Which amenities will set your vacation rental apart?


    king beds are top amenities for vacation homesAfter you've equipped your vacation home with the basic amenities required of a rental (sheets, towels, kitchenware, etc.), it's time to think about the extras that will set your property apart from the competition.

    Here is a quick list of some of the amenities you can add to your home and which types of renters your property will attract.

    King-sized beds

    • Who's Clamoring for It? Anyone who sleeps in a king bed at home.
    • Where is it a Must-Have? Destinations frequented by couples.
    • How Much Will It Cost You? $400 to $1500 new.

    High-speed internet

    • Who's Clamoring for It? Pretty much everyone these days. A recent study by AOL showed that 83% of Americans check their e-mail while on vacation.
    • Where is it a must-have? It has become a must-have for most vacation destinations; however, vacation rentals in urban settings should provide high-speed internet to capitalize on business travelers.
    • How Much Will It Cost You? About $10 to $50 per month depending on your region and your specific plan.

    Hot tub

    • Who's Clamoring for It? Couples and seniors.
    • Where is it a Must-Have? Destinations that travelers frequent during the cooler months.
    • How Much Will It Cost You? From $2,500 to $10,000, or about $3500 on average. You can buy a used hot tub for under $2000, but be aware that you'll likely have to replace parts.

     

    Baby gear

    • Who's Clamoring for It?Families with small children.
    • Where is it a Must-Have? Family destinations.
    • How Much Will It Cost You? Around $50 for a folding high chair, $60 to $100 for a portable crib. Look for deals at garage sales and consignment shops.

     

    Pool table

    • Who's Clamoring for It? Families with kids, couples traveling together.
    • Where is it a Must-Have? Destinations where people spend more time indoors.
    • How Much Will It Cost You? As little as $300 or $400 for a four-foot table at a sporting goods store. Also watch Craigslist for deals on gently used tables. Since kids will be the primary users of the pool table, don't buy a high-end table with an expensive top.

     

    DVD library

    • Who's Clamoring for It? Most travelers. Especially important for families with kids.
    • Where is it a Must-Have? Destinations without good TV reception.
    • How Much Will It Cost You? From $1 to $6 per DVD. The Wal-Mart discount bin is a great place to start building your DVD library. You can often find hit movies for less than $6. For used movies, check out garage sales and thrift shops for $1 to $2 each.

     

    Fireplace

    • Who's Clamoring for It? Pretty much everyone.
    • Where is it a Must-Have? Cooler, winter destinations.
    • How Much Will It Cost You? To add a fireplace with a real chimney, expect to pay $10,000+. A fireplace that runs up a wall through a vent will cost around $1,500. A relatively cheap and easy alternative is to add a freestanding electric fireplace, which can be purchased at home improvement stores like Home Depot for $350 to $500.

    Washer & Dryer

    • Who's Clamoring for It? Families with kids.
    • Where is it a Must-Have? Destinations with a minimum stay of one week & destinations with a lot of new construction.
    • How Much Will It Cost You? $800 to $1000 for a stackable unit; $500 to $600 for a low-end full-sized washer and dryer. Save a few bucks by buying a used dryer — they're considerably cheaper and last a long time. However, you should probably pony up and buy a new washing machine.

    Dishwasher

    • Who's Clamoring for It? Large groups. Who wants to handwash dishes for 12 people?
    • Where is it a Must-Have? Destinations with a minimum stay of a week or more & large homes.
    • How Much Will It Cost You? $200 to $400. You can pick up a used dishwasher for around $50.

    HDTV

    • Who's Clamoring for It? Sports fanatics.
    • Where is it a Must-Have? Nowhere yet. But it will give you a leg up on the competition in any destination.
    • How Much Will It Cost You? Around $600 for a 32” screen; $1700 to $6000 for larger HDTVs.




    Other Amenities to Consider

    Want to make your property stand out? Consider adding a home theater room ($150 to $500 for a decent sound system), popcorn maker, soft-serve ice cream maker, espresso machine ($100 to $1000), dartboard ($100 for electronic, $50 to $150 for standard), horseshoe set ($15 to $50), Bocce ball Set ($30 to $50), terrycloth bathrobes ($30 to $100 each), Belgian wafflemaker ($80), margarita machine ($100-300), Foreman grill, or panini press.


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