Lack of amenities-is this unusual?

I host an entire home, and provide my guests with bottles hand soap by the kitchen sink, kitchen quart and gallon size baggies, (heck, and entirely stocked kitchen) plenty of pump bath soap and shampoo and ample towels. We rented and entire home on VRBO on the beach (not cheap) in Carlsbad, CA and I am surprised at the lack of amenities. No hand soap in the kitchen, only one dish towel and one roll of paper towels, no dishwasher soap, only one hotel size shampoo and soap in each bathroom. We had to make a trip to the store to buy items just to function. Is this normal, or am I too generous in what I provide? Thanks for any input!

As you know, all Airbnbs are different. Some hosts provide a lot, but they charge enough to cover it. And even though a rental may be comparable size and price-wise, depending on the location, expenses may vary considerably- cleaning may cost more, there may be different licensing costs in different areas.
So “too generous” isn’t something that has a standard answer.

What did the amenities list state? And if there is no dishwasher soap and only a one use size shampoo soap in each bathroom, perhaps the cleaners neglected to properly restock ?

FYI I have never had hand soap at the kitchen sink in my life. I don’t see the point. If I really want to wash my hands at the kitchen sink, I just use the dish soap.
And a roll of paper towels lasts me for months.


How many nights do you usually host? From what I read here, most hosts provide the basics for a day or 2 and then expect guests to go to the store and stock up on provisions including dish soap, laundry soap, etc.

I’m an in-home host and am getting longer stays. I provide enough supplies for a few days and then they shop. Since they have some kitchen privileges, they buy their own food but I provide dish soap, fully stocked kitchen for their use. I expect them to buy their laundry pods, but it’s OK if they need to use my giant sized laundry soap.

I think you’re very generous to be stocking a week’s worth of a full on home and hope you charge accordingly.

Home-share host, max stay 2 weeks and average stay 10 days. I provide soap and toilet paper to guests for their entire stay. Dish soap in the shared kitchen, coffee, tea and cream. I don’t expect guests to have to purchase any of that stuff.


I’ve stayed in 6 entire homes. 1 VRBO booking, the others were Airbnb. They range from multimillion dollar mansions down to a 2 bedroom, 2 bath guesthouses and homes. They all had adequate amenties of soap, TP, paper towels, bath towels, etc.

In the two most expensive listings, TP was our only concern but we turned out to have enough.


We are whole home hosts and provide a little of everything so their first nights are comfortable and then they go shopping for what they require.

It depends on the market what is normally provided.

One of my guests told me how pleased she was to find an adequate supply of toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, bath wash, shampoo, plastic storage bags & aluminum foil. Her friends were staying at a much more expensive rental & had nothing.

The property management companies in my area provide only A few rolls of TP. Guests are expected to provide their own.

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We stayed in a whole-home property a few years back in Bonaire. They didn’t even provide a starter pack or leave leftovers, and the flights arrive at about 4 AM before the stores opened. My bad - I didn’t read the listing really carefully and didn’t realize this, but I did stash a half-roll of TP in the luggage “just in case”.

I consider TP, my special pillow, earplugs, and a towel, at least a hand towel, to be travel essentials.

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When we went to Costa Rica it seemed there was no extra TP anywhere I could find. So on one of our trips to get alcohol…I mean food… we got some. And then going back at the end of the day I see there is TP in the bathroom cabinet where there was none before. So the on site staff (like what you have @PitonView) apparently restocks and probably also checks the house for anything crazy.

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It’s not like that anymore, but back in my youth when I used to travel in Mexico, toilet paper seemed to have the status of gold or diamonds. Any public restroom would have an attendant sitting outside who would sell you 2 squares of toilet paper for a peso.


I am generous in what I supply, but some hosts are even more generous with things like shaving cream and razors (!) and sunscreen (which is very expensive)

I would have told the VRBO host about those deficiencies. I wonder if the house on the beach is run by a corporation or by the owners directly.

I’m generous with amenities because my market is pricey and because I want to “surprise and delight” to ensure strong reviews, and because my market is quite competitive.

Also because I love supplying things ! :slight_smile:


@Lisasmalloy - Did the listing say amenities were provided?

