VRS195 – Welcoming Vacation Rental Families in Style with Mary Ostyn


Creating a family-friendly vacation home is challenging, not least because children of different ages have different needs. Unless you have recent experience of vacationing with a lot of kids in tow, how can you really know what is going to make the experience the best possible? Should you provide lots of baby stuff? What types of beds are going to be best for family groups? What safety and liability issues do you need to consider?

These are all questions I asked of Mary Ostyn of Owlhaven.net. With ten children, six grandchildren and several books on the art of bringing up large families, and adoptive parenting, under her belt, she is infinitely qualified to answer them. Add to that a custom-built vacation home in Oregon that was completed and ready for rental just 9 months after breaking ground, and you have expertise in creating, delivering and operating a family friendly rental business unsurpassed by most.

In our conversation, we explore the design of the property, the importance of various aspects of it, and the choices made in marketing and promoting the business.

Mary shares:

  • How to overcome challenges of catering to large families and groups
  • Design features of the home and why they were included
  • Safety considerations when renting to large families
  • What she thinks about teen space, and why it’s smaller than you might imagine
  • Her reasons behind using a property management company
  • Tips for making a vacation home kid-friendly

Links from this episode:

Owlhaven on Bayshore Rentals

Owlhaven website

Woman’s Guide to Raising Large Families by Mary Ostyn