The world has changed and people are more mobile than ever before. They’re looking to travel for work, leisure, or other purposes more often and farther distances than ever before.
It’s an amazing way to make money while traveling the world by renting out your property on nights you’re not there! And others have have built huge hospitality businesses by using the platform for their property investment strategy.
This is one of the reasons why Airbnb has become so popular in recent years. And with wide market adoption come huge expectations by guests.
So you’ve officially decided: it’s time to rent out some real estate to those intrepid travelers who use Airbnb.
But you need to be sure your listing stands out, that when your guests arrive, they like what they see, and when they leave, they give you good reviews and maybe plan some repeat business. So, what can you do to be the best host out there?
40 critical amenities every Airbnb Host should have include at least two towels per guest, toiletries, air conditioning or heat depending on the location and time of year, and, of course, WiFi. Most great hosts also offer cleaning supplies and a selection of kitchenware, such as pots and pans.
We’ve put together a list of important Airbnb amenities from our own hosting experience.
Some items are necessary, some might be too rich for your blood, some might even be things you’d never dream of providing, but this is a good mix of what large swaths of Airbnb customers need, want, like, and love.
Things Airbnb Guests Need You To Provide
Let’s dispense with the obvious: a toilet, a bed, and a roof overhead. But think of what you need when you travel, and consider the items you typically find in your hotel room. Now think of how many times you thought to yourself, “I forgot to pack X, but look, there’s an X here in the room already. Sweet!”
You probably know a bunch already, but there may be some amenities or services you might not automatically think of. Still, they’re what many seasoned Airbnb customers expect these days.
Two Towels per Guest
Even if you hook the place up with a washer and dryer, everybody can use another towel.
Most people with longer hair will need one for their body and one for their hair. And if you live in a colder climate, chances are those towels won’t dry overnight, meaning your guest will have to use a wet towel after their shower tomorrow.
A good rule of thumb is to provide two full bath towels per guest, plus a smaller towel for their hair. It’s also essential to have a bath mat, so they don’t have to use one of those towels on the floor to keep from slipping!
We actually wrote a full blog post on the best towels for your Airbnb, so you should definitely check that out!
You can find those tiny little sample bottles at a local grocery store, and you don’t have to purchase that high-dollar moisturizing soap made from the tears of lambs.
But a small selection of shampoos and soaps, disposable razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and even feminine products will be greatly appreciated. Maybe a guest now and then doesn’t need any of it, but it’s wise to think ahead for your clients.
And yes, guests do notice and appreciate these little details, so it’s worth the expense.
To make things more aesthetically pleasing, consider buying refillable containers into which you can decant shampoos and body wash. That way, you can purchase larger bottles and refill where necessary.
Unless your Airbnb is above the Arctic Circle, somebody who stays there will be hot at some point, especially if you live in a humid climate.
And is there anything worse than sweltering in bed in the middle of a still, humid night?
Central heat and air is a must in your unit, or at the very least, quality window units that are up to the job. A mealy-mouthed window unit wheezing through the night laboring to keep you just a little less sweaty is no luxury.
Pro Tip: Also, always be sure to have the unit running before the guest arrives. That way, they will walk into a cool room and not a hot box in the middle of summer.
A Place To Hang Clothes
One of the most common complaints from guests who stay with an Airbnb host, are that they don’t have anyplace to put their coats, hats, and shoes. If you are offering a place to stay for long periods of time, you should make sure the guest has lots of closet space or an area where they can store all this stuff.
You don’t need to clear out a walk-in closet for your guests. But, having a place to hang clothes will help free up valuable space in your home.
If your Airbnb is an entire house or apartment, there is probably already closet space.
But if you’re renting out a room or a section of a place, closet space might be in short supply.
An understated clothing rack, like this omfa Bamboo Clothes Rack (Amazon), is a nice touch.
It can be a hassle to clean up after your Airbnb guests, so if you have the budget and space for it then providing cleaning supplies will make their stay much more pleasant.
This is particularly helpful when guests are staying for longer periods of time or in larger groups.
No, they’re probably not going to sing “It’s a Hard-Knock Life” while they scrub the kitchen of your Airbnb, but (hopefully) your guests don’t intend to live like animals, either.
Day-to-day living leaves some debris behind, and everybody spills something every now and then.
