You’ve allowed for just about everything your guests will need when they’re staying at your Airbnb or rental. There’s the first aid kit, you supply toiletries, a fire extinguisher is on hand, there are board games for rainy days, towels to take to the beach … but you know only too well that you should also have a ‘kit’ of items that your guests might need in unusual situations.
Get your kit ready before your guests need it and you’ll always be prepared – without having to leave items out that might just ‘walk’ if you’re not careful…
There’s no point in cluttering up your rental with items that your guests will rarely (or even never) need but it’s important to keep an emergency kit in order to keep your guests happy and yourself sane. (And keep the good reviews coming in).
What should you have? Your kit should contain items that will keep your guests happy in case of unusual conditions. Every rental is different but here are the items I keep on hand:
So much better than giving your guests a discount in the event of any problem. They are a great way of saying ‘thank you for your patience’ and are always much appreciated. Choose gift cards that can be used in locations almost everywhere (Starbucks?) and your guests can treat themselves while they are staying with you or when they get home.
Dining gift cards seem to be appreciated the most and it’s so easy for a host to give them to a guest saying ‘thank you so much for your patience when we had the power cut this afternoon. Please enjoy dinner on us’.
SPARES OF ALMOST EVERYTHING
If you leave six towels in your rental, the chances are that all six will be used. Leave three and your guests will use three. It’s one of those weird laws, it seems. But keep spares of almost everything just in case your guests need them.
Imagine that a guest spilled a glass of water on the bed. (Or far worse – I’m being polite here). It’s midnight and the guest needs clean, dry bedding. Hopefully, you have some on hand so that you can help them.
When assembling your guest kit it’s important to think about the events that are likely to happen in your rental that will inconvenience your guests. For example, what will they do if the water is shut off for a few hours? Obviously, you don’t want to leave gallons of bottled water in the rental ‘just in case’.
But if the water goes off, a cheery sight for your guests will be you at their door supplying them with drinking water. You can also tell them where they can go for a shower (if the water will be off for a while) and even what to do to flush the loo. (A bottle of bleach can also be a welcome gift!)
Consider too what your guests will do if the power goes out. If you already provide board games and playing cards in case of bad weather then they have some non-TV things to do, but they might need supplemental lighting. (Of course, you don’t normally leave candles in your rental because of the burn/dripped candle wax factors).
If your power goes off often (as it does here during the rainy season) then it’s a good idea to also have a couple of styrofoam coolers to keep food fresh, hand sanitizer to take the place of hot water, canned foods for salads and so on. Your guests look to you for advice – you’re the local expert.
LOTIONS & POTIONS
Mostly, you won’t want to leave these in the rental for guests to use freely or inadvertently take with them in their luggage, but it’s a good idea to keep some items in your guest kit just in case. You can keep basic medicines in case of minor guest problems.
Depending on the climate you’re in, you might keep items such after-sun cream, insect bite relief cream and so on. Consider too keeping an icepack in your freezer for sprains and bruises,
THINGS FOR THE GIRLS
As far as I’m concerned, it’s a pretty daft female who doesn’t have at least a few tampons in her bag, regardless of the time of the month. These things can happen when you least expect them. But not, you hope, on your sheets. So keep a few items on hand just in case a female guest is so urgently in need that she asks for your help.
If you’re miles from the nearest shops, these are even more important.
Our two rentals are in one of the quietest places on the planet. (Well, maybe not but I’m biased). Nevertheless, sometimes there is unavoidable construction or yardwork noise that can arrive with no warning. Therefore I find it handy to have earplugs to offer guests. I offer them before the guest has the opportunity to complain.
You may have more things in your rental that require batteries than you know. Chances are that your keypad will run on batteries (they tend to last about a year). In our rentals so do the period alarm clocks (not vital for most guests) and the TV remotes (strangely important though for many guests!)
I prefer having spares on hand than having to go any buy them in a hurry.
DOGS AND KIDS
I don’t accept either but if I did, then I’d be sure to make sure that my kit included items that they would need/appreciate should there be any problems at the rental.
IF YOU DON’T HAVE THEM IN YOUR RENTAL…
There are some items that are available in our rentals for all guests. But if we didn’t always have these items as general amenities, it would still be handy to have them in the kit in case they are needed for guests to borrow:
- Umbrella (or even those plastic poncho thingies)
- Beach items
- Books and magazines
- Writing paper, envelopes
- Pens and pencils
- Phone charger
- Extension leads
- Water filter jug
- Sewing kit
- ‘In case you forgot’ items – toothbrush, paste, deodorant, disposable razor etc.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.