You know that feeling you get when you walk through the door of your vacation rental after a long road trip to get there? It's the sort of relief for parents that comes with knowing it's time for worry free days filled with fun and relaxation, maybe for the first time all year.
Now imagine walking into that house and seeing a sign on the wall as your 15 month old is scanning the room for his first target that reads:
"Please DO NOT Move Furniture or Decorative Accessories! Things MUST remain in their original location! Inspector will check house upon checkout and you may be charged damages if things are not in their original location"
For a second I looked at the framed warning, its font playfully encircled by colorful butterflies, and laughed at the absurdity but the thud of a glass flounder hitting the carpet scared me back to reality and the beach house went from a vacation to a nightmare before we’d even carried in the suitcases. As I frantically searched for the flounder's original location wondering what the fine would be for moving him, I realized my vacation was going to be work.
Summer is fast approaching and as rental property owners prepare for a busy season hosting guests, many will overlook the fact that their decor is a nightmare for parents.
So just how can a rental property owner ruin a parent’s vacation?
Don’t Skimp on the Foliage – Arrange fake plants, silk flowers, or even decorative palm trees if space allows, throughout each room of the house but don’t dust them or worry about accessibility to little people who may try to tip, rip, or even eat them.
Assume Everyone Loves Glass Tables - Each room needs at least one, preferably train table height, and with very sharp corners.
Believe There’s No Such Thing as Too Small – Provide numerous choking hazards for rainy day entertainment such as dice, marbles, and jax and store them where children can most easily reach them.
Don’t Think it’s Possible to go Wrong with Pastel - All furniture should be a pale pink, satiny fabric that the tiniest drop of liquid stains and even so much as sneaker Velcro creates a pull in.
Forego Function for Whimsy – Litter the home with beach themed decor that resembles children's toys but is in no way designed for children to play with like painted baby blocks or decorative metal shovels that look like sand toys.
When in Doubt Use Carpet- Even the bathroom needs it
Equip the Home with Poison- Make sure parents know that ants and roaches frequent the home by placing poison traps in the corners of rooms and keep insect sprays within easy reach.
Relax When it Comes to Safety- Opt for nautical themed roping instead of railings or sturdy boards to prevent falls from decks, docks, or terraces. Always resist the urge to mar the beauty of the landscape with safety fencing whether around a pool or near a busy road and if in doubt, always just assume the house is kid friendly.
Parents deserve to relax on their vacation so if you happen to own one of the many vacation houses about to be rented this summer please consider these ways your decor ruins a parent’s vacation. No house needs a glass flounder.