A valued addition: The welcome binder!
When your guests arrive at your unit, they will most likely have done some research on the area or town, or maybe they are even repeat visitors. However, from my own experience I know that there are always questions to be answered … and I usually look for the welcome binder first when I need to find out or clarify some information about the location! You can make your guests feel welcome and assist them at the same time to have a comfortable vacation by answering their questions in a welcome binder.
What should it include? Here are a few suggestions:
- All applicable house rules, such as “quiet time”, building (strata) bylaws on parking, pets or appliances use, and your own directions on surfaces, pets or hot tub/pool use. For example, you might want to remind your guests not to wear high heels on sensitive wood floors, or make sure they know that furniture is off limits for pets.
- Conflict and problem resolution information, such as instructions on how to resolve a neighbour’s noise or parking problem.
- The phone and internet connection details, such as voice mail access, wireless passwords or TV streaming information.
- Video equipment instructions including a list of the television channels
- Emergency contact phone numbers, including the building manager if applicable, police and your own.
- A list of local businesses (restaurants, services, etc) with addresses and phone numbers, and ideally some information on their offerings (e.g. vegetarian dishes, all-you-can-eat buffets, massage therapists or spa services).
- Information about the complex (if applicable) and the neighbourhood, such as outdoor recreation facilities such as BBQs, walking trails, etc.
- Instructions for appliances such as washer/dryer as well as BBQ and/or fireplace instructions
- Departure day instructions such as what to do with the dirty sheets, checkout times, keys, etc.
Place your welcome binder in an obvious place. That is often the living room table, dining room table or the kitchen counter. Do not hide it in a drawer or your guests might not find it until later when searching for dishes.