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I'm about to start my first AirBnB trip as a guest


#1

Firstly thank you to anyone who suggested I not leave. I do enjoy this forum for some of the back and forth but mostly because I have learned a lot from it. My mother always said “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all” which to be honest was the height of irony.

Anyway I am taking a week off from Monday to travel around Victoria with the dog. I am staying at 3 AirBnB places, which I have never done before. Here is what I learned when looking for places and booking (as a host with 200+ bookings):

  1. Location and (maximum) price plus cover photo and description were what attracted me to the listing
  2. I didn’t read reviews but only looked at 5 star places with lots of reviews
  3. Having a dog with me I did read the rules around dogs so she was allowed to sleep indoors
  4. None were on IB so I wrote a small essay asking if I could stay and pointing out I would be a good guest as already a host. As one involved sharing a space with a single woman it seemed like the right thing to do.
  5. I was grateful they all accepted my booking within a few hours. If it had been longer, like more than half a day, I would probably have looked for somewhere else.
  6. Only after they accepted my booking I went back and read more about the host and the rules etc. That seems the wrong way around but maybe that is what most people do.
  7. I told them I would let them know on the day my ETA and keep them updated. They will probably get a series of messages like “I am 2hrs/1hr/30mins/5mins away”.

I am not saying this was the right way to do things. But it has changed my thinking about how much guests read the listing before booking. A bit odd really as I am a very analytical person and when booking hotels do quite a bit of research before booking to make sure it is the best place for me. Even if I find a place on TripAdvisor etc I usually book directly with the hotel.

Will let you know how it goes. I am quite nervous about (I hope) getting 5 star reviews from the hosts. Based on my own experience and what I have read here I won’t be pooping on the sheets, turning up drunk or eating chips in the bed. If nothing else on this forum I’ve learned that much.:japanese_goblin:

Photo of the lovely dog, Jade, 14yo BC, on the cliff park opposite our place.


Well it seems time to say goodbye
#2

I have been hosting for over four years. And, my daughter and I have been an Airbnb guests at least a dozen times. I actually leave places cleaner then they have left if for us. Mostly, we have traveled in Europe (we’re American). I am ridiculous about this aspect, so don’t go by me. But, if I can clean a mirror, or scrub a sink, or – in once case where the bathroom was horrid (but the host was so amazing!), scrub an entire bathroom. I also leave a little thank you note (I always appreciate notes as a host), and if we are staying in a room in an apartment, I bring a gift. If you are in a shared house or apartment, get out! Don’t hang around all day. Let them know when you will be arriving; be patient if they are late. Traveling is all about being flexible. I have always received five stars. In short, be the guest you wish for.


#3

So nice to hear your cheery voice once more, and really interesting to hear of your experiences booking as a guest; one for the mind’s archive! I’ve only booked one trip on Air and it was an eye opener in terms of what people sign up to, without having read the detail.

I had a splendid enquiry the other day. “Having looked at your photos and read your reviews, myself and three friends would love to stay at your place. We will be arriving at midday and wish to leave our bags with you then”.

So you’ve not actually read the listing then.

I looked at her reviews of hosts, all passively aggressive nit picking; e.g. " Lovely apartment, close to everything in Kensington. The host kindly allowed us to drop our bags off early and the cleaners were still there. The apartment was spotless when we returned."

No response after I replied that if she looked at our listing, she would see that we don’t accept early bag drops, then asking if she realised we are a B&B, not an entire home, cats, other guests etc.

I think I dodged a bullet.

Have a very good holiday. I’m looking forward to your return already. Please proffer Jade a biscuit from me too.


#4

It makes me happy @JamJerrupSunset that you have not left the forum. It will be a beautiful experience to see things from the other side, I have already done it three times, in different countries, and it was very nice. Surely you will have with Jade, and with the hosts that you will share this first experience good times, I wish you a nice vacation and I hope to read the interesting observations that you will have, with your lovely way of telling things.


#5

Your pup is a cutie!


#6

So glad you returned, @JamJerrupSunset. :grinning:
It always leaves a hole when the nice folk leave.

Am interested in hearing your feedback on “the guest experience”, especially as you are travelling with your doggie.


#7

Also …based on rules regarding dogs …don’t plan to leave Jade by herself for even a minute …

So just out of curiousity …when did you start to look at the Check-In/Out times?


