The ‘Welcome Pack’ – Delight Your Guests On Arrival
It is very important to make a great 1st impression. Guests are arriving at your holiday cottage with excitement, anticipation and just a little nervousness. Your holiday home looks picture perfect awaiting their arrival. Now to delight your guests with your thoughtful ‘Welcome Pack’.
Get it right and your guests will know they are in the right place, nerves calmed and their excitement levels cranked right up.
But what should go in it? This is your chance to show your personality, your creativity and that you care what your guests need.
You have had a chance to communicate with your guests beforehand, you probably know a little about who they are. A family staying for a week, a couple on a midweek break or maybe a group friends enjoying a weekend away. This can help you decide what should be included.
Tea & Cakes on Arrival with a Personalised Welcome Note
Your guests have yet to unpack and settle in but 1st up is most likely to be to pop the kettle on and make a cuppa. Leave out some mugs, tea bags or coffee with a handwritten personalised hello and welcome note. Add a few tasty shortbread biscuits and a bottle of fresh milk in the fridge and you have made a great start. Maybe some teacakes or scones with homemade jam and clotted cream – yum!
Leave also close by the WiFi code, you can guarantee that will be the 1st thing the kids will ask for.
What to Include in Your Guest’s Welcome Pack
You know your market and guests you are looking to attract so make up your ‘Welcome Pack’ accordingly and make sure you factor it into your property pricing.
Let’s Start with the Essentials:
Your ‘Essentials Tray’ Could Include:
- Tea / Coffee, Butter
- Washing Up Liquid
- Some Dishwasher Tablets
- Washing Machine Tabs
- Salt / Pepper
- Cooking Oil
- Several Loo Rolls
The Guest Welcome Pack
There are many great ideas that need not be expensive but thoughtful and full of character.
Be flexible, adapt your hamper according to your guests, time of year, locally available produce, availability and of course cost.
Welcome Pack Ideas That You Could Include:
- A homemade cake (an owner I know gets great guest comments about her cakes)
- Fresh bread from the local bakers (leaves a great smell in the house)
- Any locally produced specialities – Cheese, Cornish Pasties, Lake District Gingerbread, Devon Cream, Welsh Laverbread (and where to get them locally)
- Some fresh fruit or vegetables
- Homemade pot of jam, some local honey or local artisan products
- Fresh eggs and some local Butchers sausages
- The ever popular bottle of Prosecco in the fridge (However be aware that alcohol needs a licence so do not advertise the fact that you provide this as part of your holiday)
- Locally sourced fruit juice, craft beer, cider or wine
- Some locally made biscuits or shortbread
- If you are aware of a special occasion you have an opportunity to leave something appropriate out – a mini cupcake with candles on it will leave a smile!
Note: Photograph an example of your welcome pack and kitchen essentials tray and post it onto your website and social media.
Just a Thought – Arrange Your Welcome Packs with a Local Supplier
You may have a friendly arrangement with a local deli, farm shop or nearby village store who can put together a basket of goods for you depending upon season and availability. Leave a little menu of where the local produce can be sourced from giving provenance and credit. This may well encourage your guests to visit and buy their products from them and a fruitful relationship will endure.
Handwritten Welcome Note
Lastly but probably most importantly, write a handwritten and personalised notelet welcoming your guests and wishing them a great stay. Add a little footnote saying you will be available on xxxx if they have any questions.
Personalised Chalkboard Welcome
I recently saw a decorated chalkboard on the wall with a lovely welcoming handwritten message to the guests, each were named too!
How about getting your own postcards produced with a picture of your cottage, local view or a memorable picture. Add your logo and contact details and your guests may well post this to their best friends or family and spread the word out – offer a ‘Friends and Family Discount’ perhaps.
Something for the Children
If there are children coming, you could leave out some colouring pencils, books and some games. One owner I know always left out a cute fluffy toy duck encouraging the children to photograph it at their favourite places they visited whilst staying with them. They could take it away with them and encouraged them to enter a competition and share them on Social Media with an appropriate #hashtag, for example #PuddleDuck – This helped spread the word and the children had fun doing it too.
Guest Information Folder
Don’t forget the guest information book. This should be helpful, informative and comprehensive. It is an opportunity for you to lay out the house rules, explain how to work appliances, pass on your knowledge of the area and provide local recommendations. You can add in any offers, discounts or friendly arrangements you have organised with local suppliers, restaurants, activities or places to visit (a local brewery and tasting tour was one of our recent favourites).
Be helpful, informative, thoughtful and considerate. This will help your guests have a trouble free stay and give them some great ideas on where to go and what to do. Your chance to add real value to their stay. Being polite and friendly will help your guests be much more respectful of your lovely holiday home.
Your ‘Guest Information Book’ – Be Comprehensive & Include:
- Warm & Welcoming Introduction Note
- WiFi Code
- Emergency & Useful Local Telephone Numbers
- Household Appliances Guide
- House Rules, Dogs & Guidance
- What to ‘See & Do’
- Great Local Activities
- Where to ‘Eat & Drink’
- Local Shopping & Home Deliveries
- Special Offers & Discounts Available for Guests
- Recycling & Rubbish Collection
- Check Out Procedure
- Guest Book, Feedback & Reviews
- Your Terms & Conditions
By covering all bases and creating an informative guide for your guests will help reduce the risk of those late night calls and their reliance on you for information that you could have provided. That said, of course make sure that you happy help them whenever and to answer any questions they may have.
See here for more detail on ‘How to Create a Great Guest Information Folder.’
Leave a Good Lasting Impression
With a lovely and well presented welcome pack and a comprehensive well laid out guest information folder you have provided the tools and goodies for them to have a great start to their holiday.
By being thoughtful, individual and creative it is also a great idea to personalise what you can too. This will go a very long way to leaving your guests with great memories of their stay with you. By creating a positive lasting impression guests will want to share and recommend with their friends and family, giving you excellent reviews and repeat bookings in return.