Especially in today’s vacation industry, travellers are seeking highly individual, local experiences. They want those tips for the best bakery around the corner with fresh croissants or the family-owned restaurant that has been making the same recipe for generations. They want to know which hiking paths offer the best views or which beach they should visit for more privacy. This is all information that you, as a regional expert and as a homeowner, can give them.

Welcome books are your opportunity to share both useful information about local tips and specialities as well as about your property. 

Explain once and for all how that funky TV remote control actually works or how guests can adjust the thermostat without transforming your home into a cauldron. And if this all sounds like a tedious and time-consuming task, let me assure you, a small amount of effort goes a long way.

Even a couple notes will make your guests immediately feel like you have been thinking of them and their holiday experience. And it will make your job easier as well: more information up front means less questions for you during their stay. And what better way to boost your popularity in the neighborhood than to send your guests to local businesses?

Here are the essential categories to include in your welcome book, which you can print out or send via email to your guests. As you see, some of these are particularly useful for international travellers, who are less familiar with your region and probably even your country.

Suggested Points

A Welcome Note:
A couple sentences here immediately boosts your connection with guests. This could be your opportunity to make a ‘first impression’ – welcome them and feel free to write a sentence or two about yourself: perhaps why you rent this property, what it means to you or what you hope for their travels.

House Rules:
We always appreciate our guests, but this is your opportunity to kindly remind them of how they can avoid getting on your bad side. Remind them, for example, of the quiet hours in the neighborhood, that external guests and parties are forbidden, or that they need to supervise their children around the slippery pool area.

Emergency Contacts:
Listing a few numbers for doctors (extra points for international/english-speaking ones!), emergency services and hospitals will immediately make travellers feel more secure.

Instructions for Appliances and Amenities:
These things are not always as straightforward as you think. Especially for someone who doesn’t speak the language of the settings on your appliances! A small picture, in this case, could end up being a lot more helpful than lengthy instructions and manuals. Think of:

– Access Codes for Garages, Gates, Lockboxes  
– Thermostat
– Hot tub or Fireplace  
– Washer, Dryer or Kitchen Appliances  
– Wi-Fi (with password!)  
– Remote Controls

Local Tips and Activities:  
This is your moment to shine! Recommend your favorite spots, support local businesses and show your expertise. While something like a grocery store doesn’t seem very exciting, it is highly useful, and you can make all of your suggestions more personal by explaining why you recommend them: that particular bay with crystal-clear water, the cafe with the perfect espresso and smiling barista, or your favorite local specialty!

– Grocery stores  
– Local restaurants and specialities (especially little-known ones)  
– Great spots for outdoor activities like hiking, golfing, snorkelling or skiing  
– Attractions (museums and monuments)  
– Children-friendly areas (playgrounds and parks)

Public Transport/ How to Get to Important Places:  
Especially if travellers often come to your property without a car, it will make their stay a lot easier if you help them decipher timetables and routes. Copy in some maps and times or describe, in a simple way, how they can get to that super popular beach or shopping center of town.

Remember that fond memories outside of your accommodation influence the mood and perception of those within it. Those positive experiences with a restaurant off the beaten path, or the stunning, little-known vista point, will also reflect on your expertise as a homeowner and your accommodation. This ultimately translates into much better reviews for your property and more future customers.