Inventory Checklist for Holiday Cottages and Airbnb Lets: Over 200 Essential Items for a Great Guest Experience
Whether you are just starting out renting your holiday cottage or already run a successful holiday let, ensuring that you provide all the essential amenities your guests need will help prevent negative reviews and delight guests who return again and again.
After all, guests will have chosen your holiday let over a hotel because of the ‘home from home’ experience and the extras that you simply don’t get when staying in a hotel.
The very nature of a holiday let with a high turnover of guests means there is likely to be wear and tear and breakages. An inventory checklist allows you to identify items that are damaged or missing so you can replace them or get them fixed.
Remember that if your holiday let sleeps a set number of people (e.g. sleeps 8), then provide the same number of items for at least the maximum that can be accommodated. For example, as well as beds for 8 people you need 8 dining chairs, 8 places to sit in the living room and don’t provide a toaster with only two slots!
You should also send your inventory list to your guests before they arrive so they can cut down on bringing items they won’t need.
Here’s our rundown of over 200 essential items for holiday cottages and holiday lets. The list is quite subjective and your amenities should reflect the location of your holiday home, the style of property and the type of guests you attract. (It does not include furniture, furnishings etc. as these are quite obvious).
If you have anything to add to enhance a guests stay, please list them in the comments.
Holiday let kitchen inventory
The kitchen is often the hub of a holiday cottage. Some guests like to eat out and some stay in and cook, so it’s essential to provide a kitchen with everything they need.
For cutlery, crockery, glasses etc. provide double the amount of the maximum occupancy and provide two of essential items e.g. corkscrew. Replace chipped damaged or mismatched items.
Baking items such as cakes tins, Yorkshire pudding tin, cooling racks, rolling pin, cutters
Bins (tell guests which bin is for what so they can recycle)
Bottle opener x2
Cutlery (check the number of teaspoons regularly as they going missing)
Fish slice or similar
Glasses – wine, beer (pint), tall, tumbler
Herbs and spices
Ice cube tray
Kitchen roll, foil, cling film
Knife set (good quality sharp knives)
Mortar and pestle
Oil & vinegar dispenser set
Pans (ample small/medium/large, non-stick and stainless steel)
Placemats and coasters
Plastic chopping boards
Plastic picnic set, children’s cutlery, plastic crockery & cups
Salt and pepper mills
Tea towels (x4)
Tea, Coffee & Sugar pots
Holiday cottage bathroom essentials
Bath mat (non-slip)
Mini luxury toiletries e.g. soaps, shower gel, hair products, bath-bombs, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant
Non-slip shower mats
Shaver/toothbrush charger point
Holiday home bedroom inventory
Invest in clean, crisp and high-quality linen that’s easy to clean and bleach if necessary.
Full-length mirror (near socket)
Hot water bottles
Matching bed linen
Pillows (plus extra “just in case”)
Sockets beside the bed (plug and USB)
Waterproof mattress protectors
Air conditioning or electric fan
Filter coffee machine
Hob and oven
Juicer or smoothie maker
Portable ac unit
Small alarm clock
Telephone (block, international, premium calls – allow local only)
Toasted sandwich maker
Travel adapter (for foreign visitors)
TV plus streaming services (Sky/Freeview/Netflix etc)
First Aid & Safety Equipment
Carbon monoxide alarm
First aid kit
Safety latches on cupboards
Wind-up torch and or motion-sensing night lights in case of a power failure
Basic supply of cleaning materials for bathroom and kitchen
Dishwasher tablets/rinse aid
Disinfectant wipes and spray
Dustpan and brush
Mop & bucket
Starter supply of dishwasher and washing machine powder/tablets
Washing up bowl with new sponge/disposable cloths/clean brush/washing up liquid
Art supplies for painting
Colouring book and crayons or a re-usable wipe clean colouring sheet
Decks of cards
Family board games/Puzzles
Games console (Xbox)
BBQ & starter bundle, tools
Bodyboards & inflatables
Children’s toys, bucket and spade
Outside table and chairs
Ashtrays (if smoking permitted)
Binoculars if you have a good view
Blank notepad and pen
Clothes drying rack
For open fires or wood-burners – Ash container, coal scuttle/log basket, fireguard & fire irons, some wood pieces/charcoal
Mini sewing Kit
Spare light bulbs
Universal phone charger
Guide/map of local walks
Pet-friendly pubs guide
A basic food hamper
Covid – if you provide a welcome basket consider only offering items which are sealed or packaged – ideally presented in a wipeable container or simply leave them as stand-alone items.
