Sample Directions for Your Vacation Rental Guests

    directions to vacation rental propertyWhen e-mailing directions to your renters, you should include more than just the address of the property and where to find the keys. To make your guests' check-in as smooth as possible, be thorough in your vacation rental directions.

    Directions to Home:
    Be sure to include the exact street address (including zip code) along with nearby landmarks so renters know if they've driven too far. Also include any applicable gate codes, parking information, and whether or not your renters' cars will need parking passes.

    We hope you are looking forward to your upcoming stay. Here are some necessary directions in anticipation of your arrival:

    Destin Resort
    123 Main Street, Unit #45
    Destin, FL 67890
    (on Main Street between Wal-Mart and Shell Gas Station)
    Complex Gate Code: XXXX

    You will find parking passes once inside the unit. Please place one in each vehicle ASAP, as you will be fined if you do not have a parking pass!

    You should include driving directions from the north, south, east, and west, along with directions from the airport and nearby train stations or subway stops. For each set of directions, include mileage and landmarks so renters can get a feel for travel time and will know what to look for once in the area. It's always helpful to include pointers so travelers will know if they've driven too far.

    From north: Heading south on Interstate 1, Exit# 234 for Seaside. Make a left at first stop sign for Main Street where you'll see Wal-Mart. If you get to the Shell Gas Station, you've gone too far.

    From south: Heading north on Interstate 1, Exit #234 for Seaside. Make a U-turn around the freeway. Then make a left at first stop sign for Main Street where you'll see a Wal-Mart. If you get to the Shell Gas Station, you've gone too far.

    From east: Heading west on Highway 100, Exit #50 for Interstate 1 South. Exit# 234 for Seaside. Make a left at first stop sign for Main Street where you'll see Wal-Mart. If you get to the Shell Gas Station, you've gone too far.

    From west: Heading west on Highway 100, Exit #50 for Interstate 1 South. Exit# 234 for Seaside. Make a left at first stop sign for Main Street where you'll see Wal-Mart. If you get to the Shell Gas Station, you've gone too far.

    From airport: Follow signs to exit Okaloosa County Air Terminal. Make a left to head south on Interstate 1 for approximately 10 miles. Exit# 234 for Seaside. Make a left at first stop sign for Main Street where you'll see Wal-Mart. If you get to the Shell Gas Station, you've gone too far.

    You might even let renters know what times to expect the heaviest traffic and what roads they can take to avoid it.

    If your property is located within a complex, include directions for how to find your unit once inside the complex. Let renters know your building and unit number, and even the floor on which your condo is located. Also include special directions for the location of elevators and where to find luggage carts.
    Once inside the gate, make a left after the pool area. We are located in Building 4, unit #45 on the 2nd floor. If you require a luggage cart, please visit the clubhouse at the entrance. There are elevators in the central breezeway of building.

    providing keys to vacation rental guestsKeys: If you are using lockboxes, let your renters know where they will find them. If there is more than one lockbox, specify which one they are to use, and of course provide the proper code. One suggestion for keyless locks (where the code can be changed more frequently) is to use the zip code of your renters' hometowns. This keeps things simple for you, and your guests will be more likely to remember it – thus preventing late night phone calls!

    There are two lockboxes. You will get the keys out of the lower of the two lockboxes. The lock box code is XXXXX. Take the keys out and keep them with you at all times.

    Many of your guests may not have used a lockbox before. You might even consider including a photo of your lockbox so renters know what to look for.

    Check-in: Clearly state the check-in time and date. You should also reiterate that early check-in is not allowed because you would not want guests arriving before the house is completely cleaned.

    Check-in is on Saturday, June 14 at 4:00 pm. Early check-in is not allowed.

    Your check-in policy should also include instructions for inspecting the condo. If there are any cleanliness issues, provide a phone number where the renters can reach you or your housekeeper to report the problem.
    When you arrive, please inspect the condo for cleanliness. If ANYTHING is not acceptable, do not hesitate to call the housekeeper at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

    Codes: If your renters will need codes for a pedestrian gate, beach gate, workout room, Internet connection, etc., provide these up-front so they can have access upon arrival.

    Beach Code: 123
    Workout Room: 234
    Internet Connection: DEST5

    provide instructions for access to beach chairs at your condo rentalExtras: If you are providing guests with extra amenities like beach chairs, include instructions for how they can access those, plus any information for handicap accessibility.
    We have two beach chairs and an umbrella set up on the beach that is included in your rental. When you get to the beach, speak with the beach attendant and tell him you are staying in the Smith's unit #45. If you or someone in your party is handicapped or has difficulty walking, please be sure to let the beach attendant know. He will make special arrangements for your umbrella to be as close to the center as possible.

    Emergency Information: Your directions should remind renters that in case of emergency they should dial 911 first. Also provide the county, address, and phone number for your home for a quick reference. Because some vacation homes are located in remote areas, let renters know how much they can rely on their cellular phone reception.

