Writing a welcome booklet is a key to a successful exchange! The welcome booklet will allow you to host your guests in serenity by including:
- The rules of the house you think are important
- Your best recommendations for your guests
Even if you have already discussed many details with your guests in your conversation, the welcome booklet can be used as a reminder once on location. It will also allow your guests to easily retrieve all the information.
The booklet will make it possible to supplement the information previously given with more practical information that one does not necessarily think of giving in the conversation before the exchange (for example the wifi code, the use of the washing machine, or a list of local shops).
In a nutshell, the welcome booklet simply allows you to share and communicate with your guests so that their stay goes as smoothly as possible.
What should a welcome booklet look like?
Feel free to choose the format you like the most: typed, or handwritten, in PDF format or printed out... Whether it has a minimalist design or not, this booklet should represent you but above all allow your guests to take good care of your home!
Also, don't hesitate to prepare videos for your guests to illustrate how to use certain equipment or how to take care of the pool. Sometimes a video is worth a thousand words and can make things a lot clearer and easier for your guests :)
What should a welcome booklet contain?
- How to get to your home
Prepare a map of your neighbourhood, directions from your home to different parts of the town, landmarks. A route you take regularly, in a city you know by heart, seems simple. However, for a couple or a family that has just arrived, it can be a real adventure!
- Start with practical information
Think about the information your guests will need immediately. Each house or apartment has its own specificities: WIFI code, water heater, air conditioning, heating, swimming pool, or waste sorting... All this doesn't seem too complicated for you but your guests will be more than happy to learn how it works as soon as they arrive. It is always useful to create a usage sheet or a video for "high tech" equipment (television, video games, etc.) and household appliances (washing machine, tumble dryer, dishwasher).
Your exchange partners are like you, people who have a house or an apartment that they love. They will fully understand if you ask them to take off their shoes, or not to smoke inside. When you explain your rules, do so in a simple and clear manner.
- Remember to prepare a section for the end of the exchange
It is important to provide an "end of exchange" section to easily organize the end of the stay. This mainly concerns sheets, garbage cans, cleaning and the handing over of the keys.
Don't forget to leave your guests the necessary items for cleaning (sponge, household products, etc...) and to tell them which product to use on which surface.
- The best for last: your advice and good addresses
Home exchanging is above all about being able to participate in an immersive experience and having the chance to live like a "local". As a host, you can participate in this by sharing your best experiences.
Don't hesitate to make a short list of your favourite shops and restaurants (grocery stores, bakeries, etc...), your little habits, as well as the unmissable activities and visits of your city or region.