With fast-growing demands in travel experience, vacation rental owners and managers can no longer offer just the basics. Many guests want their vacation rental to have the same amenities as their home and will become dissatisfied if those needs are not met. It’s commonplace to provide fresh linens, towels, space and comfort, but travelers now want convenience and connectivity while they travel. To ensure you provide the best to your guests, we rounded up the top tech amenities they crave.
Top 6 Tech Amenities to Add to Your Rentals
Fast, Reliable Wi-Fi
Due to an increase in smart technology, fast, reliable Wi-Fi is a must. There’s nothing more annoying than trying to work, watch a movie or use a phone, and the Wi-Fi shuts off or runs as slow as the outdated dial-up process. Data shows as of late 2016, more than 78 percent of people in North America use a smartphone and predictions show that number rising to 87 percent by 2020. Pair that with laptops, watches and tablets, and the need for fast, reliable Wi-Fi increases even more. People want the ability to use their devices with ease and convenience.
“In this digital and technical world, it is more important than ever that guests have easy access to the Internet,” says Rhonda Graham, Market Development Manager, iTrip Vacations. “Business travelers obviously need access, but vacationers are never without their smartphones and devices. As a frequent traveler, I expect reliable internet. It is very frustrating when it is low quality or not available and can be the deciding factor in whether I return to that property.”
Another perk to having fast and reliable Wi-Fi is helping guests save on their data usage. Depending on the service provider, data usage can cost consumers hefty fees, so having a free Wi-Fi connection will cut down on their data usage costs. Guests can use the provided Wi-Fi to stream videos, complete tasks, use social media, and share their experience without having to worry about data overages and slow speeds.
When it comes time to review, guests are likely to note that free Wi-Fi is available and works at high speeds. On the flip side, reviewers will also point out Wi-Fi problems and unavailability. With a reliable Wi-Fi connection, you’ll keep your guests happy and increase the possibility for a better review.
Flat-screen TVs and DVD players
Big-box TVs and VCRs will appear outdated to guests. Invest in flat-screen TVs, larger than 27 inches, and place them where guests can comfortably watch their favorite shows and movies. Flat-screen TVs mounted on the wall not only look best but provide ideal viewing options. Those who cannot mount the TV should integrate the display into the design of the home and entrance into the room.
Go a step further and cater to couples, families and groups. Place a DVD player and family-friendly viewing options in the living room. Guests will enjoy curling up together with popcorn and a fun movie after spending a day exploring their vacation destination.
Depending on the size of the rental, you can also add a DVD player in at least one in a bedroom. Some examples include the master or children’s room. This caters to both couples and families, and provides multiple viewing options. For example with large families and groups, adults can watch something in the living room while children watch their favorite movies in a bedroom or an entertainment room.
Cable TV or Streaming Services
Amp up your tech amenities and offer cable or streaming services in addition to DVD players. This enables guests to watch their favorite shows while on vacation, providing an at-home feel and added comfort. Smart TVs allow guests to access their Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Vimeo accounts, so they can easily watch shows and movies. An alternative to smart TVs is cable with a couple of movie channels. Many companies offer bundle deals with cable, movie channels and high-speed Internet, so check with area providers for the best rates. Guests want multiple entertainment options, so pick what works best in your area and for your budget.
Other smart devices that enhance the rental experience include: remote thermostat adjusters, keyless entry using a pin number and smart fire alarms that provide additional security.
Universal Adapters, Chargers
If you’ve ever gone on vacation and left a phone charger at home, you know why this is important. Aside from the initial panic of not having a charger, vacationers have to stop to buy one, which is an unnecessary expense and hassle. Then, they are left with an extra charger that they could leave behind in the rental. All this equals to wasted time and money.
Help stop the madness. Provide universal chargers, adapters and, if applicable, an iPhone docking station in each vacation rental. This provides guests an easy way to charge their devices and relieves the need to buy one while on vacation. Universal chargers come in a variety of formats, including alarm clocks, speakers, table lamps, reading lights and nightstands. Most of these use USB connections that guests can plug into to charge as well as use for other purposes. Imagine plugging a tablet into a device to watch movies, or charge the phone while reading a good book. Check out these bedside charging stations.
Offer Tech Amenities With an App
Vacation rental managers with multiple properties should consider a custom app that provides guests with valuable and relevant information and perks. Apps are a great way for managers to operate from other locations and help guests have a better experience.
From your custom app, guests can check-in and check-out, find local restaurants, the top attractions and more. Managers can also offer certain perks to those who download the app, such as coupons, activity discounts and a customized messages. Those really creative should take it a step further and provide an iPad in the home with a digital welcome book ready to greet guests.
Do you offer different tech amenities to guests? Feel free to share ideas in the comments.