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Airbnb Etiquette

Airbnb Guest Etiquette

When I first used Airbnb I’ll admit I didn’t really understand how it worked. You stay in someone’s home? I didn’t really realise whether it was like renting a holiday apartment or like house sitting. Well now I’m a more experienced Airbnb user I thought I’d share what I wished I knew from the start. Here are my Airbnb etiquette tips and expectations.

How To Book An Airbnb

My advise would be to read the entire listing so you know everything there is to know about the accommodation before sending a message. Your host isn’t going to appreciate it if you send a message asking a question he or she has clearly outlined in the property description. Oh and none of this ‘is your property available?’ – Use the calendar to find out! It’s there for a reason! If you still have a question then be sure to ask the host. And if you are going to message the host it’s always polite to state who you are and the reason for your stay. An introductory message goes a long way, and this saves the hassle of refunds if the host can’t accommodate you for any reason.

I recently attempted to book a lodge for a hen party and in response to my introductory message got a ‘no thank you’ as they weren’t insured for hen parties. Better to get a no up front than later down the line and having to sort out refunds.

Cushions scattered

Checking Into Airbnb

Communication, communication, communication. That’s at the top of Airbnb etiquette. Your Airbnb host is a real person. So talk to them. And most importantly, do let them know if you’re running late. Only correspond through the app if at all possible. If data is a problem for you abroad then let your host know and they might ask to swap phone numbers but communication outside of Airbnb is not monitored or tracked by Airbnb so you do so at your own risk.

More often than not the host will meet you in person to hand over a key and tell you anything you need to know. Or else they will leave a key in a key safe and sometimes leave you a guide to follow. Treat your Airbnb like your own home. It is someone else’s home after all. Be respectful and follow the guidelines. Your host would not have spent time writing them if they were not important. And a lot of the time they are there to make your stay more comfortable as well and include important nuggets of information like the Wi-Fi password.

Do not arrive with guests whose details you have not provided during the booking. If you are sharing a home especially then you ought to ask permission before you invite any guests over even if it’s just for a few minutes. Your guests may not be covered by their insurance and it’s their home at the end of the day. It would be rude not to ask permission.

What Do I Need To Bring?

You only really need to bring with you what you’d normally take on holiday with you. Unlike a hotel your Airbnb will most likely not have any toiletries bar the absolute necessities. So yes, do bring things like shampoo and body wash. But I’ve never stayed at an Airbnb that didn’t have toilet paper and hand soap. You shouldn’t need to bring a towel either.

Also if you’re travelling abroad don’t forget to bring a plug adaptor with you. This is something the host won’t have and I nearly always forget! (In fact I forget stuff so often I wrote myself a packing list!)

Airbnb living room

Can I Use All The Appliances?

Unless otherwise stated guests are free to use the appliances in the home. However, if you’re host is simply renting out their home whilst they are away then they will have left a lot of personal items and food items behind. These are not at your disposal. Use what you wouldn’t mind someone else using in your house. The kettle? Yes fine. The butter left in the fridge? No, not fine. If the host has left any specifics they will be listed under the ‘guest access’ section of the property listing. It should be obvious if the home is lived in or rental only, so apply some common sense. How would you want the place treated if it was your home. That’s Airbnb etiquette right there.

Should I Clean My Airbnb?

The number one rule to Airbnb etiquette? Leave your Airbnb how you found it. If you’re not being charged a cleaning fee this is especially important. There’s no need to get the cleaning products out but give it the once over and make sure it looks clean and tidy. Most hosts wouldn’t expect you to strip the bedding unless they’ve explicitly asked but make sure if you’ve used the bed it looks used and if you haven’t then keep it untouched. This goes for towels as well. I’m all for sustainable travel so there’s no point in washing clean linen. It’s common courtesy to empty the fridge and do your washing up. It’s also a good idea to empty the bins if you can find the outside refuse.

If your host does charge a cleaning fee then it’s ok to be a little less meticulous. Be respectful. As long as it looks fine to the human eye then the cleaning fee is designed to take care of the rest.

White bedding at Airbnb

How To Deal With Breakages

Breakages happen. They are accidents. But you do need to tell your host. Most of the time you’ll get a “Don’t worry about it” response but of course if you don’t say anything then remember some Airbnb listings require a security deposit. If they spot a breakage they will just take this deposit off you. Better to be up front and honest and your host will appreciate it.

Should I Tip My Airbnb Host?

This questions gets asked a lot and general consensus is no. You’re not paying for a service like you would in a hotel. Rather you’re spending to stay in someone’s home, sometimes with them. If your host has gone over and above to make you welcome then perhaps a small gift such as a box of chocolates or a card is a better gesture. And always leave a review and make sure to do so soon after you leave. It’s also a good idea to drop your host a message when you have checked out. This gives them time to send the cleaners in early if they are doing a quick changeover.

Tell The Host If There’s Something Wrong

When it comes to Airbnb etiquette you’re going to want open communication. That means telling the host if there’s a problem, rather than just leaving a bad review. 9 times out of 10 the host will attempt a fix or a solution depending on what the problem is. Sometimes life happens and there isn’t a solution but be courteous enough to give your host the opportunity to put it right.

Leaving A Review

Try and leave a review promptly after you leave and put a little effort into making it a few lines long. Some hosts rely on Airbnb as a source of income so leaving a positive review goes a long way. It’s also a good idea to leave a sentence about the host, not just the home. And if you do have a criticism then make it fair.

Airbnb Etiquette Summary

If you adhere to Airbnb etiquette then you should find yourself thoroughly enjoying your stay, and at a fraction of the cost of a hotel. I find Airbnb is a more personal experience. Being able to come and go as you please, like you would at home. Having the extra space – unless you book a suite a hotel isn’t going to have a kitchen and living room for you to use. And to some extent, living like a local, in a local’s home. Airbnb can be a great source of accommodation, especially if you’re travelling on a budget. Be sure to adhere to the Airbnb etiquette guidelines and you’ll receive lots of positive feedback for your account too.

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2 thoughts on “Airbnb Etiquette”

  1. I’ve never stayed in an Airbnb before and this has given me a really good insight as to what I should expect if I were to stay in one 😄

    1. Glad you found this post useful! Airbnbs are a really great option if you’re working to a smaller budget!

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