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Holiday Let Emails & Messages to Send to Guests

Reading Time: 13 minutes

Email messages

One of the most important aspects of managing a holiday let is communicating with potential and existing guests. The emails and messages that you send demonstrate to guests that you are an attentive host who cares.

However, writing emails to keep every guest informed and answering the same questions over and over can be one of the most time-consuming tasks. But by utilising email templates or the auto-messaging tool as part of your holiday rental software, you can save time by sending out specific information via automated messages throughout the booking process.

From booking confirmations to payment reminders, here’s a list of essential emails to send guests throughout their booking.

How to write a great email template

The key to writing a great email is to customise the template based on the individual guest so it doesn’t sound like a generic response. You want the message to include all the relevant information while inserting a friendly, personalised tone.

Start with the name of the guest and include answers to any specific questions asked, ideally with links to blog posts with further information. For example, if someone asks if your holiday cottage is suitable for dogs, tell them about your dog – the walks you go on, your secure outdoor space, the doggie daycare right around the corner you use and the pet-friendly restaurants and attractions you recommend.

Your guest will probably be reading your reply on a mobile device so keep your emails short and to the point. Make paragraphs digestible, use bullets to highlight key points and link to your website for further information.

Add your email signature and telephone number to the end of all emails so guests can easily contact you if necessary.

The enquiry reply email

The enquiry is your first email contact with potential holiday let guests and the one that has the potential to convert the enquiry into a booking. Send this as soon as possible after you receive the enquiry. Holidaymakers usually contact several holiday lets at once to see who’s available for their chosen dates so the quicker off the mark you are, the more likely you are to bag the booking.

Tips to increase bookings 

Always include your property name in the subject so they know who the reply is from and the dates. For example, “Booking enquiry for Fellview Cottage 7-14 September”.

This email should confirm if your property is available for the requested dates – include the dates in the email (and the number of nights) so there’s no room for confusion. Confirm your rate, ideally a fully inclusive rate, if not then breakdown any extra charges for dogs etc.

It’s also a good idea to list your property’s unique selling points as it relates to them specifically and show the extra value you provide over your competitors. For example, any special offers, hot tub, welcome pack or discounts at local attractions.

Include a link to your holiday rental website where you can further convince holidaymakers that your rental is the right one for them. Your website reinforces the information guests saw in your advert and builds trust.

Have a clear call to action – tell them how to book and make it clear and easy. You could offer an incentive to book with you (e.g. a free welcome pack) if they book within 48 hours. Also, create a sense of urgency to convert the booking if you have limited availability, these can seal the booking and are used with great success on travel sites e.g.

holiday booking cost

Don’t forget to include a link to your terms and conditions and cancellation policy.

How do you reply to a request for a discount? There are certain times when it’s a good idea to offer a discount or special offer. When it’s not (usually because the dates are popular), simply explain to the enquirer that the dates are likely to get booked so you are unable to offer a discount. Suggest other dates (to fill a booking gap) or recommend that they re-check neared the time – but the dates are likely to get booked up.

Top tip: If they use their first name in their enquiry then use it in your replies to make it personal. Make your replies friendly and courteous, professional yet chatty.

Ask a question in your reply to build rapport and prompt further dialogue e.g. if they are walkers then ask them if they have done a specific local walk or suggest a few and link to them on your website.

Use your email signature to point them to reviews of your property as well as any social media accounts. Also, include your phone number so they can call with any further questions.

Sample holiday let booking enquiry reply (insert as necessary)

Subject: Your enquiry for (property name & dates)

Dear (guest name)

Thank you for your enquiry about (property name).

I am pleased to confirm that the property is currently available from (dates) (x nights) and the rental cost is (£x).

Why choose us?

  • (list your benefits and unique selling proposition)
  • (any discount/special offer)

Please visit our website (website address) for more information on our holiday cottage, the location and what previous guests have said about their stay with us. Hopefully the website will answer your questions but if you need more information then please don’t hesitate to get in touch by email or call me on (your phone number).

(Include details on how to book your property) We would be delighted for you to stay at (property name), booking is straightforward. You can book on our website and pay the 25% deposit via credit card.

We will contact you 6 weeks before your holiday begins for the balance, then send the arrival details. For bookings within 6 weeks of arrival we will require full payment on booking.

(create urgency) We get a steady stream of enquiries for this fabulous property so we recommend that if you are interested in staying you book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your interest. Do let me know if you have any other questions.


