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One of the easiest and most effective ways to welcome guests to your property, and help them to settle in, is to provide a comprehensive holiday home guest information pack.
It’s an opportunity to set your property apart. An effective way to quickly answer all your guests’ questions ensuring a hassle-free stay.
Providing a convenient way to access all the necessary and useful information your guests need during their holiday will undoubtedly contribute to a great first impression.
Here we offer a detailed guide on putting together an insightful and welcoming holiday home guest information pack. So, that your guests’ feel right at home in your holiday cottage.
Use our quick links below to navigate the content or read on for the full guide on how create the perfect holiday home guest information pack.
Arriving at a holiday cottage is always an exciting part of any getaway. To make them feel welcome, at home and to help them settle in, a guest information pack is the perfect gesture.
It’s worthwhile considering that while you may know everything there is to about your holiday home and local area, it can be easy to forget that for your guests it may be new and different.
Often, it’s the very first time they have visited. Offering not only a guide to everything they need to know about your property, but insider information on the best your area has to offer, will ensure your guests enjoy their stay to the fullest.
The guest information folder is often the first thing they will look for, so put it in a prominent place. Make it simple to understand, with clear categories, easy to read and possibly even include photo’s, maps and diagrams.
It’s also a good idea to send an email version prior to your guests’ arrival. That way they’ll have chance to read through important details they might need prior to their trip.
It is important to provide the necessary information in the guest information folder, but at the same time, not make it too long and complicated. Pre-empting what they may need and ask for is always the best way to approach compiling your guide. Do your best at keeping it clear and simple to understand.
Below, we’ve included a few essentials we think every guest information pack should contain.
First impressions count, so it’s the perfect opportunity to extend a friendly welcome. Let guests know that you are happy to have them and that you care about their stay. You want them to have a relaxing and fantastic holiday.
One of the first things guests will ask for is Wi-Fi details and password. It is worth either putting this as a separate note or make it prominent in your guest information pack.
Provide detailed information about parking arrangements. Let guests know if you have a designated parking space.
If you have on-street parking, let them know if you have a permit and advise them of any parking charges, as well as if there are any restrictions. It’s also worth including details of free parking or ‘park and ride’ facilities.
For guests who have electric vehicles, provide information of where to find the nearest electric charging point, or whether you provide one at your property. Read our article on electric charge point installation for details on whether this might be a good option for your holiday let.
An important part of your guest information pack should be to provide emergency contact details they may need in the event of any unforeseen issues.
Clearly list all important numbers and addresses for quick and easy reference. Include details and numbers for the following:
Provide details of your property address, postcode, contact number and O.S grid reference. In the event of an emergency your guests will need these to give to the relevant services.
Be sure to include your contact details or your property manager or caretaker, for if guests have problems during their stay.
It’s also handy to leave instructions on what to do if something goes wrong with the property. Such as the lights tripping, heating failure, problems with appliances and so on.
The great news is that using a holiday home management service like Coast & Country Cottages takes the hassle out of helping guests with emergencies, as our local team are on hand to provide support and take care of any problems your guest may encounter.
Read our blog on choosing the right holiday home management service for your cottage to get a better idea of the services we offer and which option would suit you best.
The purpose of providing house rules for your holiday cottage is not only to ensure your property and its contents are looked after, but that guests can relax and enjoy their holiday.
Use this section of ‘dos and don’ts’ along with clear instructions for what is expected of guests during their stay to help reduce misunderstandings and potential complaints.
In order to provide the particulars to make your guests stay enjoyable and comfortable, why not look at your property from their perspective? For someone who has never visited before, identify the things that may not be self-explanatory.
Leave comprehensive instructions on key property information, facilities and how to use all the amenities. Also let them know what to do in case of an emergency – like the location of stop cocks, fuse boxes, heating and water controls.
It’s worth including any extra information you can think of. This can cover everything from where to find the outdoor light switch, to whether the tap water is safe to drink, where to find extra linen and pillows, or which coffee pods to use if you have a coffee machine.
Including these small tips shows the extra care and attention to detail you have put in. For other tips and hints on creating a comfortable, stylish and functional interior read our blog on how to furnish a holiday let.
Providing easy to understand appliance instructions will ensure ease of use for guests. Limiting damage and making sure your appliances are used properly.
Include operating instructions, troubleshooting guides and diagrams on how to use everything. This information can cover everything from which programme to use on the dishwasher to how the oven works.
Every heating system is different, so it is worth letting visitors know how yours works. Include details on how to change the temperature, switch the system on and off and even how to set the timer.
Include tips on how guests can save energy in your holiday let. For example, turning off the heating while out or making sure doors and windows remain shut to keep the heat in.
All these small changes can help save on energy costs as well as reduce their carbon footprint while on holiday. For more ideas on how to save energy and reduce its impact on the environment, read our blog on eco-friendly holiday home tips.
The well-being of your guests is essential, so make sure you include details on fire, gas and electricity safety. Fire safety information should include details of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and what to do in case of a fire, detailing escape routes.
Include information on where to find a first aid kit and what to do in the event of an emergency. Read our blog on holiday let rules and regulations for more information or download our guidance on owner property safety.
