Here's how to create the perfect arrival guide to give your guests a warm welcome.
A comprehensive welcome guide will help familiarise guests with their surroundings, inside and out, so they can make the most of their stay. Check out our recommendations on what to include.
Invest in a snazzy folder
It may sound obvious, but make sure the actual pack, folder or binder, looks the part. It should be smart, clearly marked on the front and big enough to hold the level of information you want it to contain. Having separately marked sections, and folders for leaflets and user guides is also a good idea. Don’t forget to look through it yourself once in a while to make sure the information is still relevant, and that there’s nothing missing.
Appliances and passwords
Not all appliances are made equal, so user guides for all the key appliances in the property are important. Your guests will need to know how everything works, from the TV to the washing machine and dishwasher, as well as any heaters or boilers. Don’t forget to include a list of any passwords or codes your guests might need, particularly for your WiFi, digital TV or door entry codes, etc.
Amenities on site
Don’t forget to let your guests know about all the amenities that are available on site. For example, if there is a play park on site, DVDs or games they can borrow, and communal amenities such as a washing machine, dryer or bikes. If you have a bike store, wood shed, etc, be sure to let guests know the location of these too.
Local attractions and amenities
According to Booking.com, 25% of travellers are keen to have local experiences - they want hosts with strong local knowledge about local places to eat and visit. 
Supplying your guests with a selection of leaflets on local attractions will help them work out what might suit them in the area. Ensure the leaflets you include don’t get too out of date. If you’re familiar with the area yourself, it’s a great idea to compile a more personalised list of things to do. Your recommendations could include ideas for:
- Family orientated days out
- Places to visit/walks to go on with dogs (if you allow them in your property)
- Active/sporting activities
- Local restaurants you have tried yourself and would recommend
- Any hidden gems that only locals know about e.g. local events, pop ups etc.
When listing local amenities, give guests an idea about the distance from the property, as well as what to expect there, i.e. is the local grocer’s great for basics, or does it offer an extensive selection that would cover the weekly shop? Bear in mind that many people may also want to know where the nearest big supermarket is. Also, if you know your local pub serves a fantastic bitter and is really family-friendly, or the Thai takeaway has the best fish cakes, let them know. Guests really appreciate these extra touches.
Whether your guests have a car or not they may not wish to drive all the time. Providing a list of reliable taxi services, as well as information on local public transport is always helpful.
Laying down a few friendly ground rules means everyone is on a level playing field, and your home will be treated with the respect it deserves. Here are just a few house rules to consider: Are guests able to smoke anywhere on the property? If so, be clear about the designated area.
- If your property is pet-friendly, be clear about where they can and cannot be, i.e. are they allowed on the sofa or the beds?
- Where are your guests allowed to park? Ensure they aren’t blocking any access points or neighbour’s entrances.
- If your property is in a built-up area remind them of this to avoid complaints about unwanted noise.
Your guests may be coming from abroad – which means they may not know how to contact the police, fire brigade or ambulance. Then there are the more local contact details for the local doctor’s surgery, dentist or optician, and how to find the nearest A&E department. If your property is pet-friendly, include the number of your local emergency vet too. Don’t forget to add in your own contact details, or that of your caretaker or handyman. Guests may need to get hold of you if there is a problem in the property.
It’s helpful to let your guests know about any garbage disposal days, and recycling, particularly if they’re staying for a longer period of time. Be clear as to which bin is for which, and what they are allowed to put in them; councils are becoming increasingly strict as to what you can and can’t dispose of.
Aside from the actual guide, a selection of essential items to welcome guests to your holiday rental goes a long way to creating a great first impression of your property and getting their stay off to a great start. This could include:
Additional items that aren’t always expected, but helpful nevertheless, include washing up liquid, toilet paper, cooking oil and even some herbs and spices. These are the kind of things guests may not want to buy as they have plenty at home, but would help them settle in nonetheless.
Using local produce will also give guests, literally, a taste of your area. You could supply eggs or milk from your local farm, jam or a cake from the nearest cafe, then pass them the details if they wish to purchase more. If you know your guests are celebrating a special occasion, for example, a birthday or anniversary, a bottle of wine is always a lovely thought.
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