(your name)
(signature with phone number, link to  website, social medial profiles and reviews)

Booking chaser

Emails sometimes go astray or into spam folders. Many people also send enquiries to several different properties and often just need a gentle nudge to remind them to book before it’s too late.

If you don’t hear back within a couple of days then follow up to make sure the traveller received your reply, and offer to answer any further questions. A simple chaser email can secure a booking, but only chase once and move on if you don’t receive a reply.

Top tip: If you have a contact number you could also give the enquirer a call. Some owners prefer talking to guests over the phone as it allows them to discuss the property and answer questions.

Booking chaser email

Subject: Reminder: Your enquiry for (property name & dates)

Dear (guest name)

You recently enquired about staying at (property name and website where they found you).

Since email sometimes goes astray, I’m writing again . . . Have you already found a rental? If not, please let me know if you have any additional questions.

(Include details on how to book your property).

If you have already completed your accommodation arrangements, please accept our best wishes for your upcoming travels.


(your name)
(signature with phone number, link to  website, social medial profiles and reviews)

The property is unavailable

Don’t simply delete enquiries if you are already booked for the requested dates. If your property isn’t available then offer alternative dates. The enquirer may be flexible or bookmark your property for a future stay.

You can also use the unavailable email for those bookings that you want to refuse because they are likely to be more hassle than it’s worth.

Top tip: If you are booked up then suggest similar properties in your area if you have a referral arrangement with local owners.

Sample unavailable email

Subject: Re: your enquiry for (property name & dates)

Dear (guest name),

Thank you for enquiring about (property name). Unfortunately, our holiday let is booked during the period you requested. Are your dates flexible by any chance? I keep an up-to-date calendar on my website (link to availability calendar).

If you’re flexible, please let me know – or feel free to resubmit your request on our website (website).


(your name)
(signature with phone number, link to  website, social medial profiles and reviews)

Holiday let booking confirmation template

The holiday let booking confirmation is probably the most important email because it contains all the important information you and the guest need to be clear about.

The holiday home booking confirmation form should include:

Booking number
Owner information – name, address, contact details.
Guest(s) details – name, address, contact details.
Dates – confirm the date of arrival/departure, the number of nights, check-in and check-out time.
Number of guests – confirm the number of people who will be staying.
Cost – confirm the exact payment required for the stay including any extras such as the cleaning or dog fee.
Security deposit (if applicable).
Payment schedule – list the dates when payment(s) are due. Include your bank details if the guest is paying via bank transfer.

Top tip: Think of this booking confirmation email almost as a contract – make sure all the details are crystal-clear with a copy of your terms and conditions.

Sample booking confirmation email

Subject: Your booking at [property name] is confirmed (booking number) 

Dear (customer name),

This is to let you know that I have received your booking deposit of (deposit amount) and can confirm that you have been booked to stay at our (property name) from (holiday dates & number of nights).

The total price for this booking is (total) and the balance of (balance amount) is due no later than (date balance due). I will send you a reminder with a payment link a few days before.

(Insert the key points as outlined in the section above)

When I receive your full payment I will send you the directions and welcome arrangements.

(Insert details of any extra requests or answer questions)

We are looking forward to welcoming you and are sure you will have a great holiday.


(your name)
(signature with phone number, link to  website, social medial profiles and reviews)

Note: amend as necessary if payment is made in full.

Tips and ideas

Around four weeks before your guests are due to arrive, send over some helpful tips for how they can make the most of their time at your property.

Send them your recommendations (blog posts) of things to see, do and where to eat in your local area. For those guests visiting during peak season, recommend that they book in advance.

For example:
-Top 10 restaurants
-Best beach guide
-Weather guide and what to do on a rainy day
-An inventory list of what items are provided

Include information about any question that has previously been asked more than twice and a copy of your guestbook. 

Request for balance payment

This is a quick reminder to be sent a week or before the balance is due. Again, include a link to pay by credit card or your bank details if the guest is paying via bank transfer. Once the balance payment has cleared, send a confirmation and outline what will happen next.

Sample request for balance

Subject: The balance for your stay at (property name) is due in the next few days

Dear (guest name),

You are due to arrive at (property name) for your holiday on (arrival date) and we hope you are looking forward to your stay.

You have already paid a booking deposit of (deposit paid) and I would be grateful if you could arrange to pay (balance amount due) for the balance of the rental which is due by (due date).

