The holiday season is a peak time of year for traveling. This year, 114 million Americans are expected to board planes or load their vehicles to celebrate the season away from home, making the holiday months a profitable time for your vacation rental business.
Use this time to create an even more memorable experience for renters. Who knows – by using the ideas below, you may earn yourself a five-star review, a few referrals, or even persuade your visitors to come back again for next year’s festivities. So here are seven unique and creative ways to gift holiday renters this Christmas.
1. Rental Welcome Basket
Load a basket with all the ingredients for a festive treat. From creamy eggnog and toasted biscotti to warm cocoa and spiced gingerbread cookies, the holidays are known for traditional foods and beverages. These tasty treats evoke the feelings of coziness and even nostalgia, both of which make this season bright.
Surprise your renters with a holiday gift basket upon arrival, filled with festive goodies. If you’re not sure where to start or what to put in the basket, use these ideas for inspiration:
- Gingerbread house kit with extra toppings to use
- Hot cocoa with all the fixings, such as marshmallows and cinnamon
- Fun cookie cutter shapes to make Christmas cookies
- Red wine with ingredients turn it into mulled wine
These are just some of the holiday essentials. You can also include home-made goods such as jam, chutney, candles, soap, etc.
2. Welcome Letter
A welcome letter has one main purpose: to give guests a personal, warm reception to your home – even when you can’t be there in the flesh. It gives an introduction as you as host and gives an overview of your rental.
Along with your Christmas basket, a welcome letter will give your guests a personalized welcome. It will help demonstrate further that you’re a thoughtful host who truly cares about hospitality. We’ve created a template that you can use for your guests this Christmas:
3. Christmas Stockings
Hang some stockings on your mantelpiece and fill them up with treats! You can put candy canes, chocolates, bath bombs, card games, fluffy socks, etc. Anything you want to spread that Christmas cheer! If there are kids arriving, provide some small toys.
You can personalize the stockings and have your vacation rental brand name embroidered on them. Stockings are the perfect way to showcase the festive holiday in your vacation rental.
4. Create a Shopping Guide
Taking on those eleventh-hour crowds is an arduous feat, especially when it comes to last-minute Christmas shopping. But you can minimize the headaches for your renters with a guide. They can refer to this when braving the stores, allowing them to find what they need quickly and easily.
To do so, make a list of your favorite retailers in the area and suggestions about which stores tend to be tamer and which to avoid. For Christmas gifts, let them know where the best shopping malls and stores are. For meals, provide a list of local vendors where they can buy all the ingredients. Include local produce too! Let them know the best places to get organic fruit and vegetables in your town or area.
Laminate the guide before leaving it for guests to enjoy their holiday. These little touches make the experience so much more memorable.
5. Partner with Local Businesses to Offer special discounts
Before your guests arrive, contact some businesses in the community about offering an exclusive discount just for your renters. If you’ve lived in the area for a long time, you may already know owners of some local restaurants and coffeehouses, for example. Work with them to offer a small, exclusive discount to renters who order food or drinks at their establishment.
When giving your pitch, remember that these partnerships will also benefit local businesses. Offering exclusive discounts will encourage visitors who are otherwise unfamiliar with your neighborhood establishments to venture out and shop, eat and drink local.
6. Let Them Decorate a Tree
One of the most ubiquitous holiday rituals is decorating a Christmas tree. Just because the guests aren’t in their own home, doesn’t mean they can’t still partake in this tradition; this is especially welcoming if they didn’t get or decorate a tree at home in anticipation of being away for the holiday.
Display the bare tree in your main living room, where it’s most accessible to your renters. On the floor next to it, provide an overflowing crate of fun ornaments, lights, tinsel and other festive trimmings, so they can decorate it as a family. This gesture will invite your visitors to create memories together and experience all the comfort and nostalgia of this season — even though they are away from home.
7. Give Visitors A Sitter
When traveling with children, family time is cherished, but sometimes the adults need an evening to relax. If your guests are families – parents with young kids in town – surprise them with the services of a trusted local babysitter, allowing them to attend a local holiday event or enjoy a romantic date night.
Where possible, work with your personal sitter to make sure they are available for the job. In case you don’t have a sitter or they’re unavailable for those dates, ask for recommendations from friends and other local residents.
While this may seem like an odd “gift” to give, it could make all the difference when adults are feeling less-than-jolly after a long day with sugar-fueled kids. Not to mention, without knowing anyone in town, they wouldn’t have a babysitting option otherwise!
Don’t forget to tell your renters ahead of time, so they can plan for it and schedule time with your sitter.
Treat your renters this holiday season
Bring the holiday into your vacation rental and allow visitors to enjoy the entire holiday experience in their home away from home. These personal touches tell visitors that you care about their stay and holiday, which could even turn one-time renters into repeated guests.
Be intentional about making this season memorable for anyone who stays in your cozy getaway home with simple, but fun ideas that make all the difference.
By providing these seven creative gifts, you’re showing your guests that your rental is a home away from home. Your guests will love the effort of making your property homely in the holidays and will have a memorable Christmas.