Inexperienced travellers - tips for hosts

Hi there,

I get a large number of accomodation requests from very young, Virgin airbnbers. They tend to be a handful to accomodate. They don’t understand how the system works and often expect me to act like a parent. I am almost at the point where I restrict all bookings to only those with reviews. How do others handle this phenomena?

Who is the target market for your listing? In other words when you set up your listings did you design it with a market in mind ie families, business people in terms of facilities/decor/area?

I think most of us have a high number of first timers. I have to say I haven’t had a problem with them. I like giving out recommendations, have a detailed guestbook and lots of tourist information in their room.

Difficult to comment without seeing your listing. Is there something about it that it attracting young people.

Why not provide a link and let us know what sort of guests you are trying to attract.

I have Instant Book with no restrictions. I’ve had no real problems with young or inexperienced users. I have a private room attached to my house but separate from me. Their is occasionally a guest that needs more help or who I have to educate a bit but not enough to make me stop.

If no one is willing to help them, how will they learn? I guess you’re saying someone else should do it so you don’t have to?

We have not had this problem despite accepting many first timers, young and old. If anything we find the older folks need more help than the young ones.

I’m almost 100% like @KKC, we have free standing cabana next to the house. I refuse to use Instant Book, but accept AirVirgins all the time.

What do you mean by “a handful to accommodate”?? Like everyone else, they ask how to get here and there, what are the good restaurants, shops, etc.

How young is “very young”? I won’t accept unaccompanied teenagers except in certain circumstances.

“don’t understand how the system works”?? Your system? Or AirBnb? In both instances this is your job – part of what you get paid for – to educate them. If you have a printed House Book with your short list of House Rules, WiFi codes, TV instructions, AC/Heater instructions, etc. that goes a long way to educate.

If your listing description specifies hard times for check-in and check-out, what else is "the system???

What do they do? Can you give examples to their behaviour?

Raise your rates and you won’t get the really really young ones who really should be staying in hostels.


Have a house manual, always happy to assist people. I think the idea about raising the nightly rate will reduce the number of younger travellers looking to stay. I am not sure what you mean by how the listing is set up. The form won’t let me post a link to the listing as I am a ‘new member’. If you search for accomodation in West Footscray, it is called a funky city pad…

Welcome any constructive feedback.

Several people have asked for examples of this behaviour. Can you provide any?
It would help people giving feedback to report if the behaviour is normal to their experience, or suggestions on how to handle them.


Some examples from recent experience include - having done no research about the country, it’s culture or customs including having no idea how to get around on public transport (and expecting me to share all this with them, recently I had a young woman who sent me 20 messages about this kind of thing) , eating my food, leaving the kitchen in a mess (not cleaning up after themselves), asking my tradesmen to do work/jobs for them without speaking to me first and I am paying said tradesmen by the hour, getting mail delivered without discussing it with me after they have left the property, turning up with loads and loads of washing because they won’t pay for a laundromat, expecting me to print/scan/email stuff for them, and not one or two pages, 20 page documents. Cooking in the kitchen at 11pm at night when the rest of the house is trying to sleep (I’ve solved this one by adding ‘kitchen hours’ in the house manual).

Do others charge extra for washing machine use, printing services, mail services?

I don’t want to be unreasonable but these folk are paying $30 a night for luxury accomodation. All this ‘extra’ stuff which they would never get anywhere else for ‘free’ even if they were staying in a five star hotel, costs me time and money.

I suppose when you want to have the room regularly occupied smart pricing sets the daily rate pretty low. So do I ‘charge’ extra for laundry, printing, mail services?


I’ve had most of the problems you detail, but I’ve seen no correlation between the age of the traveler and their neediness.

I don’t charge extra for use of the washing machine and dryer, printing or accepting mail/packages. However, I charge more than double your rate and my listing isn’t a luxury accommodation.

Take charge here.

It’s nice of you to offer printing,but you are renting a room, not an office staff. If they ask, I just say sorry I am out of ink at the moment. Or I tell the truth. I don’t offer business services.

Some hosts have limited laundry privileges to guests staying xx many days. We even had one host post that people doing massive amounts of laundry booked her place SOLEY to do laundry as it was cheaper than the launderette. :laughing::laughing: other hosts charge a fee per load.

The reason your guests take advantage of you is because you are letting them.

So… see the first line of my post… and DO IT. :rofl:


You’re charging only $30 a night for “luxury accommodation”…what?!

You really need to let us see your listing so we can get you off the ground.

1 Like

I agree with @KenH I think your listing and guidance materials may be lacking @Blackie67 and you need to make it clearer about what style of hosting and assistance you offer.

I think I found your listing under ‘another funky city pad’ and it’s $50 a night (AUD).

My feedback would be:
It’s not luxury, it’s just a nice clean home in an inner city area

Price is about right for underpriced Australian market without breakfast or ensure, you could rise it to $60

Add a cleaning fee of about $25 it will discourage short short stays and cheapskates

Remove that you are happy to ‘share a meal’ with guests (this may be enouraging people to eat your food)

Melbourne Public transport is complicated, I think stop advertising that yours is a ‘city pad’ as it is not in the city and it will reduce confusion and complications from people wanting an actual City pad. Have the free brochures available at the Info booth in Bourke street mall for your guests in a folder, in different languages. I have maps, Myki, tours etc

Don’t print anything or accept any mail. Have a brochure for the nearest place that prints that they can walk to and Add a new house rule about mail like I do ‘No mail or packages will be accepted or stored for guests under any circumstances. Contact Australia Post in advance if you need to arrange a post office box.’ I had a big problem with this and I’m still receiving warrants for some loser.

Add another house rule relating to Home being shared with each guest responsible for ensuring they leave kitchen, bathroom and all shared spaces clean and tidy for the next person. Then you can leave poor reviews and evict those who don’t comply via Airbnb intervention.

Add another house rule ‘no unregistered guests’.


Great post @Emily

And another house rules that no washing machine facilities available and add details of local laundrette.

In your printed guest book provide detail for local tourism and local transport apps/websites.


I have two listings, one is another funky city pad and the other is funky city pad. I’ve stayed at quite a few Airbnb’s as a guest and from that experience deem my place luxury standard. Almost everything in my home is high end. It takes 10 mins to drive into the city from my place, and as a seasoned traveller that counts as ‘city’ located, if you’ve ever been to other major cities often Airbnb places are advertised as being in the city but are actually 20 mins drive away.

I am grateful for your suggestions and will be embracing a good many of them. It is helpful to have joined a community of people who can share their insights and experiences. I find Airbnb quite pushy at times as of course their goal is to generate as much revenue as they can. Their suggested nightly rate for Melbourne inner city is $29, that is irrespective of whether the room is a single or queen and yet youth hostels in the centre of the cbd charge this for a bunk bed in a 8+ share room.

Thank you for your advice and insights.



And I’ve now graduated to ‘basic’ member status (woo hoo!) so can post a link to my listings…

Most hosts don’t have any targets in mind. We all just own a house . And when Airbnb came to life rent out the spare rooms. Now of course people started buying property just for that purpose but mainly it’s people who just want to make extra income.
I don think any of us have any marketing strategy in mind.
I hosted people from A to Z all kind of ages, nationality and backgrounds.