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A great way to welcome guests to your holiday cottage and help them to settle in, is to provide a comprehensive holiday home guest information pack. It’s an opportunity to impress your guests and help to make their stay hassle free, as well as help them experience the best that your holiday cottage and local area have to offer.
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. But knowing where to start and what information to you need to provide may seem a bit challenging. Here’s some advice and useful tips on what to include, to help you create the best holiday home guest information pack for your holiday cottage.
Arriving at your chosen destination is always an exciting part of a holiday. To make people 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 and 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 pack 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 is important to provide your guests with the necessary information they need in the welcome pack, but at the same time, not make it too long and complicated. Preempting 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.
1. Holiday cottage property facilities and information
– Emergency and contact details
– Appliance operating instructions
– Heating instructions
– Log burner info
– Health and safety
– Recycling and refuse collection
– Hot tubs
– Additional information
2. Holiday let house rules
3. Local information guide
4. Local food and drinks guide
5. Local transport information
In order to provide the particulars to make your guests comfortable and their stay enjoyable, 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.
These days, one of the first things guests will ask for is WiFi details and password. It is worth either putting this as a separate note or make it prominent in your guest information pack.
An important part of your guest information pack should be to provide contact details they may need in the event of any unforeseen issues or emergencies.
Clearly list all important numbers and addresses for quick and easy reference. Include details and numbers for the police, fire services, closest A&E, doctors and even the dentist. Why not add the address and contact number for the local vets if your property is pet-friendly?
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.
Providing easy to understand operating details will ensure ease of use for guests, as well as making sure your appliances are used properly, which could limit damage. Include operating instructions, troubleshooting guides and even 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 how yours works. Include details on how to change the temperature, switch the system on and off and even how to set the timer.
There is nothing better than having a warm fire to cosy up to. But it is important to let your guests know how to use the indoor fire or log burner in a safe and practical way. Preventing injury and fire safety is paramount, so be sure to give them all the information they need to use to use them safely.
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 and guidance.
Provide detailed information about parking arrangements. Let them know if you have a designated parking space, or 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.
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 details of 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 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, or prohibited items like glass and sharp objects. If your hot tub needs to be serviced during your guest’s stay, include information about anyone that may be visiting the property.
It’s worth including any extra information you can think of, to make guests lives easier during their stay. Think of minor details, like 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.
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.
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.
Local amenities: 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.
Places to go: 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. Revealing hidden gems, like the best places to go surfing, wild swimming and even stand up paddleboarding will be appreciated.
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.
Things to do: 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, and with so much beautiful coastline, woodlands and rolling countryside, 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 perhaps include a menu.
Holiday guests often enjoy the convenience of being able to leave their car at home and use local public transport. Be sure to leave route plans and timetables for busses, trains and ferries. Include the closest 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.
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 able to your guests will be to plan an enjoyable break!
For guests that have travelled a long way to your holiday home, arriving to teabags and milk in the property can really create a strong first impression. Even the smallest and simplest gesture can make your guests’ experience a special one.
Arriving to discover freshly baked scones, local treats or a bottle of local brew will make their experience extra special, and is also a chance to show off the wonderful offerings the region has to offer.
Although it can be quite time consuming to pull a detailed information folder together, it is well worth the effort to make your property more user-friendly for guests, and 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’re thinking of letting your holiday home and would like more information, visit our Let Your Cottage page to order a copy of our Owners Guide.