When you’re deciding what to include in your vacation rental welcome book, there is one thing you have to always bear in mind: every point should be helpful for a guest who is brand new to the area and your home.
That means doing a bit of mind-reading – anticipating any potential problems or issues before they even have a chance to arise, and leaving comprehensive instructions for the best way to deal with them just in case! This practical information will be key in avoiding late night (or early morning!), panicked phone calls from your guests.
We think it’s best to split your vacation rental welcome book into handy sections for easy navigation. Here are our top suggestions on what to include!
1. Welcome Information
Above all, you should use the first section of your welcome book to do just that – welcome your guests to your vacation rental. This personal “hello” will not only be a friendly way of introducing yourself to your guests, but it will also show them you really care about the experience they have in your home. This is particularly useful and will help make a great impression if you have an automated check-in system and are not usually there to greet guests upon arrival in person.
2. Arrival & Departure Information
If you’re planning to send an electronic copy of your welcome book via email before guests are due to arrive, it’s a good idea to include arrival and departure details within the first few pages. This means your full address, directions to your home from the nearest airport and train/bus stations, check-in and check-out rules (and mention whether these are flexible or strict) etc.
3. Activities Guide
On the one hand, some guests may arrive with an itinerary to hand they that want to follow step-by-step. On the other hand, some guests may be looking for local recommendations from the people who know – you! That’s why you should dedicate a section of your welcome book to the activities and attractions your area has to offer.
Show off your expertise and include a “best of” list of your personal favorite things to do near your rental. Additionally (depending on your rental location), you may want to create a section for each of the most popular leisure pursuits, such as walks/hikes, cycle routes, beaches, and watersports, plus shopping options like fresh produce and second-hand markets.
4. Eating and Drinking Guide
Write a short introduction to the food and drink offerings in your location. Maybe there is a particular dish that’s popular in the region? Or a style of cooking that’s unique to your area.? Follow this with a list of your own favorite restaurants, bars and lunch spots, along with recommended dishes to try at these eateries.
Don’t forget to include telephone numbers, website or TripAdvisor links and a map if you can! This will help guests find them easier and make reservations if needed.
5. About the Accommodation
All vacation rentals are different, so even if your guest has stayed at plenty in the past, that’s not to say they’ll know your house rules unless you set them out clearly. Use this section to lay out any policies and procedures, along with clear instructions for guests regarding what is expected of them during their stay. For example, if trash is collected on Tuesdays, you’ll want to communicate this to your guests so they don’t miss the opportunity to throw out the garbage.
This is also the perfect place to include instructions for using amenities like Wi-Fi, television, DVD player, barbecue, swimming pool etc., as well as layout house rules regarding things like smoking, breakages, waste, and water information.
6. Practical Area Information
It would be a great help for your guests if you use the final section to provide them with super practical information about the area where your rental is located. That means everything they can find nearby – from ATMs to pharmacies, ambulance phone numbers to car rental recommendations. Leaving this information within easy reach of your guests will make for a comfortable and stress-free stay.
7. Special Extras
To truly impress your guests, why not leave some other tips which will make every guest’s arrival as smooth as possible. Whether that’s a list of gas stations en route from the airport, or convenience stores that are open until late – these pointers will make traveling a breeze, especially for those arriving at unsociable hours!
Additionally, you can include information about discounts you’re aware of in your neighborhood – or even better, partnerships you’ve made to secure money-off deals for your guests!