Airbnb, couchsurfing and other homestay methods aren’t necessarily my first choice when traveling. Call me old-fashioned. However, some people seem to really enjoy getting a local experience this way. Renting can sometimes also be cheaper than a hotel stay. Whatever your preference is, if you decide to use Airbnb, couchsurf or market your property for rent, there are ways to be a good host and guest traveler. After my horrible Airbnb experience, I reflected on what makes a good host and guest traveler.
- Research several properties before making a commitment. It’s best to see what your options are for accommodation type, location and amenities.
- Check the reviews of properties you’re interested in. You could avoid staying at a less than stellar property or dealing with a crazy, unwelcoming host.
- Be polite and kind to your host. They may be sharing their home and space with you so be on your best behavior.
- Make friends with your host. You may want to stay there again!
- Leave your room a mess each day. Even if you’re not the neatest person, you should try your best to tidy up after yourself before leaving for the day.
- Break or steal. If you do break something, offer to replace it. And this should go without saying, but no stealing! Your momma taught you better than that.
- Be noisy and inconsiderate to your host or other guests. It’s rude!
- MAKE SURE THE PROPERTY IS CLEAN. This is self-explanatory.
- Communicate with your guests before they arrive. Make any rules or stipulations you have clear and in a visible place so there isn’t any confusion.
- Offer guests taxi numbers or bus routes that will help them get to your property or to the biggest attractions in your hometown.
- If possible, be present when your guests arrive…especially if your property is not clearly identified or hard to locate.
- Ensure your guests know where they are supposed to stay. If your house has multiple entrances, paint a clear picture about where your guests should enter.
- Be pleasant, hospitable and welcoming. And if you want to go above and beyond the call of duty, have cookies or wine waiting for your guests’ arrival. You’ll make their experience more memorable and they’ll love you for it.
- Overbook your property. Guests don’t like feeling crammed or sharing bathrooms with strangers if that’s not what they signed up for.
- Annoy your guests and be overbearing. They are there to relax and can live without you hovering uncomfortably.
- Be unavailable. Your renters may have a problem in their room that needs your attention. Whatever the case may be, make sure they’re able to reach you.
For both hosts and renters, I suggest leaving a review. It’s worth letting future hosts and renters if you had a pleasurable experience…or not. So, do you have any tips for renters and hosts alike? Let me know!