We know it’s only the start of November, but it’s time to start thinking about how to prepare your holiday home for Christmas and New Year. It’s a busy time of year for self-catering accommodation and you’ll need to take a few extra things into account. Here are a few considerations to make before letting your holiday home out over Christmas.
Include a Christmas hamper in your holiday home
This is a fantastic way to bring in guests. A Christmas hamper adds something extra to keep your guests happy as soon as they arrive. In it you could include local treats from nearby shops and cafés. Through doing this, you also get to work with local businesses – building stronger connections with the community.
If you do opt to do this, we absolutely recommend including it in your marketing materials. Drum up guests to your properties by offering an extra special hamper. Some people can be hesitant to stay away from home during the festive period, so this gives them a little extra incentive.
Take some cozy Christmas photos of your holiday home
This depends on the kind of property you are offering, but it’s worthwhile updating your photos in the run up to the winter season. Coastal breaks are popular year round – but stunning vistas of the beach might not be as appealing. Instead, consider images of your warm fireplace, or a cozy armchair next to a window with stunning views.
Ultimately, you’re going for a warm and comfortable vibe. Small updates to the décor will help you create these photos. They also build a more inviting experience for your guests. Add some extra cushions, blankets and soft furnishings for a quick and easy way to achieve this.
Update toiletries and supplies
Speaking about updating décor – you should also take extra care with the toiletries and small extras you usually include. Including something like a hand moisturiser is a nice touch that will help your guests during the colder months. If you can, also think about switching out scented toiletries for something more festive.
In the same vein, your welcome basket should reflect items that are particularly useful. We’ve already mentioned including a special hamper, but also think about including some basics. In rural areas, shops can be closed for days during the festive season – so include things like bread, milk and tea. Chucking in a festive candle will also help your guests set a mood.
Speaking about setting a mood, try adding some festive decorations. Whilst you don’t want to go overboard, a small Christmas tree can add a merry little flair. Think about what best compliments your property. A small wreath on the door is a classy option if you want to keep things minimal, or even a garland along the fireplace. Got a family booking? Include some stockings.
Schofields also have a fantastic suggestion if you don’t have time to decorate the property – include a small Christmas tree for the family to decorate. Make sure it is stored away so families can opt to leave it if they don’t want it, but it’s a great way to cater to your guest’s needs. Many families won’t have been able to decorate their own house, so this helps them maintain their traditions whilst staying away from home.
Make sure everything is serviced
This is the boring bit, but also the most important! You’ll need to make sure all of the appliances are in good working order. The last thing you want is your guest calling you on Christmas Day to tell you the boiler has broken. If it’s due a service, make sure it’s done now before we get deep into the festive season. It’s a busy time for tradespeople, so make sure you’re not left with a potential disaster.
If you’re really worried, also make sure you have some back up options. Keep an oil heater in the cupboard just in case something does happen to the central heating on a bank holiday. If you have a log burner, make sure it is well stocked with enough firewood to last longer than the guest’s stay.
Christmas and New Year is a lucrative time for holiday home owners, so it’s important you take the time to make sure you are fully prepared. Most of these small touches won’t take a lot of time, but they can go a long way to ensuring your guests are happy. This means great reviews for your home, and even more guests in the future.
Short Stay St Andrews are experienced in all aspects of holiday let management – including sourcing, refurbishment and guest turnovers. With over 1000 5-star reviews, we have years of experience behind us. We’re also based right in the heart of St Andrews, so we know the local holiday home market like the back of our hand. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you.
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