Booking accommodations for your next trip has never been easier, with a plethora of hotels and AirBnB properties to suit every traveller’s needs and preferences available online.
Staying in an AirBnB is even more fun than booking into a hotel — it’s like a little home away from home. While AirBnB hosts encourage visitors to feel welcome and treat the rental property as if it’s their own, that doesn’t mean you can leave it in the same state as you would your kitchen when you missed your alarm and are running late for work in the morning.
There’s such a thing as being a good guest and well, a bad guest. You don’t want to fall into the second category, on principle of course, and you also don’t want to risk getting banned from future AirBnB stays because of disrespectful behaviour.
AirBnB hosts have a collection of “horror stories” when it comes to guests from hell, and most of them revolve around the topics of terrible absence of hygiene and cleanliness, blatant disregard of hosts’ rules and a general lack of accountability and respect.
Don’t be that guest! Instead, check out these tips and tricks for exemplary AirBnB guest etiquette:
Punctuality is important when it comes to being the best AirBnB guest ever.
- Be accurate with your arrival time. Hosts have work and families to take care of, too, so communicate accurately about what time you are going to arrive (especially if you are to meet the host in person; some hosts choose to keep keys in lock boxes for guests to access). If you are going to be late because of a delay in travel, transportation or for any other reason, do the considerate thing and let your host new of your new arrival time. The same goes for arriving earlier. Don’t just show up; let your host know out of respect — they may be busy preparing.
- Leave when you say you are going to leave. Hosts specify check-out times for a reason, and they need time to fix up their rentals after you leave and before new guests arrive. If you need more time or cannot leave at the agreed-upon check-out time, ask communicate with your host in advance and let them know. If hosts allow you to have a late check-out, stick to the new time agreed. If other guests are scheduled to arrive after you leave and your host won’t allow you to check out late, do your best to get out of there in a swift manner.
- TOP TIP — Always add buffer times to your arrival and departure times to account for any unforeseen circumstances. Hosts will appreciate being informed in advance when you are near and they will love you for checking out earlier than the check-out time as it gives them more time to prepare for their next gust.
Honesty is indeed the best policy when it comest to being a decent AirBnB guest.
- If something goes wrong, tell your host. If anything is amiss or goes wrong with your stay, don’t hesitate to tell your host about it, whether it’s your fault or not. Honesty and good communication are imperative in making the host-guest relationship are smooth as possible and will help hosts quickly address any problems you might encounter.
- Take responsibility for anything you break or lose. We all know that accidents happen. It’s part of life. If you break or lose anything in your host’s property, don’t try to cover it up or pretend it didn’t happen. It doesn’t matter if it’s a broken glass or a lost set of keys — come clean and offer to pay for or replace the broken or lost item. Your host will thank you for your honesty.
- TOP TIP — Be extra honest. Even if you have already removed or cleaned up evidence of an accident (wine on couch, vomit on the carpet, etc.), hosts will appreciate being informed of what happened anyway. They would be able to schedule further cleaning, if necessary. If you’ve broken anything but glued it back together perfectly, it’s the respectful thing to let your host know anyway. And I think this one goes without saying — don’t take anything that isn’t yours, regardless of what it is!
Cleanliness, or the lack thereof, is one of the biggest problems that AirBnB hosts have to deal with when it comes to bad guests.
- Clean up after yourself. “Clean as you go” is a motto that’s applicable to pretty much every life situation, but its importance in terms of renting another’s property cannot be overemphasised. Don’t be a slob. You may be renting it, but it’s still someone else’s house. If you use any dishes, clean them. Don’t leave the bathroom in a horrible state — pick out your hairs from the drain and wipe the floors down. In some cases, your host might be living in the other room, so be mindful of keeping shared spaces (like kitchens, bathrooms and living areas) extra clean.
- Practice good hygiene. You might not think that your body odour is anyone else’s business, but in this case, it is. You’ll be sleeping on someone else’s bed and using their couch or their towels. Observe extra good hygiene and don’t do disgusting things. If your child has an accident on the bed or on the carpet, make sure you clean it yourself or take the item out for cleaning services. Don’t leave messes (especially ones involving bodily fluids) for your guest to clean.
- TOP TIP — Go the extra mile and help your host. Make a neat pile of used towels and sheets and place so that your host doesn’t have to collect everything themselves. If you have washed the dishes, why not dry everything and put them back where they belong. Surprise your host by leaving the house in just as clean a state as it was when you arrived, or better yet, even cleaner!
Consideration and respect go a long way when it comes to being a good guest.
- Don’t throw parties in your host’s property. If you’ve rented a property out for the weekend and plan to throw a party, ask your host first if they will allow it. Most hosts prefer to know how many people are using their rentals and don’t want wild parties happening where things can get broken or out of hand. Plus, the property or area may have rules as to loud sounds late at night and early in the morning.
- Don’t rent out your host’s AirBnB to anyone else. If you are renting out a property on behalf of someone else, tell your host and make it very clear. Don’t rent it for yourself and then charge someone else to rent it so that you can make an extra buck. That’s really bad etiquette right there.
- Don’t engage in illegal activities in your host’s property. AirBnB hosts have reported stories of guests who were found doing or dealing drugs, having prostitutes over, or engaging in other illegal activities in their rental properties. Keep everything above board in your host’s home.
- TOP TIP — You don’t have to report everything you’re going to do to your host, but informing them of plans like having friends over or a dinner party you’re planning to throw is considerate and will allow them to say yes or no in advance. If they say yes, make sure to take extra accountability for your own guests and for the cleanliness of the property. If they say no, be gracious and follow their wishes.
Leave them a review
Being an exemplary, clean guest is great, but up the ante and make sure you leave your host a review on AirBnB. Be kind but accurate — the review will help promote an excellent host’s rating and any constructive feedback will help them improve their offer and become better hosts. It doesn’t take a long time to write out a simple review, and your hosts will thank you for it!
At the end of the day, it all comes down to respect and consideration. And remember, it all comes back to you — how you treat others and how you treat others’ properties. Now go travelling and be the best AirBnB guests ever! /TISG
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