You already know what it takes to be a good Airbnb guest.
Don’t throw raging parties. Don’t steal. Don’t vandalise. Don’t try to seduce your host. Don’t drink all their booze. Don’t pee in the shower.
Almost anyone can be a good guest. Being a great guest, however, requires a little more skill. Brush up on the Airbnb tips below to earn glowing reviews, boost your odds of scoring prime rentals in the future, and generally make the world a kinder, friendlier, cleaner place.
Complete Your Profile
Think of Airbnb like online dating. When you come across the person with no photos or an empty profile, you make some assumptions. Best case, they’re a weirdo. Worst case, they’re a serial killer. That’s not the kind of character you want to invite into your home, whether it’s for vacation accommodations or a bit of Netflix and chill.
An Airbnb host is far more likely to accept a real person than an anoymous profile. Fill out everything and include a clear photo.
Understand The Stay You Want
There are two flavours of Airbnb. One is extremely personal – you’re staying in a host’s home, the host is often there at the same time as guests, and the host takes an active role in the guest experience.
The other is barely a step down from a hotel – you’ll have little to no contact with the host, the host likely doesn’t live on the premises (and may in fact own multiple properties for the sole purpose of listing them on Airbnb), and amenities like towels and toiletries are provided in a precise and professional manner.
Both experiences are valid (though one could argue that only the former is in the true spirit of Airbnb) and readily available, so know what you’re looking for before you book.
Read The Entire Listing
Your science teacher told you there’s no such thing as stupid questions. Your Airbnb host will tell you you’re wrong.
Before asking a host a question or committing to an Airbnb rental, be sure you’ve read the entire listing from top to bottom. It’s your responsibility to understand what you’re getting into, so think about what’s most important to you during your stay (a full kitchen if you cook, speedy wi-fi if you plan to work, spare beach towels if you’re near the water) and look for those details in the listing.
Feel free to make inquiries with your host, but do not pester them with questions that are already answered in the listing (spoiler alert, if it’s a common question, it probably is). Taking the time to read is an early sign to a host that you’ll be a responsible guest.
The best way to verify the quality of a rental is to read past reviews. The Airbnb community tends to be extremely active when it comes to giving each other feedback – guests review hosts and rentals, and hosts review guests in return. The blurbs help everyone in the community make more informed decisions, so always check them to make sure you’ll be a good fit for both the host and their property, and always leave one after your stay.
Communicate With Your Host
Your relationship with your host is like any other relationship: it functions better when there’s adequate communication. Send a message with your booking request, and make it personal. Hosts hate cut-and-paste messages just as much as your Tinder dates do. Remember that, in most cases, the host has personal ties to the property – they’re generously sharing their home with you, and they’re more comfortable giving it to someone who doesn’t feel like a total stranger.
After you’ve arrived, keep the channels of communication open. Be conversational and build rapport. Hosts are often your best source of insider information on your destination, and some are happy to go the extra mile to show your around or cook you a meal.
Don’t ask to see the place before you book. Don’t haggle on price. Don’t try to pay in cash to circumvent Airbnb’s fees. Don’t play fast and loose with arrival and departure times. Don’t assume extra guests can stay with you or invite company over without permission. Inquire about your host’s bathroom schedule if you’ll be sharing. Clean up after yourself. Go directly to your host with issues instead of blindsiding them with a bad review. Be considerate with your host’s belongings – be gentle with what you’re allowed to use, don’t touch what you shouldn’t, and ask which it is if you’re not sure.
Remember that an Airbnb is not a hotel, it’s a home. There’s no cleaning staff to tidy up after your stay. There’s no room service. The host is not your concierge. Act accordingly, and when in doubt, go above and beyond what you think is the call of duty to follow house rules, be an affable roommate, and keep the place neat.
Consider A Gift
Guests are under no obligation to leave a gift for their hosts, but it’s a detail that’s always appreciated. Consider bringing a small token of your appreciation – like food or a trinket from your home country – or writing a thank you note to express your gratitude. It leaves a good impression when it’s time for your host to write your review, and secures a few of the karma points you so desperately need.