Host bloopers, mishaps and fails

Lets have a thread of the funny side of being a host.
Here’s my story…

I bought some new towels, they were dark blue to go with the décor in our guests bathroom.
I washed them to make sure any excess dye came out before a guest used them (God forbid - a guest could turn blue when drying themselves!)
Anyway – we had a young man come to stay, quite a trendy guy; fancy watch, classy shoes, 5 o’clock shadow etc.
He only stayed the one night. He had breakfast, showered, and was on his way early the following morning. I happened to be in the hallway as he was leaving. He paused to thank me etc and I noticed he had a lot of dark blue fluff caught in his stubby whiskers. I was about to say “you have fluff on your face” but then realized he might think I was referring to his unshaven appearance. Before I could think of a better way of phrasing it, he was gone. I wonder when he found out?
I re-washed the towels several times until they stopped shedding.


In my first year of hosting, I got a booking from a guest whose profile photo was of them squatted down, holding a basket of tomatoes and looking up at the camera. Longish curly blond hair, said they were an organic gardener. It looked like a good-looking, hippyish man in his mid-late thirties, and the name was Elia. I’d only had female guests up to that point, so was kind of excited about seeing what hosting a male guest would be like.
When the guest arrived, it turned out to be a woman in her forties! I could see it was the same person as in the photo, which was taken from a weird angle, but I was so surprised! I almost right away told her what I had assumed and we both had a good laugh over it. Her name was actually Elizabeth, but she goes by Elia, which to me is a man’s name.


The best blooper I ever read was a story about a host’s very first booking. She was a home-share host and the booking was for a family with a couple of kids. They were getting in quite late, and as she had to go to work early, she told them she’d leave the front door unlocked for them and told them where the door to their quarters was. She made sure everything was in order for them to be comfortable, left lights on, and went to sleep. As soon as she opened her eyes in the morning, she had a sick and horrified feeling, realizing that she had automatically locked the front door before going to sleep, as she usually did. She opened the door to find the whole family bedded down on the front porch floor, covered in their coats and clothing.
Luckily, they turned out to be really nice people, all was forgiven, and they had a great stay.


J&G, Thank you for this narrative as it started my day with laughter : )

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I gave a guest the bum-rush: Sent him the goodbye message (a friendly, hope you had a good stay and safe travels,.kinda thing) not once but twice. A day early.

I was traveling for work, and a new job at that, and was trying to be efficient with a new calendar merge. I checked the calendar, saw that Devin was on his last day and sent off his goodbye wishes. Later on, in between conferences, I thought I hadn’t sent it so I messaged again. That night, I checked the calendar and my heart sunk. ABB doesn’t sync check-out dates on my calendar. 🤦

Thank goodness he never said a word and left a great review. Whew.


The one I’m most mortified by was recently. It was around 4 pm and my check in time is 3 pm. A young man in the military getting ready to deploy was spending a couple of nights at my house. He didn’t have a car and I didn’t hear him check in. The room has two doors which make into a makeshift closet that goes into my house; one door on my side and one into the guest room. The door the guest uses opens to my front porch.

I opened the door to the room to do one last check and there was this guy laying on the bed looking at his phone. !!! It scared the crap out of me and I was quite embarrassed. I apologized and said something real smooth like “thank god you have your clothes on. Don’t you have a car?” Anyway, good reason to let the guest have a lock on their door is to keep their hare brained host, me, out.


My house design is that the upstairs consists of two bedrooms, mine and the guest room, with a bathroom in between the rooms and a door on each end leading into each bedroom. When I have a guest, it becomes their private bathroom and I use the downstairs one. There are standard bathroom door knobs- locked from the bathroom side and openable with a pin from the bedroom sides. I make sure to lock that door from the guest side to my room, because I could just picture myself stumbling into the bathroom in the middle of the night or bleary-eyed first thing in the morning, totally forgetting I had a guest.


One couple booked and the person who paid had a couple on her profile picture. I asked for the name of the second one and they had a same surname. I didn’t suspect anything when they arrived, just that they seemed with an awful big age difference.
Until he stated, during the conversation, that they are FATHER and DAUGHTER. Why I’m calling it a blooper, is that I never asked for their relationship. I have a pretty narrow sofa bed only, 120 cm wide and I really don’t feel comfortable thinking that grownup father and daughter shared a bed in my apartment.
One more thing to ask next time.


My worst mishap was to send a greeting message to a guest for a new booking and I used the the name of the guest that booked about and hour before. I just said “sorry, I’m still learning the messaging system”.

My wife once saw that the guests’ vehicles were not in front of the house on checkout day about an hour before checkout, so she went over to start the laundry. She put her key in the door and started to turn the lock but she was also looking through the small window next to the front door and saw luggage inside, so the pulled out her key and tiptoed back to our house. The guests’ vehicles were back about 10 minutes later. We assume there were still one or more guests in the house while the others went out for breakfast or to put fuel in the vehicles or something.

Fairly boring, and I want to keep it that way. :upside_down_face:


My worst mishap: not renewing my short-term rental registration by the December 31 deadline. I showed up on January 2, assuming I could beg forgiveness (we’d had a big snow storm Monday, and I wasn’t able to get out on Tuesday), but no. No late fee, no possibility of reprieve…me and my renewal paperwork were sent to the back of the 75+ person line to wait for someone else (well, many someones) to let their registration lapse. Likely not going to happen in 2020.

Yup, I am officially out of business here. I always knew it could disappear at any moment, but never thought I would shoot myself in the foot like this. Hella mistake.

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papa smurf?



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@CeeBee, what a gigantic drag. Sorry to hear it.

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I’m going to re-post an old one of mine…

I allowed a couple to drop off their bags early before the room was ready. They were very grateful. Took the keys and went off to explore the city. It was a particularly hot day so, after they left, I stripped down to my underwear, put my ipod on and started ironing the bedlinen.

Yeah… guests came back because they forgot something. Found me jiggling my skinny arse and singing very loudly and tunelessly to Florence And The Machine.


Only X number of permits are allowed in your area? With the hate for STR in many areas, I can see late renewals being cause for a non-renewal. That’s the consensus in my area.

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CEE BEE - Yup, I am officially out of business here…

I’m really sorry to hear that. Hopefully you will be able to renew your registration asap.

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Yes, they’re capped at 400.

For better or worse, that ship has sailed. I’m considering several options, but most likely will switch to renting to travel nurses/other short-term professionals through and the like.


:grin: We had to change our towels for the same reason, they were dark blue too.

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I liked your post in sympathy. That’s not very like-able news! The travel nurse market sounds like a good backup option. Do you have to rent for more than 30 days, then?

My town changed their regulations last year with similar risky deadlines. Current permitted STR’s re-apply in October. If we fail to apply, our “spot” becomes available to other applicants in Nov & Dec. A STR isn’t allowed within 1,000 feet of another, so having a permit essentially gives a monopoly on a 2-block section of our small downtown. Oct 1 is becoming an important date in my calendar!!

I hope your alternative plans work out well for you!

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Travel nurses that we’ve rented to usually have 13-week contracts. We don’t do that through Airbnb. We use a separate short-term lease.

We fortunate not to have any local/state regulations to comply with, other than the requirement to have a general business license and the need for a lease beyond 30 days. Where we live, a business license is a one-time purchase. We’ve had that license for 13 years.