To ensure your guest has the option to clean up after themselves, consider leaving:
- Dish soap
- Paper towels
- All-purpose cleaner
- Broom and dustpan
- Trash bags
- Trash cans in every room
We live in a world now where WiFi is considered essential and as necessary as oxygen.
I mean, if you’ve ever had your internet go out for an hour then you know what I’m talking about!
Sure, one renter out of ten is coming to your neck of the woods to unplug from the world, but the other nine expect to be able to get online as soon as their laptop is open.
Be sure your router can send a WiFi signal everywhere your renters can be.
WiFi that works only in the kitchen will be a bit annoying. The other side of that coin is that you need a password to the network so non-guests won’t be tempted to freeload.
Coffee and Some Sort of Coffee Maker
It doesn’t have to be an imported espresso machine, but you also can’t just leave a bag of coffee beans in a jar in the pantry, either.
A coffee maker is a must; there’s just no way around it. Ours is a caffeinated world, so stock a couple of varieties of coffee to go in the maker, too. You’ll also need to provide filters if you have a drip machine.
For more info on the different types of coffee makers for the different types of travelers, check out our blog post!
Dishware and Cutlery
Like the coffee maker, you don’t need to provide expensive china and silver. But you aren’t going to leave paper plates, either.
Provide a set of plates and bowls at the rate of one set per two guests. And if there’s too much cutlery, that’s better than not enough.
Dishware will include plates, bowls, side plates, glasses, cups, and maybe even serving bowls.
Sparse cupboards look cheap and give a negative impression. The good news is you can usually find inexpensive dishware sets in stores like Target or TJ Maxx, and it’s a good idea to get extra to keep in reserve should anything be broken.
This is yet another important topic that we’ve written about on our blog, so check it out!
This makes the no-paper-plates argument a little stronger.
A dishwasher may be considered a luxury by many people, but do you really want to do the dishes by hand if you’re the guest? No.
Especially if you don’t have a dishwasher at home. Your guests are usually on vacation, so it’s important that they get to feel like they have some of the comforts of home while visiting yours.
A dishwasher is one way you can do this for them.
Gas or electric, even conduction, it won’t matter. One thing we’ve learned is that guests often want to cook – and this can be an activity of interest.
As long as they’ve got something to cook on, your guests will be happy.
Yes, most food eaten on a getaway or a business trip is of the dine-in or take-out variety, but given the option, many of your guests will cook something at some point – especially if it’s an extended stay.
If you are going for a minimalistic design, then look at the Cook-in stove as it has four burners and provides plenty of cooking space in a compact package. The sleek lines will compliment your kitchen if you are going for a modern look.
Maybe your guests want to reheat some leftovers, pop some popcorn, or cook a TV dinner.
Either way, they need a microwave. Plus, how long can you go without using one? Your guests deserve some ease and convenience, and a microwave is an excellent place to start.
Your place will no doubt also have a refrigerator, and it’s a nice idea to keep it lightly stocked.
If they’re going to cook, they’ll need to keep some things cool either before or after. Or your guests may need a place to store food they bring home from the restaurant.
Ensure there are supplies in there – at least milk and some butter, maybe some vegetables, fruit, whatever might feel like the basics.
Here’s another set of basics your guests will need: salt, sugar, spices (don’t feel like you need to have saffron, hyssop, and fairy wand, just maybe some cinnamon, basil, rosemary, and oregano), and some olive oil.
You’ve already left the butter in the fridge, so most cooking oil situations will be covered between that and the olive oil.
You should also have an assortment of kitchen utensils. This is the type of stuff that people often forget they need (or don’t know what to use for a task) and are likely going to buy at your grocery store anyway, but it just takes some time out of their day if you provide them with what they need.
Pots and Pans
Nothing too fancy, but nothing too cheap to last through more than a couple of guests and their normal wear and tear.
One important thing to note is that you don’t want your guests unloading their groceries into one pot, so having at least three or four pots of various sizes will be good. If possible, get some with lids for those times when you’re boiling noodles or need to whip up a quick sauce.
About five frying pans, with at least one set of two in the following sizes: small and medium (for eggs and omelets), large (to fry bacon, etc.), extra-large for bigger batches such as pancakes. For nonstick cookware, make sure you have utensils with silicone heads or your guests will destroy the coating.
And again, you don’t need the most expensive set, and you need not provide specialized pieces. Your guests can live without a crepe pan and a wok, but they will need a skillet, a stockpot, and a saute pan at the least.
That being said, depending on where you’re located, having a specialized pan to cook local food might be a nice touch.
