Home Share Bookings

Where I live, travel restrictions are being reassessed May 18, so I have my calendar blocked until then. Short-term accommodations are not banned outright, just vacation and leisure travel is effectively banned. We decided to accept our first booking since all this started.
Check-in is May 25. We’re a home share, similar to a B&B, so there are shared spaces. Like most of our guests, he’s a business traveler, and business travel isn’t exactly prohibited, especially for essential workers.

Of course, we plan to deep clean the guestroom again and all the shared spaces. I’ve already communicated with the guest our desire to cautiously resume bookings, and I committed to physical distancing and the provide cleaning products in case our guest wants to clean surface areas, too.

I know there are some deeply divided opinions on this matter. I realize Airbnb stresses unoccupied listings are more ideal, but I cannot imagine I am the only home-share listing trying to decided when to resume bookings. Have any other home-share hosts resumed bookings?

No, and I have no plans to do so, although fortunately, I am not dependent on the income and my OH has been able to continue working from home.

We’re in the UK, and are not yet able to re-open B&Bs. The Gov’t handling of the pandemic is still so utterly shambolic that I would not take the risk of re-opening any time soon.


No and I’m on the fence as to when or if to reopen for STR. I’m blocked until the beginning of June and am considering blocking further. I do have a guest booked for mid July coming from Switzerland. We’ve agreed to keep her booking for now and check back mid-June to see what’s going on in the world.

Ideally, I’d like to find someone longer term and already have a lease and House Rules (had a rommie before). I don’t want a travel nurse - the risks are too great.

Not home share any longer (as you may recall.) I’ve given a lot of thought to this over the last month, even with my separated space. I had workers in and out over the last month and almost none of them covered their face. I didn’t cover mine either. I tried to keep distance, doors were open and there was lots of airflow. I washed my hands a lot and I didn’t sleep in my bedroom for two weeks as they were remodeling my master bath.

Yesterday I went to visit some friends briefly. We are all wearing masks. At one friend we were outside. At the others we wore masks. One couple talked about what they would do if one got sick with covid, how would they isolate?

When I think about possible uses for my room for friends, the risks, the problems some people seem to be having with Airbnb and scammers, I feel fortunate that I don’t HAVE to open up. I think about the fact that getting sick still seems to be fairly low risk.

In a shared home situation I have to think, what is the mindset of someone who would be willing to do a home share stay at this time? I can’t imagine doing it and I can’t imagine the person who thinks it’s an okay idea to be the kind of person I want in my home. On the other hand, if you have to eat and it’s a way to make money, then what are you going to do?

Good luck and keep us posted.

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In the UK restrictions are going to be in place till 4 July, but even if they weren’t I wouldn’t risk offering STR in my shared home with the virus at the current levels that they are in the UK.

I think it really depends where you are @Josiah , where your guests are coming from and whether your potential guests are likely to socially distance. If your main customers are business people, that is not likely to be the case; they are likely to be coming for meetings, conferences and other events where they will be socially mixing.

Yes of course you won’t be the only homeshare host that has decided to resume bookings, that doesn’t mean it is a good idea.

Only you can decide taking into account all the risks whether this is something you want to do.

I’ve been closed since early March when my last guest left. I had one reservation on the books for April 5, but messaged the guest around March 25 (I had been fully expecting her to cancel, but she hadn’t yet) to say I didn’t feel it was safe to home share, either for me or her. She was coming from SF to Mexico. She agreed, and in fact SF went into full lockdown the following day, and cases started exploding in Mexico. My calendar was blocked by Airbnb for all of April and May, because of Mexican govt. restrictions. Cases are still rising here, although my town doesn’t seem to have any, but there have been 30 volunteers at both entrances to town, preventing non-residents from entering, since the end of March.

There is no way I am going to home-share for the foreseeable future. It’s just not worth the risk to me. Nor do I want to encourage travel by guests until the virus ceases to be a threat or there is a vaccine or effective treatment. Luckily, I’m not dependent on the income, and the room will just go back to sitting empty, as it was before I started hosting. I’ll miss the extra income and I do miss hosting- I get guests from all over the world, have quite a bit of interaction with them, and it’s been a wonderful experience for me.
But not worth risking my health for.

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It’s a difficult decision for sure. Right now I’ve blocked my calendar through June. And I made a 2 night minimum, blocked July 4th weekend, and put 2 days between visits for cleaning.

**Air’s software didn’t save any of those settings. ** So now I have a request to book for 1 night for July 4th and I am canceling him. The platform won’t let me save any changes to text or booking info.

Pause listing, here I come.

Some days I think, screw it, I’m just going to get on with it. I’ve got to open someday. Then I read about someone who got it and died locally or I read about folks having trouble with booking requests or the platform and I think “forget it.”


We have three rooms that share common areas. We usually love gathering over breakfast and in the yard. Alas, no more. We are only opening one room and including a common room that connects to a bathroom (no ensuites). During an Airbnb stay this is the only place other than outdoors that the guests are allowed. We will not use these common spaces during that time. They have a separate entrance. No more breakfast buffet, sharing around the dining room table, playing music together, etc. That said, there have been cancellations and no new bookings so we probably won’t see anyone until September.

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Here’s an update:

We’ve unblocked our calendar following travel restriction timeline, but we have not turned Instant Book back on. All types of STRs may resume business now, but there are strict cleaning and personnel requirements. I’m in Massachusetts, and our guidelines may be much more thorough than most other states. How businesses follow them may be another question.

Since they lump home-shares in with everything on up to mega hotels, I need to pull from the guidelines what applies to me. I don’t employ anyone or have lobbies, but I follow physical distance guidelines and keep common spaces clean. Since I am an STR with 2 hosts (my partner and me), I feel like I have certain advantages an STR with many dozen employees may not have: far fewer people.

We’ve had 4 guests since March. Two were already here and left early, one was here on business, and the latest is visiting family now that vacation and leisure travel has resumed.

We’ve discussed how we can resume bookings. Since we can maintain physical distancing, and we think we’re pretty good about cleaning surfaces, we believe the risk is low. I also set a one day buffer btwn bookings to allow ample time for cleaning, and screen Inquiries and Requests. If I had not blocked my calendar for the last 3 months and set the booking parameters I have now, I truly believe we’d have been booked solid.

My partner has been planning how he can return to his career as well, massage therapy. He’s seen a few “medically necessary” clients, but he has turned down quite a few requests. We’ve been fortunate to qualify for SBA funds, and local grants and loans. It’s been 3 months and those resources are slowly drying up.

We’ve cautiously resuming bookings, with far less frequency, and closely monitoring state guidelines. I’m also an essential employee for my day job, so I’m keen to pay attention to what the governor says and how my employer will be responding to the people we support.

Technically, we do not rely on the STR income, but we’ve been hosting for 4 years and have come to rely on the extra income for bills, home repairs, savings, and our relatively comfortable lifestyle (i.e., travel). We could survive without the extra income, but it would be a significant impact on our budget.


I’m in Massachusetts too. I dealt with a lot of policies, regulations, guidelines, etc in my career and I felt like I was back at my old job trying to interpret and respond legally and safely. Thus our recent reason to stop altogether until the situation is safer. That said, I think Massachusetts has done a pretty good job with its response. Everyone is learning as they move forward including leadership.

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