When opening your home to guests there is a certain kinship that develops even if neither party ever see the other. This kinship can be enhanced by a guest guide as such a book can be seen as a guide to peace of mind while one stays at your home. Your guests can find the answers to all of their questions. And everyone knows a happy guest is less likely to call you in the middle of the night to ask where an extra roll of toilet paper is!
Whether your guest guide is just a simple, laminated sheet of paper or a bulging 3-ring binder filled with take-out menus, a quick flip through the pages will keep guests from making unnecessary SOS calls. Even beyond that though, it gives your guest insight as to the world around them, locally, of course. What Chinese restaurants are open all night? What is the Wifi password? How do I turn the AC down?
Personally meeting your guest is great but that is often not the case with a rental. Even if it is, a guest guide stays with them 24/7, something we don’t encourage you to do. TIP: If it’s worth saying, it’s worth writing down. Consider these tips for writing your own guest guide.
HELLO, 911. WHAT IS YOUR EMERGENCY?
Basic emergency information is a must. This is more than just saying “call 911.” Information in this section should include the full address of the rental as well as a way to reach you in case of an emergency. Your guest should be able to provide the address to an emergency service without having to search high and low for it. List out the numbers for fire, police, medical, and dental, as well as the address and phone number of the closest 24-hour pharmacy.
While saving a life is important, sometimes saving time is equally important. Be sure to put the Wifi username and password in the location of the wireless router in the guest guide. Remember, Wifi is a booking option so there are people who are looking specifically for such a connection. You will also want to include instructions on the television, cable box, stereo, sound system, the washer/dry, the AC/heat, etc. If you have the original operator’s manuals for the units, then tuck those inside as well. This essential information can actually prevent your equipment and appliances from accidentally being misused or even broken. This section of the guide is also where you should include instructions for finding extra linens and cleaning supplies. If trash is to be disposed of and if there is a recycling option, include those instructions as well.
THE INS AND OUTS
Nothing makes a guest feel more at home than knowing just how to jiggle the key in the front door handle to get it to open on the first try. If you have a wall switch that controls an electrical outlet, share that information. Let your guests know all the intricacies of living in your house. Be sure to tell them if the neighbors cat likes to sit at the bathroom window and feel the steam from a warm shower. It can be lifesaving detail in more than one way.
YOU ARE HERE
A printed out local map that says “you are here” can serve so many wonderful purposes. It gives guests a sense of belonging and of permanence. Let them know that your house is here in relations to XYZ. There is always the chance that your guest’s phone battery will die and they can’t access their map app. If you don’t have a map of your own most visitors centers do and you can procure several of those to use. While there you can also pick up a few local publications with calendars of events so your guests can see what is happening in and around town during that time.
EAT, DRINK, AND BE MERRY!
Perhaps nothing fills out a guest guide like personal recommendations. Where you do like to eat? Where do you prefer to have a night cap? What is the best move theatre? Is there a great shopping destination? Let your guests know. Fill in some of the blanks for them so they can truly capture the magic of your town the way you do.
Do you have anything that should be added to a guest guide? What do you include in yours? Let us know in the comment section below. You can also continue the conversation on our Facebook page. We look forward to hearing from you!