What to Include in your Vacation Rental Guest Book

Lizzie Griffin
Lizzie Griffin

May 24, 2024

A vacation rental guest book is a digital welcome book that compiles all of the information your guests need to know about the property and local area to make the most of their stay. This includes check-in and check-out details, house rules and manuals, and local recommendations. The best part is that guests can access it all right on their phones to refer back to it whenever needed.

In this article, we’ll share everything you should consider including in your vacation rental welcome book to deliver a 5-star guest experience. Plus, you’ll get extra tips on how to easily create a welcome book of your own and start sharing it with guests!

Create a seamless guest experience with a personalized guidebook for their stay
Breezeway Guide gives your guests all the information they need for their stay, meaning more convenience for them and fewer questions for you. 
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What should be in a vacation rental guest book?

A digital guidebook allows you to personalize information for your properties and guests. Whether you want to create a cabin guest book, a wedding guest book, or a beach house guest book, the choice is yours based on how you want to cater to your guests.

What information you need to include depends on the nature of your properties and guests — below you’ll find a general outline of some common instructions that could be helpful to include for any property or guest type.

Check-in information

With a digital guidebook, your guests will receive it before they arrive at the property, unlike a physical printed book or binder that’s placed in the house. This allows you to make a great first impression and be proactive about providing arrival instructions to make sure guests’ stay starts off on the right foot.

No guest wants to arrive at their vacation rental property only to realize they don’t know how to find the lockbox or don’t know where to park. Avoid these common guest complaints by providing this information upfront.

  • Check-in time and general instructions on either self-check-in, key pick-up, or someone meeting your guest on arrival
  • Clear directions to the property and how to access the entrance with handy visual references
  • Parking information
  • Where to find and how to open the lockbox or detailed instructions on how to work your smart lock with access code
  • Welcome note to add a personal touch and make for a great housewarming

Breezeway Guide arrival instructions

Written instructions will help your guests find your place more easily if it’s a little off the beaten path. 

House manual

It’s important to remember that most guests who book your property have never been there before. You most likely have different appliances and amenities than they are used to at their own home. To make your vacation rental home more welcoming and user-friendly, your welcome guide should include information about:

  • WiFi access details (provide this in multiple locations within your welcome book, a physical note where the WiFi password is easily seen, and a welcome message on the morning of arrival)
  • How to work kitchen appliances, like your coffee maker, oven, and dishwasher
  • How to work electronics, like your thermostat, television, and sound system
  • How to work amenities, like your hot tub, pool, grill, or fire pit
  • How guests can make the most of your smart home devices, like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant
  • How guests can connect to their own personal accounts on your devices, like Spotify or Netflix

Breezeway Guide access and WiFi information

Giving your guests the WiFi password up front means they don’t have to message you to ask for it. 

Local recommendations

Here’s your chance to shine: Sharing your local recommendations helps ensure your guests have a special, memorable stay.  You can suggest a favorite restaurant, recommend a secluded beach, or tell guests about those places only the locals visit. 

When curating your list of recommendations, consider your audience—are your guests business travelers? Families? Couples? Hikers or surfers? Suggest places and activities that connect your guests with the unique characteristics of the property’s local area. For example:

  • The best breakfast, lunch, and dinner spots
  • Where to find locally produced artisan goods
  • Must-see attractions
  • Your favorite walks
  • How to keep the kids entertained
  • Romantic vistas and at what time
  • Tips on transportation, tours, and ticketing
  • The closest grocery store


House rules

House rules are a common practice when it comes to vacation rentals. Guests should be aware that renting these homes comes with certain house rules and best practices that they should abide by, however each home is unique and local regulations can play a factor in the specifics of these rules.

It’s important to make sure guests are aware of your particular house rules so they can have the best stay possible, and also help you protect your properties and prevent accidents. Just one bad stay can be costly to your vacation rental business—cigarette smoke can linger for weeks without extra cleaning, pets can provoke allergic reactions in future guests, and excessive noise can cause neighbor complaints and tensions in the local community.

In this section, you should include: 

  • Pet policies, smoking policies, and guest policies
  • Guidelines on noise levels, quiet hours, and parties
  • Instructions on keeping the house secure, like locking up upon departure
  • A process for handling damages and how you would like to be notified if an accident happens or something gets damaged
  • Safety tips such as where to find the fire extinguisher, the location of the first aid kit, or how to operate the security alarm


Emergency contact information

Depending on the level and type of emergency, guests need to know who to contact. It’s important to remember that only one guest in the party actually booked this reservation and is the point of contact who received most of the house information. With a shareable digital guidebook, you can provide all guests with important safety information.