Bottle of wine, prosecco
Fresh bread & butter
Local produce e.g. a cake, biscuits, cheese or jam
Mini cereal variety box
Tea/Coffee/Milk, juices and bottled water
Note: definitely don’t leave any opened/partly used leftover items from previous guests!
And the most important – guest information folder and welcome pack with details of how to use all of the appliances.
Hi, great website and resource. Giving me lots of food for thought.
We haven’t started up yet, but I’d add
stair gates ( x 2, one for the top, one for bottom)
More from our own personal experience as to what we have looked for in the recent past as opposed to anything else.
It probably depends on if the property is aimed at children and they are items that don’t necessarily need to be stored in the house.
Thanks for your items, I’ve added them to the list.
Hi just refurbishing my cottage so I can holiday let. It is very small (1 bed) and wondering what peoples views are on whether a washing machine is essential? There is a laundrette 3 mins away.
Hi, I would say yes. I would replace the dishwasher (if you have one) when it needs replacing with a washing machine if you are short on space.
Things not to have:
A lower standard of cleanliness than you’d expect in your own home
Overpoweringly smelly “air freshener” reeds/candles (often dusty/ dirty – run them under a hot tap!) Better still throw them out.
Bed linen washed in highly perfumed detergent
No hose pipe in a “dog-friendly’ establishment – needed to keep outside space clean and wash off a muddy dog/child/walking boots
A neglected garden/outside area (especially if its a selling point)
Anything with ‘uplifting’ slogans as decor
A washing machine without a dryer – at least provide a washing line and pegs
An inadequate number of towels per person – 1 bath towel per person a week isn’t enough.
A single ‘welcome’ basket for the entire stay for guests booking multiple weeks ( 2+)
Milk and butter, etc left out on countertop next to fridge in hot weather
No cafetiere (or similar)- not everyone travels with coffee pods to fit your obscure brand of automatic coffee maker
A cupboard full of random bits of food left by other people
A below code first aid kit
A fire extinguisher with no evidence of its usability/safety check.
Thanks Caryn, these are some great tips! Thanks for contributing.
Been going self-catering twice a year in Britain most of my life and what is lacking most of the time is a 1st Aid Kit. I would have thought it compulsory.
I am about to start letting again (after a hiatus with building work). I now have some rowing boats and a two person kayak but have been advised not to mention them on my forthcoming website as my insurance will not cover accidents on the water. You suggest bodyboards and inflatables are useful items for guests. What is your advice in terms of the boats? Thanking you in advance for any advice.
Anything where there is a potential for injury (bikes, kayak etc.) should be avoided. Recommend somewhere where guests can hire them instead.
What a useful website. I thought I had listed everything I could possibly need if holiday renting, but found so many other items in your list I hadn’t thought of. Thank you.
This is incredibly helpful, thank you!
Is a freezer considered essential – ie, vs a fridge with a freezer compartment?
Hi, a combined fridge/freezer is fine for most guests.
Interesting comment about washing machine v. dishwasher. I am just completing on the purchase of a cottage which has a dishwasher rather than a washing machine due to space as the owner thought people would prefer not to hand wash dishes on holiday whilst many people don’t bother washing clothes while away. I wonder if I would be better having the washing machine?…… I guess I will find out once I start letting the property!
* We purchased some eufy sensor lights from amazon, which lead the way to the bathroom & Kitchen.
Great ideas thank you! I have been on the hunt for new ideas to add to my 22 beach front rental apartments in the Algarve. Out of interest, I have found clients prefer a washing machine on site to dishwashers. We also provide free beach umbrellas, boogie surf boards and picnic coolers which always go down a treat!
Thank you for a great site! Here is to a successful 2023 to you all! Claire