Your holiday home should be exactly that – a home-from-home for happy holidaymakers. The more welcome they feel, the more likely they are to return year after year and recommend your holiday home to their friends.
And sometimes, just a few tweaks are needed to turn your place into an inviting base for some great vacations.
Read on for eight easy ways to welcome guests into your self-catering house or apartment including how to protect your investment with the right holiday home insurance.
Provide a guest information pack
Holiday makers don’t want to waste valuable vacation time figuring out your recycling system or searching for opening hours of local landmarks.
A simple guest information pack covering all your household basics and suggesting a few things to do in the local area will help your guests get their holidays off to a great start.
These days, wifi is a must in all but the most remote or basic holiday homes, enabling guests to search for holiday inspiration on the internet. But the good old-fashioned guest information pack is still welcomed by those who like to have all the details they need at their fingertips.
Offer a welcome hamper
After a long drive, the last thing your guests want to do is go out again in search of a shop to buy milk.
By laying on a supply of biscuits, tea bags, coffee and milk, you allow your guests to sit down and relax with a cuppa after their journey, and start to feel properly on holiday.
Flowers, wine and a homemade cake are really special touches, too. And how about including a few local delicacies, particularly if you often have visitors from overseas? Why not team up with other local businesses – the cross promotion could do wonders for you both.
Get logs and kindling ready
If your holiday home offers a wood burner or open fire, set it up ready to go for out-of-season guests. That way, they can relax in the evenings over a glass of wine or cup of cocoa and start looking forward to their next day’s activities.
It also demonstrates how to lay a fire to guests who’ve never done this before, hopefully saving them from a smoke-filled room and your home from any fire-related accidents.
Remember to carry out a fire risk assessment, put fire extinguishers on each floor, and make sure you’ve got holiday home insurance, too.
Unpack an online grocery delivery
At some holiday cottages, guests can order an online grocery delivery to arrive before they do.
Owners will arrange for it to be unpacked and put away, so that guests arrive to a fridge and cupboards fully stocked with their choice of goodies. It saves guests the bother of finding a supermarket and wasting their precious downtime on grocery shopping.
Of course, this may not be possible for logistical reasons. But if you can offer this service, it’s a great way of ensuring your guests feel instantly at home.
This should be a given:
Keep your cottage clean
no guest wants to spend time in someone else’s dirt and mess.
Your home should be clean and fresh smelling when guests arrive, preferably with beds already made and ready to sink into.
It’s worth considering how to make sure your home is easy to keep clean, too. While cream sofas and carpets may look lovely in the photos, guests may feel more at home in a cottage or apartment where they don’t have to worry about damaging the fixtures, fittings or furniture.
By providing plenty of storage space and pegs for muddy or wet coats and shoes, you’ll enable your guests to keep your home sparkling clean for the next family of holiday makers.
If you’re unlucky enough to have guests who cause serious damage, your holiday home insurance
should cover repairs.
Offer stuff for kids
Nothing says “children are welcome here” more than a generous boxful of toys and games. Outdoor games, such as buckets and spades, will go down a treat. If you have a garden, a trampoline or swing-ball will let kids burn off energy while their parents chill out.
Books are a great option for evenings and rainy days, as many children will race through the ones they’ve brought from home.
If families are bringing babies or infants, they’ll really appreciate you providing a cot or travel cot and highchair.
Provide a well-stocked kitchen
Many families like to use their holiday time to try out new recipes, cook healthy meals from scratch, or do a spot of baking with the kids.
Providing plenty of utensils and pans makes your holiday home kitchen a hub for culinary creativity rather than just a place to heat up microwave meals. Don’t forget to clear cupboard and fridge-freezer space for guests’ provisions.
Make sure there’s a pleasant space where the whole family can sit over a hearty meal to discuss their adventures and plan the next day.
Include homely touches
When decorating and kitting out a holiday home, you need to get a balance between being too bland and being too idiosyncratic.
The former might make your guests think they’re in an institution, while the latter could make them feel they’re living in someone else’s clutter.
It’s impossible to cater exactly for all your guests’ tastes, so you should find a middle ground. Pale-coloured walls with a few pictures of landscapes are a safe bet. Save bright or strong colours for a few soft furnishings or crockery, or perhaps a feature wall.
That way, everyone can make your holiday home theirs for a week or two, and enjoy a relaxing vacation.
Get a quote from Insurance Choice today
Your self-catering holiday home or apartment represents a considerable investment – so you need to make sure it’s protected with the right holiday home insurance
Insurance Choice arranges policies for holiday homes that can include cover for accidental damage, malicious damage and theft, public liability, and legal expenses.Get a quote today.