Catering to families with kids, any experience? What are bonus amenities?

In our market where there are a dozen identical places (condo complex) we need to stand out some how and we’re thinking targeting families with kids because with three kids ourselves we can relate to this. If we go this approach (vs a different persona) what things should we watch out for and what amenities should we keep in stock?

Personally I don’t have younger children in my home because of risk of increased damage to my home and because my place isn’t suitable ie. pond in garden, steep stairs, log fire etc.

However if you want to target families you can meet Airbnb’s criteria for family friendly homes.

Kids using the TV screen as a chalk board using mom’s keys as chalk. :wink:


Oh, didn’t know about the family collection, I wonder if that help w/ bookings. This condo is almost already perfect for kids as it’s one floor, has no carpet (spills) tv is mounted to wall (above kid height) and the condo amenities include two kid pools and a large playground. They could still do damage but that’s what the damage fee is for, right? :slight_smile:

Good luck getting any damage fee from Air’s bogus “host guarantee”! You need to have your own short term rental insurance. And you do want to have a security deposit big enough so that it covers a major disaster like having to replace a mattress/


It’s nice to offer a pack ‘n play. It’s a bulky thing to travel with that families appreciate for caging…erm…containing little ones.

In some touristy areas you can rent that kind of kid gear, so you might pair with a company or review their highest used items to purchase.

Absolute must: mattress protectors. The kind that completely encase are best for accidents and bed bugs. Also keep a second set + extra protector available for nighttime emergency bedding changes.

Since you have pool access, a bin of floaties, goggles, etc would be nice.

Paint anything below 5’ with an enamel or other scrubbable paint. So many sticky hands!

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A family just checked in at my rental. I left ice cream in the freezer for them and cookies in the cookie jar. I also have some board games. The negative side is that there will be cookie crumbs and sticky finger marks every where. I rather have that than a bunch of 20 year olds partying at my house.


Yup! As someone who has filled both of those demographics I would rather rent to dad me than 20 something me any day.

The thought of picking a single persona also helps with marketing, maybe we’ll give it a go and see what happens next year.

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My listing is in the Family Collection. The listing met the basic criteria and got 5-star reviews from 2 families and so it was automatically eligible. I’ve had several families stay, but no way to know if it actually increased the business from families or not.

One bedroom of my listing has 2 twin beds and the others all have 1 queen bed. In the bedroom with twin beds, I have a small TV, a DVD player, and a disc binder with about 100 DVDs that are all kids movies. I think it’s been used only a couple of times. That’s the only thing I provide for kids but I don’t advertise it in the listing.

I had a family 3 weeks ago with triplet 1-year-old girls and a 3-year-old boy. They rented a bunch of stuff from a local place including pack and plays and toys, a tricycle, step stools, high chairs, etc. If you have a similar place in your area, you could provide a guest with the contact info and not have to buy and store the stuff yourself.

My preferred demographic is families and seniors. And this is what I mostly get. I have my Home set up like visiting grandma’s house, and it works well for us. I have board games, Plenty of places for them to plug-in their little electronic devices, and a bookcase full of assorted books for children and adults alike. They are allowed to each take a book when they leave if they wish. In my on-site guidebook I have a list of restaurants that are toddler and child friendly and an extensive amount of information about family friendly attractions and activities. I have a high chair for little ones and a pack and play. One of the bedrooms is decorated with children in mind. If you’re worried about the television, I would put it on the wall. It also doesn’t hurt that I own a local children’s play place and I can leave free passes for the children that are 12 and under as well. :grin:


Love the book and restaurant idea, what’s something that always concerns us when we go out is if a restaurant is kid appropriate or not. Thanks

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IKEA makes a high chair that’s only about $20. I always liked it better than the more complicated and expensive one someone gave us.

It would be very easy to hose down and doesn’t have lots of moving parts.

PS: IKEA is also a good source for affordable toys that won’t look like plastic junk in your space see below.

Does the condo have stairs? If so, maybe a baby gate. You can find basic ones on Amazon for about $20.

If you are going to buy toys, be careful of the ones that include small pieces. They usually come with a warning that they aren’t safe for under 3. The pieces are also a PITA when it comes to cleaning.

