Tips to Keep Your Vacation Rental Safe for Guests

June 21, 2021

We no longer need to convince the public that it is safe to travel or that vacation rentals are the best option for a safe vacation! Vacation rentals offer the luxury of limited interaction, easy social distancing, and the ability to choose whether to mingle with others or enjoy the privacy and seclusion of home.

The rebound of travel has begun, the demand for vacation rentals is higher than ever and many property managers are facing their busiest season since the onset of COVID (or ever!). Travel trends show that summer bookings are at a peak and premier destinations are at near-full or full capacity for the summer months through Labor Day, and beyond.

Americans are eager to travel again, albeit with a heightened sensitivity to safety. Stringent cleaning protocols and COVID safety remain a top priority for travelers who, in the middle of an ongoing pandemic, are making their accommodation choices based on safety and risk. Maintaining a high standard of cleanliness and safety is more important than ever before to meet higher guest expectations, get 5-star reviews and build customer loyalty.

In addition to strict cleaning and sanitization protocols, how you can offer your guests a safe and comfortable stay in your vacation rentals and destination this summer?

Air-Purifiers & Humidifiers

Air purifiers with an H13 HEPA filter are said to remove 99% of harmful airborne particles including mold, bacteria, allergens, airborne flu, and the COVID virus. Give your guests the peace of mind that your home is not only sparkling clean but free from pollutants with healthy, clean air continuously.

A Contactless Stay

Self-check-in has become a necessity and it was essential for property managers to switch to smart locks and keyless entry to limit interaction with guests during Covid. A contactless stay goes a lot further than that! Smart property managers are relying more on smart technology to upgrade their homes, improve safety and security and enhance the guest experience. Property managers are implementing virtual concierge devices in their properties for an easy and contactless self-check-in and smart check-out. There are many tools that enable you to manage your vacation rental remotely and allow your guest to enjoy an enhanced vacation experience, with limited interaction.

Booking Buffers

As the pandemic hit, the industry needed to set new standards and protocols to ensure guest safety. Airbnb introduced the Enhanced Cleaning Initiative recommending a 24-72 hour booking buffer between stays to limit the spread of the coronavirus. While 72-hours would result in a substantial loss in revenue, many property managers adopted a 24-hour buffer for professional cleaning, enhanced sanitizing, and disinfecting between guest stays. An added layer of safety and protection for your guests.

Travel Safety Kit & Essentials

Packing for the family vacation can be stressful and things are often left behind. All your homes should have a fully-stocked first aid kit for emergencies with a supply of basic COVID safety essentials such as masks, hand sanitizers, disinfectant spray, and sanitizing wipes on entry and in high-touch areas throughout the home.

Install Outdoor Lighting & Security Cameras

Outdoor lighting is a must for safety and great for curb appeal too. Installing security cameras is an investment that protects you and your guests. A smart doorbell and outdoor security cameras (it’s illegal to have inside) gives guests added security and are a good way to secure your property, monitor occupancy and incidents outside the home, and alleviate crime. Do not install fake cameras, the chances are you will be sued if there’s an incident.

Basic Safety Issues

It’s important to protect your guests from the spread of coronavirus but be sure to stay ahead of the routine safety checks and regular maintenance and provide the basic safety essentials to safeguard your vacation rental against unwanted accidents and emergencies.

  • Fire Safety: Fires are the biggest risk in any home. Install smoke detectors in every room, carbon monoxide alarms on every floor, and fire extinguishers in the garage, kitchen, and outdoor cooking areas. Check the alarms on each guest turnover to ensure they are working correctly.
  • Hot Tubs & Pools: To avoid accidents ensure that hot tubs and pools have safety signage, depth markers, a cover or fence, and rescue tools. Be sure you meet the local requirements on safety. Professionals advise against providing floatation devices for your guests.
  • Stairways, Handrails & Decks: It seems like we’ve had one catastrophe after another with deck collapses and unsecured fittings. These are accidents that need to be avoided by occupancy control and routine safety checks.
  • Grills & Outdoor Cooking: It’s summer BBQ season so be sure your outdoor cooking areas and BBQ grills meet the required safety standards. In general, outdoor grills need to be at least 3 feet away from buildings (check your local requirements) and all outdoor cooking areas should have a wall-mounted fire extinguisher readily available.

Let Your Guests Know

Last, but not least, let your guests know why they should choose your vacation homes and destination for a safe summer stay! Update your marketing content and communicate regularly with your guests on the level of risk in your destination, local restrictions, what attractions, activities, and restaurants are open for business, and the safety measures and comforts you have added to your homes to enhance their stay.