While your guests can always message you via the Airbnb app, or via text message where the digital welcome book was sent, it can be helpful to provide alternative methods of communication. So, consider including:

  • Emergency contact information (name and phone number), whether that’s you, another member of your team, or a neighbor
  • How you prefer to be contacted (whether that’s via Airbnb, SMS, WhatsApp, or phone call)
  • The address of the house for emergency responders
  • Phone number for local Fire Department, Police Department, and medical emergency
  • Phone numbers for local services, such as the pharmacy, vet, or taxi


Check-out information

Finish out the guest experience with a seamless check-out process. It’s important not to overwhelm guests with lengthy check-out instructions, they don’t want to feel like they’re cleaning the entire property for you. However, you also want to make sure your cleaning teams don’t arrive at a trashed house that they can’t clean in time for the next guest. Finding this delicate balance with check-out instructions might take some testing and learning to see what works best for your guests and field staff.

  • Check-out time and general instructions
  • Expectations on level of guest clean up before departure
  • Prompt guests to write a 5-star review of their stay


How to create your vacation rental guest book with Breezeway

To attract more bookings, achieve Airbnb Superhost status, and expand your business, each guest's experience must surpass their expectations. A welcome book is a great way to help with this. Fortunately, creating a welcome book for your guests can be a quick and easy process.

Using Breezeway Guide, you can set up a welcome book in just a few minutes. The Guide pulls your property details directly from Airbnb or your Property Management System (PMS). After adding personalized touches like local recommendations and house rules, you can automatically share the guide with guests via Breezeway’s messaging platform.

This ensures that guests have all the necessary information about your property at their fingertips and can report maintenance issues directly through the welcome book, streamlining the process for everyone.

This enhanced guest experience not only leads to better reviews but also reduces the number of messages and calls you receive from guests. This frees up your time to focus on bigger priorities, such as growing your short-term rental business.

How to share your vacation rental guest book with guests

Once you’ve created your welcome book, now you need to share it. This can also be done easily and automatically with Breezeway Messaging—this will save you time and make sure the guest always has it before check-in.

Breezeway automatically pulls reservation data from your property management system (PMS) to personalize a pre-check-in message that includes a link to your digital welcome book. Whether your guests booked directly or through Airbnb, Vrbo,or another booking platform, you’ll be able to automate the sharing process. You can also use one of our customizable templates to prepare a pre-arrival message that links to your welcome book.

Additionally, Breezeway enhances your digital guidebook by making it interactive for guests. If any issues arise during their stay, guests can report them directly through the digital guide. You can then immediately create a maintenance task to address the issue promptly, making the process efficient and hands-off.

Screenshot of three screens of Breezeway Guide

The Breezeway Guide is easy to share with guests and ensures they have the smoothest stay possible, from arrival to check-out. 

“​​The Breezeway Guide does a fantastic job at delivering the guest info in a way that is easy for the guest to use… When the guest can answer their own question, it’s one less call for our support team.”
-Shawntel Dairsow, Client Resolutions Manager at Travel Advantage Network

The benefits of implementing a custom vacation home guest book

Airbnb guidebooks offer convenience not only for guests but also for hosts and property managers. Here are some key benefits:

  • Elevate the guest experience: Providing detailed arrival information, instructions for appliances, and information about extra amenities creates a comfortable and outstanding stay for your guests. It offers a great first impression by opening communication and setting expectations from the start and shows that you are there to support guests throughout the entire stay.
  • Drive more 5-star reviews: Including local recommendations, like favorite dining spots or local attractions, impresses guests and leads to more positive reviews.
  • Protect your properties: Clearly outlining house rules and safety guidelines helps protect your property and appliances from misuse, reducing the need for repairs and maintenance.
  • Reduce guest messages: “Where should we park?” “What’s the WiFi password?” “How do we work the dishwasher?” One or two of these messages isn’t too much of a hassle, but an influx of these questions, day after day, is exhausting - and is completely preventable with the right information in your Airbnb welcome book.
  • Get more time back in your day: With fewer guest questions, you can focus less on your phone and more on expanding your business.

Create a seamless guest experience with a personalized guidebook for their stay 
Breezeway Guide gives your guests all the information they need for their stay, meaning more convenience for them and fewer questions for you. 
Book a Demo