Although most guests won’t fully utilize the kitchen provided to them, you’ll still want to provide things they may need. The longer a guest stays, the likelier they are to utilize the kitchen. Here are some items that will help to elevate your vacation rental kitchen.
- Microwave – This speaks for itself, guests will want to reheat leftovers, or make tea or popcorn, so having a microwave is essential.
- Refrigerator – Your guests will likely be dining out, and they’ll want to refrigerate any leftovers. If you don’t have a full kitchen, even a mini-fridge can go a long way. Check out our fridge checklist at the end of this article.
- Garbage bin – A recycle bin right next to the garbage is ideal as well.
- Coffee maker – To make a place feel like home, provide your guests with the ability to make their own coffee. This is very important and doesn’t have to cost a ton. You don’t need a french press, but providing a Keurig will go a long way. Go the extra mile and provide them with everything they need to make coffee. I was able to find a gently used Keurig on OfferUp, and a K-cup rotary display which I keep fully stocked.
- Toaster – For an added touch- you can provide Pop Tarts since your guests may want a quick bite to eat in the morning, plus they can last for up to a year.
- Clean plates, bowls, cups, mugs, silverware – Emphasis on clean. I like to double check the cabinets during cleaning to make sure a guest didn’t do a bad job of dish washing. Use your best judgement when deciding how many sets to provide based on how many guests you let stay over.
- A cork-screw, bottle opener, can opener – The holy trinity of airbnb kitchen openers. Guests won’t have this with them, and they may bring in a wine bottle, beer, or canned food to your place and will need one.
- Oven mitts – If you have a stove, you need oven mitts.
- Measuring cups/spoons – Providing a full kitchen should mean providing anything they may need to use that kitchen that your guests would not want to go buy themselves.
- Skillets/pots & pans – The thrift store can be your best friend with many of these items.
- One or more sharp knives – You only need one good one, but a set with scissors is smart pick.
- Cutting board – Protect your surfaces! It may not get used much, but it can come in handy if guests plan on cutting meat or vegetables. Items like this also photograph well to show that your kitchen comes with many amenities.
- Strainer – A guest may decide to have a cheap meal with a 99 cent box of mac and cheese, help them out by providing a basic strainer in your Airbnb kitchen.
- Utensil holder – You’re going to want at least a basic holder contain things like a wooden spoon, spatula, tongs, etc.
- Kitchen cleaning supplies – This can mostly be for whoever does the turnover, but it’s important to provide in case guests make a mess and want to clean up after themselves. Placing a sponge or Scrub Daddy near the sink for easy dish washing is smart. You’ll also want to add some cleaning cloths as well.
- Paper towels – For kitchen cleanup, or as a quick napkin, a paper towel holder is a airbnb kitchen must have.
- Hand soap & dish soap – It’s important to make sure these are not empty or close to it between turnover.
- Scissors – It’s always handy to have kitchen scissors. You can get a knife block set with scissors for a decent price
- Salt & Pepper – This is a pretty basic offering and should always be in your kitchen. Feel free to get fancy with nicer shakers/grinders.
- Cooking oil – An opened container of most types of cooking oil can last up to a year, so it might not be a bad idea to keep one in a cupboard.
- Water – Bottled water is always good to have. You may have a fridge that dispenses filtered water which is OK too, but people will love being able to grab a bottle of water as they are heading out.
- Tea pot – Some people prefer tea, and it’s a great addition if you’re able to provide this along with a variety of different types of tea bags.
- Snacks – Items like granola bars are a big hit for somebody to have a quick breakfast. Popcorn is also a hit, and very easy to provide. However, don’t leave anything gross like a half-empty stale bag of chips.
- Various spices – These are things guests can buy when out at a grocery store, but providing some basic spices is smart. Going with a fancy spice rack can be an added visual touch to your kitchen as well.
- Plastic containers and Ziploc bags – If guests do cook something, it’s nice to provide them with storage for any leftovers. Typically, hosts will provide either something fancy like Pyrex, or something cheap and disposable that you don’t care if it winds up missing.
- Placemats – If you’re especially worried about damaging countertops or coffee tables, you can provide placemats for added protection and easier cleanup.
- Blender – Doesn’t get used much, but some guests will want to use it for cooking or to make a smoothie.
- Quick and easy meals – You don’t have to get carried away with this one, but some sort of non perishable selection like boxed macaroni & cheese, ramen noodles, or canned goods can be a life saver for a starving traveler.
Going Above & Beyond
- Wine bottle – A complementary wine bottle has been known to make a great first impression and also help with reviews. I’d prefer a craft beer 6 or 12 pack, which is also a great idea. If you find that your guests are celebrating something such as a honeymoon, a bottle of champagne could be a nice touch.
- Fresh fruit – This one can be tricky because of the short shelf life, but anything fresh and healthy is a nice bonus for a traveler. You can also try a water pitcher garnished (infused?) with fruit similar to what hotels do.
- Fresh Milk and Orange Juice – These are breakfast staples, and breakfast may be the only meal guests will want to eat in your place. Emphasis on fresh though. Leaving anything that is expired can have an adverse affect and your kind gesture can quickly become reason for a less than 5-star review.
Can I leave alcohol for my guests?
Certain hosts are big proponents of leaving a complementary bottle of wine. Generally speaking it’s OK to leave alcohol for guests, and is even done by hotels as well. Hotels are able to do this because it is up to the guests to be responsible, and by providing alcohol you are not doing anything illegal. Some guests may leave alcohol they purchased behind after they leave. Leaving this for the next guests can be a good idea and even has been known to aid in a good review or two. However, if you know your guests will be underage it’s probably a smart idea to remove any alcohol.
Sometimes guests will ask you before or after their stay for certain items. If you live on-site or at a nearby location, it can go a long way to provide these items if it’s not too much trouble. Guests may have odd requests for things like a cheese grater, lemon squeezer, or something else you may not already be providing them. Being able to provide these types of random requests can really go along way in providing a high quality experience. Let’s be honest, a hotel isn’t going to run up to your room with a cheese grater. Hosting a short-term rental like Airbnb, VRBO, Homeaway or any other platform is all about providing guests with excellent experiences. The more personal you can make the experience the better, which can help you out in return with great reviews. Reinvesting some of your Airbnb profits back into your unit(s) is a great idea to keep making your place as good as it can be.