It’s not very difficult to understand why more and more families opt for vacation rentals as opposed to hotels and other traditional accommodations when they travel. I mean try to imagine sharing a hotel room with a toddler you are desperately trying to get to sleep while you are also packing the bags for a flight the following day? Or washing baby clothes in a bathroom sink? Yes. Next to impossible.
Having said that, Airbnb hosting can get complicated when there are kids involved. Screaming children drawing crayon sketches all over beautiful white walls… Well just the thought is enough to stop most Airbnb hosts from opening their homes to families.
However, families are one of the fastest growing segments in the travel industry and they're definitely a market worth considering. That, and the fact that if you decide to go ahead, you will have an edge over your competition. Even if your competitors decide to latch on, hopefully by then you’d have established a name for your property as a child-friendly vacation rental.
This article aims to help you establish your vacation rental as “children-friendly” by preparing your space for families with children to help widen your audience, increase your bookings and hopefully help you get that 5-stars review.
Possibly the two most important questions to ask when childproofing your unit are:
To start off babyproofing, you would ideally need to check with your potential guests about the age groups of children. The requirements vary from babies to toddlers to kids. For instance if you have toddlers coming over, you’ll need to install gates for the stairs and rails for the balcony, and window locks. Likewise, if you have babies coming over, you’d need to install a diaper pail for your guests to dispose of dirty diapers.
In order to make sure that your Airbnb property is safe for babies and toddlers, essentially all windows should have drapery cords and outlets should be covered with outlet covers. Keep in mind that the Airbnb infant policy doesn’t require guests to pay for their infants so you’ll want to ask them if they’re traveling with an infant ahead of time so that you’re aware.
When choosing furniture, it’s important to ask yourself, ‘Is this durable?’ and 'Is this safe?’ If you hope to cater to children, it is necessary to stay away from pieces with any glass. Needless to say, glass coffee tables are a least favourite for parents with children. It is also recommended to avoid furniture with sharp edges. Infact, here are the top things to avoid when baby proofing or childproofing your Airbnb unit.
Glass: Minimize glass in the space, especially at lower levels. No glass coffee tables and big vases on the ground. Avoid knick knacks made of glass.
Clutter: Sometimes, a place that is overstuffed poses hazards too. Not having too much clutter is always safer. Less to trip on, less to bump into, less to break.
Fragile objects: Try not to furnish your space with anything too precious or irreplaceable. Accidents happen with children—it shouldn't be a big deal.
Once you have childproofed your property, the very next question to ask is: How to make my unit comfortable for kids? As simple as some of these may seem, they make a massive difference for families traveling with young children. Sometimes, a place may be family-friendly but may lack the extra touches that make children happy.
Here are a few suggestions of things to leave out for kids:
Utilities: Have a pack-and-play, a high chair, and some books and toys available. Include items for babies and children, like toys and a portable crib.
Cozies: Extra blankets and extra pillows are always a plus. Everyone loves an extra touch of cozy.
Treats: Candy, chocolates or healthy treats for kids, you can certainly go with whatever you prefer.
Parents would be delighted to see their holiday space inclusive of playing areas stocked with toys to keep their kids busy. Ensure all toys you intend to keep in your play area do not contain sharp edges. Invest in some crayons, colouring books, and stuffed toys to keep the kids’ entertained throughout their visit. You can even download some kid movies or subscribe to children’s TV channels to provide your guests with a five-star experience.
If you have outdoor space in your Airbnb rental, make sure to keep your walkways safe and do not have anything sharp like broken stones etc. If you have a pool in your outdoor space, don’t forget to install a gate before welcoming guests with kids. You could also invest in outdoor kids entertaining material like air castles and baby pools to make the stay fun and exciting.
Ensure every part of your Airbnb unit is dust free and clean, including the toys and outdoor area. To the best of your ability, try to provide items that can be sterilised after use.
Going a step ahead, to make it easier for your guests to find child-friendly attractions near your Airbnb, you can add some suggestions to your Welcome Book. Highlight parks, libraries, restaurants and other child-friendly spots that they can visit nearby.
Additionally, if you can find, throw in a few contact details of babysitters in the area your guests will be able to utilize. Your guests will appreciate that you’ve done some of the legwork for them, which will boost your reputation as an attentive “Airbnb for kids” host.
Ticking all the boxes as a “Child friendly Unit” alone is not sufficient, if your guests do not have access to this information. Don’t forget to call out all the extra features you’ve added to your home directly in your listing. If you make additions to your space, don’t forget to update your listing as time goes on. Make it explicit that your listing is children-friendly to attract more bookings.
Families are one of the largest demographics searching Airbnb, so making it clear that your home is suited for them could help your bookings generously. If your Airbnb guests are traveling with their children, it is highly likely that they might also be traveling with other family members. As a result, you should make sure that your Airbnb for kids has extra beds available so that you can profit from additional guests who want to stay at the last minute. Invest in a rollaway cot and bunk beds so that there are additional sleeping options available for your guests to use if they need. You could find out more on maximizing the space of your airbnb.
If your location or your property tends to attract a lot of families, don’t hesitate to display your kid-proof amenities in the photos for your Airbnb listing. Read the guide to stand out airbnb photos to figure out how to make your photos more appealing to families with children.
You’ll book more guests with children if they can easily see that you have an Airbnb for kids. You can also add the phrase “child-friendly” or “safe for children” to the description of your Airbnb for children listing so that your guests will know that you are specifically accommodating their needs.