Are you close to....?

I often get questions about how far am I from a specific landmark or airport, etc. My listing clearly says how far we are from different locations and also I tell them about how to use google to plug in an address and time of day and how to see how long of a drive or train ride it is.

I live near Boston and a ride to the airport can take 20 minute or an hour depending on the day and time. Same with Boston. I am 7 miles from Boston and the about 5 miles to the airport. Depending on where you live will determine what you think is close or far.

I now just send the info on how they can figure out using google. I found when I took the time to explain, they almost never booked and it’s the same with me sending the google info. Really, doesn’t anyone know how read a listing and use a map? (Just kidding - us hosts know that many guests don’t know how or are too lazy :wink:

How do other hosts handle this? Do you think I wouldn’t get these bookings anyway? Is my google tool message off-putting because I didn’t go out of my way to type response?

Here’s the message (In case other hosts find it handy).

(G O O G L E ) maps only on their website (not phone app) has a great tool that lets you plug in the day and time when you will be traveling and then tells you what to expect for traffic. It can also show you how to use the Boston subway system.

1.Type in this address in the browser address bar: XXXX. (Not the correct address but close).
2. Then at the top select Maps
3. Then select Directions
4. Then use the double arrows button and flip the XXXX to top.
4. The put in the address of where you want to go.
5. At the top, it shows you icons for cars, bus (public transportation). Choose your method of transportation.
6. The below address there are options that say Leave low with a drop down menu for the options along with the day and time. This takes into account traffic patterns.

Please keep in mind that you are visiting a City and that we live right at the outskirts. Boston has a lot of traffic and even Airbnb units right in Boston can take just as much time to get somewhere as from our suite.

I get questions about distances to Airports, tournament ball fields and more too. Usually the information is available in my guidebook.

However I don’t think the guidebook or condo address is available until the booking is confirmed, plus the search area for Airbnb rentals is large

I answer the questions with “according to mapquest the distance to xxxxx is xxx miles (approximately xxx min drive)” with the disclaimer that depending upon time of day the drive time could be longer.

After the reservation is confirmed and guests have access to the address google maps can be useful.


Blockquote I provide an address near my suite to use to plug in. Also, for my map listing, the area shown on the listing is less than a 1/2 mile circle.

But maybe a shorter message like yours would come off friendlier. Thanks.

I do what @Annet3176 does – quicker to GMap or MapQ the thing they’re looking for than write out anything longer – or even copy and paste from the listing folder on my computer.

@Lynick4442, I think you probably would not get a lot of those bookings anyway.
I think your tool message is a bit too wordy (I spent my working career as a Technical Writer) but otherwise OK. The paragraph after the steps might be better re-worded to something like:

Remember, we are on the outskirts of Boston. There is a LOT of traffic, and depending on time of day, travel times can vary wildly. A trip to the airport or downtown can take from 20 minutes to over 60 minutes! In the heart of the City it can be even worse.


More and more people don’t know how to use a map. They know how to enter an address into an app like Waze or Google maps. Your strategy is a wise one. It’s like people who book then ask in the message thread for my address. Instead of being frustrated that they don’t know where their email or itinerary is I just give them the address.

I also started to look at it like this: I have IB but if they contact me in advance it gives me a chance to discourage a problem guest, LOL. Don’t know how to use a map? Oh, I am very far from the event you are attending. Sorry. :wink:


To find humor in a strange situation: I received an inquiry wanting the distance from my condo to Sunset Beach. I provided information of “mapquest indicates it is15 miles (25 min drive)”. they responded they knew it was further and didn’t appreciate me lying to them!!!

Anyway, I didn’t get that booking and was grateful.


I found that funny too.

I think K9KarmaCasa might be correct in that it helps to weed out the problem guests.

I just had a guest complain about location because they didn’t rent a car and acknowledged in the review that it was cheaper to use uber/train vs renting a car but then they dinged my on my location. My STR is about 1/2 the cost of a place in downtown Boston.


I am lucky, small town. I just tell them how close I am without getting super accurate. I wouldn’t want someone showing up that I wasn’t aware of. Fortunately a few of my guests have put in their reviews how close my listing is to activities in the area - Eureka, CA Humboldt County, seaport and redwoods, tons of great stuff to do and we are within walking distance of a great deal of it.

I’m really, really, REALLY keen on saving time and ensuring that the time I spend on Airbnb tasks are done as quickly as possible. But I tend to see all inquiries as sales opportunities.

I know that I’m on my own here but I find it very hard to believe that there are many people in this day and age who can’t use Google maps. If they can use Airbnb they can use Google maps, I would have thought. (And if someone else is doing it on their behalf then that person can).

So I tend to see all questions as sales opportunities. When a potential guest asks me a question such as ‘how far away is the beach?’ or ‘are you close to the conference centre?’ then that’s not what I ‘see’. I ‘see’ them asking ‘why should I stay with you?’

So although I’m very conscious of the time I spend on other Airbnb jobs, I don’t consider sending a friendly and helpful reply as a nuisance or a waste of time - I see it as a further step in the sales process.

Mostly people book after inquiries - it’s pretty rare that they don’t.


When I lived in Boston a taxi from the Airport to Copley Plaza where I worked could take 15 minutes or 45 minutes depending on whether I adopted a fake American accent or not If I didn’t I got taken on the “scenic tourist route” via Boston Avenue.


Map apps on phones nipped that BS in the bud.

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Me too, I always answer but not refer them to Google maps. I wouldn’t like if someone referred me to Google maps instead of answering. And yes lots of people don’t know how to use them and also some don’t trust them 100%

Yes, there were no “apps” in 1993! They assumed because I was Australian I was a visitor and didn’t know I was being taken for a ride. So I adopted a fake Boston accent: “Cahpley Plaaahza”.

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Yes, I used to do that. I would find out what time they were going and give them the time but I would never get the bookings. (My other job is in sales and marketing so I’m comfortable in this role.) So I would find that I spent 10 minutes on a booking that I never got.

One caveat is that I am nearly 100% book from April through October and then about 75% booked during my off season so I guess I’m have started to pull back on spending too much time with each guest until they book.


The iOS version on my Apple phone can do something similar (or maybe it is the same thing?). It’s easiest for public transportation, because you only have to click on the ´transit’ symbol. Then a darker blue bar appears below the adress box on top. If you click on the clock symbol, it allows you to change the date and time.

For other options (say, cars), you have to pull up the white field on the bottom of the screen. That will open up your verbal directions. If you scroll all the way down, you can then toggle the switch next to ‘Remind you to leave on time.’ That gives you the option to once again put in any old date and time of desired departure or arrival. Once you put that in, it well tell you when to leave (if you chose the arrival time option) or when to arrive (when you choose the departure time option. Easy, peasy. Or not!

Now explaining that to someone who is unfamiliar with google maps and/or the iPhone is not something I would like to do…

Maybe with some screen shots?

Agreed, way to complicated for most of our guests. Plus many don’t have iPhones. I’m going to use the suggestion of sending the time and distance with no traffic and a disclaimer about times may change due to traffic and then provide the info on using the google tool.