Kitchen and Pantry Basics for Your Vacation Rental

kitchen and pantry basics

These days meeting the minimum expectations aren’t going to earn you five-star reviews from your guests. Going above and beyond will surprise and delight your guests, and are sure-fire paths to great reviews. One of the easier ways to go “above and beyond” for guests is in the kitchen. We’ll list basics then list ways to upgrade each category.

Coffee Maker

As coffee has become a bigger part of our culture in America, so has the ways we consume it. Therefore, it’s a bare minimum to have one system of coffee maker in place. Often hosts choose the traditional drip coffee maker, leaving a box of filters for guests to use.


An easy way to upgrade the coffee experience for your guests is to offer 1-3 more coffee systems for their use. Easy ones include:

  • French press
  • Italian moka
  • V60 + kettle + filters (for that real coffee snob!)

You might also opt for one of those pod systems, but quality varies per system, and traditional drip with good coffee delivers at least as good, if not better, than most popular American pod systems.

Make sure to include instructions on how to use these in your guidebook. If you opt for a digital guidebook, consider using a Loom for an even better demonstration.


A toaster is an essential part of American breakfast prep.


A toaster oven not only covers your toasting needs, but also offers a quick option for heating up/grilling.

Air Fryer

This was the must-have appliance during the pandemic, and while its popularity has declined, its usefulness is still there.


You can add a rice cooker and/or a crockpot to multiply the cooking options for your guests.

Plates and Utensils

When it comes to style, you want to match your listing. If you’ve got a minimalist vibe, have minimalist flatware and utensils. If you’re the quirky and fun listing, it’s okay to have a whole variety of different hauls from the thrift shop. 


There’s nothing more frustrating for guests than the meticulously allocated four forks, four cups, etc. when you then have one more friend over and there’s nothing for them. Have over and above the number of guests allotted to the listing in flatware and utensils. This not only accounts for guests, but allows them to be on vacation, i.e. not having to do dishes all the time in order to eat.

Pro tip: pick stemless wine glasses to minimize likelihood of breakage


When it comes to accessories in the kitchen, there’s an almost infinite list of ways to upgrade. Needless to say you need to have a cutting board, bottle cap opener, can opener, and wine opener.


You should also consider:

  • Extra cutting boards
  • Extra mixing bowls of various sizes
  • Extra oven mitts
  • A cooking thermometer
  • A pizza cutter (which should be able to be sharpened)
  • A knife sharpener
  • A cheese grater
  • Plastic or glass containers for leftovers

Pots and Pans

Once again, guests resent the feels-like-rationing one pot, one pan scenario.


Have 2-3 pots and 2-3 pans, of different sizes and styles. Add:

  • A muffin pan
  • A roasting pan
  • A pizza pan
  • Cookie sheets

For gasps of delight from your guests, also consider a cast-iron skillet.

As vacation rental continues to expand into the consciousness of the traveling public, expectations morph and change. MaidThis was there to adapt to the hotel-level quality of cleanliness. These kitchen suggestions are here to help you adapt to the expanding desires of guests to nest and feel “at home” away from home.

This content originally appeared in our twice-monthly Guest Book Newsletter.

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