One of the most essential amenities to include in your vacation rental is a welcome book for your guests. This book should contain important information about your property, while also serving as a local resource for your guests.
Your welcome book can be as simple — or as fancy — as you want! If you are short on time or funds, a simple three-ring binder will do the job just fine. If you want to get more creative, you can upgrade the binding, or use an online gallery like Shutterfly to create a customized photo book about your home!
The information below outlines some of the most important details to include within a welcome book, but feel free to add your recommendations in the comments!
Personal Welcome Note
First and foremost, your welcome book is an opportunity to, well, welcome your guest! Many travelers choose vacation homes over hotels because they have a certain sense of intimacy and character that you just don’t get from a large-scale hotel. Making visitors feel at home will put them at ease, and help them have a more enjoyable stay at your property. Including a thoughtful welcome letter at the beginning of your book is the perfect way get travelers excited about their decision to reserve your property.
Make sure your welcome book provides at least one name, telephone number and email for a local contact near your property. This person can be you, a local property manager, or even a neighbor — but they should be easily reachable, and available to come to the home on short notice. You will also want to include contact details and addresses for the following resources:
- Nearest Medical Clinic or Hospital
- Fire/Police Departments
- Maintenance Contact
- Housekeeping Contact
Property Policies & Procedures
Because policies and procedures vary widely in the vacation rental industry, it’s important that you provide very clear instructions for guests. For example, if you want the trash emptied before travelers depart, be sure to note this in your check-out instructions. Here are some additional policies and procedures to include in your welcome book:
- Property Access (lockbox code, garage code, gate)
- House Instructions (thermostat, laundry, fireplace, hot tub)
- House Rules (smoking policy, pet policy, quiet hours)
- Parking Instructions
- Check-Out Procedures
- Wireless Internet Passwords
- TV Remote Control Directions
- Subdivision/Complex/Community Rules
Activities, Attractions, Restaurants, and More
One of the most significant amenities that travelers forego in order to stay in a vacation rental is the concierge service commonly offered by hotels. As a vacation rental owner you can easily take on this role, impress travelers, and keep ’em coming back — with little effort on your part!
Though your guests may have already planned their trip itinerary, local recommendations are always welcomed. If you can suggest a few family-friendly and/or romantic activities to appeal to different types of travelers, all the better. Be sure to give addresses and phone numbers for each of your recommendations, so your guests can find them. We recommend that you include at least a few suggestions in the following categories:
- Grocery Stores
- Activities (hikes, golf, snorkeling, skiing)
- Attractions (museums, monuments, parks, beaches)
- Places of Worship
Make it easier for guests to explore by including local transportation information in your welcome book. Be sure to include contact info, directions, schedules and any other details that travelers will find helpful. Important transportation options to include:
- Taxi & Shuttle Services
- Bus Routes
- Car Rentals
- Airports and Train Stations
- Area Maps
Putting together a great welcome book for guests costs nothing more than your time, and you’re sure to be rewarded with positive reviews and repeat bookings. Do you have any tips for preparing a welcome book for travelers? If so, let us know in the comments!
Evolve provides every traveler with a detailed pre-stay email that includes much of the welcome book content discussed above. To learn more ways Evolve makes vacation rental easy for homeowners, click here or call us at 877.818.1014.