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Homeowner  •  May 05, 2024

How To Create the Ultimate Vacation Rental Welcome Book

Anna Ellison
Anna Ellison

With over six years of content marketing experience, Anna is a writer on the AvantStay team. Throughout her career, she’s given brands a voice and told stories across diverse industries including broadband, fintech, hospitality, mobile apps, and real estate.


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The moment guests arrive at your short-term vacation rental, they should have everything they need to relax and fully enjoy their vacation. First impressions are key when welcoming guests into your home. While cleanliness, furnishings, decor, and amenities are all essential to a great first impression, a simple but impactful way to impress your guests is by providing a vacation rental welcome book. 

A vacation rental guest book is a great way to ease any stress from traveling, answer questions, create a relaxing environment, and make your guests feel at home. Contactless check-ins are the new normal, so provide guests with all the information they’ll need to settle in and make the most out of their stay. 

Taking the time to create a vacation rental guidebook will show guests that you care. Laying out everything guests need to know about your home, listing amenities with how-to instructions, and providing information about things to do and places to explore in the area will help create an exceptional guest experience. Happy guests lead to positive reviews, more bookings, repeat visits, and more short-term rental income for you. Keep reading to learn how you can create the ultimate vacation rental welcome book.

What to include in your vacation rental guest book:

  • Welcome information and personal note
  • Local contact information
  • Check-in and check-out instructions
  • Rental property rules and local ordinances
  • Amenities list
  • How-to instructions 
  • Things to do 
  • How to get around

Welcome information and personal note

Help your short-term vacation rental guests feel right at home by starting off with welcome information and a personal note. Show your guests that you care about their experience and that you’re a real person, with a personalized “hello.” Tell them about yourself and what makes your home unique. In this section, you can also include a summary of cleaning protocols, trash and recycling locations and schedules, parking information, entry instructions or access codes, how to connect to the WiFi, and your contact information.

Local contact information 

Give your guests peace of mind and help them feel at ease by including at least one local contact in your welcome book. This can be yourself, a property manager, a neighbor, or a friend who is familiar with your short-term rental. Be sure to provide their phone number and email address. Also include any contacts specific for maintenance issues, along with the nearest medical clinic or hospital, fire department, and police department in case of an emergency. 

Check-in and check-out instructions

You’ll likely send your guests instructions for check-in before their arrival, but also add them to your vacation rental welcome book for easy reference. This can be information like your rental’s full address, access codes, directions to your property from the nearest airport or main roads, and check-in and check-out times. 

For the check-out procedure, let guests know if the time is flexible or strict, and how they should leave your home before departure. Should they turn off all the lights, place trash and recycling in bins, load and start the dishwasher, sign out of streaming devices, and return the keys to a lockbox? Create a simple checklist for your guests so check-out is as easy as possible. 

Rental property rules and local ordinances

Limit any chances for confusion or misunderstanding by laying out all of the house rules and local ordinances. Use this section in your vacation rental guest book to list your short-term rental policies for pets, smoking, and parties, along with any quiet hours for your home. If your short-term rental is in a complex, subdivision, or gated community, be sure to include those rules as well. This section can influence how guests treat and leave your property so you’ll never have to worry about its condition.

Amenities list

Don’t be afraid to show off all the great amenities your short-term vacation rental has to offer. Let your guests know exactly what is available to them in your home, outdoor space, or surrounding property. While pools, hot tubs, and game rooms are usually the stars of the show, don’t forget to highlight any hidden amenities like bikes in the garage, washer and dryer, or community fire pit and grills. 

How-to instructions 

Leave no room for frustration and negative reviews from guests who can’t figure out how to turn on a tricky hot tub. Include detailed instructions for all amenities and appliances so guests don’t have to waste their precious vacation time. Consider including how-to instructions for: 

  • Property access (lockbox code, garage code, gate)
  • Wireless internet access
  • Thermostat
  • Fireplace or outdoor fire pit
  • Barbecue
  • Swimming pool
  • Hot tub 
  • Washer and dryer
  • Kitchen appliances
  • TV, remote control, and DVD player
  • Streaming devices like Roku

Things to do 

Showcase your local expertise with a “things to do” section in your guidebook. Recommendations from a true local are a great way to make your guests feel comfortable and welcome. Create a list of your favorite spots and activities, along with popular local attractions that everyone seems to love. Include a variety of options for different groups of travelers like families, friends, or couples. Some good recommendations to include: 

  • Restaurants with price ranges 
  • Coffee shops
  • Shopping
  • Nightlife
  • Beaches, hikes, golf courses, and parks
  • Museums and monuments
  • Grocery stores

How to get around 

Help your short-term rental guests navigate the area with a section about local transportation. Provide contact information, schedules, and any other helpful details for the following:

  • Car rentals
  • Taxi and shuttle services
  • Bus routes
  • Train stations 
  • Local area maps

Impress your guests with a vacation rental welcome book

A vacation rental guest book might seem like a minor detail in the grand scheme of short-term rental management. However, this simple gesture will enhance your guests’ experience from beginning to end. A welcome book will show your guests that you care about their vacation and time at your home, and lead to positive reviews, more bookings, and ultimately more revenue. 

If you’re interested in partnering with a vacation rental management company to remove the guesswork from the guest work, AvantStay is here to help. From design to maintenance to rental management, we take care of your home as if it were our own. Our proprietary tech suite powers bookings, operationalizes in-field management, and activates an elevated guest experience. We take care of all the work to maximize your home’s income for you—it’s that simple.

Have questions about AvantStay’s vacation rental management? Our team of experts is ready to help–get started today!

Anna Ellison
Anna Ellison

With over six years of content marketing experience, Anna is a writer on the AvantStay team. Throughout her career, she’s given brands a voice and told stories across diverse industries including broadband, fintech, hospitality, mobile apps, and real estate.

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