Create the Ultimate Airbnb Rental
(This post contains affiliate links. If you click and buy anything, you support Wednesday to Wednesday Travel to keep traveling and keep writing.) If you do buy anything, be sure to do it on Amazon Prime to always get free 2-day shipping.
While traveling through the USA and South Africa, I have stayed in many different Airbnbs of various price points. The following are an accumulation of the things that made for exceptional experiences + warnings of things to avoid because they can ruin your guest's stay.
Things a truly great Airbnb rental needs:
Of highest importance:
🌟ensuite bathroom: Don't have 2 master suites with their own private bathroom? That's okay! One of the best Airbnb's I stayed in was located in Nashville, TN. I was surprised that I was staying in the master suite and the owner was in a "guest bedroom." The owners said they had more bookings when they listed their Airbnb as having an ensuite bathroom. When I was in South Africa, most homes only had bedrooms with their own bathroom.
🌟mirrors: You don't realize how important a mirror is in the morning until you find yourself without a mirror. Mirrors assist your guest in getting ready in the morning or before going out at night, especially if there are two guests and one wants to get ready while the other is showering. This mirror is super cute!
🌟shampoo, conditioner, body wash: Guests expect these items from hotels so it is a let down not to have them at an Airbnb. If you were staying at a friend's house, they would let you use their soap. If you provide these items for your friend, it's important to provide them to paying guests. J and I ended up buying cheap 2 in 1 shampoo / body wash in South Africa. We brought it to every rental and at the end of our trip, the owner didn't provide any soap so we left it in the guest shower for the next guest. It cost us less than $2 USD.
🌟crisp sheets: (Can never go wrong with white) In the States, target provides decent quality sheets for reasonable prices. One of the worst Airbnb experiences I had was in Austin, TX where the navy blue bedding was super thin, and the blanket nearly threadbare. I was so cold the whole night I couldn't sleep.
🌟extra blanket: Cold guests can't sleep. Guests that can't sleep leave negative feedback.
🌟extra pillows: Just do it.
🌟towels: A freshly cleaned towel rolled up on the end of the bed or in a crate leaves a different impression than telling guests there are towels in the closet next to the bathroom. My favorite towels are Nate Berkus's from Target.
🌟snacks and bottle of water: Usually guests are coming to stay after being out all day or a long day of travel, a sleeve of Oreos and a bottle of water are exceptional! These stoopwaffles are a great snack and great breakfast; I first found them on a United flight!
Not essential, but make the experience better:
🌟breakfast: Bagels and jams or even a box of cereal with milk in the fridge can make your rental a lot more attractive than a home that doesn't offer breakfast. Many guests incorporate around $10/person for breakfast while traveling. If there are 2 rental options and your's cost $5 more, people are more likely to choose you since you provide breakfast. Breakfast will not cost you $5/night to provide so it's a money maker.
🌟tea & coffee: Even if you don't drink coffee or tea, much of the world does so having a kettle or Keurig available is awesome.
🌟blow dryer: Fellow ladies understand this, but male hosts, if you provide a blow dryer you will blow your guests' minds.
🌟colorful bed runner: The least essential thing on this list, but the beds that had bed runners always looked adorable and the whole place felt well put together.
🌟global adapter: No matter what country your guest is from, they can your outlet as long as you have a global adapter. This $8 item will surely help out some guest in the future.
Simple touches to stand apart from the competition:
🌟Toiletry basket: (travel sized toothpaste, toothbrush, safety pin, hair ties, bobby pin, sewing kit, makeup remover wipes Hilton uses these wipes)
🌟wooden hangers: Classy. Yes, wood looks the best, but as long as all of the hangers are the same, even white plastic works just fine or the velvet ones you can get in bulk from Marshalls.
🌟complimentary wine: this may be illegal depending on your state's laws regarding providing alcohol. Don't do illegal things.
🌟laundry basket: empower guests to put their laundry in the bag after their stay! This one is adorable!
🌟ear plug foams: Essential when the home has pets or owners that get up early to go to work in the morning! These amazon choice ear plugs are perfect.
🌟wifi: If your guest doesn't have an international plan, wifi may be their resource for checking updating family and friends on Facebook and making calls back home. Be sure to list on your Airbnb listing that you have wifi available. When I search for places abroad, I filter listings by the presence or absence of wifi.