(add payment details)

Upon receipt, I will send you directions to (property name) and the check-in details 14 days before arrival.


(your name)
(signature with phone number, link to  website, social medial profiles and reviews)

Overdue balance reminder 

If the balance isn’t received on the due date use the following template.

Subject: The balance for your stay at (property name) is now overdue

Dear (guest name),

The balance for your stay at (property name) from (holiday dates) is now overdue.

In case you have overlooked our recent email reminder, we do now need the balance to be paid to prevent your stay from being cancelled.

For your convenience, you can (insert payment details).


(your name)
(signature with phone number, link to  website, social medial profiles and reviews)

Balance payment confirmation

Subject: (property name) balance confirmation payment

Dear (guest name),

Thank you for your balance payment.

I will send the arrival information 14 days before your stay. It will detail everything you need to know including directions, the arrival time, collection of keys and other useful information.


(your name)
signature with phone number, link to  website, social medial profiles and reviews)

Check-in and directions

About 14 days before arrival, provide your guests with all the information they need to arrive at and enjoy your property.

Provide them with:

  • Information on your check-in and check-out times.
  • Directions to your property (include a GPS reference and/or Google map coordinates).
  • Instructions about how to access the property – key safe code, where they can pick up the keys.
  • Where to park.

Top tip: It’s also a good opportunity to share some key information that they may need quick access to upon their arrival like the Wi-Fi details, heating instructions, etc.

Along with this email send a link to/attach a pdf copy of your guestbook.

Sample check-in and directions email 

Subject: Check-in details for your upcoming stay at (property name & dates)

Dear (guest name)

This is to let you know the final arrangements for your stay at (property name) from (holiday dates). 

Check-in is (insert time). Please don’t arrive earlier than the agreed time as this allows time for the property to be cleaned and prepared for your stay.

(insert key collection/entry details and an emergency contact number if there are any problems)

Directions (give detailed directions and the address of the property or attach the details with maps etc).

Guest information
There is a guestbook in the property with appliance instructions, useful information, directions and tips. Please take a few minutes to read this as it contains essential information to make your stay an enjoyable one – and feel free to contribute to the guestbook.

Our guestbook can also be viewed (insert a link to your guest information or attach it to your email) online. If you haven’t done already, please take some time to read this information and our house rules before you arrive. It will help you make the most of your stay.

Should any issues arise during your stay please report them to us promptly so we may attend to them as appropriate. We can be contacted on (contact details).

We hope you have a fantastic holiday.


(your name)
(signature with phone number, link to  website, social medial profiles and reviews)

Check-up message

The day after check-in send an email or text message asking how they have settled in, if they have everything they need or do they have any questions. This can help to protect you from negative reviews as some guests may not inform you of any issues. A quick check-up message gives them a chance to bring any problems or questions to your attention.

You could say something like:

Hi (guest name),

I just wanted to make sure you are enjoying your holiday and you settled in ok.

If there is anything I can do to make your stay more enjoyable, or if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.


(your name)
(signature with phone number, link to  website, social medial profiles and reviews)

Checkout Instructions

Leaving clear checkout instructions lets your guests know what you expect from them at the end of their stay so there is no room for misunderstanding. This makes the job of your cleaner much easier, allowing them enough time to take care of everything before your next guests arrive.

Send this email before they arrive and again a couple of days before your guests leave.

State anything the guests need to do before leaving the property, such as:

– Confirm the checkout time they have to leave by
– Remind guests to turn off all the lights
– Set the thermostat back to a specific temperature
– Close all windows and lock doors before leaving
– Dispose of any food they brought with them
– Washup/load the dishwasher
– Empty the bins
– What the guests should do with the keys when they leave
– Inform you of any damage, missing items or problems encountered during their stay.

If have had issues in the past you may want to consider adding a late checkout fee in the booking terms and conditions/house rules. Explain why it’s so important that guests check out on time so your guests understand why you are enforcing it.

The follow-up email

Within days of your guests’ departure, send them an email thanking them for being your guests. You can also use this email to encourage loyalty by turning first-time guests into repeat bookers.

Things to include:

  • Offer a repeat friend and family booking discount.
  • A request to follow or like your social media profiles.
  • Communicate details of the security deposit – when you’re returning it, and how much.
  • Ask them to subscribe to your newsletter to hear about your special offers and news about your area.

Sample follow-up email 

Subject: Your recent stay at (property name)

Dear (guest name)

We do hope you enjoyed your holiday in (property name) and that you have happy memories of your stay.

