As most owners would know – affluent travelers tend to be slightly older and a key characteristic of older travelers is that they very rarely travel alone as a couple. Quite often what we see is a single family, and now it is increasingly becoming common to see a bunch of friends traveling with their children. However hotels as well as homestays have been guilty of not specifically recognizing the spending power of this key segment and not catering to their needs. For parents with toddlers or young children it is still sometimes very painful to get the right baby-friendly accommodation or child friendly holiday homes which can ensure a peaceful stay for them without having to worry about the child.
Making the holiday home toddler or child friendly does not actually require high investment. A little addition to one’s furnishing list can do the trick to make your property a child friendly holiday home just like a good child friendly hotel you get to see in some of the locations across the world. For instance, a couple of high chairs, a folding cot and a microwave in the kitchen can help.
Meanwhile, owners can keep aside an electric bottle steriliser, a bottle warmer, unbreakable or plastic glass, plates and spoons, a one-way radio or a baby monitor, a baby potty and a diaper changing table, etc. in the property. Ideally carrying toys in the journey is without doubt a hassle for parents. So you can do a world of good by keeping a couple of toys in the house. This will not only keep the kids preoccupied, but will also ensure that parents have a quiet time for themselves.
As the homestay owner you need not go for large-scale remodeling to make your accommodation a baby or child friendly holiday home. Just by making a couple of changes like providing a high chair or cot, or creating a designated play area or keeping aside a few bedtime books, etc. can also make the accommodation baby-friendly to some extent. However this is not all; I’ve tried to list a few small things that you can do to ensure that your property is loved by families ensuring that you get repeat business.
Ensure that the property is smoke free: While you may not smoke, it is important to ensure that other guests staying over don’t smoke within the property. Smoke odors are very difficult to get rid off and it is best that you enforce this rule so that even the slightest smell does not trigger off any allergies or reflect badly on your property.
Ensure your property is clean and clutter free: The primary concerns of most parents is cleanliness of the property and how easy it is, especially given hyperactive children or a toddler who is learning to run and walk. No parent wants to be on alert all the time and this is inevitable if your property is filled with little trinkets. Also great would be to have the property free of any animal hair and any thorny plants – cacti or rose shrubs especially.
Clean sheets – hypoallergenic: As a policy, it would be wise to ensure that all sheets are white and laundered before every check-in – you don’t need to offer a change of sheets then – only that fresh sheets are laid out spotlessly for the guests when they check in.
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King-size beds: If you have just a studio or a single bedroom- you might end up having a young couple with an infant. Try to fit in a king-sized bed in your bedroom. This will allow the infant to share the bed with the parent without any discomfort. Queen beds tend to be a bit small for three people, especially an infant who is tossing and turning as well as parents tired from a long day of sightseeing.
Bathtubs instead of showers and preferably with a portable shower: It is difficult for a young child to shower on their own. As such most parents prefer a bath tub or else a hand shower which makes it much easier to bathe a small child. Children love bathtubs and you could make it a practice to keep a bubble bath mix in your bathroom to cater to the younger guests.
All cleaning material out of the way: While we normally keep cleaning material handily stocked in closets, it might be wise to ensure that these items are kept away from the ground and out of reach if you are expecting young travelers.
And lastly, if you yourself have had children who have grown up, here are a few things I would recommend you retain so that they can be kept in your vacation home.
A few toys can go a long way in making your property a child friendly holiday home:
An old pram – It really helps families who then don’t have to travel with one especially if they are driving down with limited boot space.
A crib – You now get nice portable cribs which can be stowed away in your closet when they are not used. At the same time, having such an add-on will really make your property a hot favorite.
A high chair – Very useful at meal times and to ensure that the kids don’t make a mess of your dining table.