Deciding how to furnish a holiday let is one of the first essential steps in a holiday letting journey....
Read our top tips on creating a child friendly holiday home, jam packed with our expert information that will help to maximise your property’s booking potential.
Adapting your holiday cottage to be more child friendly could significantly increase the appeal of your holiday home to guests. With family holidays firmly remaining one of the biggest segments of the travel industry, it comes as no surprise that making the most of this ever growing market is appealing to many. Ultimately, your main goal is to make your holiday cottage seamlessly child friendly, so all your guests focus on making magical memories, exploring new places and spending quality time together.
Looking for something in particular? Use our quick links below to navigate the content or read on for our top tips on creating a child friendly holiday home…
– Optimise spacious living areas
– Provide ample seating for the whole family
– Have baby friendly equipment available
– Create a separate snug / playroom
– Choose hardy, easy to clean furnishings
– Equip bedrooms and bathrooms to suit the whole family
– Provide ample storage and don’t forget about muddy boots and sandy toes
– Minimise hazards and always put safety first
– Craft the ultimate welcome hamper
– Create a child friendly guest information pack
– Make the most of your outdoor space
– Stock up on outdoor games and activities
– Safety tips for your child friendly holiday cottage outdoor space
The ideal layout strikes a happy balance between a sense of ‘togetherness’ and space. Luckily, you don’t need to start knocking down walls and expanding rooms to achieve child friendly living. Instead, provide ample storage and remove clutter to provide maximum space – less really is more, so be mindful of this in every room.
An important, non-negotiable factor is to make sure you have ample seating throughout the house with enough space for everyone to sit down at the same time, even if little legs don’t stay still very often! From bean bags to the perfect snuggly sofa to cosy up as a family, make sure there are plenty of options for families to gather together.
Try to make things as easy as possible for parents of young children by having useful baby friendly equipment readily available, we recommend including some or all of the following:
Layout of the house is key, and if space allows, a separate snug or playroom is a desirable child friendly holiday home feature. This area dedicated to family fun will provide entertainment for your guests come rain or shine. Aim to include a selection of DVDs, an Xbox or a Playstation if budget allows, family board games, books and a well-stocked toy box. If you have the space, a pool table or table football is often popular, especially with older children (and adults too!).
When making decisions regarding the furnishing of your property, it will pay dividends to think practically. Cream carpets and sofas will cause no end of stress for parents and also potential problems for you when it comes to cleaning the property – que sticky fingers and muddy paws! Leather and microfiber fabrics are easy to clean and are aesthetically pleasing. If you want something more luxurious in feel and bang on trend, consider contract grade velvet that has undergone a stain repellent treatment – this will help to keep dirt and germs at its surface to be easily wiped off! When it comes to decorating, make your holiday home as resilient as possible – endurance or wipeable paint will be much appreciated when you need to clean the paintwork. What’s more, tiles, floorboards and laminate flooring are much easier to clean than carpet.
With regards to the bedrooms, an en suite master bedroom provides the ultimate convenience for parents, and generally, families like to have a separate larger family bathroom equipped with a bath (it really helps to not disrupt the bedtime routine whilst on holiday!). For the children’s bedrooms themselves, be mindful to leave enough floor space for children to play and make sure they are situated within close proximity – this is especially comforting for parents of babies.
It’s a well-known fact that families travel with a lot of kit – buggies, backpacks, balance bikes and scooters to name just a few, and in the colder months, there will also be numerous gloves, hats, coats and rain overalls. A dedicated area with ample storage, sturdy coat racks and a large drying area will help to reduce clutter and minimise mess throughout the rest of the property.
With a fantastic array of sandcastle-building, crabbing, sea swimming and rock pooling opportunities at the ready, it’s no surprise that families will love exploring South Devon’s natural playground. In order to help create a hassle-free holiday experience, consider providing a utility room for rinsing off boots and wetsuits, as well as washing and drying clothes. If there is no tumble dryer at your property, providing a clothes airer or heated drying rack is a great alternative, as well as outdoor washing lines of course.