I’m on an owner’s forum for Vrbo owners, and there are many owners that say they do not provide “consumables”. In some markets, it’s even standard to not provide linens. It’s all about what is standard for the market.

If you are in the USA & close to a DollarTree checkout their spf30 sunscreen. Last year I used it & it worked. It smelled ok & had an acceptable texture.

I am Casper the friendly ghost fair. I was sunburned by riding 20 minutes in a convertible so I keep a small tube of DollarTree sunscreen in my purse.

Thank you Anne! We are at 7100 feet altitude in sunny New Mexico USA and I will check this out.

I get shaving cream from the dollar store and a pack of disposable razors. They last for years. Sunscreen and aloe in a large container in summer. I don’t think it gets touched. Toothbrushes but not toothpaste, q-tips, bar soap and liquid soap, and there’s a first aid kit that Airbnb sent me in 2014 when I started, it wasn’t even opened until a couple of years ago and it still have some of everything in it.

If I had listing that got multiple night stays and made me thousands each month I’d set prices such that I could be generous with the amenities. The thing with the large property management companies is that they look at a different figure. They can spend hundreds each month on amenities as well as the labor cost to keep a home restocked. The manager doesn’t care if his ratings are 4.7 because he’s fully booked and that extra $xxx a month is in his pocket.

This is a great question and discussion. Thanks for posting, as I’ve been re-tweaking my supplies list and hoping I’m on the right track.

Like others here, we offer a whole-home. Guests usually stay from 3-7 days.

I provide:
full-size shower soap, shampoo and conditioner;
enough TP for their stay (plus);
dish and dishwasher soaps for their stay;
laundry tabs for 2+ loads per day of their stay;
sealed scrubbing pad in the kitchen;
spices, some pantry items;
a couple of full-size hand lotions;
large garbage bags 1 per day of stay;
cleaning products & rags

I tell group organizers to please check our hosting app to see what is provided (I don’t think even half of them do). While we have a very well stocked kitchen, I state that we do not provide consumable kitchen items and they should be prepared to bring what they need for cooking.

Nevertheless, I still leave one roll of paper towels for every 3 days of their stay (I’m like @muddy and will go through 2 in a year as I prefer to use rags). I also leave a package of napkins and boxes of plastic wrap, foil and parchment paper.

This is where I could also use some help. The reason we say we don’t provide consumable kitchen items is that I’ve found there is such a huge spread of what people prefer to cook with and how much they use.

One group last year did a bbq every night and complained that they used up the foil. Another group with kids went through 2 PT rolls in 2 days and wondered where the extra supply was. Another group went through 8 large plastic garbage bags in 3 days.

I figure if I tell them to bring their own (or specify how much we provide) then everything over and above that is a bonus to them. We aren’t on site so I try to help them plan accordingly. When I get complaints that we didn’t provide enough XXXX I can at least refer them back to what the hosting app says is provided, so the onus is on them if they didn’t read it.

Even so… the group that went through two rolls of the PT (that we say we don’t provide) used it as an excuse to leave the house extra messy. I guess they never found the rags to clean up after their kids?? And they said there were no cleaning products (doesn’t everyone keep them under the kitchen sink? We do.). All of the above are noted in our hosting app AND I specifically told them when they texted me. We’d still host them again and charge an extra cleaning fee, but I suspect that lack of PT has soured the relationship. What to do?

I think any level of supplies is fine as long as it is clear upfront. That said there are the guests who don’t read much. Everyone probably needs a few essentials to start. I think hosts need to consider if guests can easily find the things that they need to buy near the rental.

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Some people are very odd about things like paper towels, tissues and toilet paper. They don’t think that using rags is sanitary. I have friends like this. I have other friends who won’t use a paper towel if they can find a washable cloth of some kind. Finding that balance between not encouraging wastefulness and not cutting off your nose to spite your face is tricky. That said, if a group is happy with your place but only paper towels would keep them from returning then they aren’t that great a guest group.


So true. And a total lack of responsibility. They had the information, choices, and a nearby store.
Thanks for putting that into perspective.

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