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A stay at a vacation rental house is always a holiday for your guests. But when a vacation holiday overlaps with The Holidays, it's time for things to get festive. Besides, no matter whether the days are warm or cold, darkness comes early. What better way to counteract the depths of early winter than with some holiday cheer?
Here are five easy ways to send your guests home with happy memories — and for your business to make the most of the holidays.
It'a gift-giving season. Choose a welcoming gift with a celebratory theme like holiday cookies, chocolates wrapped in an eye-catching festive box or a holiday ornament created by a local artisan. Or add a big red bow to the bottle of wine you always leave for your guests.
It's the holidays, and nothing warms up a house like decorations, even simple ones. A wreath on the door, a poinsettia on the coffee table, a big bouquet of flowers mixed with fir boughs — a festive addition or two goes a long way and turns a vacation rental house into a holiday home. Or tap a local artisan to create her famous pressed metal tabletop trees for each of your houses (leave her card nearby in case your guests want one to take home).
Whether it's a tree-lighting ceremony, candlelight concerts, the holiday house tour or New Year's Eve night skiing, your guests want to know about the best holiday experiences your area offers. Include church services and choral performances. Create an additional list of holiday activities for children, whether it's breakfast with Santa or a Christmas movie marathon. Guests will appreciate knowing about activities and events before they arrive, so consider emailing a special holiday newsletter or blog.
Eating is a major holiday activity. Provide information about local restaurants, bars and cafes that go all out for the holidays, whether it's special holiday menus or yummy local specialties, like the bakery's beloved iced Santa cookies. Since some guests may plan to cook their holiday meals in their rental house kitchens, create a guide to grocery stores, butchers, wine shops and other food specialty shops. Include holiday opening hours. As with events, guests like to plan holiday meals in advance, so add food to your holiday newsletter or create a special newsletter or blog just for food.
Use the holidays to remind past, present and potential guests of your area's unique charms and your business's warm hospitality. Entice your audience with a newsletter featuring atmospheric holiday photos of your area — puppies playing in the snow, surfers decorating a tree on the beach, the town's holiday lights shining brightly. Or interview locals about their favorite holiday customs in the area or talk to the French restaurant proprietor about their famous buche de noel for your blog. In a world of texts and emails, snail-mail cards stand out. Does your area have a terrific local photographer? Use one of his images for your holiday card, complete with a credit. And don't forget to load up your Instagram account with great holiday shots you take yourself.