It’s true in many aspects of our daily lives, from our work to our hobbies. Setting off on the right foot means a lot to so many of us. A little extra effort can go a long way. Give your guests the perfect start to their holiday by adding a little wow factor and creating an awesome welcome pack!
It’s often the first memory that lasts the longest. And for guests, their experience starts from the moment they arrive. There’s a lot of information to process when arriving at a property. And a lot to learn to really enjoy a well-deserved self-catered break. Once guests get their bearings and have explored your home, there’ll be a few extra bits they’ll want to know. Guest expectations are high. Providing a personalised welcome has become an expected part of UK holiday letting. Gone are the days when a single sheet of paper with a few appliance instructions is enough. Your home needs that little something extra to help guests feel welcome. We are, of course, talking about the welcome pack. A well-put-together welcome pack can help guests get the perfect holiday!
In this blog, we’ll look at how you can create the perfect welcome pack. And offer our tips on what to include to make yours that extra bit special.
It’s something we’ve all experienced, I’m sure.
You’re staying over with family, and you go to use the shower in the morning and BAM! You can’t figure out how to turn the dreaded thing on, and the controls are completely different to yours at home. You’re now in for a solid 15 minutes of tinkering and adjusting dials until you figure out how it works. What’s worse is, there’s no hot water because of a setting on the boiler you didn’t know about. A minor inconvenience when staying with family, but a nightmare when you’re on holiday! So, what’s the solution – that’s easy, add it to your welcome pack!
The beauty of welcome packs is that no two are the same. As unique as your property, your welcome pack is an extension of you. A welcome pack is a document or book to help welcome your guests. It usually contains all the information guests need for the duration of their stay. They can include appliance guides, emergency details, and the location of fire exits. You can make your welcome pack as big or as small as you’d like. But, as we’ve mentioned already, it’s not enough to leave out a few pieces of paper with a list of instructions. Guests now expect a little more, and a few tiny touches from you can help make their welcome extra special.
Some owners choose to go all out and prepare a hamper with a handful of items to help welcome their guests. While others choose to create a smaller package that’s full of personal touches. Creating a welcome pack from scratch can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Get it right and your guests will thank you.
Your welcome pack can be anything you want it to be and is a great way to make that lasting first impression. Let your guests know you appreciate them and create your welcome pack with some of these useful tips:
Your welcome pack is a great way to let your guests know a little more about you. You can use it to add a personal flair that they’re sure to appreciate. You might not get the chance to meet your guests in person during their stay. Depending on your schedule and how you choose to manage your property – you may never interact. Giving your guests an introduction to who you are can make them feel more at home when staying at your property. Share a little about yourself, why you chose to buy a property in the area, and a little history of your property. This, accompanied by a handwritten note, can be a great touch to make guests feel extra welcome.
A little tip we always suggest to owners is to include in their welcome packs are some household essentials for guests to use. We don’t mean filling the fridge or making sure there’s enough food in the cupboards to last your guests a week. But include the things they likely left at home. Things like dishwasher tablets, bin bags, washing-up liquid, and some basic cleaning supplies. Guests will appreciate their availability and help them take care of your property. Having these available for guests not only helps them use your property as intended. But removes any surprises when they realise they don’t have them right after the shops have closed.
Many choose their holiday with specific attractions and locations already in mind. Providing guests with knowledge of the area lets them know you care about their stay. You can use your welcome pack to share the history or stories about the local area. Suggest places to eat and drink, local days out, and interesting shops to visit. Focus on the good things in your area, and help guests plan fun activities for the days ahead.
Going the extra mile can make your welcome pack go from good to great – and doesn’t have to break the bank. Including a selection of local produce to give guests a taste of what’s made in the area helps guests feel settled. Adding these encourages guests to get out and explore the local towns and shops. Tell them where they can get supplies, and where to buy essential gifts for friends and family.
