Estimated Time of Departure

Greetings, Ive been hosting fir two years, and it is going great. Here is my question: My check-out time is 11AM, many guests leave much earlier, allowing me to phone my cleaning helper to begin cleaning earlier than anticipated. I need suggestions, for when my guests arrive, on how to tactfully ask when they hope to end their stay with us since all they need to do is lock the door on the way out. Plus when messaging before arrival, it’s the strangest thing, I never seem to get a response for ETD…even though guests have early flights!!!

Hi Julz,

Guests usually tell me at some point during their stay but that could be because I’m nosy and chatty :slight_smile:

If they haven’t already told me during the stay then they usually do when they respond to my message the evening before checkout - the one that reminds them what time they have to be out, thanks them for staying etc. etc.

But I often find that guests tell me during the house tour when they arrive. I generally ask them something like ‘so, is it back to Canada when you leave here or are you going on to stay somewhere else before you go home?’

That usually starts them off about what time their flight is, or what time they need to leave to be on the road in good time.

I also know what time the cruise ships (I’m near a cruise port) allow passengers to embark and I also recommend to people on road trips what time they should leave to miss the worst of the traffic. That way my enquiries to them seem to be ‘helpful’ :wink:


I have a 11 checkout as well. At 9:00 I send this text:

Good morning I hope you have been enjoying your stay, as a reminder check out is 11:00 and housekeeping is scheduled. Late checkout, 1:00 (if available) is available for a $45 fee. Please let me know if you would like a late checkout now so I can let housekeeping know.

This accomplishes a couple of things, I no longer have people staying more than 5 minutes late once they know its pay to stay, I sometimes get the late checkout and fee and almost always get a response back when they are leaving.

I watch the camera notifications on checkout day and if I see them packing up the car and leaving early I just go and start the cleaning.



Like @RiverRock, I also send a message reminding the guest of the checkout time and I ask the guest to send a message when they are checked out or to let me know if they need more time after the scheduled 11am checkout.

Only about half of guests actually send a message, but for those, I can start cleaning right away. For the rest, I just wait until 11am.

I’ve never asked a guest about their expected checkout time during the meet and greet at check-in. It seems like a good idea, but things can change, so I’d have to double-check before checkout anyway.

I never go in before my check out time or ask them for their check out time. I look at this way…they paid $$ for my room from XX time to XX time and I will not disturb the until that point. I very rarely have any one stay late w/o prior authorization. if I happen to notice they checked out early I still do not go in the room until check out time. Just my own policy…

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Most of my guests spend the day touring a college campus land leave the next day, and I take bookings back to back.

I’d be interested in hearing from those hosts who have (both) a flexible check in and check out policy

I have something similar - I want to know if guests are leaving much earlier than normal 11am checkout but I don’t want them to feel they have to checkout earlier than planned with the possibility they feel they have been pushed out and that effects their review. So when I do ask (usually because I have a guest arriving later and want to offer them an earlier check in than 2pm or my cleaner has specifically asked if she can get started early to fit in her other appointments). So I either wait until we are talking in person (“So what are your plans for tomorrow?”) or message: “In case you had plans to leave well before 11am can you please let me know. You are of course welcome to checkout at 11am but it helps me plan my day after cleaning”.

Thank you JamJerrupSunset, I like your suggestion!

I found myself chomping at the bit when I had back to back bookings, as I have multiple accommodations, and it always reminded me of a saying my mother would say when she thought we were rude by trying to rush a guest along, “Here’s you hat, here’s you coat, what’s the hurry.” I too was trying to find a nice way around this to get an idea on what the day would hold as far as housekeeping. I did find something that seems to work a majority of the time. I place a little placard next to the coat rack and also put it in my message that guests receive at check-in. It nicely states the following.

In an effort to assist my hardworking housekeeper who is a single mother, it would be greatly appreciated if you could give me quick text upon your departure, so I may update my housekeeper and she may plan her day. The note card also states thank you for stay, etc. It has worked very well and I also place it at other properties I manage. No one seems put off by it and they usually do text as they are leaving or shortly thereafter that they have departed. It has helped greatly in being able to get an early start and avoid that rush of readying multiple properties. BTW not all my housekeepers have been single mothers but the guests don’t know that lol.

The placard is on card stock with some pretty graphics, which I think is better than simply paper.

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I have a 5 hour turnover window for the two apartments. I need four hours (or less if I’m lucky) to clean each apartment. Although we are usually back-to-back it’s very, very rare that there’s a turnover on both apartments on the same day.

I am pretty strict with check out times. If, for example, I have a same day turnover on both apartments on the same day, then there’s no way I can let guests have a late check out or an early check in.

However, I tell guests that they can check in early if the apartment is ready. Then I text them to let them know once I’ve finished. So early check ins are possible especially if the previous guests left early. Every case is different.

Similarly, if the incoming guests tell me that their plane lands at 5 pm so there’s extra time, I tell the outgoing guests that they can have a later check out - in which case I also say “but I’d love it if you can do me a favour and make sure that the place is wonderfully clean and tidy - thank you so much”. again, every case is different.

Cameras are extremely helpful for this sort of thing. Although I ask my guests to let me know when they have left (in both my check out message and posted checkout procedures), I will take a look at the doorbell video around 9:00. If it appears they have left, I will send a friendly text message asking them to confirm that they’re out so that I can “organize my cleaner’s schedule for the day” (I have more than one listing). I usually hear back from my guests within moments to say, “yes we’ve checked out, thanks!”

The fact is there’s a lot going on when guests are packing up and getting ready to leave, especially if they are headed off to catch a flight. Sometimes letting you know that they’ve left is the last thing on their minds, and they’re perfectly fine with receiving a polite inquiry.


Hi @julz I have the exact same scenario and like to let my cleaner know if guests are leaving early. This is the message I send the night before. I refer to it as the “get out” message to my husband, LOL.
“Hi (guests’s name), just wanted to let you know about Check-Out tomorrow. Check-out is by 11AM. Please do any dishes (drying in the rack is fine), turn the a/c off, lock the door, message us here or send a quick text at xxx-xxx-xxxx when you leave. Just so I can help our cleaner plan her day (and our next guest) can you let me know if you’re leaving earlier than the 11AM checkout time? No worries at all if you’re not, it just helps with planning. Thank you and I hope you enjoyed your stay.”
Since adding the request to let us know if they’re leaving early I’d say about 80-90% of guests have replied with their estimated checkout time. It’s been really helpful. Today’s guests are on a long, leisurely road trip and leaving at 11. :slight_smile:

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