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Extras for Special Occassions

Hello Forum - interested in your thoughts.

I got an IB from a lady who says she is on her honeymoon.

The total fee we will receive for their stay is US$114.

Me being me, I picked a bottle of organic wine, a gorgeously packaged bar of the best local chocolate available (and Costa Rica has amazing chocolate!), a key chain with a little sloth on it that says Costa Rica, and a postcard with a picture of the Caribbean Coast on it.

The total cost for that was $US19. I usually provide freebees from things other guests leave and provide a small welcome snack of local fruits, breads and one of my home-blended cream cheeses.

Someone just told me that a lot of travellers will mention birthdays, other celebrations that aren’t true, because they know they’ll get freebies.

Should I go ahead with what is probably an exorbitant welcome snack?

Any and all advice appreciated (unless you tell me to go away). :wink:

I’ve never come across this. I’ve had a few guests mention that it’s their birthday or anniversary or whatever and I provide maybe a bottle of sparkling wine (champagne-like) in addition to the normal goodies.

But although I leave snacks, fruit and other bits and pieces, I still maintain that a great welcome and a helpful host means more.

Much cheaper, but still showing that you are attentive, is a greetings card and a balloon :slight_smile:


I’m with jaquo. Never heard of " a lot of travelers" lying to get ‘special treats’, unless it’s a Costa Rican thing. Leave the stuff you’ve already gotten (unless you’re jonesing for that chocolate yourself). We always provide a welcome bottle of wine, and have a candy dish with hard candies in it.

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How would you know, if they are not telling the truth?

@Perezo , though I think what you were told is true in terms of travelers sometimes fibbing about special occasions in order to get freebies, from my experience on Airbnb it’s not a common practice. I’ve had 2 of 25 sets of guests tell me they had a special occasion of some sort, which seems in line, statistically speaking.

I think its a really nice idea to do a little something special. I agree with @jaquo in terms of how much extra. A smaller, less expensive gesture is enough. What I did was provide an inexpensive bottle of wine and I hand dipped a few strawberries in chocolate (it’s really easy!).

One thing to keep in mind though, is the recipients are very likely to mention it in their review, which could lead others to expect similar extras. I’m thinking that’s when people might start lying about special occasions.


Thank you @jaquo and @KenH. I feel this is a bit of a steeply priced gift for what is likely a legitimate honeymoon.

I think I’ll provide sparkling water (not everyone drinks these days and I know champagne makes me ill), the amazing and beautifully packaged chocolate and the postcard. I’ll save the wine and awesome keychain for a longer and more lucrative reservation. :slight_smile:


One reason that I leave wine for all guests (except the rare one or two nighters) is because I like a glass of wine so if guests don’t drink (or only drink a little from the bottle) it’s one of my perks :slight_smile:

It’s always a good idea to have a couple of gifts stashed away, such as your keychain, for guests who are really above-average wonderful or as a peace offering if there’s any slight problem during their stay. I say ’ here’s a small gift to thank you for being so understanding about [whatever problem]’.


Agreed. But I must have had really savvy guests, because not one them has mentioned in their review all of the little extras. I’ll just have to make sure I start standardizing what people get based on celebrations, length of stay, etc.

One particular set of guests, quite a young couple, during a rainstorm that collected over 10 inches of rain in one hour, asked me if I could help them arrange food delivery. There are no Dominos or anything similar here and there is no such thing as free food delivery. Here, you have to pay the cost of your food and for a taxi to deliver it.

I did all that for them but the first taxi who showed up misunderstood the restaurant owner’s instructions and showed up to take my guests into town to the restaurant. No food.

Anyway, to make a short story long, the eventually got their food . Their review referred to the incident this way:

Then there is Jay. She is one of the best hosts we’ve had. She’s has a very bubbly and down-to-earth personality, and is willing to help no matter the circumstances - even in pouring rain

I’m glad - I don’t really want to spend an hour like that one again!

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Ha ha on on redirecting perks back to yourself! Love it!

Good idea on the stash-way thing: just because someone is staying longer doesn’t mean they deserve a hand-carved sloth on a chain!!!

I think Faheem deserves that souvenir key chain. He is always saying how lazy he is! - lol.

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Thanks for the chuckle at the expense of my helpful friend @faheem :wink:

I did notice in a reservation (for a 25th Anniversary) that her prior reviews were all mentioning birthdays and Anniversaries too, LOL! Maybe it’s not uncommon to people to travel only on birthdays and special occasions?

I have always wondered if guests make up a special occasion in order to get a free bottle of wine or something. Restaurant patrons are notorious for making a reservation and stating a birthday, just so they get a free mini cake or dessert - especially since many restaurants will not ask for ID as it is supposed to be a surprise.

I have so many guests who are celebrating a honeymoon, birthday, or are on their anniversary. I already provide plenty for my guests, so it does not make sense for me to take money out of my pocket just because they are having a special occassion.

I would stick with your bread, fruit, and cream cheese spread. Think about it…guest says “I am on my honeymoon” - now take $19 USD and throw it out the window. Not happening here…lol!

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Perezo, you can of course be supernice and give all these free goodies to your honeymoonners, birthday boys/girls.
But you dont have to.
I travelled with Airbnb for years and honestly, not one host gave me anything ever. And i like it this way. I paid little and was grateful for that. Extras that you give them can seem a bit innapropriate for guests. 99% of hosts dont do it. Best policy to keep it simple: clean, friendly, helpfull, comfortable. This is all guests need.


Yes, I want and deserve that souvenir key chain.


Bear in mind that $19.00 is about 17% of your gross revenue for this guest’s stay. Considering that this is taxable income and you have other expenses related to their stay; I believe that your gift is extravagant.

I know that it is popular to claim it’s your birthday at a restaurant; but I don’t think it’s done much on Airbnb.


That sounds great - and a little hand-written card - classy!!

I think it’s overkill. You have now reduced your profit to under $100.

I have had the privilege of staying at a couple of five star resorts. And NOT ONE gave wine or champagne with the room. One did have a small fruit and cheese basket I think but that was it. Think about that. Five star resorts and what they charge… So why would you do that for such a small return on your humble cabin.

I think some hosts mix up the business and personal too much. You just met these people. They are not friends, they are clients paying you for a room, that is it.

I get so many honeymooners that I would go broke if I left them so many pricey gifts. Also, sad to say, when I have left gifts they either don’t get acknowledged or they get criticized. After a couple of times, just forget it. No gifts. Not anymore.

Now my honeymooners get flowers cut from my garden and maybe some plumeria blossoms sprinkled on the bed.

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