The beauty of staying in a holiday home is that it is – or should be – a home-from-home for your guests. One way of making sure your visitors feel as comfortable as possible is to create a “Welcome” folder. Not only does this make for a more pleasant experience for your guests, but it saves you the late night phone calls asking you “How do I turn the heating on?” etc.
Not only that, but a happy, comfortable guest is more likely to return to your property at a later date!
So, what you should include in yours? Here is a brief overview to get you started …
- Emergency contact numbers
- contact details for the property in an emergency – such as the keyholder’s details;
- some of your guests may be from overseas and therefore not aware of the UK emergency numbers so include 999 for the Police, Ambulance or Fire Service emergencies; and
- NHS 111 Helpline (or NHS DirectWales on 0845 46 47 for parts of Wales not covered by the 11 service) for non life threatening emergencies;
- details of local medical facilities – such as the nearest GP surgery and Hospital A and E;
- if pets are allowed at your property, then include details of both local and emergency vets.
- Your holiday let
These details should include:
- your house rules;
- where fire safety equipment is such as fire blankets and extinguishers;
- where the stopcock is;
- instructions on how to use appliances / turn the heating on and off etc. (we’d suggest writing out your own instructions or photocopying the relevant parts of any instruction manuals to stop the originals getting lost or dirty);
- what day the waste is collected and where the bin should be placed;
- how to operate security in the property (such as alarms or window locks).
- The area
This part of your folder should help your guests get to know where everything is – and how to get there!
- local transport information – the nearest bus and train routes, ferry ports, airports and so on;
- nearest supermarkets, shops, pharmacies, restaurants, post office and cinema;
- things to do in the area – this could be a whole section in itself!
It may also be nice to include a section with takeaway menus, too!
Hopefully the above have given you some ideas as to what to include in your Welcome folder. If possible, try and send the pertinent bits – such as the house rules, transport links and places to eat and visit, in an email before they arrive.
This email can also include details of where to collect the keys from and any front door security code (if relevant). You can also send an inventory, too, so your guests know exactly what they are getting in terms of bed linens and towels etc.
Most importantly, send your guests directions on how to get your property via car, rail, and from the North, South, East or West of the country. If your property is a little off the beaten track, then make sure your directions are very precise. And don’t forget to include your full postcode!
Also, while not part of your folder, a Guest Book where visitors can leave their comments adds a nice touch to the whole holiday experience.