If you live in a city where crepes are popular, why not leave a pan, a handwritten recipe, or even a box mix for your guests to try? It’s the kind of thing that gets hosts top reviews in the long run.
Knives and a Cutting Board
Rounding out the kitchen section of your guests’ needs is a couple of good kitchen knives and a cutting board.
This is a pretty self-explanatory entry, especially since we have already talked at length about other kitchen accouterments. Don’t splurge, but don’t skimp, either.
Before your guests arrive, check that the knives are clean and sharp. The last thing you want is tomato juice splattered all over because they were using a dull-edged blade.
Everyone has a cell phone these days, and so many people use them as their clocks.
Still, given a choice to use a digital alarm clock, most people take it.
This is just a nice touch, and if your guests are on one of those unplug-from-the-world journeys, they may not have their phones at all.
Your alarm clock saves the day. It’s also an easy way for them to quickly tell the time without having to reach for their phone.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Believe it or not, you’d be surprised at how many guests will check to see if you have this amenity. So, just get ahead of it and make sure that you have a working alarm for your safety as well as theirs!
Any place that has human beings living in it needs a smoke and a carbon monoxide alarm. Your Airbnb falls into that category.
Always check the batteries before your guests arrive and after they leave. It’s also a nice idea to leave extra batteries, should the devices start beeping during the stay.
There’s nothing worse than being kept awake by a beeping low-battery alarm, and then getting destroyed in the reviews because the host was perceived as There’s nothing worse than being kept awake by a chirping alarm when you are trying to sleep, and then getting destroyed in the reviews because the host was perceived as negligent.
First Aid Kit
There is no need to include surgical scissors and scrubs, but a small kit with antibiotic ointment, some gauze, adhesive bandages, butterfly bandages, aspirin, maybe some cold and allergy medicine, and hydrogen peroxide will do the trick.
You only need to provide for minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises. If somebody’s really hurt, they’re going to the doctor no matter what you’ve put in the kit.
You can find a pretty comprehensive kit on Amazon or your local supermarket.
At least one in the kitchen. Guests are prone to starting grease fires and need to be able to quickly put them out.
This is like a smoke alarm in that everyone needs one.
You or your guests may never once spray a fire extinguisher in your lives. But what if they need one, and you didn’t put one in the Airbnb before those people showed up? Yikes. You could also include a fire blanket for added safety.
Empowering your guests to put out a fire that they started will also protect your investment into your property from being destroyed by flames.
You can find typically these online or at a hardware store for less than $30.
Maybe there’s a trick to the bathtub faucet. Perhaps the air conditioner controls are a little confusing.
Any tips and tricks that your guests may need to know should be collected in one house manual that they will have no trouble locating.
You will also put the WiFi password in there, the Netflix login information, the alarm code if you have one, and your neighborhood’s gate code. You get the idea.
There are house manual templates available to make your guide look professional and guests will certainly take notice of this detail.
Things that make for a great house manual include:
- a schedule of the trash pickup day and time
- instructions on how to use appliances (e.g., dishwasher)
- any house rules you may have
- information about your local area like where are nice places to eat or visit that will be good for all age groups in their party.
A List of House Rules
This is likely part of the house manual but bears separate mention because it can be a pretty important set of rules.
Is parking allowed on one side of the street but not on the other? Your guests won’t know that.
Are there specific items that cannot go down the sink disposer? Are there any areas that are off-limits to your guests?
You’ll also want to include your contact information here, as well.
Things Airbnb Guests Will Appreciate
You’ve done the bare minimum, but you want your Airbnb to wow whoever walks in, and you want good reviews, word-of-mouth, and repeat customers.
So you’re going to have to do a little more.
These are generally things everybody can live without, but that makes things a bit nicer, and isn’t that what we all want?
There are a few things listed here that you may not ever need, want, or use. Maybe a hairdryer is one of those.
But if you ever get women guests, imagine going someplace and forgetting yours. If there isn’t a hairdryer available to you, what do you do? Maybe you don’t sit down and weep, but you’re certainly put out a little bit.
It doesn’t have to be top of the line.
This Remington Compact Ionic Travel Hair Dryer is small enough to tuck in a drawer but is there should anyone need it.
It will be appreciated, and may even be a deciding factor for booking your place since your guests may be able to travel just a little bit lighter.
Finding an American who doesn’t watch at least some television is akin to watching a football game and seeing no beer commercials.
