Have you thought about the details?
A few years back, most tourists chose to organise their holidays through travel agencies, but these days holidaymakers usually plan their own trips as they please. And when it comes to choosing accommodation, the Internet is the medium that is generally used to get information. So, if you own a holiday rental home, it is worth bearing in mind that your advert needs a nice description and some attractive photographs.
But once you have attracted tourists and received bookings, what can you do to maintain, or even improve, your guests’ levels of satisfaction? Have you thought about the details? Today, we want to talk about how you can prepare your rental accommodation in a way that will allow your guests to enjoy a comfortable and pleasant stay. Not only will you make their experience a positive one, but they might book your accommodation facility again or recommend it to family and friends.
How to prepare a holiday rental home for tourists
- Sheets and towels. Remember that, depending on the location of your rental accommodation, many of your guests won’t be arriving in their own vehicle and may choose instead to travel by aeroplane, train or bus. So, what happens when their luggage doesn’t have all the space they need? Well, as they are two of the bulkiest and most inconvenient items for travellers to carry, something as simple as providing your guests with bedding and towels will set your rental home apart from many others that don’t include them.
- Personal hygiene. Clearly, if you don’t own a hotel, then your holiday home won’t offer all the personal hygiene details that such types of accommodation usually offer. But you can still provide basic items such as a bar of soap, a bottle of shower gel or shampoo (even if it has already been used), a packet of tissues, enough rolls of toilet paper for the duration of the stay, etc. These products are all very cheap, but it’s a very nice gesture that you can make for your guests, as holidaymakers frequently forget to bring this kind of bathroom item. This is especially true if they have had to pass through airport security on their way to your holiday rental home.
- A well-equipped kitchen. It’s interesting to note that kitchens are one of the holiday rental facilities that are sought most often by the main European tourist markets. And if you are lucky enough to have a kitchen in your accommodation facility, then you will have a better chance of renting it out. This is why there is very little cost involved in fitting out a kitchen with small, everyday and frequently used electrical appliances such as juicers, toasters, microwave ovens, etc. Of course, such basic utensils as frying pans, saucepans, wooden spoons, and a good selection of crockery and cutlery are essential.
- What to stock in the larder. Staying with the subject of the kitchen, you can also leave some small courtesy items in the larder. Logically, you should only leave non-perishable foodstuffs, or other items that will not go off, such as serviettes, sugar, salt, oil, cocoa powder, flour, etc. These are very low-cost products and guests always appreciate having them to hand. Bear in mind that having to buy a bottle of oil is a real nuisance for tourists if all they are really going to use over the duration of their stay is a couple of spoonfuls. It will hardly cost you a thing and you will be serving the needs of your temporary tenants.
Making your guests’ stay easier
- Recommending establishments. It doesn’t take much effort to recommend various establishments that your guests might find useful while on holiday. And it may also provide a chance for a small-scale collaboration with businesses that are local to your accommodation facility; if you let them know that you encourage tourists to visit their shops and restaurants, they might return the favour when it comes to visitors who are looking for a holiday rental home. It’s a nice gesture and one that only involves leaving out some pamphlets or cards from whichever you think are the best restaurants and shops, but it’s also one that will be one much appreciated by your guests.
- A map or guide to the town. These days, we can navigate our way around any town or city using our mobile phone, and tourists generally travel with a clear idea of what they are going to see once they reach their holiday destination. Even so, we all still like to have a paper map that might come to our rescue on one or more occasions, and we always carry one about with us. A summary of the main places of interest and a brief description of each — together with relevant information such as opening times, prices and how to get there — can be very useful to your guests and is a great way of welcoming them.
- Small details, big results. And if you want to take these modest gestures a step further, we recommend that you prepare some small gifts for your guests. How might you please them? Simply by leaving some sweets, chocolates, biscuits, etc. by way of a welcome. You can place them somewhere visible with a note wishing your guests a pleasant stay, or next to some pamphlets that contain information on your town or city.
Remember what we said at the start about tourists using the Internet these days? Well, it’s not just for making their holiday preparations; they also use it for giving reviews once they’re back home. Between forums, websites, blogs, comments and social networks, it’s difficult to escape your guests’ opinions. This is why it’s in your interest that these opinions are positive — they’ll provide you with (good) publicity completely free of charge. If your holiday rental home is featured on an accommodation website, or if you have your own website, then you should encourage your guests to rate their stay once it’s over.
If you implement the thoughtful gestures we’ve suggested in this article, your guests are bound to be delighted with the attention to detail you, as owner, will have paid. So, take note and get the most out of your holiday home by meeting your guests’ basic needs with minimal investment. That way, they’ll come back for another stay, or, at the very least, they’ll publicise your accommodation facility either on the Internet or by word of mouth.