Holiday Home Times

Accommodating early check-ins and How wrong things can go

Do you usually encounter situations where guests arrive at your holiday home several hours before the scheduled check-in time? Have you ever wondered why such situations arise on the first place or how to handle or accommodate such guests? If this is a problem you usually face then read on. This article will not only tell the possible reasons for guests arriving at your holidays home much early before they should, but will also tell you how you can handle such situations.

Early holiday home check-in

Unless you have strict check-in and checkout policies for your holiday home, you are more likely to face the menace of guests landing up at your property much early before the actual check-in time.

WHY DO GUESTS LAND UP EARLY:

1. The first reason why guests land up at the doorstep of your holiday home several hours before the scheduled check-in time is because you don’t have enforceable rules. The guests said that they would be arriving on January 8, but because you do not and did not specify that the check-in time is 12 in the afternoon, they arrived at 4 am in the morning of January 8. Here, technically the guests are right. The onus is on you to specify your check-in and checkout time to guests during booking, so that they can plan their journey accordingly.  

2. Sometimes, even though you had specified your check-in time, guests still came several hours prior to that, because they are coming from a different time-zone which was not taken into account.

3. Then there are occasions when guests take early morning flights or trains and you are not aware of the timings or you never asked them and they just assumed that they could walk-in any time.

SO WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN GUESTS LAND UP SEVERAL HOURS PRIOR TO THE CHECK-IN TIME:

Firstly, make sure that you have strict check-in and checkout rules for guests. Put these in writing in the rental agreement and ask guests to read and sign it.

Secondly, if the guest is coming from a country with a different time zone as yours make sure you convert their arrival and departure timings to your time, before you prepare the rental agreement. For instance if they are arriving at 3 am on January 8, make sure that they need to make the bookings from January 7 and not from January 8.

Having said that if guests arrive just a couple of hours before the scheduled check-in, you can show some flexibility and accommodate them. However any arrivals before 4-5 hours prior to the check-in time should be charged.

If there are previous guests staying in your holiday home and the new set of guests arrive before they have left, brief them about the situation and tell them you can by no means accommodate them before the check-in time. If you have a lawn, you can ask them to kill some time there till the earlier guests checkout and the house is prepared for them. In such situations, it won’t hurt to serve them some refreshments in the lawn.

Invariably for holiday home owners it is best to prepare themselves for early check-ins. Ask your caretaker to come a couple of hours before the check-in time and keep the house ready for the guests. During peak season, when you will witness back-to-back guests, make sure that at least the sitting-dining area is prepared first so that even if guests arrive early, they can relax in this area, till the rest of the house is being cleaned and prepared.