Specialising in families is particularly worthwhile for you as an owner of a holiday accommodation, as families represent the largest target group for vacations in holiday houses and apartments. If you take the needs of families with children into account as early as the furnishing stage, you can significantly increase the demand for your own accommodation.
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Family friendly furnishings
Depending on the age of the children, their needs can vary greatly. This is how you create a cozy and safe place to relax, eat and sleep for both big and small guests:
When it comes to sleep, comfort is important for children and parents alike. Make sure there are plenty of sleeping options for everyone, including cribs and extra beds for the youngest visitors. Quality mattresses, pillows, and bedding will help ensure that everyone has a restful night. A mattress protector is also recommended.
Cooking & eating
A well-equipped kitchen in the holiday home is essential for families. Make sure there are enough cooking utensils, dishes and cutlery. Also provide some shatterproof bowls and plates for children. A children's high chair should not be missing either.
Create a child-friendly atmosphere by furnishing the holiday home with colourful and child-friendly furniture and accessories. Make sure there is enough storage space to store toys and clothes and that the holiday house or apartment is decorated in a child-friendly way.
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Provide child-friendly entertainment
Offer a selection of games and toys suitable for different age groups. Board games, card games, board games, puzzles, balls, building blocks, colouring books and crayons are good choices. A selection of children's books also goes down well. If your holiday home has a TV with DVD player, offer a selection of DVDs with family or children's films or set up a children's account on streaming services (e.g. Netflix or Disney +).
If you have a holiday home with a garden, you can also offer outdoor activities, such as a sandpit, a swing, a trampoline or a basketball hoop. This way you can make the stay entertaining for children and teenagers.
A little something for little guests
Surprise your guests with a small gift for the children. Gifts are a great way to leave a positive impression. It doesn't have to cost much at all, but it shows that you have put some thought into it.
Anything that keeps the kids busy and gives the parents some free time is a great way to enhance both experiences. Here are some gift ideas:
- Colouring book
- Handicraft materials
- Play dough
- Small toy or stuffed animal
Point out leisure ideas for families
Complete your guest folder with excursion ideas and activities for families. Make sure that you list suggestions for different age groups. At best, also include ideas for a bad-weather programme. Interesting excursion destinations, activities and leisure activities in the vicinity could be:
- Swimming pool or bathing lake
- Minigolf course
- Amusement park
- Adventure hiking trail
- Zoo/animal park
- (Summer) toboggan run
- Rope course
- Climbing forest
Safety in the holiday home
A child-friendly holiday home should also be equipped to be safe for children. Children are curious and like to explore their surroundings, which means they often run around unsupervised and touch things.
If a holiday home is not childproof, simple things like open sockets, sharp corners and edges, slippery floors or unsecured doors can lead to injuries. However, there are some measures you can take to minimise the dangers:
General safety measures
- A first aid kit should definitely be available in your accommodation to help quickly in case of accidents.
- Pay particular attention to doors, as children's fingers can get caught in heavy doors or in the hinges. Door stops or hinge guards can prevent this.
- You should install stair guards in front of stairs.
- Secure sharp edges with an edge protector.
- Add the number of a local paediatrician and, if necessary, childcare to your guest folder.
Baby proof kitchen
- Put baby-proof locks on cupboards with cleaning supplies. If you don't want to lock all the cupboards, there should be at least one or two lockable cupboards that hold anything that is not child-friendly. Keys should be kept out of reach.
- Stow potentially dangerous items such as knives, plastic bags, glasses and graters in cupboards or drawers out of reach of small hands.
- Make sure a high chair is sturdy enough and has safety straps.
- Place cords, especially the kettle cord, out of children's reach to prevent them from pulling boiling water over themselves.
- Use rubbish bins with secure lids to prevent children from rummaging through them and finding potentially dangerous items.
- Use a non-slip mat in the bath or shower.
- Do not place electrical appliances in the bathroom to avoid the risk of electric shock.
- If necessary, put a lock on the outside of the door to prevent small children from entering the bathroom unsupervised.
Childproof living room
- Make sure that all cables from electrical appliances such as floor lamps and televisions are out of the reach of children.
- Secure your TV so that children cannot knock it over or pull it down. If your TV is on a low piece of furniture, make sure it is pushed far enough back so that it is out of reach of children.
- Check if a piece of furniture such as a bookcase or lamp could tip over if pulled or climbed on. If so, you should secure it to a wall.
- If you have a fireplace, keep fire tools such as pokers out of the reach of children and use a fireguard. Also consider the corners of the fireplace and fit a corner guard if necessary to avoid knocks.
- Provide furniture with sharp edges or pointed corners with edge protection.
- Also make sure that the furniture is stable and cannot topple over.
- Avoid long cords that children can get tangled in.
- Make sure that the floor is non-slip. Carpets or non-slip mats can prevent children from slipping and hurting themselves.
- Install socket protectors near beds.
- Take other safety precautions such as cots or bed guards.
- Make sure the mattress of the cot fits tightly into the frame to avoid trapping body parts.
- Make sure that the gaps between the bars of the cot are not too large so that the child cannot fall through or get stuck.
- Check regularly that toys you provide are intact and do not contain any parts that can be swallowed.
Safe play in the garden
It is important to also make the garden a safe place for families to enjoy. Here are some considerations you should take into account:
- Are there areas in the garden where a child can easily escape or get onto a road? If so, you should surround the garden with a fence or install a secure gate.
- If you have a pond or pool, make sure it is fenced off to prevent children from accidentally going in.
- Check if any plants in your garden are poisonous or prickly. If so, you should remove them.
- Make sure all equipment and hoses are kept safe and out of reach of children to prevent injury.
Of course, no one hundred percent safety can be guaranteed in your holiday accommodation, but by implementing these tips you can minimise potential hazards.
Highlight in the presentation of your holiday home
If you have designed your holiday home to be family-friendly, be sure to let your potential guests know that. Mention the safety measures taken for children and the additional offers such as cots, toys and children's books in the description of your accommodation. This will put your holiday apartment or holiday house in the focus of families who are looking for suitable accommodation for their holiday.
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