At the least, guests may want to check the weather once or twice. Find a quality but affordable flatscreen and hang it. Heck, we even have a blog post dedicated on that topic too.
Then, for those for whom television is the rest and relaxation, include a Netflix subscription or add a Roku Streaming Stick.
Adapters and a Charging Station
If your guests are coming from another country, they may need adapters.
For example, if you are hosting in the US and your guest comes from Europe when they arrive at their Airbnb destination, there may not be any outlet plugs that fit their devices. This can lead to frustration for them as well as extra hassle on your end.
But even if they’re from down the street, they may have forgotten a phone charger or a cord, so why not have a few on hand.
A charging station can be wireless and super fancy or as simple as this 6-Port Desktop USB Charging Station.
Or even better yet, get bedside lamps with USB ports built into them! (Amazon)
Foam Mattress Topper
An added bit of comfort to the mattress (a mattress you already know is comfortable because you’ve tested it and also because you didn’t buy the very cheapest thing you could find), this extra touch of luxury will please just about anyone. Foam, pillowtop, whatever you choose, your guests will be glad.
This is actually such an important topic that we’ve also written a post about it here!
A Full-Length Mirror
When was the last time you stayed in a hotel and didn’t have a full-length mirror? It’s just good manners to provide this amenity for your Airbnb guests.
Your guests are going to doll up for a night on the town, most likely. Do you expect them to stand on their tiptoes on the toilet, trying to see in the bathroom mirror how their shoes look with this outfit? And do so in heels?
We recommend putting the mirror in an area that isn’t a main thoroughfare, like at the end of a hallway or by their bathroom door. That way they can have some privacy to get dressed and leave without having to be seen from other parts of the house.
Washer and Dryer
No one has ever said, “You know what I miss most about home whenever I’m on vacation? Laundry.” Still, people staying for more than a day or two would love to know they can wash some things should they need to.
Maybe this means packing fewer socks and bras, and maybe it’s nice to know that if they spill something on the sweatshirt they’d intended to wear again Thursday, they can wash it and keep to the plan.
It’s also a nice idea to leave some detergent and fabric softener. If you’re worried about the extra cost of electricity and water, you could use coin-operated machines to recoup some of that money.
How To Go the Extra Mile as an AirBnb Host
The people who booked your Airbnb are probably there for a vacation or some similar getaway. They’re looking for a place that feels like home, but with all the conveniences you don’t mind adding to it.
Sure, business travelers book stays, too, but even they will likely require some kind of relaxing space for some decompression.
These are amenities that your Airbnb guests will really love, even if they’re not even remotely necessary to the survival of the species.
In fact, adding these luxuries will likely attract more high paying guests as well, as many of these might also be the deciding factor in booking your place!
Magnified Make-Up Mirror
This is another one of those items that you might not think of providing if you don’t need one or have never used one. But if this is something you use, how lovely you will find your Airbnb when you discover it has one of these in the bathroom.
An unnecessary luxury? Maybe. So what? This is an extra touch, and it’s not too expensive.
Blackout curtains provide an opportunity for you to transform your bedroom into a cocoon of silence. This can be particularly helpful if noise was keeping you up at night or distracting when trying to work on other projects which require concentration.
Early risers couldn’t care less about the sunlight blaring in, but people who want to sleep in might have trouble doing so in a foreign bed.
They look just like regular curtains but don’t let much sunlight through, so the room stays dark when you close them. Please list other benefits of a blackout curtain.
But take note: if a bedroom faces east or otherwise gets a lot of morning sunlight, blackout curtains need to be moved to the list of the basic needs above.
If your Airbnb is a beach house in Galveston, Texas, this probably does not apply to you. But even on a fall night, a fireplace is a delightful thing to have. Install a gas log to avoid requiring your guests to haul (or worse, chop) firewood.
If you have the outside space, providing a fire pit is a really nice touch. To go the extra mile, leave a stack of firewood, some Graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate, and plenty of skewers.
Eye Masks and Ear Plugs
While an eye mask might be a personal item, it’s nice to provide one for someone who forgot theirs, or maybe you haven’t yet installed those blackout curtains mentioned above.
Disposable earplugs are great, too, because the creaks and groans that every building makes can be distracting if you’re a guest and aren’t used to them.
Ear plugs also help with noisy neighbors and snoring husbands, so these are one of those amenities that will be sorely missed if your guests can’t find them.
