How to Prepare Your Winter Vacation Rental for Guests

How to Prepare Your Winter Vacation Rental for Guests

As a vacation rental owner, there’s nothing more important than providing a comfortable and relaxing experience for your guests. 

Of course, this can be slightly more difficult to do during the winter months. 

Between snowstorms, blizzards, broken furnaces, and more, you always need to be prepared for the unexpected. 

Below, we highlight 5 ways to make sure your winter vacation rental is well-protected and ready for winter guests


Vacation Rental Preparation Tip #1: Do a Deep Clean 

The first step in preparing your vacation rental for winter guests is to do a full top-to-bottom clean, including ceilings, stairwells, baseboards, closets, and all the nooks and crannies!

Not only will this help with general upkeep, but it’s also about finding opportunities for improvement. 

For example, you may notice while cleaning your window sills that they could use another layer of caulking. Or that your outdoor faucets still need to be winterized. 

There are also a few smaller tasks you should consider, like replacing the batteries in your smoke, inspecting your furnace and space heaters, and changing HVAC filters. 

And before it gets too cold, you’ll also want to clean out the fireplace (including gas fireplaces) and test them out to make sure they’re working properly. 

Lastly, you’ll want to do some outdoor cleaning like raking leaves, cleaning the gutters, and getting the property ready for snow. 

If you don’t live near your vacation rental, you may want to find a trustworthy cleaning service that can do these jobs for you!


Vacation Rental Preparation Tip #2: Stock Up on Winter Essentials 

Another important step in preparing your vacation rental for winter is stocking up on essentials, as well as any items your guests may forget to pack. 

Here are some supplies you should keep:

  • Extra batteries 
  • Warm blankets
  • Flashlights
  • Rock salt for outdoor surfaces
  • Shovels
  • Wood for the fireplace
  • Candles 
  • Matches and lighters 
  • Toilet paper and toiletries 

These are just a few of the things that can help guests feel more comfortable and prepared for their winter stay. 

If you want to go the extra mile, you could also consider stocking up on some luxuries items like robes, slippers, and hot chocolate!


Vacation Rental Preparation Tip #3: Perform Winter Maintenance 

Before you power up the fireplace or hot tub, you’ll want to do a maintenance check-up to ensure that everything is running smoothly. 

Here are some tasks you’ll want to tackle:

  • Inspect the fireplaces and make sure the chimneys are cleaned 
  • Hire a snow removal team for all pathways and driveways 
  • Leave a bag of rock salt in case guests need extra 
  • Inspect the HVAC system and change the furnace filters 
  • Update the caulking on the windows and doors 
  • Service any hot tubs or saunas 
  • Clean gutters to prevent ice build-up
  • Turn off any outdoor sprinkler systems to avoid faucets from freezing 
  • Inspect the roof for any signs of wear or damage 
  • Remove any dead trees or limbs that could cause damage in a storm 

If you’re unable to do these tasks yourself and don’t plan on being around during the winter, it’s a good idea to hire an on-call contractor or trained professional. 

This way, you can rest assured that someone will be there to help with snow removal or emergency heating repairs.


Vacation Rental Preparation Tip #4: Winterize Your Water Pipes 

Burst or frozen pipes is every vacation rental owner’s worst nightmare!

Home water damage can be a big and costly headache. And depending on the severity, it could put your vacation rental out of commission for days or even weeks. 

It’s also a lot more common than you may think. 

According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), water damage and freezing account for almost 22% of homeowner’s insurance claims during the winter months. 

The good news is that it’s quite easy to prevent water damage from frozen pipes.

Firstly, it’s important to keep the heat in your vacation rental at a consistent temperature – around 55° F should do. 

This even goes for when your vacation rental is empty! It may seem intuitive to turn down the heat while you’re not home, but if the temperature dips outside, your pipes could be at risk.

Second, check on the insulation in your vacation rental, especially in attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Some routine maintenance can help prevent the temperature in these areas from dipping too low and unexposed pipes from freezing.

Lastly, for the pipes you have access to, it can be very helpful to wrap them with foam or tape insulation. This can easily be found at your local hardware store. 


Vacation Rental Preparation Tip #5: Consider Making Smart Upgrades

So far, we’ve discussed ways to prepare your vacation rental for the winter. But how do you deal with issues when you aren’t there to check on them? 

For this, we recommend making some technological upgrades! 

Smart technology can play a big role in making your vacation rental safer – and it can also help you feel more connected to your property. 

If you’re looking to make some upgrades, here are some smart products to protect your property this winter:

  1. Notion Sensors are multi-purpose sensors that can monitor for opening doors and windows, water leaks, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and temperature changes. If a sensor detects one of these events in your vacation rental, you’ll immediately receive a notification on your smartphone. 
  2. Smart Thermostats are thermostats that you can program and control from your smartphone. They can be used to program the heat an hour or so before the guests arrive so that they are comfortable the moment they step inside.
  3. Smart Locks are keyless locks that can be controlled by using an authorized device such as a smartphone or tablet. These can be used to track visitors and allow a keyless check-in experience. 

Not only will these products allow you to monitor your property from afar, but they can help you manage the property remotely.

Thanks for reading! We hope you learned some new tips on how to prepare your vacation rental for winter guests.