8 No-Brainer Things That A Vacation Rental Should Provide

I’m staying in a vacation rental by owner cabin this week.  The cabin is everything that I would expect it to be.  For the price (cheap), I certainly didn’t expect luxury accommodations.  What I got was a knotty pine cabin in the woods with a killer view of the bay and islands beyond.  The sheets are mismatched, the towels really aren’t that thirsty, the decor is just past midcentury modern cool – more like 1970’s gold and avocado.  But, for the price, it works just fine.

Over all, I have no complaints..  But there are a few things on my wish list that I wish were provided that would be a very low cost to the owner to provide.


I took a clock off of the wall to use by my bed.

1 – Bedside clock.  It would be nice to be able to see the time when I awake.  I’m not a fan of digital clocks, but a small battery operated analog clock would be nice.  Especially when sleeping in a place where I’m never been before, I’ve woken up several times during the night and it would be nice to see what time it is.


2 – Better lighting.  I get it.  The push is on to replace incandescent bulbs with LED ones.  But, if you can’t afford the LED’s, the compact florescent bulbs really are a poor substitute.  Maybe for some of the lighting it’s okay,  but geez, every light fixture in this house emits a very low, yellowish glow.  I wish there was a brighter lightbulb in the bathroom or in the reading lamps – so one could actually, you know, READ.


3 – Hangers.  Yes, this house has hangers — bent up wire hangers from the dry cleaner.  While wood hangers can be luxurious and lovely, I’d settle for some plastic ones.  Come on, you can buy a bundle for about a dollar.  It doesn’t break the bank. There should be no excuse to have a dozen decent quality hangers in every closet.


4 – House instruction Book.  Yes, I figured out everything that I needed to figure out.  But it would have been nice for the owner to just take a few minutes to write up some basic instructions about how things in the house worked.  Things like… how to use the propane lobster pot, where to put the trash, things like that.


5 – Blanket throws.  Some of the twilights here are chilly.  The house where we are staying has a large front porch facing the water.  I really don’t want to take the blanket off the bed and bring it outside — I have respect for the owner’s possessions and wouldn’t want to get the bed comforter dirty.  But it would have been nice to wrap myself in an afghan or cozy throw and sit out on the porch to look at stars.  You can find them, on sale, for less than $20 apiece.


6 – Tea kettle.  I drink a ton of iced tea.  In this cabin, there isn’t anything to boil water in except the kitchen pot.   The first batch of tea that I made in the big stock pot had a funny, ‘tinny’ taste to it, so I poured it out.  The subsequent batches were better, although it would have been much easier to just boil water in a kettle.


7 – Which brings me to… better pots and pans and kitchen utensils.  You don’t need to spend a fortune.  But it would be nice if there were pots and pans that didn’t look like they were the leftovers that didn’t sell at a yard sale.  I don’t think a vacation rental owner needs to have a huge assortment or gourmet quality pots and pans, just a basic mid-level set that is checked regularly to see if any need replacing. 


8 – Comfortable outdoor seating.  I’m on the huge waterfront deck facing the water.  But the only seating here is a picnic table or old cracked plastic chairs.  Neither of them comfortable choices for relaxing and reading a book or writing a blog.  While big, sturdy lounge chairs would be heavenly, even the $15.99 plastic adirondack chairs would work fine.

Let me know what other necessities that you expect to be provided in a rental home to make it feel more like…well…home.  Or ideas for some lower cost splurges.

Maria Lamb

About Maria Lamb

Maria is the owner of Wicked Awesome Maine Vacation Rentals based in beautiful Washington County, Maine.