During my peak season, requests for early check-ins/late check outs have worn me out. However like @Mike_L I try to accommodate (maybe that’s why they’ve worn me out!) Like @SandyToes my ability to accommodate depends upon other reservations.
For guests wanting early arrival that I can’t accommodate, I give them info on a couple of close-by waterfront dining / bars, suggest they can buy groceries, or go to the beach (there are changing/bath facilities).
I have to be careful though–as proof, here are 2 instances of if you give an inch some people will take a mile.
Guest calls at 2:00 saying, we tried to check in but there is someone in the unit. (check in = 3:00). I call the prior guest who states, “yes we are still in the unit. We know check out was 1:00 but since the next guest isn’t supposed to check in until 3:00, we thought we’d let the kids enjoy the beach some more. We will be out by 3:00.” Oh good grief!!! I had conversations with both about the importance of respecting expected/posted check in/out times.
Guest requested early check in. I declined due to unit maintenance. Guest shows up early anyway and tells me to work around them. I let them drop off some luggage and asked them to return at the 3:00 check in time. Their private feedback was snarky about how I shouldn’t do maintenance between reservations (?!?!!?)
Personal rant: I think everyone should have to experience running a STR for at least 6 months in their life and should wait tables for at least a year. Both will teach volumes about people.