Instant booking? A good thing?

We are getting ready to rent our whole house more. We have only been doing it part-time due to my health issues. I was reading about Instant Booking and it appears to be more desirable then I imagined. Supposedly Airbnb provides me more information of the folks, and I can cancel if I don’t like them with no penalty… Can I do Instant Booking with a one week notice period? And with a Strict Cancellation Policy?
Also, I was reading where Hosts ask for ID information from folks? Do any of you do that? I would appreciate your opinions on Instant Booking. We do need at least a week notice otherwise we couldn’t do it. Thanks,

Hello… I have IB set at 1 day notice but you can set it up for 7 days prior notice. You may still get requests but you may decline them. If you are that restricted on your availability maybe only open your dates that are you wanting to host, have the home already set up. That way you are already prepared for hosting. Everyone has their own methods and it works well for them. You can ask for Govt ID but you will not be able to view them. You can certainly ask for it upon check in.

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@CosmoCiro418 - you’ll find that opinions here are very divided - and sometimes get a bit heated - on the subject of instant booking.

I love it and I can’t imagine what it must be like going through all that rigmarole of answering messages and inquiries from guests, getting into a dialogue to see if they are worthy of staying at our place, etc. etc. etc.

I much prefer it when I simply get a message from Airbnb saying that such-and-such a guest has booked. No rigmarole, no fuss, no problem.

Other hosts would rather not do things the easy way :wink:

Prepare for a lot of conflicting answers here!


My recommendation is to try it out.
If IB works for you, then great. If not, don’t do it.

I’ve used IB for nearly all of my 200 booking with great succes so I’m all for it!
I’ve never asked for ID as I trust Airbnb and never had issues.

Im not sure IB provides more info than a request sent? Where do you get that from and what does it matter?

Happy hosting! ( which gets better with experience )


You’ll find a lot of love/hate for Instant Book (IB).

It works best when you have a straight-forward setup and good house rules. I haven’t noticed any difference between the quality of IB guests and those I screened myself.

You’ll place higher in rankings with IB, which is the biggest plus to me. You can also require Govt ID and positive reviews from other hosts. Anyone who doesn’t have these would need to request a booking.

You don’t see the Gov’t ID; it just means the guest uploaded it to Airbnb and they verified that it was legit. They’ll have a “ID verified” badge on their profile.
Take that with a grain of salt. People are able to cheat the system. John Doe can upload his Govt ID, get the badge, then change the name on the account to John Smith. If John Doe trashes your place, Airbnb won’t share the ID info with you. You’ll be off chasing down imaginary John Smith.

My house rules state I’ll ask for ID on arrival (though I only do so if I feel something is “off”).

The worst downside of IB is cancelling unsuitable guests. You’ll get guests who didn’t read your house rules…like some guy books for more guests than you hold, or wants to bring their 250lb mastiff to your no-pet listing. You have to call Airbnb to cancel these bookings or face stiff penalties. It’s a PITA to sit on hold and then hope the CS agent isn’t an idiot.
Some of them want you to “work with the guest” or “well let me contact to see if they’d like to stay even though you told them you can’t accommodate their request for 7am check-in and 10pm check-out” :roll_eyes:


I was stridently against IB, @CosmoCiro418, until I found myself invisible without it. Very reluctantly turned it on about two years ago, and it has been fine. Like @Allison_H, I have seen no difference in guest quality or literacy. I was pretty much letting in everyone anyway by the end, given the push away from request-only. What I did like about IB was a pre-booking message/guest trip information blurb that was very brief, but that mostly could be worded by the host. Apparently that is gone now, even though it still shows up in the Edit section, so I just incorporate its main points into my welcome message.
Stay right on top of your calendar! That’s important with IB.
On a dream platform (Airbnb, c. 2012, as I fondly remember it) there would be no IB and only conversations and perfect fits, but it is what it is, and it is, for me, an okay thing.


I have been on Airbnb 5 years and the first 1.5 years was request to book due to me working full time. Once I retired I switched to instant book. I’ve had no problems and I much prefer it. Like jaquo I find myself frustrated when someone inquires first, especially since half the time there is no real reason for it. Just book it already! Some here might advise against IB but have never used it.


I have always used it, so I don’t know what it was like “before instant booking”. I have the “government ID” verification turned on, so that Airbnb checks the guests’ government ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.), but I don’t do it myself. I know Airbnb’s verifications aren’t foolproof and I know that the guest that checks-in may not be the one that booked if I don’t check their ID myself. But I also know that people have fake IDs, too.

I have 2-day advance notice and flexible cancellation. You can do 7-day advance notice and strict cancellation if you want.

I’m not sure about your reasons for the 7-day advance notice, but if you need time between guests for cleaning, etc., then you’ll also need to set the “preparation time” the appropriate length. I made that mistake when I started hosting. I don’t always have time to clean a 4-bedroom house between 11am (checkout time) and 3pm (checkin time), so I have a 1-day preparation time and that gives me from 11am one day to 3pm the next day.