As a vacation rental owner or manager, you know how important it is to have a smooth process from booking, to guest arrival and departure. You need to make sure your guests get all the information they need, the accommodation is immaculately clean, and you respond quickly to questions and problems.
But you go above and beyond and surprise your guests with a welcome gift. Greet them upon arrival with a small gift. You don’t have to dig deep into your pockets. Even a small gift makes a big difference and will be remembered.
Here are a few ideas:
1. A basket with regional specialties
A basket of local produce is sure to please your guests: fresh food, cheese, apple juice, cookies, jam, a bottle of wine, etc. With these local goodies you can advertise producers in your region and your guests will have something to eat right away when they arrive at their vacation home. Especially if they arrive late and the supermarkets are already closed, they will appreciate it.
2. Breakfast or welcome snack
Depending on when your guests arrive, you can even surprise them with a small breakfast or snack. They might be hungry after arriving and won’t want to go shopping right away. Provide them coffee, tea, cookies, bread, cheese, ham or jam. Even better, if it’s from the local region!
3. Hygiene products
Even if your vacation accommodation is self-catering, a few hygiene items in the bathroom can’t hurt. A small tube of toothpaste, soap, mini shampoo, shower gel are just a few examples: With these little things you can score points with your guests. These are often forgotten at home so are appreciated by guests.
4. Homemade products
Do you make your own jam or like to bake? Then surprise your guests with a jar of homemade jam or pastries. It’s a personal gesture we are sure they’ll appreciate!
Here are a few ideas:
- A basket of fresh fruit or vegetables from the garden
- Handmade soaps
- Scented candles
- Postcards with your drawings or photos from the region
5. Personal recommendations
Your guests will also appreciate your insider tips on attractions, restaurants and stores, regional events, ideas for excursions, etc.
-> Tip: You can summarize all these tips clearly in your (digital) guest guide.
Also think about whether you would like to cooperate with a company in the area to enable your guests to go on excursions, sightseeing tours etc. For more tips, see our guide on upselling and cross-selling for short-term renters.
6. A personal welcome letter
Especially if your guests are arriving contactless and you can’t greet them in person, a welcome letter is a great way to still welcome them. It doesn’t take a lot of effort for you to write a few lines, but the effect will last.
7. A gift for the children
If you are specifically targeting families with children with your vacation rental, you can prepare a special welcome package for the little ones to keep them happy. For example, how about a coloring book and crayons, children’s books, a toy for the beach or a ball?
8. Fresh flowers
Another easy way to spruce up your vacation home is with fresh flowers. Put a bouquet of flowers you picked yourself from the garden or from a nearby flower store in the living room or on the dining table. This will instantly make your vacation rental feel more homey and your guests will appreciate the little touch.
Positive reviews and good ratings
One thing is for sure: with a welcome gift you can score points and your guests will remember you. Gifts should be seen as “that little extra”, because it can’t make up for poor service and shortcomings.
Remember that your guests will judge the whole booking process when they think back to their stay with you. This includes your listing on the booking portal, the communication via email, the check-in, the condition of the vacation home and even still the messages you send after departure to ask your guests for a review.
Therefore, make sure that overall you offer them a great travel experience that leaves nothing to be desired. With little surprises like a welcome gift or other free extras, you’ll earn more points that will make you memorable. And those who are satisfied will be happy to give you a 5 star review and recommend you on Airbnb, Booking.com or your own rental website.