews online to ensure the widest appeal to coffee lovers around the world.

From strong dark roasts to smooth light blends, your guests will appreciate the choices.

And for those who prefer tea, a selection of herbal and traditional options can be a thoughtful touch.

Tea drinkers often feel left out because so much focus is often placed on coffee drinkers.

Don't forget the creamer and sugar too! 

Creamer comes in a couple different shelf stable options that are also quite sanitary. So consider adding these to your coffee station and watch those five-star reviews roll in.

Remember, it's the little details that make a big difference in the guest experience.

Your aim should be to cater to as many tastes and preferences as possible without going overboard, ensuring that every morning in your Airbnb starts with a perfect cup of coffee.

A good day often starts with a good cup of coffee.

4. Fresh Linens and Towels

Another essential for every Airbnb host is fresh linens and towels. They are the unsung heroes of every successful stay.

These simple items can instantly transform a guest's experience from ordinary to exceptional. This set of sheets is not only affordable, but with over 300,000 reviews it gets an overall 4.5 star rating on Amazon and comes in every color imaginable.

Your guests will love the cooling feature and the soft touch, and you’ll love that they’re wrinkle resistant, inexpensive and have deep pockets to fit a wide range of mattress depths.

Imagine, after a long day of travel, sinking into crisp, clean sheets and wrapping up in a plush, cozy towel.

It's a small luxury that can make a world of difference.

But it's not just about comfort.

Providing fresh linens and towels also signals to your guests that you value cleanliness and their well-being.

I remember traveling once and staying at a hotel where I found several long hairs inside the sheets. At the time I thought this hotel didn’t bother to wash their linens and that seemed really gross. I found out later from some short term rental experts that this can happen with the wrong linens. Certain fabrics can hold onto hair even after it has been washed. It makes me feel better about those sheets I slept in, but remember most of your guests won’t know this information.

So it’s essential not only to clean the linens, but also to make sure you purchase the right ones.

It's a testament to your attention to detail and your commitment to creating a comfortable and welcoming space.

It's also important to remember that different guests have different needs.

And don’t forget to have some extra sets of linens for each bed in case a spill or accident happens and the guest needs fresh linens while the soiled ones are in the wash.

Nothing says 'welcome' quite like fresh linens and soft towels.

5. Smart TV or Streaming Device

This one is a no-brainer. For entertainment, make sure to provide a Smart TV or a streaming device. In this day and age, a smart TV is almost a necessity. Your guests will assume it’s available because everyone has them at home.

By providing guests with a Smart TV or a streaming device, you're allowing them to access a world of entertainment at their fingertips.

This simple addition to your rental will be relied upon for entertainment at times, especially on those rainy days when exploring the outdoors isn't an option or if your guests have kids in their group.

It's not just about keeping the guests entertained, it's also about creating a homey atmosphere.

After all, there's nothing quite like curling up on the sofa and losing yourself in a riveting series or a classic movie.

Some people enjoy having the TV running while they go about their tasks like reading emails, making coffee or unpacking their luggage too.

And let's not forget the convenience of it all - guests can log in to their own streaming accounts and have their favorite shows and movies readily available. After a long day of exploring, your guests will appreciate the chance to unwind with their favorite shows.

Don’t forget provide instructions on how to use the streaming device. Not everyone is familiar with the same brands of devices. And remind your guests to log out of the streaming service before they leave so future guests won’t have access to their subscriptions. Or better yet, create a policy for yourself to reset all streaming services after each guest stay.

6. Local Guidebook

Do you have a guidebook in your short term rental(s) yet?

If not, you should!

Help your guests explore like locals with a custom guidebook. This isn't just about leaving a few brochures on the coffee table. It's about crafting a personalized guide filled with insider tips and hidden gems that only locals know about.

Think about your favorite eateries, the best times to visit popular attractions, and those off-the-beaten-path spots that make your area unique.

Remember, your guests chose Airbnb for an authentic experience, so why not enhance their stay with your local knowledge?

You could recommend the best coffee shop around the corner, the park with the most breathtaking sunset views, or the local farmers market that sells the juiciest fruits.

These small, thoughtful details can make a world of difference in your guests' stay.

They transform a regular trip into an unforgettable experience that feels tailored just for them.

Your guests will appreciate your local insights, making their stay even more special.

Everyone I’ve asked about this says they love when hosts leave local information for them.

You can add a single page into your Welcome Book or you could create a complete guidebook with lots of detailed information, whichever suits you best.

Here are some things to consider adding to your guidebook: Names and distances of restaurants within walking distance, markets or groceries within walking distance, restaurants and markets within a certain distance (like 5 miles), closest awesome coffee shops, donut shops and cafes, fast food restaurants (include whether they have a drive-thru), local museums (include some cool facts about the exhibits), local amusement parks (include open and close times), local shopping malls or outlets (including some store names and types of products they sell), local beaches (including activities allowed/preferred there), closest urgent care center, closest hospital and emergency room and any other fun or necessary locations you want to highlight.

If you’re not sure how to make this information easy to present, checkout my customizable digital Welcome Book that has a full page directory already formatted in a succinct manner. You can change it up any way you like.

Even though people have cell phones with them at all times, they won’t know whether a restaurant is any good or whether it’s always a long wait.

