A first-class welcome makes all the difference. Of course, the primary idea behind a holiday home is to provide accommodation to holidaymakers. However, to make the experience memorable, go the extra mile and create a unique experience for guests who step into your holiday let property.
One of the most important aspects of running a holiday lettings business is having the best welcome pack ideas for your guests and appealingly presenting these hospitality packs. You want to make your guests feel comfortable and at home.
A welcome pack, as the name implies, is a pack of items and gifts curated with the guests in mind. This pack aims to start the guests' experience and stay in the holiday home on a positive note. It is also one of the most important tools you can use to wow your guests.
The welcome pack contains some things the guests would need upon their arrival at the holiday home. Because of its ability to influence guests' first impressions regarding a host, many owners and hosts prepare their welcome packs with utmost care.
Here, we'll provide you with creative holiday home welcome pack ideas you can adopt in your holiday cottage or property. These ideas would help you achieve your goal of making an excellent first impression with your guests.
Table of Contents
Welcome Pack Ideas
It is no secret that curating a befitting hotel welcome pack for guests can be a daunting task, and this is true for many reasons. First off, it is unlikely that you know the guests that are coming into your holiday home on a personal level. Therefore, you cannot confidently say that you know everything they'd like.
Secondly, you also understand that each guest is different, so each self-catering welcome pack should be customised to the individual guest's needs. There is no one-size-fits-all self-catering welcome pack template.
But not to worry, the welcome pack ideas we've curated in this guide will be appreciated by every guest, regardless of their persona, experience level with hospitality, or expectations. We've also included ideas that would apply in peculiar occasions.
Start with a Warm Greeting
The key behind curating the ideal holiday home welcome pack for guests is to put yourself in your guests' shoes and make an informed guess on the things you'd like to see when you get to your accommodation after a long journey. When you do this, curating the ideal welcome pack becomes easier.
That said, the first thing you should do when guests arrive at your house is to greet them. A friendly hello from you, the host, is a great way to set the tone for their stay. You would surely love a warm and cosy welcome at a holiday home.
Thus, you can imagine how delighted your guests will be when they arrive to a sweet and homely welcome greeting. It can be as simple as a handwritten note or something more elaborate, like a handmade gift or flowers.
You can also add some tea, homemade cakes, or fresh bread from a local baker alongside the handwritten welcome note. If you know of a special occasion such as an anniversary or birthday, leave out an item that will add to the festivities. For example, prepare a mini cupcake with candles on it to wish them a 'Happy Anniversary!' or 'Happy Birthday!'
Provide 'Forgettable' Essentials
It's a common mistake for travellers to forget basics such as;
- Water bottle
- Travel size shampoo
- Hand soap
- Shower gel
- Conditioner, etc.
As a host, you ought to include these essentials in your welcome pack. You can also add some toiletries such as a nail file or tweezers if they're staying for longer. It's not only practical but also a thoughtful gesture that shows your guest that you care about their comfort.
Add Emergency Contact Information
One of the things that help your guests settle nicely is having access to emergency contact information. Remember, you are responsible for the safety of your guests. In a situation where you do not know the health status of your guests, it is very helpful and thoughtful to include details of some emergency contacts into your guest information folder.
You should include the location and numbers of nearby hospitals, pharmacies, drugstores, and even specialist doctors. If your holiday home allows for pets, you should add the contact details (numbers and location) of nearby local vets and animal clinics.
Finally, your phone number and those of the agents, caretakers or handlers of the holiday home should also be a part of the emergency contact information provided. At the end of the day, the idea is to help your guests understand that help is nearby should the need arise.
Local Transport Information
Remember that your guests are here on holiday, so they probably have plans to visit the locality or move around the area. Thus, it helps to provide information on how to move around the area using the local transport system. This is important even if they have brought their own car.
The local transport information should include bus timetables, taxi numbers, transport schedules with times and dates, and many more. All this information would prove useful to almost all guests, especially if they are new in town (which they likely are) and if there is poor network reception in the area. You should also include clear and detailed instructions on how to get to the nearest bus station or taxi company from your holiday home.
If there are any local transport issues, you should inform your guests in advance so they can make alternative arrangements if necessary. For example, if there's a strike or other disruption on the day of their arrival, tell them as soon as possible so that they're not left waiting for trains or buses that never show up.
Add The List of Tourists Sites and Attraction
A list of tourist sites and attractions is a welcome pack essential. It's not just a way to help your guests plan their stay, but it can also be a great way to build up your reputation with them and encourage them to come back.
Many holiday lets owners don't include tourism information in their welcome packs because they're worried that guests will leave their property early if they find something better on offer during their visit. This isn't always the case, though - often, people want to explore more of the area than just the location where they're staying.
