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Read our top tips on creating a child friendly holiday home. This guide is 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.

Top tips to creating a child friendly holiday home

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…

Maximise your holiday let’s potential with these tips on creating a child friendly holiday home

Optimise spacious living areas

Creating a child friendly holiday home - Optimise spacious living areas

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.

Provide ample seating for the whole family

Creating a child friendly holiday home - provide ample seating for the whole family

An important, non-negotiable factor is to make sure you have ample seating throughout the house. 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.

Have baby friendly equipment available

Creating a child friendly holiday home - have baby friendly equipment available

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:

  1. High chair
  2. Travel cot
  3. Booster seat/s
  4. Steriliser
  5. Baby monitor
  6. Electric blender
  7. Changing mat
  8. Nappy bin
  9. Washing machine
  10. Dishwasher
  11. Microwave

Create a separate snug or playroom

Creating a child friendly holiday home - create a playroom or snug area

Layout of the house is key. 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!).

Choose hardy, easy to clean furnishings

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.

Equip bedrooms and bathrooms to suit the whole family

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.

Provide ample storage and don’t forget about muddy boots and sandy toes

Creating a child friendly holiday home - provide ample storage

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. Minimising 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.

Minimise hazards and always put safety first

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.

Below you will find a selection of advisable tips:

  • In the kitchen, consider safety catches on cupboards that contain cleaning products and hazardous items, and make sure all items such as knives, wires, graters, glasses, crockery and plastic bags are kept out of reach of toddlers. Furthermore, bamboo (or plastic) cups, plates and cutlery are a great alternative for children and help to avoid unnecessary breakages
  • In the bathroom, have a secure wall cabinet for items such as razors, nail scissors, medicines and vitamins so that they can be kept well out of reach. And make sure the bathroom bin has a secure lid
  • Bedroom furniture, such as wardrobes and chests of drawers will need to be well secured to the walls to prevent accidents. If there are blinds in the bedrooms, don’t place the child’s cot or bed near the window. Install safety devices to keep the cord or chain out of reach of young children
  • If you have a fireplace in your living area move the fire tools, such as pokers, out of reach and use a fireguard. Look at the corners of your hearth too and, if they are sharp, consider putting corner guards on to prevent bumps
  • To prevent falls and help parents feel more at ease while their young children are playing, install wall fixed stair gates
  • Around your holiday let, you can prevent hazard by applying safety covers to plug sockets
  • If doors are heavy and could easily trap little fingers, invest in door stops or hinge guards
  • Removing small ornaments from your holiday cottage will eliminate potential choking hazards
  • Put catches on windows to stop children easily opening them and consider how easy it would be for a child to climb on to a windowsill – if there is an obvious route, for example by climbing on a chair or table, rearrange your furniture accordingly

Craft the ultimate welcome hamper

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. 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!

Download your FREE Children’s Activity Pack

Create a child friendly guest information pack

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 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:

  • Important information about the property itself, with specific detail about how to work appliances
  • Nearby emergency contacts including the local doctor surgery, hospital and also the vet if your property is pet friendly
  • Details on local amenities such as restaurants, pubs, takeaway services and nearby shops and supermarkets – in particular, guests love hints and tips on where to find the best food with children in tow
  • Local business flyers and leaflets
  • Details on local walking routes, beaches, swim spots, nature reserves and wildlife spots
  • Babysitting services, or relevant local childcare information

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.

Make the most of your outdoor space

Creating a child friendly holiday home - make the most of your outdoor space

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. 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. Why not create an outdoor cinema area for family movie nights!

Stock up on outdoor games and activities

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 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.

For those that 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.

Safety tips for your child friendly holiday cottage 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.

Here are our top child friendly safety tips we highly recommend for your holiday cottage:

  • Remove poisonous plants and if you are particularly green fingered consider replacing these with edibles such as kitchen herbs, salad leaves and vegetables. Guests will love picking fresh leaves to add to their holiday menu. Furthermore, nettles and brambles are hardy, and can give a nasty sting/scratch so you may also want to remove them from your garden.
  • Secure areas of water. Ensure ponds and swimming pools are securely covered or fenced off. Naturally curious, children love to explore water, regardless of whether this is for pond dipping, paddling or jumping right in. It is essential these areas are both safe and hygienic at all times.
  • Keep it green. The spacing between paving is a typical trip hazard for little legs, and the hard surface can really have an impact when toddlers take a tumble. Consider swapping slabs for grass. And if you are after minimum maintenance, try artificial grass which not only removes the danger, but also the need for mowing!
  • Avoid any sharp edges. Children are notorious for their trips and tumbles, especially when exploring the great outdoors. From garden furniture to play equipment, check for sharp edges and pad them out to avoid any nasty bumps.
  • Avoid low walls. Low walls and ledges are an open invitation for climbing, so be mindful when designing your garden and consider adapting these areas to include fencing. Another tip is to ensure paths and gathering spaces are well lit to avoid unnecessary falls.
  • Secure any obvious escape routes. Young children are renowned escape artists, and it is absolutely essential your garden is as secure as possible. Make sure the fences around the property boundary are impenetrable, and patch up any gaps or broken fences. What’s more, any gates leading into the property will need to be childproofed. Especially if fronting a busy road, just make sure that it’s relatively easy for parents to use!

Need a little extra help in creating a child friendly holiday home to attract family bookings?

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.

Click here to request your free Owners Guide