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I accept children & my suite has NO TV, but I do have a collection of amazing books that cover everything from the human body to bugs.
Standard family games: Battleship, Tri-ominos, Stratego, Scrabble, Apples to Apples, Uno, Old Maid, science trivia cards, Catch Phrase.
I have 3 old hard body suite cases: one has small lego, wooden meccano & Perplexus
another has an eclectic collection of trolls, matchbox auto’s, wind up toys, little dolls and monsters, large lego and building blocks.
And the last suite case has Origami, Arty coloring books, constuction paper, word find that sort of thing. Each is loosely set up for an age group. There is a large sheet/fabric in the loose toys they can lay out on the floor.
There is a pop up tent style fort, that gets used ALL the time. I really do not leave many toys for babies/toddlers (under two), but they do enjoy the fort. There is a mini card table and chairs (fold up style) they can set up, this gets used every time.
Old beach towels that I may never see again, reuseable cups with snap on lids and a straw, Lysol wipes & disposable generic wipes, heaps of paper towel and a diaper pail.
There is a detailed list of Rec Center activites, parks, kid friendly restaurants, and the location of the laundromat, drug store, hospital and after hours clinic.


Hi RyanDE

The family market is huge, and as you’ve first hand experience in keeping kids happy this could be the perfect USP for you. Make your rental fit for all ages you could have the ideal pad for families of all shapes and sizes.

  • Safety
    Discerning parents will be looking for a safe space. We’re talking indoors and outdoors. Window locks, socket covers, stair gates, fire gates, full bannisters, balcony balustrades,
    pond covers, enclosed gardens etc.

  • Functionality
    Invest in useful equipment e.g. cot, highchair, stroller, plastic cutlery and plates etc. Potential guests will like the fact they don’t have to lug all the “essentials” with them.

  • Fun Inside
    A toybox can provide plenty of enjoyment, as can a shelf full of books, a few jigsaws and plenty of board games. to keep young visitors entertained. Older children will appreciate a games console and WiFi access too!

  • Fun Outside
    Kit out your garden. This could include garden toys e.g. swing, trampoline, paddling pool (here’s hoping the sun shines). You could also add a swing ball set, soft ball and games such as giant connect 4.

  • Create a Den
    If space allows create an indoor or outdoor den for the youngsters - they will love the idea of their own space complete with beanbags and squashy cushions!

  • Welcome Book
    Make sure your welcome book is up to date and comprehensive. Add useful contacts such as hospital, doctors, take-out (mum and dad need a break from cooking sometimes), and a reputable local babysitter (for when mum and dad need a REAL break)!

What’s On

  • Your welcome book should also have a “Days Out and What’s On” guide. Detail local kid friendly attractions (leave leaflets to hand), and see if you can negotiate a discount in exchange for you promoting the attraction. Your guests will really appreciate it.

  • Welcome Pack
    It’s a nice touch to leave a welcome pack for your guests - bread, milk, cheese, jam etc. If that’s going to stretch your budget too much a simple welcome gift might be a nice touch. A bottle of wine for mum and dad, colouring books and crayons for the kids, and a box of homemade cookies for all to share should go down well.

Don’t forget to get some info on the family prior to their arrival, then you can make sure the rental fits their exact needs. There are many families looking for a space that’s ideal for children with special needs, and making provision for this would open your rental to all.

Once you have everything in place market like crazy! You need to let everyone know about your new family friendly space for all!

Best wishes and happy hosting,
iGMS (formerly known as AirGMS).

Make sure yo
Link up with local attractions and see if you can get discounted entrance in return for promoting them. Guests will appreciate the effort and

Wow, that’s high end, sounds like your opening a theme park, I believe that RyanDe is operating out of a condo. You would have to have deep pockets for that set-up.

We have quite a few families stay with us (even though we don’t meet Airbnb’s requirements for a family friendly location) and recently we’ve had the parents leave their minor/underage children here for a few hours alone…with no adult supervision. Might think about adding that to house rules.

LOL, exactly what I was thinking. The only thought given to cost was in the “welcome pack.” The rest didn’t even consider cost or space constraints. It does sound wonderful, but it’s hardly practical for the vast majority of hosts.


HUGE liability.

I know people who have trampolines and only let their own kids use them, no neighbors or friends.

Probably a bit paranoid, but still.

@GardenGnome , It’s exactly the same as a swimming pool. You need appropriate insurance and you must inform the insurance company that you have it, and it will increase the cost of your insurance premium.

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