Writing a well thought-out guest information book is a great way of helping your guests familiarise themselves with both your property and the locality. It can also help you minimise the risk of damage to your property. What is obvious to you may not be obvious to your guests – especially if they come from a long way away. But if you haven't written a guest information book before, what information should you include?

Here are 7 helpful tips;

1. Welcome your guests
A simple welcome message can make your guests feel at home, especially if it includes any nuggets of information about the local area or any unique history about the property they are staying in. It will help to bring your guests' holiday alive, and maybe even encourage them to return another time or recommend it to their friends.

2. List emergency contact numbers
Ensure your own landline and mobile numbers are highly visible in the book, along with contact information for local medical and dental services, and the nearest pharmacy for example. If you have an approved local maintenance company/handyman, include these details too.

3. Explain how the property works Clearly explain how everything works in the property. This might include the heating, water, gas or even how to open the windows and turn the TV on. Explain such things as what to do if a fuse blows, and how to use kitchen appliances such as the washing machine. It's a good idea to include some photocopies of instruction manuals, or even simplify how to use certain appliances with a bullet pointed guide. Remind your guests about security and locking up each time they leave.

4. Help your guests stay green
Provide information about how to recycle, and when the bins are emptied. Also encourage them to conserve energy – benefitting both you (financially) and the environment.

5. Dos and don'ts
As a holiday home property owner, there are things you will be comfortable with your guests doing, and things you won't. Whether your house rules regard smoking, pets, loud noise or how to keep your property secure, make sure you list them all.

6. Provide important local information
From bus time tables to local beauty spots, attractions, local restaurants to public car parking, providing information about the locality will help your guest enjoy themselves, and save you time – by not having to tell each guest when the next bus is due, for instance. Take a trip to the local tourist information office or library and pick up a few local attraction leaflets and leave these with your guest book. You may like to provide some of this information in an electronic format and email it to guests before they check-in so they can research the area, make bookings and plan trips out in advance.

7. Keep a guest comments book on display
A guest comments book is a great way to understand what visitors like and don't like, and your next guests will love to know what others thought of both you and the area. It can also highlight issues about the property and locality that you can then address.

Get your guest book right, and not only will your guests be better informed, but they will also be better placed to use and look after your property in the way you would wish them to!

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