We just got our first international booking! It is a guest coming from Chile in November (We are in the USA.) The messages says it was translated to English so I am expecting a language barrier. Does anyone have any tips for clarity and meeting expectations of international guests? Anything out of the ordinary to be aware of?
@ChrisandChristy When writing messages, use more ordinary words (pretty vs aesthetic) and avoid contractions (we are vs we’re). It will help the google translation!
We get a lot of international guests and always make sure to provide some electrical adapters. You can get some on Amazon that cover most of the world for about $9. Also, any plugs that just take USB will be helpful too because that’s the same everywhere. If you don’t provide an iron and a blowddryer, this might be the time to get them. Information about a laundry, if you don’t provide one depending on how long they’re traveling. I would think about it less about language and more about having to travel a great distance. Chile will be in summer in November so if you have very extreme winter weather you might mention that to them. However, I find that most international travelers are better prepared travelers than US vacationers.
Good thought on the outlet adapter. We do have USB already. And she already mentioned concerns about the weather, so I already replied to that.
It’s possible that your guest will use a translation app on his/her phone. We’ve had international guests (including Chinese people) who do that. They speak into their phone in their own language, it displays what they said in their own language, and then they click the button to translate. It then shows English on the phone and says it out loud.
When you speak into the app in English, you often see that the words don’t come out correctly. It’s the same with translation on Airbnb. Simple words, simple phrases, and short sentences are most likely to translate well. And avoid using idioms and cliches (“raining like cats and dogs” vs “raining hard”).
We’ve done fine with people who use a translation app.
“there is very much rain”
is even better
I have had 7 international guests book over the years. All have canceled within minutes after booking up to a day before check in. Why? Because they confused Oxford, MS. with Oxford, U.K. I have given a full refund to all of those that canceled during my strick cancelation policy window.
@RebeccaF is right on about the apps. And if there is a big language issue, written information is even better than spoken, whether it be through messages or just printed out. I know when I travel, it’s easier if I have it written down so I can translate it. I’ve seen some of my guests using google translate on my printed house manual, you can do it in real time and is often easier and less stressful than someone speaking to you. That being said, most of my international guests have had decent english, much better than my mandarin or dutch.
Also, don’t forget to show them the stove/oven and plumbing as those things vary in other countries. If you have a gas stove, definitely demonstrate it. Some countries don’t use natural gas stoves and I’ve seen grown Scandinavians run out the room when I’ve turned on a burner
Makes me want to buy property in Paris, Texas and list it on Airbnb.
At $200 per night, filled full of Parisien posters and little Eiffel tower ornaments. With no exterior pics.
Install Google Translate on your phone. Then you can both laugh at some of the mis-translations that occur…
@ChrisandChristy Quite a few of my guests are from Latin America; I don’t provide electrical adapters and was never asked for one. I always leave snacks and water, particularly if a guest is arriving late. It would be nice if you identify any Spanish-language channels on your tv in case you are asked about it.
In advance, ask if they have any questions, this way you can address it in advance and if the guests don’t understand they can use Google Translate and figure out.
Don’t worry, I’m sure they will be lovely guests.