Thursday, 15 August 2013

We are now on Pinterest!

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Well, we are now regularly posting on Pinterest to keep you holiday exchangers up to date and ready to swapSo make sure you follow us for updates on all of the new and beautiful properties that are added to Exchange Holiday Homes on a weekly basis. And don't forget to give us a ring or an e-mail if any take your fancy. Remember, it's free to join! You'll also find tips, ideas and many more creative ideas for any travel enthusiast.


The List of Welcome Pack Ideas and Little Touches to Wow Your Guests

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Here at the Exchange Holiday Home office we believe that the care you put into creating a welcoming environment for your holiday home guests can be one of the most useful ingredients to create a happy holiday home guest. You have one chance to make a first impression, so make the most of it! 

Here is a handy list of little touches and holiday home essentials you can add to your cottage or villa that your guests (or swapper) will love...especially those that are hungry and tired after a long journey to their new home for the week. And don't forget to give them a mention on your website or advert!
  • Tea, Coffee and Fresh Milk
  • Condiments such a salt, pepper, sugar,oil, basic herbs/spices.
  • A selection of toys, boardgames and outdoor games- always useful to keep the little ones happy!
  • DVD/Blu-Ray Player and DVDS/Blu-Rays - keep an eye out in charity shop for cheap films
  • Books
  • Barbecue and coals
  • Hairdryer
  • Toilet paper/Kitchen Roll
  • Washing up liquid
  • Ironing Board
  • Oven gloves
  • Tea towels
  • Dish washer tablets if you have a dishwasher
  • Bin liners
  • Matches
  • First aid kit
  • Plastic crockery and cutlery for kids
You can even go the extra mile and get the 'wow' factor to impress your guests by putting together a welcome pack or hamper.  Here are some ideas you might like to include:

 Local produce including some artisan type products to showcase the surrounding area is an idea growing in popularity throughout farm cottages in the UK. For example, I recently visited a property in Cornwall who provided homemade scones, locally produced jam, and Cornish clotted cream upon arrival. Who wouldn't want to start their holiday with a Cornish cream tea? If this doesn't take your fancy, how about a bottle of local wine, beer, some fruit juices, butter or fresh fruits. Anything that says 'I go the extra mile for my guests' is ideal.
Don't forget to consider costs. Whilst it a great idea to impress your guests try to factor in the price and don't go unnecessarily overboard. Determine whether or not you want to include a hamper free of charge or as an optional extra. Think about dietary requirements. Having a welcome pack full of meat for two arriving vegetarian guests is certainly not ideal!
• Local newspaper or magazine
 Cosmetics such a bath bombs, shower gel, hand cream and suntan lotion.
• From your correspondence with guests you may find out that they are celebrating something special - honeymoon, birthday, anniversary etc. Leave a card, some flowers, chocolates or even a bottle of bubbly to celebrate their special trip.
• Find out about your party of guests to include goodies perfect for them. If you have children arriving, perhaps some colouring books or organic treats. Advertise your property as dog friendly? Provide treats for your new canine friends!
• Of course if time and money is not on your side, many farm shops and delicatessen's offer ready made hampers for you to recommend for your guests arrival. For example, Lawson's Delicatessen in East Suffolk supply and deliver supper and/or breakfast essentials to local holiday cottages in order to make the guest's lives easier. At the very least you could provide information and contact details of local supermarkets that offer home delivery in your area or support your local village shop by setting up a pre-arrival grocery delivery with them.

Step into the mind of your guests and think about what would make your holiday home special. Don't forget to think about who your cottage is primarily aimed at. If you usually have families to stay then add items that market your cottage as fun, safe and child friendly. If you have a smaller holiday home with maybe only one bedroom, you could market it as a romantic couples retreat and invest in nice bedding, cushions and even candles. And if you can, be there to greet your guests and give a warm welcome in person.

Making just a little bit of effort can reap huge rewards in repeat custom, good guest reviews, positive word of mouth and most importantly a happy holidaymaker!

What would make you feel welcome in a holiday home? We would love to hear your suggestions in the comments!

Friday, 11 January 2013

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Still having serious problems in our area with the internet and phones due to the flooding in the area corroding cables (the whole of our area is affected since the 30th Dec) . 

We have moved to temporary premises, and can be reached by email or on 01503 250857. Hopefully BT will be resolving it very soon!! 

Sorry for the inconvenience to our members.