Do you have an international calling plan to communication w/foreign guests?

I had a guest book a few weeks ago and arrive today. Yesterday, I got a text from someone who said she was his wife and that it would better to communicate directly with her as he doesn’t check emails very often. The number matches what’s on the reservation, so I responded and give her the door code… or I tried to respond, rather, and got a message back that my text was blocked. Tried to call and got a recording of the same nature. Apparently, they are coming from out of the country, and my cell plan doesn’t allow international calling. The guests did finally check the AirBnB message before heading out yesterday and got the door code (and my message that I couldn’t get through to their phone number), so all was good. Now they are checked in, and she keeps texting me with questions, saying that if I can’t text her, then just call her cell phone number. I am responding through the AirBnB message system, but I have no idea if they will get the messages during their stay. sigh.

Anyway… do you think it’s necessary to have international calling ability as a host? I’m worried that they will give me a bad review for communication, but I also am not keen on running out first thing in the morning and changing my cell phone plan to one that’s more expensive just to cover that rare guest that is traveling internationally.

Use WhatsApp. You won’t need an international plan to text , send pictures, or even call.


I don’t have International Capability. I specifically say so in the listing and tell guests when they book that they can call me, but I cannot call them, and never to text me – call me and leave a message. I also tell them to check the Air email system at least daily once they have booked.

Huh. I will check that out. Thanks!

That’s a good idea!

The majority of my guests are from overseas visiting the UK, and I do have international calling ability. However, I try to keep everything on Air messaging. My rare experience of people calling me is that they don’t want the content on the platform!

Nearly all our guests use WhatsApp and I find it most convenient to use while they’re here. Trouble is, so do all my friends and family so I might ignore for a while a notification that I think is a cat photo from my granddaughter, when it’s actually a guest saying “Help, my purse has been stolen!”


Do you have Wifi? If yes, I think that’s enough. His wife can email her friends and family while on vacation. There are international calling cards, but I would think that is the responsibility of the guest not host. There’s also “Whats App” they can download and communicate with their family and friends. They can also Skype.

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No need. Other people’s lack of organisation shouldn’t be your emergency. Things can be organised via the app.


No, we communicate through the app. It’s better to have things in writing instead of a phone call that leaves people room to lie about things.

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I only correspond using the Airbnb messaging app. If the guest sends me a text to my cell phone, I copy the message and reply back via the app.

I have been asked to use whats app but I keep all my messages documented using Airbnb. My feeling is that if the guest needs something and they haven’t heard from you, they should check their Airbnb account.


Yes, free Wi-Fi at the house, so they could definitely do things like check email while they are there. Maybe they aren’t tech savvy enough to do it from their phone? Who knows. But they do have teenagers, so surely they should be able to figure it out.

That’s kind of how I’m feeling about it, but worried they are going to ding me for lack of communication. They do know that they can call me, though. They called once (when trying to figure out the door code) and I answered immediately.

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I would definitely want to limit the amount of calling guests do. They should have saved code information etc. in advance.

WhatsApp will send notifications - sound, message on your locked screen, etc., when you receive a message/picture, and it will “ring” when you get a call. You do not need to log in to the app. You can configure the notifications as you desire.

I don’t know about replying from a computer. I always just use the app on my phone.

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Yes, that’s it exactly. There’ll be a ‘ding!’ and part of the message will appear on your home screen. Then you need to go to the app to see the full message and reply.

I can’t remember whether that’s the default setting or not but once you’ve downloaded What’s App you’ll be able to adjust the notification set up in the 'settings section of your phone.

However, my What’s APP usage is restricted to family. I prefer guests to ALWAYS communicate with me via the Airbnb app. On the very rare occasion that a guest texts me, I always copy and paste our conversations into the message system. Just in case.


In those cases, I use good old fashioned email. Our repeat/direct guests are mostly from Europe so I find that email answers the problem of the time difference handily - as well as keeping everything in writing.

I don’t get my ‘normal’ email on my phone either. But for non-airbnb rentals, I have an additional gmail account and just log onto it on the phone just as I would any other website. It’s also forwarded to my regular email.

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There are several apps out there for international calls. I use WhatsApp all the time. The only thing WhatsApp needs internet. Id you guest is not connected to internet she won’t get your phone call. I am on a road a lot and its my responsibility to contact my host . I arrive in a country and get local aim card right away. Or find places where there is internet and email through Airbnb messaging.

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Viber app is the answer. With Viber you can call anywhere just for 5-6 cents per minute.
A minimum package is just 1 usd. And this money is never burn (as Skype does)

Yes, you can use it from your computer, but the main account is your phone one. You have to download WhatsApp Web onto your computer, then link it to your phone using a QR code. Sounds complicated but the instructions are clear. I use WhatsApp Web often as I’d rather type than Swype, and I don’t always have my phone by me when I’m on the computer.

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Can you call through Viber without internet ? I thought it was only Internet based