Preparing for a Last Minute Stay

With more travellers choosing to book last minute holidays due to ongoing unpredictable travel conditions and a growing preference for flexibility, it feels like a safe choice for many vacation rental guests to book at short notice. This can be beneficial for hosts too as it can help fill those last minute chunks of availability in your calendar, but it’s important to make sure you can accommodate these requests with ease.

Here are 5 things you can do to best prepare your vacation rental home for last minute guests, and ensure they have the best possible experience! 

By Kate Wilkinson, Content Marketing Executive and Sarah Bruce, Customer Operations Advisor 

1. Stock up on supplies

If you provide amenities such as toiletries or cooking supplies, consider having a fully stocked stash so there’s never a need to rush to buy more. Buying in bulk can save you time and money when there’s a need to replenish, and guests can really benefit from these extra supplies – especially if they have baggage restrictions from travelling overseas. 

Having another set of clean linen and towels can also save you the time of washing, drying and ironing, allowing for a quick turnover. Having another set, if not several, will also be beneficial for yourself as a host but also those guests who may feel the cold in winter months or for activities like swimming in the summer months! Check out Dunelm towels which can be bought in a range of sizes and colours, high quality and affordable.

Copyright Unsplash @vijev

2. Remote appliances

Many home appliances can now be managed remotely using a digital timer, or even an app, to control when you want them to turn on. Get your property ready for guests by making it bright and toasty with a light switch timer or remote heating.

A great example of using technology to benefit you in the everyday upkeep and turn over of vacation rental is the Hive thermostat. The smart heating device can be controlled from your phone, so you can give your guests a warm welcome even if you can’t be there! There are many other similar devices on the market, or you can use a plug in timer to control electrical switches for appliances such as lamps or plug in heaters.

The Hive Home Thermostat https://hivehome.com

3. Clean up your property

Nobody wants to arrive somewhere which isn’t squeaky clean, or somewhere which doesn’t feel inviting. Remember, this is the guests home for the next few days! It’s not always easy to arrange a cleaner at short notice, but there are several other ways you can speed up the cleaning process and make your property as homely as possible.

If you choose to clean yourself, put together a cleaning schedule and dress the property in a way which feels comfortable. Light a candle and fluff up your cushions for that extra touch of cosiness! You may also want to encourage guests to get a head start on the cleaning process by doing the following things, where possible: 

  • Suggest putting a dishwasher on as they leave, or clean any dirty dishes. 
  • Make guests aware of where they can take any rubbish.
  • Ask guests to place used bedding and towels in one place at the end of their stay.
  • Leave cleaning supplies in your vacation rental.

Copyright Unsplash @everdrop

4. Coordinate a smooth check-in

You have probably been in contact with your guest about their upcoming stay already, in a welcome email, or even reached out via text or a phone call. It’s important to communicate check-in times or any arrival instructions at this time, as well as exact locations, directions or any other information they will need before arriving at the property. 

If you are not able to greet your guests or do not have a designated key holder, you can coordinate a self-check in. We recommend using a key safe to store keys securely, which can be mounted to a private wall area and allow for a contact-free check-in; something many guests prefer in the current circumstances surrounding coronavirus. Secure key lock boxes with password protection are widely available to buy online and install yourself.

5. Make the first impression count

Even if you can’t be there to greet your guest it’s still important to make a good first impression. Who doesn’t like to receive a friendly welcome note and gift!? Prepare a welcome guide which includes how everything works, from cooking appliances to the WiFi password; and let guests know about local services and attractions so they feel at ease. 

Good communication creates the groundwork for an all round positive experience and connection with your guests. They are more likely to come back if they feel valued and welcome, as well increasing the chances of leaving a positive review.

Copyright Unsplash @hngstrm

Through our partner channel Booking.com you can offer a last minute discount of 10% off to guests who book a stay at your holiday home within the following 7 days. This is a great way of filling occupancy and increasing visibility on your property.  Consider having a shorter booking notice period and a flexible cancellation policy to make the most out of this promotion and our top tips. TravelNest owners can login to make these changes, or sign up today!

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