Cottage holidays in the UK have always been a firm favourite among parents with a young family and this trend looks set to continue. For holiday home owners, it's essential that your property appeals to families if you’re going to maximise your bookings.
Going the extra mile to make your holiday home appealing to parents is essential
There is a bit of confusion over what actually constitutes a family-friendly holiday home. Families tend to look for a wide range of facilities that will appeal to both the parents and the kids.
Most owners are great at ensuring that the property has a comfy lounge area, that it’s welcoming and that the parents are well looked after; but it’s often that the child-friendly elements are an after-thought, which can negatively affect bookings.
To ensure that your property is tailored towards families – without discouraging any of the other customer groups (single bookers, couples without their children and groups of adults for example) – here are a few suggested additions:
Television with Satellite TV and/or a Games Console. Okay, most people don’t necessarily book a holiday home based on the fact that they can sit the kids in front of the television or so that they can play on an Xbox; but if it’s pouring with rain outside (and this is Britain), it could help to keep them occupied for a few hours. You could think about providing families with a set of traditional board games as well.
Swing Set. Being able to get outside in the garden is key for many bookers, especially those with young children so that they can get some fun, fresh air and exercise. A swing set just requires a few pushes and a bit of careful observation while guests are sitting outside soaking up the sun.
Trampoline. In the last few years trampolines have become must-have pieces of garden equipment. Those with large protective nets prevent children from falling off so they can have some safe fun – and it’s a very good form of secret exercise for them too.
Football Goal. This one is a given. Provide your guests with a goal in the garden and kids can entertain themselves while parents play the role of the referee (or usually the goalkeeper!) It's also a great way to keep kids entertained while parents relax indoors, or outside on the decking or in the hot-tub.
Swimming Pool. This one isn’t applicable for all properties, but a swimming pool is a fantastic way to attract families. Kids and adults alike can swim and play in a pool.
Accepting pets is a great way of attracting more bookings - on average 2.5 more weeks every year
A lot of these suggestions on how to make the property family friendly may be investments you can make in the future. In the meantime there are a number of things that you can do that – in most cases – won’t cost you a penny. Here are a few ideas:
Activity Lists. Provide your guests with a few ideas on what they can do in the local area. These could be activities for the whole family, such as tours or events, or something specifically for the kids like Theme Parks. Whatever they are, just knowing what is on, where and when will be highly beneficial.
Pet-Friendly. This might sound like a strange way of attracting people, but families tend to worry about what they’ll do with their pets while they’re away. By taking away the concern over how their dog is coping at the kennels, guests can take their pet with them on a break for the whole family. Accepting pets is a great way of attracting more bookings - on average 2.5 more weeks every year!
By catering to the needs for space, entertainment and relaxation for families, you'll soon find your bookings are on the rise
Just by making a few changes to the design of the property, a few investments in equipment to keep parents and children entertained, and by catering to the needs for space, entertainment and relaxation for families, you’ll soon find your bookings are on the rise.