7 Ways to Prepare Your Vacation Home for the Holidays

December 16, 2020

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

It’s been a very long and unprecedented year but the festive season is finally upon us and it’s time to celebrate, capture the magic of the holidays and maybe put a twist on the usual traditions in these unusual times. Travelers are still taking close-to-home road trips in their social bubbles. While some are staying home for the holidays, others are taking a safe road trip and exchanging cabin fever for a cabin in the woods or coastal escape. It’s time to pull out the tinsel, decorate the tree, hang the fairy lights, and welcome your guests with a little festive cheer.

There are many religious holidays celebrating diverse cultures and beliefs during the next few months and how you prepare your vacation home for the holidays is, of course, a personal choice and determined by your guest profile. You could go all out on the Christmas décor, stick to a more politically correct, non-denominational theme or give your guests the option. (But, plan carefully, you can’t be switching out décor on change-overs!) Either way, you can impress your guests on arrival with even the smallest effort by creating a warm, inviting home and offering peace of mind for a stress-free, safe and merry vacation. Think simple, classic, and fun!

Whether it’s hints of pine cones, warm earth tones and sizzling fireplaces in the mountains, or cozy on the coast with ocean views¸ hues of blues and silver, colorful coral and soft white fairy lights … you can ring in the holidays with festive cheer, impress your guests and turn their vacation into a lifelong tradition with one simple extra touch or welcoming gesture.

Stuck For Ideas? Here’s 7 Ways to Prepare Your Vacation Home for the Holidays:

Christmas Stockings: Decorative Christmas stockings hanging on the mantle is always a welcoming sight. If there’s no mantle, suction hooks on a window work well.

Holiday Gift Basket: Welcome your guests with a holiday-themed gift basket stocked with Christmas cookies, fudge, a jar of candy canes, or gift items from a local store. This is a fun way to support and advertise local businesses.

Hot Chocolate Station: There is nothing more welcoming than a hot chocolate station! Take a festive-themed tray and fill it with hot chocolate sachets (or pods), jars of marshmallows, candy canes, sparklers, and festive themed mugs.

Holiday Supplies: Many restaurants are closed with restrictions or operating on a to-go basis only, so your guests are likely to be dining in more than usual. Is the kitchen well-equipped for a festive feast? Add an extra personal touch with themed table cloths, pie plates and holiday shaped cookie cutters. Add to your guests’ traditional holiday meals with recipe cards for dishes unique to your vacation destination. These keepsakes in their kitchen at home are always happy reminders of their vacation with you.

Holiday Décor: Spread your festive cheer throughout the home staying consistent to your theme. For a warm winter theme use fall and winter colors, place pine cones and faux berries in a vase on the bedroom dressers, removable snowflake stickers on the windows, pine diffusers to bring in the scent of the season and festive throw pillows throughout. For coastal destinations think ocean hues of blues and silver, colorful coral in place of pine cones, shells hanging as ornaments from the tree and fresh twinkling fairly lights. If you’re offering guests a luxury stay with bathroom spa essentials, robes and slippers, upscale these added amenities to add a little holiday cheer.

A Festive Welcome: Don’t let your guests arrive to a dark, dreary welcome wondering where to find the lockbox! Spice up your curb appeal with outdoor lighting, decorated trees, a welcoming holiday doormat and festive wreath. Don’t overdo it (no reindeers on the roof or dancing Santa Claus!), keep it simple, but welcoming.

Christmas Tree: Nothing compares to the fresh aroma of pine needles but, let’s face it, real Christmas trees require regular clean-up and are not always suited for a vacation rental home. Pick the right artificial tree and you won’t know the difference. If you’re limited for space consider a table-top tree or decorative wooden Christmas tree. Keep decorations simple and limited with lots of fairy lights for a warm Christmas glow.

Email Blast the Bells & Whistles!

Now you know how to decorate your vacation rental for the holidays, it’s important to let your guests know you want to make their stay special and personal. Update your property listing images to include a welcoming holiday hero image and send an email blast with a festive newsletter to your guests. If you don’t want to decorate on default, offer your guests a holiday theme package (Christmas, Coastal or Winter Wonderland?) to add to their stay. This is an opportunity to market your vacation rental for the holidays, let your guests know about local holiday activities, specials and festive events and show them you are the trusted source in holiday hospitality for their festive and memorable vacation.