People are used to recycling, but different areas of the country have different rules, so explain clearly what to do. Help your guests by leaving information on which bags and bins to use and how to recycle items.
Include the days when refuse is collected and which bins to put out. Or if guests are required to dispose of their own recycling, provide details on the closest recycling facilities.
Having the added luxury of a hot tub or swimming pool is a super treat for guests. But make sure you leave details on exactly how to operate it in the safest and most sensible way.
It’s also a good idea to include a list of rules in this section, plus details about out any restrictions such as times of day they can be used. As well as prohibited items like glass and sharp objects.
If your hot tub or pool need to be cleaned or serviced during your guest’s stay, include information about anyone that may be visiting the property.
One of the main attractions for choosing to stay in a self-catering holiday cottage is that it’s an ideal way to enjoy the best an area has to offer.
Use this opportunity to give your guests ‘insider information’ to make the most of all the best places to visit, dine and enjoy for a fantastic holiday experience.
Information on local amenities like the post office, cash machines, chemists, local shops and supermarkets is always useful.
Better still, give them the chance to enjoy the regional food and drink your area has to offer, by providing the contact details of local stores which do home deliveries.
Use this section of your guest information pack as an opportunity to highlight everything your region has to offer.
If your property is on the coast, include information on the local beaches. Let them know which beaches are closest, suitable for families, whether they are dog-friendly and even information on the tide times.
For wildlife lovers, let them where to go to see first-hand the local flora and fauna, and what to look for.
Most of the country is home to National Trust properties, which are a great family day out. Why not recommend those that are worth visiting in the surrounding area. Be sure read our blog on the 4 of the best National Trust properties in South Devon.
Provide dates and details of local events, festivals and special days out. Farmers markets are a great way for visitors to enjoy local produce and experience the community spirit of a town.
Walking is one of our favourite national pastimes. With so much beautiful coastline, woodlands and rolling countryside on our doorstep, don’t forget to leave information on the best walks in and around the area.
There are loads of places to source information on this, including our South Devon walking guide. Why not include details on the best picnic spots or pubs to visit on the way?
The British weather is infamously unpredictable, so include tips on the best places to go and things to do on rainy days.
Include brochures and flyers from the various attractions, excursions, trips and tours for a memorable and fantastic stay.
One of the best things about being on holiday is the chance to visit local pubs and restaurants.
Providing a personal recommendation on the best pubs and restaurants locally is a great start, with tips on where to find the best pub food, fine dining, family-friendly eateries or seafood restaurants.
Most holiday makers are sure to enjoy the ease and indulgence of ordering a takeaway. Include a list of the best local take-away’s and a menu where possible.
Holiday guests often enjoy the convenience of being able to leave their car at home and use public transport.
Be sure to leave route plans and timetables for buses, trains and ferries. Include the closest train stations or bus stops and include running times. It may also be a good idea to gather maps of the local area and include them in this section.
Leaving numbers for trusted taxi companies could prove useful. Especially if visitors want to go out in the evening or if your property isn’t in walking distance of a pub or restaurant.
While it may not be something they want to think about when they first arrive, providing guests with detailed check out instructions is a useful addition to your holiday let information pack.
Giving clear instructions on what you’d expect from them when leaving will make their last day less stressful.
Share details on what time they need to check out and where to leave the keys. It’s also an opportunity to ask for rubbish to be taken out, that windows and doors are closed and instructions on what to do with towels and linen.
A fantastic way to impress your guests is providing a great welcome pack. Arriving to discover freshly baked scones, local treats or a bottle of local brew will make their experience extra special. It is also a chance to show off the wonderful offerings the region has to offer.
Not only does this provide a great opportunity to promote local businesses, but it shows a level of attentiveness which will no doubt impact a guest’s experience.
Stock up on the staple ingredients that are taken for granted at home but may be forgotten when packing for a holiday.
Essential items like salt, pepper, cooking oil, sugar and toilet paper will be greatly appreciated by your guests. Even the smallest and simplest gesture can make your guests’ experience a special one.
In today’s fiercely competitive self-catering holiday market, customers rely more and more on reviews.
In addition to your welcome pack, we would recommend leaving a guestbook, so that your visitors can write about the things they enjoyed during their stay.
The more first-hand information provided about an area, the more your guests will be able to plan an enjoyable break!
In order to help achieve the highest standard of service and accommodation, ask guests to leave any questions or suggestions in the guest book.
It’s also the opportunity to let you know if there has been damage or breakages that need to be sorted for the next guest’s arrival. Often, it’s these few simple touches could go a long way to help improve your holiday home reviews.
Although it can be quite time consuming to pull a detailed holiday home guest information folder together, it is well worth the effort to make your property more user-friendly for guests. And it will ensure they have a relaxing break.
There is so much more information you could include in your holiday home guest information pack, but make sure to concentrate on what is relevant to your home, area and what you’d find useful if you were a visitor.
If you own a holiday home and you’re thinking of letting it, visit our property owners blog for a whole host of advice.
To find out more about holiday letting with Coast & Country Cottages, request your FREE owners guide today or call our team of holiday letting experts.