Tips for Accommodating Holiday Travelers

The holidays are a busy time for travelers and property owners alike. Prepare for the holiday season by considering these tips so that you can impress your guests while taking advantage of your own holiday plans!

Fall Seasonal Touches

Be Festive!

Get in the spirit and share those holiday comforts that you enjoy in your own home with your guests! A simple wreath on the door, gourd centerpiece on the dining table, or autumn scented candle in the living room is an inexpensive way of showing your attention to detail and can get your guests in the mood for the season. When decorating your property look for simple autumn or winter themed decorations. Take this opportunity to have fun and get creative with your surroundings! If your property is in a region with particular fall or winter foliage, incorporate it in the home to give your renters a closer connection with the new surroundings. If you use physical keys for your property, consider sending them in a holiday wrapped box to get renters extra excited about renting with you.

Add a Personal Touch

In the vacation rental world, personalization is key to set yourself apart from the competition. Offering rental deals during the holidays is a great way to draw attention to your property. Consider including a gift card to a local restaurant or shop with your guest’s holiday reservation and present it as a gift upon their arrival. In light of the gift-giving season, having something tangible to give to travelers can be more special than simply offering a seasonal discount. If a gift for each booking is out of your budget, something as small as a signed holiday card can be a great way to welcome guests to your home.

Be Well Informed

Although not always the case, chances are that you know more about your rental area than the traveler that has rented your property, so use this knowledge to better include them in your greater community. No matter how large or small your town may be, it is almost guaranteed that it will host some combination of holiday events that are open to the public such as light shows, concerts, festivals, and specialty theater or sporting events. Use this special season to your advantage and learn everything you can about what your surroundings have to offer at this time. Leave a brochure or a simple collection of community event information in your home for guests to use as a reference. If you feel comfortable, consider asking your travelers what their favorite fall and winter activities are so that you may focus your research in one direction.

Plan Ahead

In order to ensure that your own holiday plans will be stress free, be extra careful about updating your calendar and property functions for your in-coming holiday guests. The better prepared you are for the needs of your renters, the less they will need your assistance while you’re celebrating with your own friends and family. Go the extra mile and try to anticipate the needs of a holiday traveler. If you don’t already, consider leaving a guide in your home that includes the locations of shops for great last minute gifts, stores with gift-wrapping services, or restaurants that are guaranteed to be open during the holiday period while most are closed.

Avoid unnecessary stressors by incorporating these tips prior to your guests’ stay this holiday season. You’ll thank yourself for the preparations made and your guests will take delight in the outcome they produce. Happy bookings!

FlipKey Presents: Special Offers

Written by: Dan Weisman

Happy New Year! Here at FlipKey we’re gearing up for a big year in 2011. Get ready for lots of great improvements that will make renting a vacation home easier and more convenient than ever. If you’ve already started searching for your next vacation destination, then you may have noticed a new product feature that debuted recently: special offers. Vacation rental owners and managers can now easily promote limited-time deals and offers right on their property listings.

What’s a special offer?

A special offer is any limited-time promotion including discounts and special rates, freebies and giveaways, and limited time incentives. We’ve already seen a full range of offers from free nights to free Flip cameras.

How do special offers work?

Owners and managers can easily set up specials directly in their account dashboard – it’s free! While specials don’t influence a property’s place in the rankings, they do help listings stand out. Travelers who are interested in a special should remember to mention the offer when inquiring about a property.

… so what are some great offers?

New offers appear all the time, so it’s impossible to generate a list of all the great specials on FlipKey. Here are a few deals that stood out this week:

In 2011 FlipKey aims to deliver the best and easiest vacation rental search experience available anywhere. Your dream vacation home is out there, and we’re doing everything we can to help you find it.