10 Unique Welcome Basket Ideas for Vacation Rental Owners

Giving your guests everything they need to have a comfortable, enjoyable, and memorable stay is your number one priority as a vacation rental owner. And if there’s one thing you and your guests have in common, it’s that they also want to feel welcome during their stay at your vacation rental property.

Although contactless check-in for vacation rentals is on the rise, the charm of vacation rental experiences has always been in the personal touches you deliver. The good news is that even though you won’t be there to greet your guests in person, you can still delight your guests with a welcome basket to remember.


While they aren’t new on the vacation rental scene, you can demonstrate your commitment to going above and beyond by providing unique, useful, and unforgettable welcome baskets. And as luck would have it, we’ve created a list of ten welcome basket ideas to get you started!

RueBaRue lets you create beautiful digital guidebooks so you can welcome guests to your property in a modern and impressive way. Book a demo personalized to your rentals to see the platform in action.

Why should you offer your vacation rental guests a welcome basket?

As a busy vacation rental owner with multiple properties, it’s unrealistic to greet every single one of your guests. However, small gestures—such as welcome baskets—can have a big impact on both you and the success of your properties. Here’s how:

  • Delighting your customers is your number one priority. Welcome baskets make for a great first impression, help build relationships with your guests, and make guest stays feel all the more luxurious.
  • Standing out from the crowd is as important as ever. Thoughtful welcome baskets will help set you apart from your competitors—guests will always remember the extra effort that went into making their stay nothing short of perfect, which results in return stays, which results in maximizing your revenue.
  • Put the above reasons together, and you have the perfect ingredients that will help you get better reviews , which helps you build more trust with potential guests.

Before you put together your welcome basket: Prepare a digital guestbook

Welcome baskets put a finishing touch on a great stay, but they’re also meant to be useful for guests. Guests love having access to maps, information about secret spots in the area, plus other useful details such as Wi-Fi passwords and door codes.

However, paper versions of this information can quickly become dog-eared, and usually make their way from welcome baskets straight to the trash can. As well as being environmentally unfriendly, paper-based guidebooks often get overlooked in the digital age.

Ruebarue allows vacation rental property managers to prepare digital guestbooks and vacation rental house manuals that can be filled with everything guests need, including directions, parking information, instructional videos for entering properties, tips on what to pack for their trip, and more.

Preview of RueBaRue’s digital guestbook feature

Preview of RueBaRue’s digital guestbook feature

Credit: RueBaRue.com

Digital guestbooks provide your guests with everything they need to know before their trip and give them the flexibility to always have it to hand on their own mobile devices.

Plus, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, not only are rules changing across states and countries, but many local attractions may be operating on different schedules or may even be closed completely. More than ever, guests need to know all of this information before their trip. With Ruebarue’s local area guides, you can edit your local information as often as you need. This way, your welcome information won’t be sitting in a welcome basket, out-of-date and unused.

Preview of RueBaRue’s local area guide feature

Preview of RueBaRue’s local area guide feature

Credit: RueBaRue.com

10 welcome basket ideas your guests will love

So, what do the perfect welcome baskets for your vacation rental look like? This will depend on how much time you have to spend on curating them, and of course, your budget. However, guests will love a welcome basket that combines the practical with a hint of luxury.

Here are 10 welcome basket ideas to help you get started with providing your guests with the stay they deserve.

Welcome basket idea #1: Essential toiletries

If there’s one thing that will make guests feel at home, it’s a bundle of essential toiletries. While some guests prefer to bring their own, others see provided toiletries as an extra perk—especially if they’re quality products sourced from local vendors that they won’t find at home. This conveys that you’ve gone the extra mile and that you care about your guests’ comfort.

Here’s a basic list of what kind of toiletries you can include in your welcome basket:

  • Miniature shower gels, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Hand soap and body lotion
  • Extra toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Shower cap
  • Body scrub
  • Nail file

To give your guests a heads-up on what and what not to pack, you can also use RueBaRue’s vacation rental welcome books to let guests know what toiletries your welcome basket and your vacation rental property will provide for them, and where they can find any overstock. You can also let them know where they can find items such as toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, and garbage bags.

Inventory starter kits, available in vacation rental welcome books, allow you to highlight what items guests can expect to find at your vacation rental.

Inventory starter kits, available in vacation rental welcome books, allow you to highlight what items guests can expect to find at your vacation rental

Credit: RueBaRue.com

Welcome basket idea #2: Hotel-inspired items

Sticking with the comfort theme, why not provide guests with some extra luxury with items they’re not used to finding in vacation rental properties?

Big fluffy robes and slippers are typical hotel staples, but you can also offer them to your vacation rental guests. Bonus points if they’re stamped with your branding! You can even create mini-spa kits with face masks, bubble bath gel, and pillow sprays to complement the robe and slippers.