#8

I too was just an Airbnb guest when I traveled to Spain. I stayed at four places. Two of them inspired me to be a better host. The other two were just okay. I learned from both; the great places and the just okay places. The ones that inspired me made me make positive changes to my place like buying a Keurig coffee maker : ) and ironing the pillow cases. The other two taught me what not to do at my place. They had clean sheets but were so badly wrinkled that I had to sniff to make sure they were clean LOL They also had the bare essentials, a few forks, couple of glasses, no paper towels, no wine opener, etc. All the prices were at the same price point but the ones that inspired me when above and beyond whereas the other two were so basic that I felt disappointed. I realized that when one is on vacation, even when using Airbnb, one wants to feel pampered and not feel like a student in a college dorm. So I really think it’s great to be a guest. It was a learning experience.


#9

It’s a real pain in the @$$ to book an airbnb and if more hosts realized it Airbnb would be a better platform. That said, it’s my first choice when possible. It’s great for a single or couple, for a place with two beds in urban areas, not so much.

Interestingly you didn’t mention accessibility as a criteria. Did you try to filter for that or is it so low on your list of needs you didn’t worry about it?

I do the same. I do however scroll through looking for any “host cancelled” notices. I also filter first for SH and IB.

The only time or two it’s taken me more than an hour or two to respond I didn’t get the booking. I love IB for just that reason, both as a guest and a host.

Like Sandy2, if there is one thing I’ve learned from my 6, soon to be 7, stays is that the average Airbnb is…average. Mosts hosts here are exceptional and have an exceptionally high standard. Even 5 star hosts often have surprising things or lack of things. I’ve noticed it most when it comes to maintenence. I’ve never had dirty sheets or anything like that but loose toilet seats, stained pillows, peeling paint, burned out light bulbs, mineral crusted showerheads that spray water on the ceiling of the shower…

I look forward to hearing about your adventure.


#10

We’re going to Colorado next month and have been booking Airbnb’s to stay in. I made sure to look closely for check in times and when I didn’t see it on one I messaged the host to ask before we booked! We’re just looking for places to sleep mostly so we won’t be in our hosts’ hair for the most part.


#11

It irritates me when a guest does this.
If they have told me their ETA, I do not want an update every half hour. Only when there are huge changes.

A good ETA, and a message an hour or 30 minutes before arrival is enough.


#12

And then there are the people who say, “We will arrive at 4” and then later in the day msg “We are running behind, we’ll be there at 5:30” and then don’t actually show until 7pm…

A good mantra to remember in hosting is “a flexible branch will not break”…


#13

Thinking of Jam’s pithiness, I think this may have been a bit of a joke about the nerves of a host being a first time guest. Not intended to irritate.


#14

It is never meant to irritate, but it seems that some guests think that “good communication” is rated based on the amount of messages they send, so they spam the host with messages.

But also in communication it is quality over quantity.


#15

What @Joan means is that she doesn’t think @JamJerrupSunset has any intention of doing that, he’s joking.

I also got punked a few times by his posts.

Or maybe, in fact he will chime in to tell us he is going to message his host with updates every 32 minutes.


#16

@JamJerrupSunset, I suspect MOST guests to not follow through as you did on your point #6. They do not go back and read in depth – or at all. That’s where the majority of Host annoyance arises – “but I wrote XX in my listing…”.


#17

Sounds super annoying! Might want to rethink that strategy


#18

Glad you had this experience, my son is trying to bookplaces all over Europe, he has great reviews and both his dad and I have Airbnb’s so he knows what to expect and be a good host/guest . Sadly virtually nobody even responds to his booking requests, even to reject him.

As a result I told him to filter just for IB, something for hosts not on IB to consider- eg how conduct of poor hosts might be impacting your bookings


#19

You are welcome any time!!! @sandy2


#20

I appreciate these updates @JamJerrupSunset. Better too much than not enough communication on check in time. I stress this on all my messaging with guest prior. I like to be able to do some yard work or run to the store, etc. etc. if I know I have time . In the case of yard work, it’s nice for me to be able to take a quick shower before they come so I’m not covered in dirt from head to toe! I hate sitting around waiting for a guest who set a check in time (I share space and I have to give a tour of all the amenities and funky quirks of this circa 1965 house!) and is running late, or worse yet running early! As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, my cleaning takes me too long so if I have frequent updates on check-in time, I can take my time, or sweat like an idiot, depending on when they are coming! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


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