    In case of Emergency dial 911.
    You are in Walton County.
    Destin Resort in Destin, Florida
    123 Main Street, #45
    Destin, FL 67890
    Phone #XXX-XXX-XXXX

    The cellular telephone reception inside our unit is unfortunately unpredictable at times. In case of emergency, use the land line to reach security or 911.

    For issues with the home or condo, provide the renters with your home and cell phone numbers. Let your guests know whether they are able to reach you at a local number or if they can call collect. You should also provide a backup phone number for your housekeeper or another local contact in case they cannot reach you.

    If you have trouble with the unit, call the owners, John and Jane Smith, collect at XXX-XXX-XXXX. We can also be reached on our cell phone, XXX-XXX-XXXX.
    If you cannot get a hold of us, please call the housekeeper at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

    If your condo complex has on-site security, let your renters know a phone number where they can be reached or the emergency number for the complex. Specify the times at which the security officers are on the property. Also indicate any designated quiet times and penalties for noise violations.
    The on-site security can be reached at XXX-XXX-XXXX. (9:00PM until 5:00AM.)

    Please note: The Destin Resort enforces quiet time from 10:00PM until 8:00AM. Quiet time is enforced by a security guard on duty. If noise is a nuisance to you, do not hesitate to call the security officer at the number above. The emergency number is XXX-XXX-XXXX.

    instructions for household items in your vacation homeHousehold How-To's: Some of your guests may not be familiar with how to operate some of the equipment or appliances in your home. If you have a trash compactor, garbage disposal, fancy coffeemaker, high-tech ceiling fans, unusual faucets, barbecue grill, hut tub, thermostat, etc., provide those instructions up front.

    If you have recycling bins, let the renters know what they are supposed to recycle and where the bins are located.
    Our recycling bin is located in the storage closet. Please clean out any used plastics or aluminum cans and place these in the bin, along with folded boxes or papers. Please do not place glass in the recycling bin.

    You should also provide information on where to find the circuit breaker and different shut-off switches within your home. In case of emergency, your guests should be able to locate these things easily and quickly.

    The circuit breaker box is located on the wall near the washing machine. In case of a short, flick the switch for the appropriate room.

    Tips: This section can include local attractions, activities, markets, and favorite restaurants. It is helpful to include the address and phone number so renters can easily find directions, or include that information yourself. (If you do choose to provide directions, start from the beginning – let renters know which way to turn out of the driveway!) The restaurant list should also indicate the type of food and prices. This information will allow your renters to plan some of their vacation before arriving, if they so choose.
    A.J.'s Seafood & Oyster House
    116 Highway 98 E
    (850)837-1913 Seafood $$

    Advice: For example, if you own a cabin in a ski destination, you might want to provide information about road closures, 4-wheel drive, and driving in snow storms in general. For cabins in woodsy areas, you can include warnings about bears, bugs and other critters. For apartments in urban areas, you might want to address the issue of crime. If you live near the beach, you could warn renters about tides, rip currents, sharks, etc. Let them know whether or not a lifeguard is on duty, and remind them not to swim if they see a red flag. Regardless of the type of home, provide plenty of information and instructions on what to do when faced with these risks.

    Over the past few years, there have been some ocean-related deaths along the gulf coast. Please pay attention to the flags on the beach. If there is a RED FLAG do NOT swim. The rip tides (rip currents) have been very strong. If you by chance do get caught in a rip tide, swim parallel to the beach. The Resort does NOT have lifeguards.

    And one last precaution: sharks are in the gulf. I have never seen any on our beaches, but I have seen them in the bay. Use common sense whenever in the water, especially in the evening (when sharks do most of their feeding).

    It is also wise to include directions for local medical facilities like clinics, hospitals, nearby pharmacies, and 24 hour pharmacies so renters can be prepared in case of emergency.

    One piece of advice that can be underestimated by vacation rental owners is: what to bring. It is helpful for renters to know exactly what to bring on vacation so they don’t get caught unaware or unprepared. You can advise your guests to bring anything from flip flops for the beach to an ice scraper for their car.

    Rules and Regulations:
    You might choose to include the rules and regulations of your Homeowners' or Condo Association to remind renters that they not only need to comply with your rules, but those of the complex as well.

    Include the date and time, along with instructions for trash, laundry, dishes, parking passes, and keys.

    Checkout will be on June 21 at 10 am. On the morning of your checkout please do the following:

    • Bring all trash to the dumpsters located between our building and the pool of our condo complex.
    • Place all towels, beach towels, and sheets in a pile on the floor of the laundry room. You can leave beds unmade.
    • Please run the dishwasher and return dishes, cups, and utensils to their proper cabinets and drawers.
    • Please leave parking passes on the kitchen counter for our next guests.
    • Place keys back in the lockbox as you leave.
    • Please remember to leave an entry in our guest book – we love to hear from our guests

    Download the sample here: