How did you get into this business?
My husband is a musician, and as his business manager, I travelled extensively with him worldwide. When kids joined the picture, we continued the same touring lifestyle but quickly found hotels were not the most ideal option for our growing family. Once our son was asleep at night, we were tiptoeing around him in the dark, whispering so we wouldn’t wake him. I think all parents who have stayed in hotel rooms with their kids know this scenario! When I started the process of looking for an apartment to rent, it took days. Most were unsuitable for a young child. I had to go and personally check them all out. When we found somewhere that did work, I then had to source a baby equipment rental firm to kit us out with high chairs, stair gates and the rest. It took a whole week out of our trip just getting to that point. That’s how it started. From that I realised that staying in a house as a family was the way to go. Spending too much time going through uninspiring websites looking at uninspiring houses that claimed they were family-friendly made me realise there was a real lack in the market for people who need the space of a home the most.
Tell us a story about the absolute best or absolute worst vacation rental experience you've ever had.
My family had just arrived in Bali and were very excited to check into our “pool” villa. Little did we know that the living room opened up right onto the pool, only separated by about a foot. With two small children, that equated to the exact opposite of a relaxing holiday. That’s the kind of detail we highlight at Kid & Coe so that parents don’t get any unexpected surprises.
How is the rise of mobile devices changing the vacation rental business?
I think it comes as no surprise that over 50% of our users are accessing the site from their mobile devices. The very nature of travel is mobility so it’s a natural progression that mobile phones are changing the way we travel. Mobile devices allow for more spontaneity, to change plans on the fly and on the road. Our phones are ideal travel companions. For our own vacation rental business, we love the idea of building tools that allow our vacation rental hosts and their guests to create and access hyper-local content as well as connect with each other on the ground.
Word of advice to VR owners?
We strongly urge our hosts to abide by our “community rules," which suggest the little touches which make a nice stay that much nicer… fresh towels, maybe a loaf of fresh bread and milk for the children, space made in the closet and clutter cleared. The details really make all the difference, and hopefully that kindness is reciprocated in the respect guests give to their vacation rental.
Insider tip for travelers in your area?
I’m not sure there is anything insider about NYC these days! One thing my family likes to do is hit Chelsea Market for a picnic and find a grassy spot on the West Side Highway. Pounding the pavement every day, you can forget that you’re an island, so sitting next to the water can help provide a temporary oasis of calm. The ferry to Governors Island is a great adventure too. We try to flesh out some of these neighborhood joys that families can explore when staying in one of our properties. It’s called City Scout and you can access it here: https://www.kidandcoe.com/city-scout/new-york-city.
Thanks for having me!
About the Author
Zoie Kingsbery Coe is the force behind Kid & Coe and the company’s founder. After years traveling the globe with her family, she has become an authority on what makes a stay comfortable. If there's a place in the world that she hasn't visited, there's probably a good reason why. She now splits her time between New York, London, and Ibiza, living with her two children and husband. Self-described information junkie, you can follow Kid & Coe on Instagram and Twitter.