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Special prep helps you meet holiday expectations?

Special prep helps you meet holiday expectations?

The saying, “home for the holidays,” means different things to different people. For some, it means a drive down the street. For others, it’s a lengthy road trip or cross-country flight. As a vacation rental host, you are competing against large hotels for holiday bookings, so it’s important to make your space feel as homey as possible.

It’s true that guests have come to expect many of the same amenities found in hotels, such as clean towels and toiletries, entertainment options, and internet access. Living up to those expectations may seem a challenge, but fear not. You have the ability to offer all the comforts of a hotel while also adding smaller touches that make your rental feel like home. Here are just a few ways to help you meet holiday expectations.

Make guests feel welcome
From the moment your guests step across your welcome mat, they should feel at ease. You are their concierge, so think like one. You can ease travel-weary minds by providing a welcome packet that includes a friendly welcome note, house rules, and information concerning public transportation, local attractions and holiday-themed activities in the area.

Lay out a set of FAQs that highlight anything and everything related to your space, whether it be WiFi passwords, directions for appliances and/or numbers to call in case of emergency. Pay attention to questions guests bring up throughout their stay, as well as any tidbits left in reviews, so you can make helpful improvements. Remember, a well-informed guest is a happy guest.

Add your holiday spice
For the holidays, dress up your place up in a tasteful way that helps make spirits bright. It’s the smallest of details that will set your property apart from hotels. Embrace the season with tasty snacks such as hot chocolate, candy canes, and eggnog stocked in the kitchen. Create a playlist on Spotify with holiday tracks that visitors can listen to through a Bluetooth® speaker. Leave holiday scented candles in the bathroom for winding down after a long day. Consider setting a poinsettia in the living room for a pop of color and holiday spirit.

Seasonal additions aside, consider what might be useful for different guests and their unique travel situations. You might book entire families, so preparing for young children will show genuine thoughtfulness on behalf of your visitors. For those traveling from far places, universal adapters are also incredibly useful to have on hand – there’s nothing more stressful for guests than arriving at a destination with no way to charge or use electronics.

Offer the essentials with the extras
With those holiday extras, be sure to offer the essentials. There are a handful of basic amenities that should always be made available upon arrival. Soaps, shampoos, and lotions are a no-brainer for any bathroom set-up, as well as soft, clean towels and a hair dryer for primping and prepping before holiday gatherings.

Outside of the bathroom, your kitchen and bedroom should be the focus. Coffee and tea will not go unappreciated during early mornings, and clean bed linens with plenty of pillows and blankets will be a dream to fall into late at night–better than your standard, over-tucked hotel beds with stiff sheets, that’s for sure.

Also, make sure your guests have everything they need to take care of themselves. If you offer laundry, stock up on detergent. If you have a dishwasher, keep dish soap on the counter or under the sink. Especially for lengthier visits, it’s nice to know all of the necessities of home are right at your fingertips.

Give your guests a clean space
The cleanliness of your vacation rental should never be an afterthought during guest preparations. At a hotel, guests are used to having their bed sheets changed, rooms cleaned, towels refreshed, and more. Just because guests are booking a ‘lived in’ vacation rental doesn’t mean they want it to look like you literally cooked a meal in the kitchen before they arrived. If it helps, make a list of cleaning tasks to accomplish before every new guest. The cleaner your space is, the more comfortable your guests will feel from the start.

When hosting guests for the holidays, blending the comforts of home with hotel amenities elevates your accommodations above the rest. And with the stress holidays can induce, it’s reassuring to know that comfort and relaxation are always nearby. From the most basic necessities to the tiniest of details, fuel your positive review fire and ensure plenty of bookings for future holidays to come.