Who doesn’t appreciate a gift? It’s a token of your appreciation that guests have chosen your place for their vacation, and it’s also a gesture that goes a long way to having the place respected in return.
Many owners don’t bother at all and they probably have happy guests regardless, as long as all other expectations have been met. However the first impression given when a group of guests arrive to a beautifully presented gift basket, may be enough to send them straight onto Instagram or Twitter to share the wonderful welcome they just got. Now your guests have started marketing for you, and they have only just walked in the door!
The outcome of leaving a thoughtful gift can go way beyond the price of it, so it is something worth considering.
Not all guest gifts are created equal, so here’s some ideas to help get away from the old standards of a bottle of cheap sparking wine and a bag of marshmallows.
Home baked goods
To arrive at a property after a long journey to find several chilled bottles of beer from a local micro-brewery in the fridge and a plateful of home-baked squares and cookies, would probably bring a smile to the most travel-weary guest. Home baked goods are always welcomed and if they are gluten-free then all the better.
Local produce from garden or farmers market
Most guests love the idea of locally-grown produce so a basket of fresh blueberries, a pot of basil, and some plump tomatoes (or any variation) would probably be well received. Farmer’s markets are full of interesting things so just get what’s good on the day. Make sure you pick up leaflets from the vendors so the guests know where the produce came from and can go to the source to get more if necessary.
A local specialty
If you have a local provider of honey or maple syrup, jams or pickles, buy a case as soon as they have a new batch in stock. Then you always have your specialty available for new guests.
Bottle of wine with your own label
Avoid buying bottles of wine from the liquor store – your guests can easily bring their own and won’t get the good gift experience if you get one from a local winery. Many will allow you to create your own labels with your property image or name on them.
Promotional gift sites have a lot of good ideas, and if you have a logo for your property, you could have this imprinted on just about any useful item. Tote bags, beach towels, coffee mugs, baseball caps etc.
If you accept pets, most of your guests will be bringing along their four footed friends and you will be loved forever if you go out of your way to welcome them too. A pet gift basket with a tennis ball, Frisbee and a pack of natural treats would be happily received. You will probably find the natural treats on the farmers market or in your local pet store. Avoid the supermarket variety – they are full of chemicals and very little that resembles food.
If you know your guests are coming for a birthday or anniversary then you can tailor your gift for them. Guests coming for a Thanksgiving stay could receive a locally baked pumpkin pie, while Xmas guests may enjoy the winter ale from the micro-brewery.
While you do not have to spend a lot on a guest gift, the nature of thought that goes into making it a special gift will be remembered long after the vacation has ended.