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Just a gut check here

I agree with @Keugenia and the majority of hosts who have replied. I decline guests who ask for discounts on my already discounted long stay rates and suggest they use the search function to find alternative accommodation on Airbnb that is within their budget.

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Almost every single time I have given a discount it bit me. Never again. I am near a military base. I live here as I was raised a military brat and my dad retired here. I married a vet and have children who are veterans.
But military who rent today are very different, at least those traveling with children. I have had delightful young military men here on leave.
More often I get young families who begin with asking for a discount. Then they want to check in early and leave late. Every time I have been left with broken furniture, shredded window blinds, even a broken shelf in the refrigerator. Not to mention sticky fingerprints on every window, mirror, door jamb and wall. It has been just unbelievable. I want to refuse all military families now. They are such a headache. So as to the discount, I just say NO. I have found that when it comes to discounts, no good deed goes unpunished as they say.

I don’t know what “today” vs some undefined time in the past is but I will say that in 2002-04 I dated a woman in the military who always asked if there was a military discount regardless of the situation or business. It wasn’t charming.

I’m also the daughter of a vet and it seems like there were a lot of discounts built in that we didn’t have to ask for like tax free goods at stores on base or getting paid to go to college based on our father’s service.

So I’m not surprised that the military has this culture of asking for discounts. The best way to snuff it out is to not participate in extending said discounts.

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You are correct. I should define it as in the past year. You are also correct that as of my latest 300+ in damages experience by a military family this past month, I will never again offer a discount. Yes I do ask for a damage deposit but this guest somehow managed to get that deposit refunded without my knowledge, before she even checked in.
If it was a one off, I would not beef about it, but sadly it has been a real problem the past couple if years. Now I cringe and want to add ten percent if they tell me they are military. Of course you can’t do that either. I am taking the suggestion posted in this thread to recommend they widen their search to find something within their price range and wish them happy searching.

You can always “discount” post stay. I’ve done that a couple of times where a guest told me they were __________ when they booked. Then after they stayed I said “You were such a great guest and I appreciate that you are (fill in the blank with the preferred category previously disclosed). I’m refunding XX dollars due to this.” The few times I’ve done this it always seemed appreciated. I don’t think the majority of hosts would do anything similar but if you’d like to reward the good ones it’s something to consider.

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Yes, I have done this too. Good leaves deserve rewards.

The problem sounds like more of a children problem than a military problem. There have been many discussions lately about how people let their children behave at an Airbnb.

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I wish the answer were that simple. However, I regularly have children at my rental. I have only had children problems with one other family in the past year who was not military. Many other families were great guests.
So at least in my case, in the past year, the common denominator has been military families. Furthermore the amount of damage exceeds anything I have experienced in four years of hosting all families. This year alone, military families have broken the bottom out of new nightstand drawers; they have broken the bottom out of an armoire; wet through two water proof mattress pads and still soaked a bed! Three window blinds were in shambles, like someone tried to fold them in all directions, even shelves in the refrigerator have been broken, and damaged walls, like huge gouges in the wall, not just scratches, and the list goes on. It is shocking how bad it has been. Thankfully other families have been delightful.

In your opinion, how does the ‘military’ profession of the parent or parents make the children behave badly?

I have no idea. I can only speak from my own experience with military families staying at my place vs those families not in the military

Oh, ok. So it is anecdotal, not factual…

I know a lot of military parents (besides my own) because Ft Bliss TX is the largest employer in my city and the 7th largest military base in the US. I also taught in the public schools here for 27 years. My experience is that military families do have more problems than non military ones but I couldn’t give a percentage and I don’t know what the research says.

Some of the challenges facing military families include frequent forced moves, changing schools, disrupting relationships. Parent training and deployment where one parent (if there are 2) is away for extended or repeated instances. All the things that go with a move like finding child care, activities, getting a job for the non military spouse, finding housing have to be dealt with. I don’t think anyone is saying that having the military as a profession “makes” children behave badly but there are unique challenges that those families have to deal with and those kinds of challenges are known stressors for kids.

In the case of @No925 maybe it has something to do with the kind of rental they have or where they are located.

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I don’t know for sure either, but when I was in Occupational Therapy school at the Medical Center in San Antonio, I was placed at an Air Force base clinic for a short residency in pediatrics. I was outright told by my supervisors, as part of my training, that military families do have more problems than non-military families and that I was to always take that into account when dealing with them and their kids. It was kind of a tenet, for lack of a better word, at the clinic.

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The other side of the coin is that it could (should?) make the children more adaptable, confident and self-sufficient. Good attributes.

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In my case it is factual. I have a five bedroom house with 3 baths. I have high chair, crib, toddler bed, indoor and outdoor toys for children if all ages. I host families regularly. 95% are great. The one exception, which has been 100%, across the board since I first began my STR 4 years ago, is that military families let their children tear up the house and make huge messes, requiring extra time to clean, both inside and outside.
Someone else may have a different experience my it is factual in my case. I, too, initially thought it was an anomaly. But that has proven to not be true in my experiences.

It’s pretty awful! When you talk to the parents, what do they say about this?

They never accept responsibility. It is always someone else’s fault. I had a two couples here with four children under five over labor day weekend.
They denied any responsibility, even went so far as to suggest a squirrel had somehow entered my house and managed to get tangled in the blinds in three separate bedrooms and destroyed them.
I do not have a squirrel or vermin problem. No windows were broken and the roof is still intact. It was ludicrous.
The shelf that was broken cost $125.00 to replace. They said it must have been broken when they arrived. If course it was not. My housecleaners cleaned it and I personally had put water bottles on the shelf, as I do for all guests and have done for years. We would have known if it was broken.
I watched a four- five yr old child on the front porch pull my flowers out of the flower pots. He was wandering around in the front yard and drive by himself until a man came out to get him.
After they left, I discovered more flower pots with the plants pulled out.
I am just shocked at the behaviors I have seen in the past four years by the military families who have stayed here. They do not accept any responsibility or accountability.
On the flip side, I have had groups of military men on leave stay. You might expect parties, etc. They did their share of drinking and I know they shut down nearby bars. But they left the place neat, and were wonderful guests who I would welcome back anytime.

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Possible that there is so much discipline imposed in the military, that when it comes to their home life, they choose the opposite?

Kinda like people who’ve been cooped up in lockdown turning into out-of-control party animals when they are let loose.

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And you didn’t stop him?

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Possibly. I just know I would prefer no more military families. I am not sure how to legally do that but I will begin by refusing any request for a “military” discount, lol. I do like the idea of offering a “military” discount if they leave the place in good order.

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