How Do I Make My Vacation Rental Feel Like a Home?

Rental homes are a fantastic option for a vacation because they offer you and your family the space you need to spread out and relax, and unlike most hotels, you’ll have additional privacy, multiple bedrooms and a full kitchen! Whether you spend a week in your vacation home or several months, you’ll want it to feel like home. Check out these ideas to make your stay feel nice and homey.


Feeling comfortable and at home while on vacation is an essential part of being able to relax. Vacation rentals, while often unique, can be a little unpredictable. That said, packing a few staples is often just the thing to make someone else’s place feel like home to you. All homes have a scent associated with them, and bringing your home’s aroma to your rental is one way to make it feel more like yours. It could be a travel size of your everyday room spray, fragrance or hand soap. You could diffuse essential oils, or bring a candle to light when you arrive. Scents bring back memories and elicit feelings, and can help ensure your vacation home makes you feel great. 

While you’re packing, think about what makes you happy every day as you live in your own home? Are you particular about your morning coffee or tea? Do you have a luxurious pillow case or eye mask? Do you need a specific seasoning, appliance or tool to cook? Would bringing your favorite throw from the couch and go-to lounge outfit help you relax while you’re away? Most rentals have bathrooms stocked with toiletries, but bring the ones you use at home since they’re familiar and work for you, especially if you decide to do some extra pampering. 

Vacation rentals are usually decorated with obscure paintings of seagulls and mountains, so bringing a small family picture in a frame is simple to pack and makes for a nice touch on a bedroom nightstand. If you have neck or back issues that require a special pillow, bring it with you. If you tend to be chilly, bring along a heating pad or some warm, cozy socks. Taking the time to pack a few extra items (where possible) can make your stay even more enjoyable and relaxing.


It might be tempting to keep most of your things in suitcases, but unpacking and hiding your bags away out of sight can help you settle into your home away from home. Even if you’re only staying for a few days, unpack your suitcase and stow it away. It doesn’t take long to pack it again, and having your items in drawers and closets will make your stay feel more residential and less about traveling out of a suitcase- you can even organize things how you would in your own home, especially if you brought a picture frame, candle or special decorative item with you. 

One of the easiest ways to make someone else's home space work for you, is to reconfigure the furniture and set it up for your family's needs. Did you spot a sunny corner in the living room that's perfect for reading? Move an armchair or recliner there. Is there a sunny patio that would make the perfect lunch spot? Move a table outside for an extra special meal. Move things around to whatever extent possible, and remember to lift, not drag furniture and to put things back in place before you leave.

Ready to plan your next trip? We offer stunning accommodations from mountain to beach homes. Call us at 888.598.6353 or email for help planning your next vacation.