Many years ago we planned a vacation in the Cahors region of France – in a rental villa. It was a small place just for the two of us, but it was in a beautiful region and we were excited about exploring; eating out on terraces in old villages; relaxing by the pool at the property, and being outside the bulk of the time.
It rained incessantly for 2 weeks and only cleared up on the morning we left.
It’s over 20 years ago and I still remember how depressing it was to be stuck inside this tiny, almost windowless cottage, watching the rain lash down outside. As each day went past and the remaining vacation time we’d worked so hard for, drifted away, it was difficult to get rid of the heavy feeling of loss that none of our expectations would be met. And this from an eternal optimist.
I mention this because we’ve now been in the Bahamas for 8 days and have had sunshine for just two of them. It’s not quite the same because it’s still warm and hasn’t rained much and we are still getting out a lot. Even so, a kayak trip isn’t as comfortable in moderate wind and swells as it would be in the calm Caribbean sea conditions we’d highly anticipated.
One of my favourite expressions has always been:
There is no such thing as bad weather, or good weather. There is only weather and our attitude to it.
It is a great quote to remember and live by however, when vacationers are beset with conditions they hadn’t expected, their attitude can shift to a need to blame something or someone for the bad feelings they are experiencing.
Often, it’s the home-owner who bears the brunt of the blame, for not delivering enough for their guests to do, play with or substitute for all theplanned sun-related activities. That’s not the case here. We have a pool table, satellite TV, DVDs, board games, books, a Playstation and unlimited internet access. In addition to that, the local information supplied on kayaking and hiking trails is plenty to keep us busy as long as the rain holds off. It’s not to say we are the happiest of holiday-makers, but there is nothing we can do about the weather but make the best of it.
This is the importance of providing a lot for your guests to do in any weather, even if your location is traditionally seen as a sunshine paradise.
Statistics from our own rental agency show that complaints are more likely on rainy days, as guests are stuck inside and typically look for something other than the weather to focus their disappointment upon. The properties with up-to-date entertainment facilities and comprehensive information guides on the local area (that include rainy-day activities) are less likely to receive complaints.
5 things you can do to alleviate the rainy day blues
Rainy Day Book – Create a rainy-day book that features local indoor attractions and activities and has ideas on what guests can do in poor weather. Put a list of these on your website so that guests can click links that will take them to places they can go. Here’s one on Bahamas.net that shows how simple it is to do.
Cooking Class – Ensure parents are equipped with what they need to entertain their kids (remember that they don’t have all their home-toys and games with them). Think about baking kits for cookie making and provide ingredients and supplies for making-cupcakes. A cupcake recipe book is a neat idea too.
Games and Stuff – Ensure you have the expected games…Monopoly, Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit. Stack your bookcase with paperbacks of different genres, and provide a selection of DVDs. Make sure magazines are up to date and not just a collection of old and tattered supermarket versions that previous guests have left behind.
Got some space? - If you’ve been on the fence about buying a larger indoor feature such as a pool table or foosball table, it can be a worthwhile expense to keep your guests happy when going outside is not an option.
For the intrepid wanderers – Your hardier and outdoor enthusiast guests will want to get out, even when it’s wet and windy – these folks are unlikely to worry about the weather but they could also do with some help. Provide details on geocaching in the area as well as hiking trails, and supply some umbrellas too. Remember to include information on where they can take a break and get a meal or a drink. I recall many weekends of hiking in the Lake District in England (we never anticipated good weather there) and ending up in a warm and cosy pub for lunch.
As I write this, the wind is blowing hard and it is yet another cloudy day. Mike and I are on our laptops both writing blog posts. Mike’s wife Andrea is deep into a book while baby Arya is engrossed with apps on an iPad. My husband has not yet surfaced from the very comfy king sized bed. While it’s not what we had planned, there’s a lot for us to do both inside and out so we will make the most of what’s here. We are just very happy that the owner of Thevine House has considered that there may not always be sunshine in Paradise