Children Are Not People

Lately I’ve been getting a slew of requests for people booking for two guests, then showing up with children. Why do parents think their children are not people?

We’re partially off-grid so every breathing being really does add to our expenses. We charge for extra people after 2 almost without exception. Children tend to touch everything with their greasy little unwashed hands, are more likely to flush inappropriate items down the toilet (we’re on septic so it’s a huge concern), and are more likely to get themselves into all sorts of other trouble. But somehow parents think these little monsters, I mean beings, are not people.

We in fact state that our place may not be appropriate for children under 12, yet people still show up with kids in tow.

Whenever someone asks about kids beforehand, I tell them about safety concerns since our remote mountain location brings a slew of inherent dangers. They just don’t seem to understand.

Somehow it must not be clear in your copy. Make sure it’s front and center. Here’s what I have in mine: I can accommodate two guests max. Sorry, not a fit for babies or toddlers but I can take one adult and one older child, over 9. (Or think of some other age you’d be comfortable with.) I

Of course Iam in Hawaii so guests just don’t show up hoping I’ll take someone unannounced. I also have a separate suite. If you find people are doing this a lot, review your listing and make sure this is clear. If on IB, put it in your house rules. Other members here might have a better way of stating it, but you can say something like, every single person in your party counts as a guest. If you show up with additional people not disclosed (this includes children) you will not be allowed access.

Air will back you up on that. Make sure it is in your house rules.


I’ve been getting more who book for one but have two. I submit a change request and they mostly accept it right away.

Every time someone requests just cut and paste your pre-written message about kids (are there children in the party, are they aware of the multiple danger, etc.) If they show up with children after that message they haven’t paid for them tell them they will have to pay before you let them in the house and ask them why they lied to you. LOL.

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I charge for all guests no matter the age. The last two booking requests did not mention the infant. In fact, yesterday’s booking request said “we are a family of four looking to get away.” - it was really a family of five. Do people really not consider their baby to be part of the “family”?

I always reply asking the guest to let me know the ages of all children/infants in the group. What do you know? - both groups revealed the infant. I told them they needed to change the guest count.

The people who truly believe all little kids are free will at least mention the infant/child in the body of the message…while only entering guest count for adults. I am not offended by that at all, but still do ask that they edit it. What I don’t like is when they purposely do not mention the child in the message field. That’s when you know they think they might be charged so they intentionally omit that info.

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It might be because infants up to age 2 are free on airline flights, and probably free in most hotels, so guests think the same applies to a private home. NOT.


Colorado - another thing too, is that so many guests have gotten away with this for years, or have recently gotten away with it.

That’s why guests continue to show up with extra people, always seem to have a “last minute” friend/relative join the group, show up hours early, etc. It’s because they continue to get away it and think it will work the next time.

I agree regarding the ones who disclose and only enter adult guest count - they really think the infants are free.

But the ones who intentionally say they are a family of four, when really they are a family of five…I think they aren’t sure if I will charge - so they purposely omit that info.

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Always, reiterate back and reconfirm the reservation every time. Paraphrase the booking back to the guest = " I am cross checking to clarify that you inputted your guest information accurately. You have booked for 2 adults and 0 infants/ toddlers / children. Is that correct? Also, I assume you will have just one vehicle for the 2 of you. Is that also accurate?
I had an incident just yesterday. I would say 50% of reservations will alter with a reconfirmation and a paraphrase. This works every single time. Yesterday the booking for 9 adults became 9 adults and 2 toddlers. No big deal, our houses are big and that is fine, but by asking back and also counting cars, you will get to the truth immediately each time. Including a car count, for larger houses, is also a good way to prevent parties ahead of time, and get ahead of the curve.


Which raises an interesting question for me: If a parent shows up with a child unannounced and it’s off the books (i.e., nowhere in AirBnB’s message history would you see a reference to that child as a guest), what legal liabilities would an AirBnB host face?

None if you update the booking immediately through the air site.

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One of the first five lines of your listing (the ones you see when you first click on it)should read:


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@faheem, I believe, put right in his house rules that “children are people.”

Going to pile onto the frustration with children. Our listings are 18+, but I suspect it is only a matter of time until someone shows up with an unannounced child. We are actually willing to accommodate people who politely inquire to see if we can make an exception, but reject those that just mention a kid without any acknowledgment that they would be violating the rules.

You don’t have to let guests in to your home if they show up with extra people, including children. If you want to accommodate them, you can modify the reservation before they are allowed to enter the home. This is harder to address if your guests self-check-in, though.

I agree that it may be time to update your copy and make sure your listing spells it out in a few places that kids are not welcome. I have about 65-70 completed trips and have not had any surprise kids show up, and only had one group bring a surprise adult. They unfortunately did self-check-in because I was at work, and refused to pay for the extra person until a few days after they checked out because I’d opened a resolution center claim.

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Everyone’s set up is different of course, but I have a security cam outside the rental space entrance, so I can pretty easily review the video and see how many people arrived and entered the unit.

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IMO, you don’t have as much leverage if the guests are already inside. It is harder to kick them our or make them pay than insist they agree to your rules before entering.

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I say Not suitable for children on my page. If they ask i tell them that if they can be sure the children can behave in an place like ours they are welcome but it will be their responsability. After that they never book.

Here’s what it says in our copy:

**** All guests must be age 18 or older. As much as we love children, we are not equipped to accommodate them in our home. This includes newborn babies. We do not make exceptions, so please don’t ask. ****

We’ve never had anyone even hint at bringing children. No problems whatsoever. :slight_smile:


bingo! …

Not only are children people, they are sometimes double or triple people for the amount of havoc and/or damage they can cause.

On another group, a host posted that in some areas, now when guests go to make a reservation they have to fill out a form that indicates how many adults they’ll bring, and the ages of each, and how many children, and the ages of each. This would help a lot to combat the “surprises” of people arriving who the guests were assuming were not people.

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