Short Term Rentals (i.e. AirBnB, HomeAway, VRBO, etc) are one of the fastest growing segments in the travel industry. If you haven’t yet traveled via one of these platforms, chances are you’ve thought about it or know someone who has. By stepping into someone’s home, rather than into a hotel lobby, travelers are given the chance to feel closer to their destination. It’s easier to feel like you’re a part of a city when you’re surrounded by locals instead of other tourists. Not to mention that travelers can save substantial amounts of money by renting an AirBnB rather a hotel room of similar size. On top of their savings, they will often also have amenities they can’t get in a standard hotel room, like a kitchen or washer and dryer.
Being a guest in an AirBnB does require a bit of understanding and finesse that may not be required by the hotel counterparts. It’s a deeper, “person-to-person” experience, rather than a “person-to-business” interaction, and being so, it requires it’s own set of rules. Once you leave a rental, the owner of that space has the opportunity to review you as well, so be on your best behavior! Below you’ll find the eight ways to be rated the world’s best guest.
The top eight ways to be the World’s Best Guest:
8. Read the Description - Every short term rental has a description for you to look over. Be sure to read it in it’s entirety! My wife and I just recently stayed in an AirBnB that was at the top of a mountain and required 4-wheel drive. Had we not read the description thoroughly, we may not have realized this and been upset upon arrival that we had to be taken up and down the mountain each time we wanted to leave. Make sure your host hasn't already explained/disclosed certain things in their description prior to you getting upset.
7. Ask the Host Questions - You can get way more out of your trip by asking your host what to do/where to go. They can be a local tour guide and help you to see places you won’t find in any guidebook!
6. Keep the host updated on your arrival/departure time - The host may be doing other things on your arrival day, so keep them updated on when you think you’ll arrive. When you’re departing, the host may only have a few hours to get the place ready before the next guest arrives. If you need a late check out, quickly ask the host via text or make a quick phone call just to make sure it’s alright. They may have a cleaning crew coming at 11:00AM, and if your stuff is still there, it could be an issue.
5. Be Kind and Courteous to Your Neighbors - Don’t throw a party or be overly loud. Oftentimes, you’ll have neighbors close by, and the host still has to live there. The hosts review the guests too, so if you want to do AirBnB again, it’s wise to be courteous to the host AND the neighbors. Follow the house rules.
4. Read the Guidebook Before you Bother the Host - Can’t figure out how to work the dishwasher? Check the host’s guidebook before calling them at 11:00PM on a Tuesday. If they’re a good host, they’ll keep everything updated, and add any questions they’ve received in the past.
3. Be Honest - If you have a party of six, don’t tell the host you’re a party of two. Just because you’re alright with having some people on the floor in sleeping bags doesn’t mean the host is alright with that. Sometimes the host may even be approve your request and provide more supplies like toilet paper, towels, and so on. It pays to be honest!
2. Leave a Review/ Thank You Note - Be honest, but not overly negative. You can tell the host that you wish they had mentioned they were two blocks from the beach without going down the path of negativity. Especially if it’s a new host, constructive criticism can help them in the long run. Maybe it’s something they’ve never thought of that they can list in the future. You can also privately message them about specific things you think might help them for future guests.
1. Leave the Space Cleaner Than When You Arrive - No need to get the Clorox wipes and scrub the toilet, but rinse the dishes, make sure the furniture is back in place, and don’t leave trash laying around.
See more of our tips and tricks on being a great AirBnB host here: