I'm not the local visitor bureau!

In my very first booking welcome, I add that the house manual will be able to answer most questions. I get annoyed with guests who ask more than 3 questions that 1) are answered in the listing or 2) simple ones that they can explore themselves. I don’t mind having a chat when they are here and making suggestions but no, you shouldn’t cater to them now if you see them being a needy guest later! I agree!


I am often tempted to tell people “Google is your friend”. I had one family who seemed to expect me to plan their itinerary, via constant messages, from Amsterdam to Calais to Dover to the house, with an underlying constant that they were going to be two hours early to check-in. Three actually, as they hadn’t factored in the one hour time difference. They drove me nuts all afternoon, then left almost immediately, as they “hadn’t realised we had cats”. Result.


When guests used to enter via my front door and use the common areas I would frequently end my welcome message and /or the last message before their arrival with “The dogs and I look forward to meeting you.” This was after I got a 3 star review and day 3 of a 3 day stay cancelled because they didn’t read the listing regarding the dogs here.

If they are asking for a refund due to the cats it’s right there in the message thread that you reminded them about them.

1 Like

I changed up the the description for both of my rooms and added “I want to remind folks that two dogs and myself live on the property.” No more complaints and no drop in bookings. One guest had inquired and decided to pass because her son was allergic. I hope this avoided an unpleasant surprise.

1 Like

When I started Airbnb I couldn’t have been more clear about dogs here. My description said “now open to humans. I board dogs and if you love dogs this is the place for you.” It was dogs first humans second. The people who had a problem and canceled a night were just the entitled type who hears and sees what they want. But it was a valuable learning experience.

I’ve learned that anything really important to me needs to be put in the messages.

1 Like

Hi there. I also offer guests soooo much travel info… but get the feeling sometimes I’m being “used” if it’s too many pre-book questions. This is how I handle it. Of course I explain the location, distance and methods to arrive. When it goes from there about weather, rest of country, how to get around, etc etc… I say this. “I am happy to help with all your travel plans (not just in our area, but country wide) as I do with all my guests. Once you are confirmed with us, we will have plenty of time, and I will be more than happy, to offer all of these services for you”


They did ask for a refund, quite aggressively - this was several weeks ago - which I declined, with a reasoned list of reasons, including they had checked in, knew about the cats pre-arrival and that her husband had used the bathroom facilities before they left, leaving the loo unclean…

1 Like

No harm saying you are happy to refund if you get another booking, especially if the booking is in the past.

1 Like

I love the are you close to…? It’s all about what they think is close so I created this form letter. (G O O G L E ) maps only on their website (not phone app) has a great tool that lets you plug in the day and time when you will be traveling and then tells you what to expect for traffic. It can also show you how to use the Boston subway system.

1.Type in this address in the browser address bar: XXXXXX. edit out (Not the correct address but close).
2. Then at the top select Maps
3. Then select Directions
4. Then use the double arrows button and flip the 10 Slayton Road to top.
4. The put in the address of where you want to go.
5. At the top, it shows you icons for cars, bus (public transportation). Choose your method of transportation.
6. The below address there are options that say Leave low with a drop down menu for the options along with the day and time. This takes into account traffic patterns.

Please keep in mind that you are visiting a City and that we live right at the outskirts. Boston has a lot of traffic and even Airbnb units right in Boston can take just as much time to get somewhere as from our suite.

1 Like

Perhaps I explained poorly. They cancelled twenty minutes after checking in, after leaving to “go eat”. I would never get another booking for the same night at 5.20 pm!

There is a very simple solution to that. Allow two questions only before the booking is made. When the third question arrives, pull the plug and block the potential guest.

That’s what I regularly do. I did this to a potential guest, only last week, when the amount of stupid questions started getting on my nerves. He bitterly complained about my behaviour, but you know what: I DO NOT CARE! Since he hadn’t made a booking yet, he cannot leave a public review, so all is well.


I am in a same vagon. I am a very frequent traveler and not very good with Google.maps. I ask questions all the time and not one before I book and I’d a host didn’t want to answer i don’t book . Ussualy my guests are very efficient but sometimes I get older people who are clueless. And young too. I am happy to share information as I know that traveling is not easy as it is but add no knowledge of area it makes it even harder.
I can see sometimes that my host becomes a bit impatienr with me but when I tell him/her, please bear with me. And Id you come to Miami I will save you Tons of money by telling where to go and avoid tourists traps.
Ussualy it works. Asking question and get info from locals saves travelers a lot of money and time. Travel agency will only lead tourists into expensive tourists traps.


I am sorry, I am a Super host, and I feel that a host should help in anyway they can. Folks are coming from all over our country and have no idea about local sites, restaurants, etc. I believe this is part of what we are getting paid for, all it takes is a small amount of time to help folks out, they are in most cases, not familiar with our areas and are asking for info for their trip. It is very nice to help people out. I am sure that is a good reason why I am a Super host for the last few years.


Genius! I’m doing this from now on.

1 Like

I’m sorry but I didn’t do into detail of events that day, let alone the several days previously. I didn’t feel like banging on about it again, having done so several weeks ago, but simply used it for illustrative purposes, as some will know… Whilst these people were harassing me, I was at the dentist, with messages coming in every ten/twenty minutes indicating they intended arriving before check-in, but not asking if this was possible; just telling me they would in passive aggressive entitlement mode. There are simply some people who are a pain in the arse, who think hosts have nothing better to do than sit at home and answer their mighty questions that can simply be googled; plan their intercontinental journeys to minute degree and tell them what time their ferry docks; tell them what time they will get to the house from the Port, am I in the house now (two hours early). In my book that is totally over the top when all the info is either in my listing or I’ve already fed it to them.

Nor am I someone who bangs on about being a SH, but I have no concerns about whether my guests find me a more than helpful host. They tell me so, and publicly.

I agree that too many questions, stupid or otherwise, start to irritate me pretty quickly. My job, as a host, and a Superhost, is to provide what I’ve listed, in a friendly and hospitable manner, not act as travel agent. That is a different service, for which guests are not paying. They are paying for the accommodation.

So yes, my attitude tends to be, “If you have the time and wherewithal to send me a message asking me a question, you have the time to read the listing and see the answer to your question on the 3rd line of the listing description.” Or, “If I have to Google it, how about you Google it?” I’m talking about a question like, “We’ll be driving to your house from 7 hours away and will want to stop for lunch. Where’s a good place to eat?”

I do politely answer a fair number of reasonable questions. But like some other hosts, when I’ve had enough, I tell potential guests that once they arrive at my home, they’ll find a binder full of information about the area, where to go, how long it will take to get there, what to do, how much is costs, where to eat and what they serve. And that I’ll be happy to give them personal recommendations.


I think if you ask in your house rules for instance to ‘please tell me when you are arriving’, a simple statement from a guest with their arrival time shouldn’t concern or bother you.

Perhaps you were having a bad day, perhaps being at the dentist flustered you. But no guest deserves a black mark if they are simply sending information.

When I communicate with a guest and set the tone with please thank you etc. and they become monosyllabic, I try to put myself in their shoes. Perhaps they’re walking through an airport or in a taxi line. Maybe they’ve had a grueling trip, maybe if your language is not their primary language then the lack of modifiers in their sentences can be explained that way.


I think I’ll just shut up or cut my wrists. You haven’t read anything better than some of the guests we moan about.

Don’t cut your wrists! Remember why you posted. It was to vent, get it off your chest. You’ve done that.

Maybe there’s no generic answer to guest’s questions re how hosts should react. Maybe it’s more a bespoke response given previous communications and/or each host’s preference regarding how they wish to interact with their guests.

In the scheme of hosting questions float off into the sunset and only minimal time effort is recorded plus the frustration. Compare that to the other costly and time consuming negative aspects of a host’s life.

I must be the local visitor bureau! My current guests just texted me from the beach asking why the ocean water isn’t sparklingly clear and blue. I guess that’s my fault then? Reduced star rating for me for location coming up I suppose.

Note to self. Must do better and clean the ocean next time.

:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: