Family interaction with guests

This may be a bit of a vent, but I can’t be the only one trying to control how my family interacts with guests. My husband is a nice guy, but can be moody when he had a headache or is nervous. We’ve hosted for 9 years and I sometimes have to caution him about going on and on with stories or saying something politically incorrect when chatting with guests. This week I knew that I was hosting someone who has stayed with competitors and wanted to make a particularly good impression. The guests were renting a largely private space but had stepped into our dining room with me peeking at our historically interesting home. We started talking about vaccinations and it became apparent that one of the two was not vaccinated. My husband reacted like she was a leper and ran upstairs. (He is vaccinated). It was a awkward and a little embarrassing. Have any of you had family member challenges?

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I don’t have advice about your husband because I agree with him. I would not host people without knowing if they are or aren’t vaccinated and if they are not, I have special rules.

My airbnb is in a separate part of my house and they only have to share a common front door and hallway. I am even hesitant to rent to non-vaccinated folks just in that small portion of shared space. I would never share my home space with non-vaccinated people.

IMHO folks that choose not to get vaccinated (even those that have health related or religious reasons) have no place traveling and exposing their germs to others. I lost my mom to COVID early in the pandemic and it was to most horrible way to have to lose someone you love. (I am not saying this for sympathy but for folks to understand that it really is a horrible way to die both for the person and their family.


The Airbnb gig is mostly my business, but it does impact my family. We don’t share indoor space with our guests, but we share a wall so we all hear each other, and we run into them often when we are working outside.

My husband can also be a bit unpredictable but people tend to like him, and he is really good about doing tedious jobs, so I’ve started to relax a bit about his contribution and whether or not he’s doing it ‘right’. I figure we are a package deal.

As for my teenage kids, they’re learning to keep their voices down and their language unobjectionable when we have families staying on the other side of the door. They were annoyed at first, but it didn’t take long before they could see the benefits of sharing our house… the guests paid for a new big water heater, air conditioning, and landscaping.

I understand wanting to manage every part of the guest experience, and at the same time, human relationships are messy.


I do understand your perspective, but I feel that anyone can say that they are vaccinated or forge a card (ours are very simple). I have no problem with him steering clear, just wished he’d been a little more polite about it. We do keep our known unvaccinated guests as separate as possible. We follow appropriate cleaning rules. We also lost a family member to COVID so the threat is taken seriously. Like many couples we “discussed” reopening but I’m not sure my husband was listening when I explained options and we chose this approach, lol.


At this point in time, at least in the US, not being vaccinated is a political choice by people who put themselves first and the safety of others second.

I applaud your husband and business partner for putting his health and the health of everybody in your family first. I also applaud him for letting your guests see the consequences of their actions.

While we certainly can’t discriminate based on the politics of a guest, we also cannot bite our tongue when people put us in harms way.


Understood, but I had invited them to look into the area. They were following my lead, being forthcoming, and I didn’t find them rude. I simply feel that he could have handled this very tactfully. They were very pleasant about having their included breakfast alone in one of their two rooms. These were also guests from my own state which has very high vaccination rates and low incidence at this time. Some people are making this a political issue, but some have legitimate reasons for not vaccinating. I’m not looking so much for input on vaccinated guests versus not vaccinating guests but how people manage when family actions impacting their hosting.

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What was the ‘reason’?

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@Rolf It isn’t just a political stance. The anti-vaxxers are a mix of strange bedfellows - there’s the ones you refer to as doing so for political reasons- right wing, Jesus will protect me, tough guys don’t get Covid types- and a huge contingent of new-age “I do yoga and meditate and eat right, so I’ll be fine, the vaccine will cause you life-long health problem or kill you” types.

I unfortunately have one adult daughter with this mindset (the other 2 have been vaxxed). She isn’t at all political, and certainly isn’t a right winger, but she believes all the conspiracy stuff on the “natural health” sites.

In some respects, I understand her concerns- no medications, vaccines, etc are without risks, either immediate or long-term and you can’t argue with the fact that big pharma minimizes the risks of all medications they profit from, often making them sound like some benign side-effects, when there are drugs that have been pulled off the market after they were found to cause serious health issues.

So it’s easy for these antivaxxers to latch onto the big pharma profits conspiracy theories. The problem is, for those like my daughter, they get so fanatical about these things, they can’t see the advantages to being vaxxed far outweigh the risks.

@Christine_Shirtcliff Back to your original topic, I live alone since I started hosting, so don’t have experience as far as family interacting with guests, but there are other situations in life where one is left cringing or embarrassed by the behavior of family.

One way of possibly dealing with those situations is to roll your eyes, shake your head, and say something like “Goodness, he can be so tactless sometimes.”
So you’ve put it right out there in the open (rendering their possible private conversation later- “Wasn’t that so rude?”, unnecessary), kind of apologized, and dismissed it as a personality quirk that you have to put up with, too.


Out of curiosity, how do you ascertain if a potential guest has been vaccinated? This practice sounds borderline discriminatory. :thinking:


With business, we never bring up trigger subjects with customers. No politics, religion, etc. Never.
If they mention something, we do not commit to any view or engage. “It is a tough situation”, etc. We hope the best for you and yours. And move the conversation to something else entirely. Some topics have no potential upside.


What’s “borderline” about it, it is discriminatory if the conditions of stay vary depending on a guests Covid vaccination status.

I understand the rationale behind folks decisions, but it doesn’t sit easy with me, as a host.

Just another reason why I’m glad we don’t do home share, five minutes or so at check-in and that’s that for us.


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One of my guests recounted having such a severe reaction to her first shot that she was hospitalized - obviously not eager for her second. Had another hoping to get pregnant that was distrustful of reports that the vaccine would not affect fertility. As miraculous as they are, these are new vaccines and we do have a lot to learn about both the vaccines and COVID. I think cautious is different than believing conspiracy theories.


Technically vaccinated people have a card saying so but they take different forms depending on where you get the shot. I think they are extremely easy to forge so I don’t bother asking for one.

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I’ve got misgivings too. So between that and so many dogs with the dog boarding business, it’s easy to stay closed. But I remind myself that people who have no sound medical reason to avoid the vaccine are spreading disease and prolonging the pandemic for all of us.


Actually, I had a long written conversation with Airbnb and they finally said that it is not discriminatory. I am using the honor system but I am also going to assume that everyone is not vaccinated. I’m re-opening in September.


The word “discriminatory” seems to have now taken on a purely negative connotation, when that is not the basic meaning of the word. We (i.e. society in general) really shouldn’t be using “discrimination” as a synonym for racism, homophobia, etc. and it disturbs me that it has become a dirty word.

All it means is that you are observant and make distinctions between things, choosing some things over others. That’s not necessarily bad.

Nowdays if you were to say you were a discriminating house buyer, people might jump to the conclusion that you don’t want to buy a place where those of a different skin color than you live next door.
But the traditional meaning of that word in the home-buying context could be that you look for places that are well-built with good quality materials, in a neighborhood with good infrastructure in terms of roads and sidewalks and sewers, with schools nearby if you have kids.

Some of the same hosts who don’t allow pets or children accuse others of “discrimination” if they state they don’t want to host unvaccinated guests.

What’s worse, dog hair on the sofa and scribbles on the wall, or ending up in the hospital with a bad case of Covid?

Why is one “discrimination” bad, and the others aren’t?


It’s damn near impossible for me to keep my wife from talking about politics (she has a master’s in political science) and because political discussions can really hit a nerve, I avoid all political conversations with guests. Luckily, we didn’t interact much with guests beyond check-in.

Yes. My 19-year-old son was advised by our doctor NOT to get the vaccine due to a separate health issue that was expected to take 6 to 9 months to recover from. Luckily, he recovered in about 3 months and he was vaccinated in June.


On a lighter note…

I have a list of topics that my OH has barred me from discussing with guests. Many of the topics relate solely to individual nationalities.

For example, I am not allowed to discuss football with any guests from the UK or Italy, I am most certainly not allowed to discuss Turkish politics (I used to work there) with any guest from a predominantly Muslim country and any discussion of politics with guests from the US, UK and Catalonia are forbidden unless the guest pre discloses views aligned with mine.

Religion is completely off the table, as is gay rights (unless guests voluntarily disclose or indicate sexuality) and gender based discrimination.

In addition, food and wine discussions with French and German guest must be restricted to local recommendations in respect of restaurants and local wines. This is floating rule, very much dependent on the guest so I have a bit of leeway there :rofl:

One of our first Airbnb guests, in the days before we had to register guests with the Police, was from Germany but claimed he was “Persian”. Bit of an odd bloke, but nice enough to begin with.

We heard him speaking on his phone a few times, and worked out he was actually Turkish. There is a large Turkish diaspora in Germany and at times they haven’t been treated very well.

When he was checking out, we ended up talking about Turkey, and the current political situation. Unfortunately it became an “Oh fuck” moment as it turned out he was an Erdoğan supporter, the current president and a staunch Islamist.

My OH managed to steer the conversation on to something less confrontational, we said goodbye and off he popped.

He didn’t leave a review, and this was the only time we didn’t leave one either!

OH now has a number of key phrases, which once I hear I shut the FU :wink:



Before being An RN I worked in HR. I was called to give testimony about an event HR did not support. I was walking a fine line of telling the truth but doing it in a way that didn’t ruin my job/career. The attorney said, “if you feel like you’ve said too much, you probably have so just stop talking. Don’t try to explain it, just shut up”. Wise life advice.

yes-run away from these topics


I loved when I traveled in France and stayed at one Airbnb after another. This was the early days of tRump. Hosts started so many conversations with me on politics and I loved it.
Now, as a host, I don’t bring politics up until the guest does and I know where they’re coming from.