Extra Air Mattress
Better to have one and not need it, then need it but not have it.
Let’s say your guests have a friend over who isn’t in shape to drive at the end of the evening. Well, now they have a nice place for them to sleep it off. Who knows why else they might need it? Give your guests the option.
It’s odd to think of this as a luxury, but when weighed against the option of stepping over the suitcase in the middle of the floor, it’s a nice touch.
Anything to help declutter the space your guests are inhabiting is a good choice. Choose a stand from a variety of colors and styles to fit in with the decor.
What Top Rated AirBnb Hosts Always Provide
It may be considered a little much, but you’ve got to have a welcome basket these days.
Whether it’s something expected or demanded, even if it might need to be placed in the list of needs above, it goes here in this list because who doesn’t love a gift basket? Note: it doesn’t actually need to go in a basket.
The following is a list of Airbnb amenities that all the top rated hosts have in common:
Your welcome basket needs snacks because everyone likes nibbling on free stuff. An even nicer touch? Include in these snacks the local delicacy.
Some of the best snacks are those that guests can’t get at home, and it will make them feel special.
If you live in a town famous for its honey, put a jar of it in the welcome basket. Is your Airbnb next door to a winery? Leave a bottle of the local red.
Even if your town isn’t famous for any food at all, some chips and dip or candy or popcorn or whatever else people snack on should be part of what your guests stumble onto when they arrive at their vacation home.
A Guide to the Area
Separate from the house manual, think of this as a town manual.
If your Airbnb is in Tulsa, Oklahoma, let your guests know about the Woody Guthrie Museum. Cleveland clients need directions to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. Is there an annual butter sculpture festival and contest? Your guests need to know that too.
At the very least, leave a list of the best local restaurants. Your guests may think, “I can eat at a chain restaurant anywhere, but this place makes its own root beer.” Who doesn’t want to try that?
You may even find some sponsorship opportunities for featuring local restaurants who are willing to pay to be in your welcome guide.
Especially in a big city, parking can be stressful and expensive.
If your guests have driveway parking, they will be over the moon. They may not realize how happy it will make them, but one of the biggest pluses people mention when reviewing their Airbnb experience is consistently driveway parking.
Business trips need a printer more than a romantic getaway, but this is a luxury that can please a lot of people. And it’s tied to the wifi, so no one has to fret over any cables when they realize they need to print this map or a boarding pass.
Think about how excited people get when they learn their hotel has a pool or a hot tub – grown-ups and kids alike. Why would an Airbnb be any different?
When your property offers these – whether a small lap pool or an inflatable hot tub – your guests will be thrilled. There’s even an upside when it’s the dead of winter. They may not swim in it while there is snow on the ground, but your guests will still say, “Check it out. We’ve got a pool/hot tub.”
A Six-Pack of Beer in the Fridge
This is the last item on the list of things that you may not understand.
If you drink beer, you know the wash of relief you would feel if you just spent the day traveling, schlepped your stuff into the Airbnb from the car, opened the fridge, and found a cold beer there waiting for you.
If you don’t drink beer, you’ll never get it. Just put the six-pack in the refrigerator and know you probably made someone smile.
Sleep in the room yourself. Not so much an amenity as a thing you really must do.
Spend a couple of nights as your own Airbnb guest to familiarize yourself with any idiosyncratic noises, how well the bed sleeps, if the toilet runs and needs an adjustment.
This will go a long way toward making your Airbnb more than just a place to crash but a lovely destination.
When we did this for one of our units, we discovered that the neighbors routinely came home around 12am with their small children and made a lot of noise that you could hear through the walls.
This is why we started providing ear plugs, and our guests were very greatful!
Are your guests honeymooners? Why not throw in some candles and a basket of rose petals? Guests from abroad who you’ve noticed don’t speak the best English? Why not add a book of phrases and a map with all the best sites highlighted with images so they can more easily find their way around?
There are so many ways to make your AirBnb paradise; it’s just a matter of paying attention to the types of guests you get and thinking outside the box.
Maybe you can’t afford everything on this list, or maybe there’s not enough room for all the entries. Maybe you have your own ideas of what should be in every Airbnb. Use this as a starting point if not a bible, and your Airbnb can be popular and satisfying for your guests.
They’re paying you for the place, so make it worth their while and their money.
Nobody wants to have buyer’s remorse when they arrive only to find the cupboards are bare and the place is freezing cold.