Safety is always paramount for parents, and one thing for certain is that they won’t want to spend their precious holiday time worrying about a home that hasn’t been properly child proofed. It goes without saying that sometimes accidents do happen, so first things first, always leave a first aid kit that is in a prominent place and easily accessible should guests need to use it. The most thorough way to childproof a home is to work through your home room by room, but there are also of course safety elements that apply house wide too. We have full details of holiday let rules and regulations in our comprehensive blog, but below you will find a selection of advisable tips:
There is no denying that first impressions are everything, and there is no better way to greet arrivals than with a sumptuous welcome hamper that is bursting with child friendly goodies, especially local ones! Essentials aside (tea, coffee, milk, eggs, freshly baked bread and butter), look to include indulgent treats such as locally-made scones for a family feast. Whilst welcome hampers are often associated with food and drink, it doesn’t need to stop there and with family life firmly in the focus, why not include a selection of child friendly activities such as an activity set or a pack of cards, parents will be delighted with the entertainment! You can even download your very own Coast & Country Cottages Activity Pack for free to use in your welcome hampers for family bookings!
Whilst you may know your holiday home and the surrounding area back to front and inside out, be mindful that your guests may not be as familiar. Providing a comprehensive welcome pack is vital and will quickly become something that guests will enjoy referring back to throughout their holiday. It’s simple really, the more time your guests spend enjoying the local area, the better holiday they will have, and in turn, the more likely they are to return again! Having this information readily available will really help parents to relax into their holiday and not fret about the smaller details.
Here are a few things to include in your child friendly guest information pack:
At Coast & Country Cottages we suggest having separate laminated information sheets, which make for easy cleaning in between guests. For managed properties, Coast & Country Cottages provide welcome packs too, so be sure to discuss this with us should this be of interest.
Whether your property features a garden, balcony or patio, outdoor seating is important for providing those blissful moments of downtime outdoors. Whether you opt for weatherproof bean bags (great for kids), chairs or loungers, something to gather around is essential, so consider providing a sociable table space or a barbecue if space permits. You may also wish to consider investing in a portable outdoor heater, or simply a box of quality woollen blankets for your guests to snuggle under, and for the ultimate luxury experience, why not create an outdoor cinema area for family movie nights!
The best outdoor space beckons both children and adults to have fun, so stock up on a selection of fun outdoor games too. If you have enough space, items such as a football or croquet set (depending on the size of your outdoor area) are likely to be popular, particularly because this is something the whole family can enjoy, just be careful to check the age toys are suitable for.
If your outdoor space is on the smaller side, try not to worry, because with a little creativity you can find lots of ways to keep children entertained – mud kitchens and bug hotels are just a few of our favourites. If you don’t have a garden, perhaps consider some educational activity books that highlight potential local wildlife to be spotted from your window or balcony, and also when exploring the local area.
If your child friendly holiday home is near the sea, stock an outside store cupboard with a selection of buckets, spades, fishing nets and crab lines, or even body boards for avid water enthusiasts. For those nestled in the countryside, children’s binoculars and picnic hampers are great to use either in the garden itself or on day trips exploring the countryside.
Read our comprehensive blog post for more ideas and inspiration on how to optimise your holiday home’s outdoor space.
A safe outdoor space will be a priority for families looking to book a child friendly holiday, and it only takes a little forward planning to make sure you’ve adequately child proofed your outdoor area, ready to welcome your guests outside. Here are our top child friendly safety tips we highly recommend for your holiday cottage:
At Coast & Country Cottages, we market and manage over 450 holiday homes in South Devon, and with over 20 years’ experience in the industry, our team of local experts are on-hand to offer professional advice through every stage of your holiday letting journey. With a passion for maximising your holiday home’s potential, call our New Property Consultants today or visit our Let Your Cottage page to request your free Owners Guide.