By Martha Lueders.
Walking through the front door of your vacation rental should feel like a mix of serenity and paradise to your guests. Jetsetters are stepping through your doorway in hopes they’ve found a home away from home. Anything that you do to help that will only entice them back. So, have you ever given a thought to welcome baskets?
A welcome basket is a small collection of goodies or resources you give guests to improve their stay. Items in the basket can range from pampering products to useful materials such as maps and itineraries. Guests are not charged for using items in the welcome baskets, it’s an added bonus for them booking your place. Airbnb renters who are happy with their stay are more likely to book again, so not only are welcome baskets a nice gesture, it’s a smart business move.
Finding what to put into your welcome baskets is a little tricky, and we’re here to help! It’s ideal to find a nice balance between logical gifts and little tokens of appreciation. Here a few goodies we suggest including in your welcome baskets:
1. A handwritten card with a simple hello – Invite your guests to reach out to you if they have any questions or problems. Even if you can’t meet your Airbnb guests in person when they check in, this is a great way to invite them to feel comfortable and enjoy their stay. A handwritten note is seen as a gesture of the past, so guests will take notice and appreciate the simple card.
Bonus tip: Do not make the card generic. If you know specifics about the guests, include that in your card. Also, make sure you address them by name, and you spell them correctly!
2. A pineapple – I know what you might be thinking, “What?” But greeting guests with a pineapple is a long tradition in southern hospitality. A pineapple signified guests that they were welcome in their home. Add a small handwritten tag to the pineapple’s stem to explain the importance.
3. Your guest book – If you haven’t already, start a guest book! Not only is it fun to page through and recall who has all stayed in your Airbnb rental, but it can also be useful for your guests. Invite them to write down certain attractions that they’ve seen or what the highlight of their trip has been. Encourage all your guests to page through the book to look for some advice for their own vacation and to pass advice onto others.
4. Guides and maps for local attractions – Many people do not have their trip itineraries planned to the ‘T.’ Offer some suggestions on where folks can enjoy the best local cuisine or some local hotspots to hit up that might not be listed in tour guides of the area. Also include maps and such so guests can branch out and explore the piece of paradise you call home.
Bonus tip: Your local Chamber of Commerce might have free maps that you can include in your welcome baskets.
5. A local item – Folks often want to experience the culture where they are traveling. Make sure you include an item with a local tie and explain the significance in a short note. Is your city filled with jazz musicians? Leave a jazz CD in the baskets and encourage your guests to listen to the CD while they cook a romantic dinner together. Maybe also recommend a local dish they could try their hand at! Do you live near vineyards? Leave guests a small, complimentary bottle of wine for them to enjoy.
At the end of the day, welcome baskets are what you make of them. The more creative you are with your baskets, the more your guests will enjoy and rave about you in reviews. Pay attention to the details and your Airbnb guests will thank you for making their stay a memorable one.