Friday, March 16, 2012

From a villa renter to villa owners: 10 tips for happy holiday villa stays

1. Toilet paper. I know, it’s not my favourite subject either. But, listen, I just flew for 20 hours to get here. I am jet lagged. Greek plumbing is VERY different from what I am used to. So, what’s up with the one roll of toilet paper? Did you think I brought a stash with me in my suitcase? Do you think that after a 20 hour flight, landing in a strange village in the dark, I am likely to run out to the supermarket? Please leave me enough toilet paper to get me through a few days at least.

2. Towels. I am tired and stinky after that long flight. Don’t be mean with the towels. This is in your best interest. I will use your drapes.

3. Pillows. Change em out at least once a season. I have no great desire to sleep on other people’s drool. See note above about using your drapes.

4. Garbage. I come from a world where there is weekly curbside pickup. Please leave me instructions for what to do with my garbage. Do you pick it up? Do I have to take it some place? What about garbage bags? Can you leave me enough to manage? Otherwise I will throw my icky stuff directly in your bin and you can damn well wash it out when I leave.

5. Water. If you have a villa in an area where the water is not safe for drinking, please let me know. And as a kindness, please leave a few large bottles of water for me to tide me over until I can figure out where the market is. If you don’t let me know, then we will probably need to review Tip # 1 about toilet paper.

6. Kitchen gadgets. I am tired of annually outfitting villa kitchens. How about a can opener, corkscrew, decent bread knife and something more substantial in the pots and pans department? Dish soap would be nice too – for some odd reason, I never think to pack a bottle to take with me from Canada. Oh – and a cutting board, please. I will use your countertops otherwise.

7. Electricity. Hopefully your guests are smart enough to understand about the different power requirements for appliances and come equipped with plugs and adapters for their own stuff. However, in the countryside here there are lots of planned power cuts for mysterious reasons. The power company helpfully posts notices around the village – but I can’t read Greek very well. Can you let me know?

8. Security. Those little personal safes are great. Remember to leave me the code, please. Also, remind me about locking windows and doors when I go out. Bad things happen to good people – even though we prefer not to think about it. Thankfully, property crime is still pretty low here in this country.

9. Batteries. In my 30 years of renting everything from cheap studios, moderately priced hotel rooms to posh villas, I have yet to find one that has fresh batteries in the various gadgets. I routinely need to buy batteries for TV and air conditioner remote. It’s not a big deal, but it is annoying. I’d rather spend my time in a taverna or on the beach than fannying about the village trying to find someone who sells a AAA battery for a decent price.

10. Be nice. I’m coming back. And in this day of instant social media, I am definitely telling my friends and I will very likely write a review.

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