The great thing about robes is that since they can be laundered and used again for your future guests, they’re luxurious and sustainable.

Welcome basket ideas #3: Snacks and drinks

Snacks and drinks, especially those sourced from local businesses, are a great addition to any welcome basket since they have three benefits:

  • They’re handy for guests to grab while on the go exploring your local area
  • They help you showcase other businesses in your local area
  • They’re delicious!

While it’s not necessary to provide a full hamper for guests, small food and beverage items are another small luxury that guests will appreciate.

Typical items include cookies, chips, trail mix, sodas, water, chocolate, and candy, but you’ll need to be extra careful of including items that contain common allergens such as peanuts.

Welcome basket idea #4: Locally sourced products

Have we mentioned that locally sourced products are a great addition to any welcome basket?

The options here are limitless, and you can tie in the products with your local area. For example, if you’re based in Wine Country, you can leave guests a bottle of wine from a local vineyard, or if there’s a well-known coffeehouse nearby, leave them a packet of coffee beans.

Welcome basket idea #5: Hand sanitizer and masks

Hygiene and safety are at the top of every traveler’s mind these days, so make your guests feel comfortable by providing plenty of hand sanitizer, complimentary masks, and appropriate home-cleaning supplies like disinfecting wipes and sprays.

Welcome basket idea #6: Seasonal or holiday-themed gifts

Seasonal or holiday-themed gifts are a great idea for welcome baskets since they can help your guests make the most out of their stay,

Depending on the location and/or type of rental property, you can add welcome basket items relevant to the time of year. For example, if it’s summer, beach towels, sunblock, and inflatable water toys are a welcome addition. In winter, cozy blankets, ingredients for hot chocolate, bath salts, and LED candles will make for a snug, homely stay.

Welcome basket idea #7: Locally-themed gifts

Why not tailor your welcome basket ideas to your local area?

While extra towels, flip flops, and sunblock are handy near the beach, you might find guests appreciative of hangover recovery drink powders, or earplugs and sleep masks in known party areas. For outdoorsy types, “survival kits” containing small first aid kits, trail mix, and a map in places are a great extra touch.

Welcome basket idea #8: Handmade souvenirs

Guests love keepsakes that will remind them of treasured vacation memories. Know a great local artist/photographer who creates prints of the local area? You can commission them to make small, postcard size prints of the area for each guest to take home.

Or, for a highly personal and artsy touch, you could even make these yourself with a polaroid camera by taking snaps of the local area for guests to take home.

Welcome basket idea #9: Don’t forget about the pets

For pet-friendly vacation rentals, add toys and treats to the basket for guests’ furry friends. Not only will it help keep them occupied, but guests will always remember that you went the extra mile for their animals.

Different breeds and different sized animals will have varying requirements, so be sure to ask guests about their animal’s needs before they arrive. You can even use RueBaRue’s guest SMS messaging feature to streamline the process!

Welcome basket idea #10: Remember the kids, too!

If guests bring their children, make sure to add in age-appropriate gifts such as coloring books and crayons, toys, and books. For a personalized touch, you can again use a guest SMS messaging tool to ask guests in advance about their children’s age and necessities.

For rainy days, make sure you stock your vacation rental with a variety of board games or a deck of cards to keep the family entertained!

Delight your guests from the moment they step through the door with these welcome basket ideas

Welcome baskets are small gestures that can truly elevate your guests’ experience. Unlike hotel welcome baskets, creating your own gives you the chance to showcase your local area and shows guests that you’ve made a special effort and thought about their needs.

Your welcome baskets can be as unique as your rental property. Take some time to think about your vacation rental property and your guests’ needs to curate remarkable welcome baskets that guests will remember.

Frequently asked questions about vacation rental welcome basket ideas

What should be included in a welcome basket?

Welcome baskets should contain a mixture of “essential” items such as toiletries and snacks and drinks, helpful items such as things to keep children and pets occupied, and items that will delight your guests—think locally sourced souvenirs, seasonal gifts, and hotel-inspired gifts.

How do I make a guest welcome basket?

Your welcome baskets don’t always need to be baskets—they can also be tote bags or boxes. Make sure to add a variety of items such as toiletries, locally sourced souvenirs, seasonal gifts, and hotel-inspired goodies.

How can I personalize each welcome basket?

With hundreds of guests to please, it can be challenging to personalize each and every welcome basket. However, you can personalize welcome baskets depending on the season (think flip-flops and beach towels and cozy blankets and ingredients for hot chocolate), and also depending on whether guests will be accompanied by their children and/or animals.

RueBaRue lets you create beautiful digital guidebooks so you can welcome guests to your property in a modern and impressive way. Book a demo personalized to your rentals to see the platform in action.

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