Local Area Guides: Help Guests Plan the Perfect Trip
Food, activities, and popular sights are three of the most important components of any noteworthy vacation.
While most travelers are well aware of the power of preparation, they’re usually too busy packing or taking care of last-minute tasks to worry about researching their holiday destination. Regardless of how incredible a person’s accommodation is, the outcome of this poor organization is almost always an underwhelming trip.
As a professional property manager, you can avoid this occurrence through thoughtfully designed local area guides and vacation rental email templates . Read more to find out the benefits of digital destination guides and how to create your very own in just a few minutes!
There’s so much information online—why bother creating a local area guide for your vacation rental?
A local area guide is a set of recommendations that guests can use to find the best restaurants, essential services, experiences, and attractions in the area. It helps visitors maximize their time while also ensuring that they have an authentic and memorable stay.
Even before guests step foot in your rental, they’re probably already envisioning themselves sharing an exquisite bottle of wine in a picture-perfect ambiance at the end of their first night. However, reality doesn’t always play out that way.
More often than not, guests will be exhausted from their travels and will decide to “have a look around” after various unsuccessful and rushed Google searches. Nine times out of ten, this results in falling for below-average tourist traps and starting their trip on the wrong foot.
Credit: Tim from Pexels
You might argue that there’s plenty of information on search engines that your guests can use but this mindset is flawed for several reasons:
- Your guests will waste valuable time. Vacation is meant to be a relaxing getaway where guests can temporarily disconnect from their responsibilities. Sifting through Google and Tripadvisor for restaurants, must-see attractions, and nearby convenience stores quickly becomes a job of its own and takes up time that should be spent exploring.
- You’ll receive fewer bookings. If guests are unimpressed with the area, they’re unlikely to return in the future or recommend it to friends and family, regardless of how happy they were with your rental. An area guide helps travelers feel local and increases the likelihood that they will revisit.
- You’re missing out on an opportunity to connect with guests. Going the extra mile and providing an area guide is a wonderful way to add a personal touch to your business. This simple addition boosts customer loyalty and strengthens your relationship with visitors.
Area guides usually form part of a larger vacation rental welcome book . With a guest communication tool like RueBaRue, you can also take advantage of features like SMS automation, Extend Guest Stays , and guest SMS messaging.
Should you opt for a digital or a physical destination guide?
From convenience to aesthetics, there’s a lot of reasons why our society continuously shifts towards technological advances. Property managers should opt for digital destination guides because they are:
- COVID-safe: Digital solutions have skyrocketed during the pandemic to reduce the transmission of the virus, resulting in many touchless substitutes (like contactless check-in for vacation rentals !). That said, instead of guests using the same physical destination guide as previous visitors, they can rest easy knowing that they’ll be able to access information through their own mobile devices.
- Sustainable: Printing out area guides requires a lot of paper, especially if you’re managing several properties and constantly updating information. Aside from that, a physical guide can be easily damaged or lost, which multiplies trips to the print shop.
- Always accessible: As previously mentioned, a digital destination guide can be accessed from your guests’ personal devices. This means that they can look through information even when they’re not in the rental, making it a much more useful resource.
- Easy to update: Is there a new restaurant in town that’s all the rage? A digital area guide allows you to quickly update and edit information within minutes so that your guests are always in the know.
Credit: Erin Li from Pexels
The benefits of creating a local area guide with RueBaRue
Aside from enhancing your guest experience and boosting your vacation rental reviews , RueBaRue’s local area guide has a plethora of benefits that you’ll enjoy. Its features are:
- Branding with logo and colors. Using your brand logo and colors sets your area guide apart from others and makes it come across as much more professional.
- Personal tips. Have any secret tips that you’ve learned over the years? Surprise your guests with insider info and they’ll feel much more at home.
- Automatic updates. RueBaRue’s search algorithm constantly updates information when changes are made online. This includes hours, Google reviews, websites, phones, addresses, maps, and directions.
- Automatic sharing. You can schedule the guide to be sent to guests automatically through email or text so that they don’t miss out on anything.
- Automatic distance calculation. Instead of figuring out whether to walk or drive to certain destinations, guests are automatically given the exact distance so that they can make decisions right off the bat.
- Tags. If you’re managing several vacation rentals in the same town, tags make it easy to send automated messages with specific area guide links.
- Mobile and desktop friendly. No app is required to use RueBaRue’s area guide and guests can access it directly from their mobile devices or desktop computers.
- Guest bookmarking. If guests are drawn to certain restaurants or activities, they can bookmark them and create a list of their favorite places.
- Print edition. Is one of your rentals located in a remote area with limited internet access? To avoid any complications, you can print your destination guide and always have a copy available on the property.
- Embed area content. Take your website to the next level and embed the local area content so that potential guests can also get an idea of what to look forward to.
- Analytics. Keep track of how many times your area guide is viewed to understand whether improvements need to be made.
What to include in your local area guide
A remarkable local area guide should cover all of the recommendations that your guests might need during their stay. This includes:
- Nearby activities (hikes, markets, watersports, etc.)
- Popular sights and attractions
- Essentials (such as grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, etc.)
Preview of restaurants in local area guide
Bonus tip: to go above and beyond, add some niche categories like pet-friendly activities, the best places in town to take pictures, and bike rentals. Remember to focus on your target market and brainstorm the things that they would be interested in.
Preview of rentals in local area guide
How to create a local area guide with RueBaRue
Creating a local area guide with RueBaRue requires just a few steps. All you have to do is:
- Log into your RueBaRue account
- Click on Guides and then Destination Guides
- Tap on Add a destination guide and type in your address
- Once the search algorithm does its job, you can delete or edit suggestions
- At the top of the page, you’ll find buttons to add your own suggestions, text, events, or even upselling opportunities
- At the top right corner of the page, you’ll find the option to Share, Embed, or View the guide as a guest
- Once you’re shared the guide, you’re ready to go!
Preview of RueBaRue’s Local Area Guide Feature
And there you have it—the benefits of creating a digital area guide and how to create one for your vacation rental! With the right amount of attention (and insider tips!), it’s just a matter of time before your guests start sharing their appreciation for this fantastic resource.
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