If you have any comments about our holiday home or suggestions about how we could improve it, we would love to hear them.

We hope that we may be welcoming you back to our holiday home in the future. As an extra way to say ‘thank you’ for choosing us, if you or your friends wish to book again you are entitled to X% off the rental rates. Simply add (code) when you book online through our website.


(your name)
(signature with phone number, link to  website, social medial profiles and reviews)

Ask for a review

Reviews are essential for building trust in prospective guests and improving your guest experience. But unless they are asked, guests are unlikely to leave a review about their stay.

It’s important that you encourage guests to tell other people why they enjoyed their stay so much. Sending them a link to the place where they can leave their review and remind them of their returning guest discount.

Sample review request email

Subject: We would love your feedback on (property name)

Hi (name),

We wanted to thank you again for choosing to stay with us and hope that you’ll come back and stay with us again.

Please could you take a few seconds to write a review about our (property name) at: (insert website where they can write a review, e.g. your website or the site where they found you/booked).

It only takes a few minutes and helps other guests benefit from your experience and advice.

Any feedback you have is greatly appreciated.


(your name)
(signature with phone number, link to  website, social medial profiles and reviews)

Booking cancellations and refund requests

Hopefully, booking cancellations will be rare. It’s a difficult situation to deal with and each owner deals with cancellations differently depending on the reason for cancelling and the cancellation terms in the booking contract.

Recommend that guests take out travel insurance and that it’s not your responsibility to refund if they choose not to take out insurance.

The following email may be useful, but tailor it to the individuals circumstances and whether you are able to re-advertise the dates or not. Try to be as understanding with your guests as possible and add condolences if they’ve had to cancel due to family bereavement.

Sample booking cancellation email

Subject: Cancellation of your holiday at (property name and dates)

Dear (guest name)

We are very sorry to hear that due to (the reason) you have decided to cancel your holiday at (your property name) from (holiday dates). We remind you of our cancellation policy and the bookings terms and conditions (link to t&c’s).

We have re-advertised the dates and hopefully we will find someone to stay. In the event that we can re-let the dates, we will refund (the amount paid) less a £30.00 administration charge and any costs incurred in re-advertising the holiday.

If we are unable to re-let the dates, we will refund any costs which we will not incur due to your cancellation, being (the cleaning and estimated utility costs).

If you would like us to supply any paperwork to support a travel insurance claim then please let us know.

We will let you know if we manage to re-let the dates and confirm any refund due.


(your name)
(signature with phone number, link to  website, social medial profiles and reviews)

With email templates and the right holiday rental management software, you can avoid repetitive tasks and save time by automating your emails to send throughout the booking. But remember, where possible your correspondence should be personalised and tailored to the individual guests’ needs.


  • Victoria Berryman |

    Brilliant – thank you so much for the letter templates. My brain had seized up and they are the perfect reminders.

  • Rick Bond |

    A very handy article. It’s very easy when replying to fall into the trap of assuming that everyone you are writing to thinks like you and is as familiar with your property and its location as you are and consequently in responding we unconsciously take many things for granted.

    For my own holiday cottage, We select from a number of templates which are used based on the nature of the enquiry. Although we have one overall template, we drop into it pre-prepared sections in response to an individual enquiry, e.g. for guests bringing dogs (on the canine merits of the cottage and its location), one for families with infants (facilities and special places they will love to visit), one for families bringing an aged, infirm relative, (providing accurate and reassuring information about the suitability of our rooms and facilities, as well as suggestions for accessible places from local beaches to pubs).

    It does take a little time crafting a response – though nowhere near as long as if writing afresh each time, but it does give us a healthy enquiry conversion rate of almost (but not quite yet) 50%. And of course, we personalise the response as much as we can, for example using the exact phrases used by the enquirer.

    Interestingly, our best conversion rates come from My Favourite Holiday Cottages (my own site), Independent Cottages and when I get one, Unique Holiday Cottages. The lowest conversion rates are Love to Escape and, interestingly, Homeaway.

    • Philip |

      Hi Rick, thanks for your advice. Marketing personalisation is a proven tactic to improve conversion rates and having templates for different types of guests makes your enquiry reply stand out from the norm. It’s also useful to ask the enquirer a question e.g. if they are bringing a dog, ask them if they are aware of the dog friendly walks nearby or would they like recommendations for dog friendly pubs. Asking questions encourages a conversation to flow, which encourages them to book with you.

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