Top-5 Happiest Countries in the world

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The latest World Happiness Report (2013) has declared Denmark the happiest country in the world, followed by Norway, Switzerland, Netherlands and Sweden (in that order).

Within the last calendar year, I have been lucky enough to travel to all 5 of these countries. At the time, I didn’t know the “official record” that these were the happiest countries in the world. But looking back, it makes perfect sense.

Each and every country is so welcoming that I never wanted to leave. The people are extremely friendly, the economy seems to be just right, and the positive vibes in the air are just too good to be true.

Help managing cancellations (annual listings)

It’s unfortunate, but sometimes things get in the way to scupper holiday plans and you, or your guest, might have to cancel. If you do, it’s vital that you have a plan in place to make it as pleasant as it possibly can be. After all, your guest might have been looking forward to their stay at your place for weeks!

Read our top tips to help make cancellations as smooth as possible:

  1. Always provide a booking contract that will ensure you and your guest are on the same page should either of you need to cancel. You can use our sample booking contract as a starting point.

Help managing cancellations (free listings)

calendarIt’s unfortunate, but sometimes things get in the way to scupper holiday plans and you, or your guest, might have to cancel. If you do, it’s vital that you have a plan in place to make it as pleasant as it possibly can be. After all, your guest might have been looking forward to their stay at your place for weeks!

Read our top tips to help make cancellations as smooth as possible:

  1. If you or your guest needs to cancel, your chosen cancellation policy will kick in so make sure you’re happy with the one you’ve selected. You can change your cancellation policy for future stays from your Dashboard by going to Bookings > Update booking settings > Policies.

Must try foods from around the world (Part-1)

When traveling to a foreign country, you may be eager to see the iconic sights and shop for the perfect souvenir. When it is time to take a break and refuel, don’t go for the familiar or fast food, check out some of the unique foods and try something new. Here are a few tasty samplings of must try foods from around the world recommended by Linda of Tripping Blonde

BELGIUM – Mussels and Waffles

When sampling some of Belgium’s best food, you probably should leave the calorie counter at home. After all, you are on vacation, so why not indulge in the best waffles, mussels, fries, chocolate and beer you will ever have. Go for it!

Six Tips You Need to Know for Your First Family Holiday

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Having a baby doesn’t mean that you can’t have a holiday. In fact, it’s a great excuse to go away for a week of fun with your extended family. Hiring a big chateau or cottage, or perhaps a pretty villa, is a great way for your little ones to enjoy some quality time with their grandparents, cousins and other family members. Plus with a variety of babysitters at your disposal, it means that you’re bound to get at least one night off to enjoy some time with your other half!
Picking a destination and where to stay requires a bit of consideration though, so think about the following:

Collect reviews with our email template

If you have time, it’s worthwhile sending a personalised email to all of your guests on the day after check-out. Many of our advertisers tell us that they have the biggest uptake when requesting reviews this way because the email comes directly from you and they’ll probably recognise your email address. As an example, you could write something like:

Dear [insert guest's name here],

Thank you for staying at our home in [location here]. It was lovely to accommodate you and we do hope you enjoyed your stay.

Responding to guest reviews: top tips

Did you know that the way you respond to a review can be more important than the review reviewsimageitself? Our studies suggest that, whatever their rating, reviews on adverts with responses get an average of 12 per cent more enquiries than those without.

Tips for responding to reviews:

  • Respond as soon as you can but make sure you have carefully considered your response before submitting it. Don’t forget to check it for spelling and grammar.
  • Once you’ve written your response, sleep on it and look at it again with a fresh pair or eyes in the morning; you’ll probably find that you end up changing it again for the better.

How to collect TripAdvisor reviews (and boost bookings!)

TripAdvisor reviewsWe all love to know what other people think. When we’re making a decision on where to stay, hearing from previous guests can really sway our choice and:

  • Give real insight into a stay at your property
  • Boost guests’ trust and confidence, increasing your chances of securing a booking
  • Push your ad up the search rankings when guests are sorting their results by ‘number of reviews’.
  • Improve guests’ experiences by helping you to make changes to your offering

To get guest reviews on your ad, we’ve got all the info you need:

How to collect reviews

The step-by-step guide to securing bookings

For owners with free listings

Travellers can contact you with a booking request or an enquiry. Normally, they will send booking requests when they are ready to book and enquiries if they want to discuss their stay first.

Guests can only send booking requests for dates that are marked as available in your calendar and that have prices. The booking request must also match your changeover day and specified number of guests.

For booking requests

1. Guest requests booking
You’re alerted by email and text. The message also appears in your Holiday Lettings Inbox. For 24 hours, the dates the guest has requested will be marked as reserved in your calendar.