Most guests will respect your property and enjoy a peaceful and relaxing stay. But like in any home, there may be some things that are off-limits to anyone but yourselves. The easiest way to avoid an awkward situation is to be up-front and let your guests know as soon as they arrive. Tell them what they can and can’t do at your property. These will be in the interest of the guests, to make sure their stay is as safe and as enjoyable as possible. This list can include subtle reminders. Respect the neighbours, keep noise levels down, and more. Use this to reiterate that while pets are welcome at your home, they must stay off the furniture. Use this list to remind guests to contact you as soon as possible if there are any problems at the property. Most guests will appreciate your requests and respect your boundaries. It can also help to reduce the work needed during the next changeover.
Help your guests get out and about to explore the region without needing to rely on the car. If possible, include some local transport information in your welcome pack. This can be anything from reliable taxi services to bus and train timetables. Including public transport information works great in both an urban and countryside environment. Guests will appreciate the thought no matter where your property is. Transport can be confusing in urban areas, and infrequent in the countryside. Providing this extra bit of information can help guests plan their days.
Why not provide a short list of your favourite things to do in the area too? It might seem obvious, but some extra guidance can help guests enjoy their stay and make the most of the days ahead.
This is another nice touch that lets guests get to know you and your area a little better. Is your property based in the countryside, and is it perfect for an adventure-filled break? Tell them about your favourite trails or nearby lakes. Is your property in a quaint village centre? Let them know about the best local pub, and what the must-order food is from their menu. It’s a good idea to leave a list that caters to all ages so there’s something for everyone. An extra nice touch is to include a map with the relative location of every attraction. If you don’t have time to create a map, try to include some sat-nav information such as the postcode. This makes it easy for guests to navigate their way around.
Leaving a small welcome gift to open after a long car journey is the perfect touch to start a holiday. The welcome gift doesn’t have to be anything major or super expensive. Try including some home comforts like tea, coffee, biscuits and some local bread and jams. A gift adds a pleasant welcome to your property and lets your guests know you’re thinking of them. This is a thoughtful and inexpensive way to improve your guest’s stay.
If your property has some stand-out features – let your guests know! If you have a pool or a hot tub, let guests know where they are and how to use them. Do you have a games room or some smart TVs? Tell your guests and help them get the most enjoyment possible when staying at your property. Do you have a built-in barbeque, a log burner, or a gym? Give guests the know-how they need to enjoy your facility as best as they can.
Seeing as we’re in the UK there’s always a chance of rain, no matter what time of year it is. Keep guests entertained even in the worst weather. Add items to your property that guests can use on a rainy day. These can be anything. Some classic board games that everyone can enjoy. Or if you’re cottage is popular with families, some games for the children to play. Consider TVs that have apps like Netflix so guests can watch their favourite movies. Include some local takeaway menus in your welcome pack. Everyone loves a takeaway and guests will love being able to have food delivered. Save guests the hassle of having to travel and give everyone a night in to remember.
Along with the above, there are some other little extras you can do to help make your welcome pack extra special. If you’re welcoming guests with pets, consider including some dog treats. Many guests will see their pet as part of the family, and a handful of nice treats help welcome their furry friend. Consider including some homely touches. Fresh flowers if they’re available, or a nice cake can impress. Your welcome pack can also give guests all the information they need to run your property. Let guests know what to do with household waste and what days the bins go out (it could happen when they’re there). Tell them what you expect of them about housekeeping. As self-catered guests, they will be happy to do some amount of cleaning up after themselves.
Going the extra mile and providing a hearty welcome pack will leave a lasting impression. It’s the little touches that make a difference. While it’s true that self-catered guests don’t want you there to hold their hand the entire time. A little gift to set them up for their stay does wonders. It’s important to make sure guests feel welcome from the moment they walk into your property. It’s also fine to use your welcome pack to set boundaries and expectations for your guests. This is your property after all! Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. You almost can’t go wrong and with some practice, your welcome pack will be perfect in no time!
Coast and Country Holidays are part of the Sykes Holiday Cottages family, bringing all of our owners the best experience possible when it comes to holiday letting. We have access to the resources of a national company, coupled with support from the local experts based within the Pembrokeshire region.
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Hi, I'm Liam.
I'm a digital and content marketer and have been with the team at Menai since January 2023!...
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