You should not only limit this list to tourist sites but also provide information on amenities such as restaurants, malls, pubs, cinemas and other recreational centres that might interest the guests.
You can go the extra mile by providing a detailed map of where these sites and centres are located in the city in relation to the location of the holiday home. This, combined with the local transport information, makes it easy for your guests to plan their movements.
You can also mention the centres or sites that you would personally recommend. This recommendation may include foods and drinks that the guests should try while in the city.
However, if you cannot create your detailed map of these sites, ensure you add an updated map of the area in the welcome hamper for guests. This will help the guests navigate easily around the city, and they will thank you for it.
Add Edible Treats
Your guests are undoubtedly looking forward to their stay at your holiday let. They want to be pampered and treated like royalty. And one way to ensure this is by including some treats in your welcome pack.
However, it's important that you're intentional about the kind of treats you add.
- Consider the time of the day and the season of the year. For example, if you are hosting a family during winter, consider adding some warm items like hot chocolate or hot soup. If you are hosting a group of friends arriving in the afternoon, include treats like cookies or scones with jam and cream.
- If they arrive in the evening, consider leaving some homemade crisps or nuts (make sure to check for allergies first!). This will give them something tasty to keep them going until they are ready to grab dinner. The perfect 'welcome home' after their journey.
- For those who aren't too keen on savoury snacks but still want something tasty, you can try making some homemade biscuits or cake pops. In any case, you should learn about their preferences before their arrival so you won't waste your time and money on the wrong items.
- You may add some locally sourced fruit juice, cider, or craft beer, freshly baked bread and some specialities from the local area such as Welsh Laverbread, Cornish Pastries, Devon Cream, and so on.
Don't Leave Children Out
If your guests are coming with children, you might want to leave some colouring pencils and crayons out for them. You may also leave some cute fluffy toys around the house as part of a scavenger hunt to keep them entertained.
Aside from toys and items they can play with, keep some chocolates and sweets that would keep them busy on arrival while the parents unpack. By taking these minute details into consideration, you'd win over your guests, even just subconsciously.
Detailed Operational Information on Appliances
Most holiday homes have gadgets and appliances that make guests' stay more comfortable and exciting. And while some of the devices can be common and require little to zero instructions, others may be different to those the guests are used to, and your guests may need some form of directions to use these appliances properly.
Therefore, you need to provide simple and concise instructions on using some gadgets and appliances in your holiday home or hotel welcome pack. Doing this will help to prevent the frustration that could arise from the inability of the guests to use the appliances. It will also help avert any security or health risks that could arise from the misuse of the devices.
Finally, it also helps you avoid the stress of responding to multiple calls from guests whenever they find it difficult to use any of the appliances. You can include information about your appliances in your holiday home guest book.
Include Rules on the Usage of the Property
Having preceded with items that let guests settle down and start on a good foot, you can add the dos and don'ts.
Ideally, most guests do not need a set of rules, as they will treat the holiday let property with respect and dignity. However, there may be odd bits or specificities that these guests may not be aware of, so it is important you list these peculiarities in the rules.
For instance, if the holiday home is located in a built-up community, advise the guests to avoid noisy or loud music that could draw a noise complaint against the property. If the holiday home allows pets, you should advise them to keep their pets away from the furnishing.
And also, if the holiday let property borders another property, you will need to provide clear parking instructions that ensure that the guests do not park on another person's property. Finally, be sure to inform the guests to reach out to you if they encounter any problems during their stay.
Play to Your Strengths
While curating the hospitality welcome packs for holiday lets, you should work to your strength. Playing to your strengths means your hospitality welcome pack for guests should feature things you can do exceptionally well and maximise your let's selling point.
For instance, if you bake well, you can add your homemade cake to the food welcome packs. You can also design the greeting card or other items in the welcome pack.
If you have Wi-Fi or a good internet connection during the holiday, let your guests know about it. If amenities such as a hot tub or swimming pool are the standout features of the holiday home, ensure that the guests know about it and how to access it. Putting the good parts of the holiday home so that your guests know about it helps them enjoy their stay in the holiday home.
Ideally, you can enlist the help of a professional Airbnb management company to help your guests settle in more smoothly. A professional company can also help you make the most of your investment.
As we had earlier emphasised, providing welcome packs for guests at your holiday home is crucial to running a holiday let business. This is because the welcome pack influences the first impression that the guests have about your business, and gets you off to a great start.
So once you get the welcome pack right, you are on your way to delivering a unique experience to the guest and earning their good reviews, referral and continued patronage in return. Also, ensure that you thoroughly clean and maintain your holiday let.
Houst is a professional hosting service provider. We have managed over 370,000 bookings, helping landlords and property owners make more money without extra effort. If you have any questions about planning the perfect welcome packs, don't hesitate to reach out to our team.