When it comes to hosting international guests at your vacation rental there can be several challenges. Your guests might not know the local language well, they might have specific food preferences, they might have to exchange international currency, and many such hurdles.
However, considering that they have traveled internationally and chosen your property out of all others, it is your responsibility to help your guests have the best vacation ever! How can you ensure that? Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Key to Hosting International Guests at A Vacation Rental
Someone has rightly said that identifying the problem is the key to a successful resolution. If you know some of the challenges to expect, you will know how to overcome them. Let us look at a few challenges and their possible resolutions.
1. The Most Obvious – Language Barrier
In America, the most common language is English. If you anticipate hosting guests who speak other languages, you can help them enjoy their stay by providing a Welcome Guide in multiple languages. In most instances Google Translate can be an indispensable tool.
In cases where your guest’s concerns are not covered by your welcome guide be sure that you remain patient and understanding. If you are physically present be sure to pay attention to facial expressions and body language to help you communicate. Keep note paper and pencils handy in case you need to write names or instructions down for their future use.
2. Consider International Food Preferences
Unlike hotels, vacation rental properties need not provide guests with food. However, it is a responsibility when hosting international guests at a vacation rental, to help your guests. Many people in many parts of the world do not eat meat. They might be vegetarians, vegans, fruitarians, or maybe even more selective.
While making their booking, you can politely ask them about their food preference. This will help you research the best possible places to suggest where they can find the food of their preference. You might jot down a few great Indian restaurants if your guests are from India. You might suggest a local grocery store that caters to the international appetite. If you have a list of options prepared, you can easily guide your guests and earn their appreciation. Little gestures such can go a long way in making your guests feel welcome.
3. Greet Them Warmly and in Their Language
A part of hosting international guests at a vacation rental is warmly welcoming to them. If possible, preparing a personalized welcome note with a common greeting can get their stay started off on the right foot. Your property will be their home for some time, make them feel at home.
You do not have to be physically present to do so. You can have a welcome kit prepared for them. The contents of the kit need not be customized, however, the welcome message or the name tag can be. You will know their nationality while making the booking. Use that information in creating a customized greeting. Make sure to proofread for mistakes.
Some guests even keep such tags as a souvenir. They will always remember the trip through that little piece of extra effort. You can even go and pick them up at the airport. This will help them reach the property safely without getting lost.
4. Take Care of Last-Minute Details
Your guest might not be a frequent traveler. Many people travel internationally only once in their lifetime. They might not be aware of minute differences that can cause a lot of trouble. For example, the first-time traveler may not know that the wall out lets they use at home may not work in the United States. Keeping a set of international plug adapters may be crucial for their stay, so go the extra mile and keep a few on hand where they can easily locate them.
It would be helpful to mention these in a pamphlet or welcome guide. Little touches like this can go a long way in making your guests feel at home, wherever they are from.
5. International Currency Exchange & Acceptance
It is not always possible for your guests to have obtained U.S. currency before they arrive. Help them out by suggesting the nearest places that offer currency exchange services or that cater to customers who speak their language.
If you have several international bookings it would be highly convenient to establish a relationship with a local bank that you can refer your guests to. In extreme cases you may also consider accepting payments in certain international currencies. These days, various modes of payments are available, for example, PayPal is one such payment option. It helps in accepting foreign payments too. Consider whether this is a good business move for you, especially if you cater to guests from a specific third country.
The more convenient you make their stay, the easier it is for your guests to enjoy their vacation. The happier they are at the end of their vacation, the better review you can expect from them.
6. Help Them Connect Via Phone & Wi-Fi
Many international travelers need to buy a new SIM card when they arrive in the country. They might not have an international pack on their existing connection. Find out how they can get back on phone and call their loved ones back home.
They might even want to stay connected among themselves. Suggesting a local wireless phone company may be crucial to get them back online and save some time. Some countries ask for a passport while issuing a new connection. Make sure to find out all such formalities and guide your guests thoroughly.
Further, for some guests, international phone connections can be very expensive. Ensure that your Wi-Fi connection is adequately fast and works well at your property. This will help them connect their devices and get back online. The Internet has become a necessity in these times, so it is crucial to ensure all is working well.
You may provide it for free, or you may charge an additional fee. However, it being a necessity, most places give it for free. At times, the signal might not be very strong in all parts of the property so you may provide them a portable range extender for a refundable security deposit.
Always try to step into their shoes while hosting international guests at a vacation rental. It will give you ideas and options to explore in making their stay as welcoming as possible.
Wrapping It Up
We hope you find these tips for hosting international guests at a vacation rental property useful. A lot of this has come from personal experiences and interactions with experts and property owners. Ultimately it is about serving your guests and minding the bottom line.
In these modern times technology has become a necessity, and having Wi-Fi is a must in every property. Similarly, in times to come many new innovations will take great importance in our lives. Keep up with the times and keep yourself updated. However, some things such as language and food will always remain constant. Therefore, make sure you overcome those challenges to the best of your ability.
We hope these tips will help you in creating a better experience for your guests and get you better reviews. Do not forget to list your property on our platform Rental Trader to get bookings from all over the world. All you must do is simply log in and follow the instructions. If you need any further information, fill out the webform below, or feel free to call us anytime.