Your recommendations will go a long way toward your guests having the best time they could have on vacation!

7. First Aid Kit

Safety first, always have a well-stocked first aid kit.

It's a statement that rings true in all aspects of life, and particularly in the hospitality industry.

When guests choose your Airbnb, they're trusting you with their safety, and a first aid kit is an essential tool in ensuring that safety.

Imagine a guest accidentally cuts their finger while preparing a meal in your kitchen, or trips and scrapes a knee during a late-night bathroom run.

In these instances, a well-stocked first aid kit is more than just a convenience, it's a necessity.

It can provide immediate relief and prevent minor injuries from becoming major problems.

Sometimes we need a band-aid just for a damaged cuticle or blister from walking all day. These aren’t necessarily accidents but imagine how relieved your guests will be knowing they can easily get bandages and Neosporin even if they forgot to bring it with them.

Ift's not just about physical safety either.

Having a first aid kit readily available also gives your guests peace of mind.

They'll know that you've thought of everything, that you care about their wellbeing, and that you're prepared for any situation.

And that can make all the difference in their stay, and their review of your property.

8. Heating & Cooling Solutions

Comfort is key, so be sure to provide heating and cooling solutions. Imagine a chilly winter night or a sweltering summer day. In both scenarios, the last thing you want is your guest feeling uncomfortable due to the temperature in your short term rental.

That's why it's essential to have a range of heating and cooling options available.

If your rental has a fireplace or electric heater, those can be really cozy and charming in the cold winter months.

In the heat of summer, fans or air conditioning units can be a true lifesaver.

Also, consider the benefits of a smart thermostat, allowing guests to easily adjust the temperature according to their preference without having to bother you for a weather-tackling solution.

This helps create an environment that is just right for them, making their stay even more enjoyable.

After all, when it comes to hosting, it's the little things that make a big difference.

Not every guest in a party will have the same temperature requirements. Some will want it warmer or cooler than others. And some love to sleep with fans. It can go a long way toward your guests’ comfort to provide little fans or overhead fans and heating options that can make all guests comfortable during their stay.

But no need to go overboard. A space heater isn’t a great idea to leave in your short term rental due to danger and liability. But fans are an easy and inexpensive solution in addition to having whole-home temperature control. And new, safer heaters that look like fireplaces are a really nice added touch without the extra risk of traditional space heaters.

9. Blackout Curtains or Shades

Let's not forget about the importance of a good night's sleep. The secret to this lies not only in a comfortable bed but also in controlling the amount of light that enters the room.

This is where blackout curtains or shades come into play.

Hotels and motels usually get this right. Every room comes equipped with movable blackout curtains or shades as well as regular, light-diffusing curtains. There’s a reason you’ll find these in every hotel room. And that’s the same reason you need them in your short term rental.

They are a game-changer, especially for those located in brightly lit urban areas or for guests sensitive to light.

Blackout curtains or shades allow your guests to customize the lighting in their space, which can significantly improve their sleep quality.

They not only block out the harsh morning sun for those who enjoy sleeping in but also ensure a dark and conducive environment for a restful night's sleep.

By providing blackout curtains or shades, you are showing your guests that you care about their comfort and well-being. Not only that, but guests have become accustomed to having them in hotels, so you might get some complaints if your guests are kept awake on their vacation by the street lamp that was shining in their eyes. This is an easy way to fend off a lower star rating.

It's the little things like this that can make a big difference in a guest's stay, turning a good experience into a great one.

Because everyone deserves a restful night's sleep.

10. Quality Kitchen Essentials

Last but not least, don't forget about the kitchen essentials.

A well-equipped kitchen is a cornerstone of a memorable stay, especially for guests who prefer to whip up their own meals. Imagine the delight of your guests when they find high-quality pots and pans, sharp knives, and a range of cooking utensils.

Also include a variety of small appliances too, like a toaster, a microwave, and perhaps even a blender for those health-conscious visitors.

And let's not forget a set of sturdy (and replaceable) dinnerware and cutlery.

Also, provide essential items like salt, pepper, cooking oil, and a maybe even selection of common spices.

The kitchen is one area you can really stand out to guests as a better choice than a hotel. Many hotels have only a small kitchenette with a microwave and a coffee pot. And even the ones with the full kitchen carry only the bare essentials for dinnerware and cookware.

If you want to be rated as a star host, consider some inexpensive but memorable upgrades like a corkscrew for wine bottles, bottle opener for beer and soda bottles, wine glasses, can opener, microwave popcorn, large popcorn bowl, granola bars, and paper towels.

These things don’t cost a lot of money, but they’ll make your guests’ stays so much more comfortable and relaxing.

A well-stocked kitchen can turn an ordinary stay into an extraordinary one, providing guests with the flexibility and comfort they crave. It's the little touches that often make the biggest impact.

By providing quality kitchen essentials, you're not just offering a place to stay, but a home away from home.

So there you have it, the top ten essentials every short term rental host should provide. From reliable high-speed Wi-Fi to keep everyone connected, to the eco-friendly and stylish Bottiful Home refillable shower bottles.

Remember, the secret to being a successful Airbnb host lies in the details. Equip your short term rental with these essentials to ensure high ratings and happy guests!


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