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Last minute bookings are often disastrous

Last time we accepted a last minute booking, I ended up with some guy in the “entertainment business” who practised singing at the back of the house into the neighbour’s garden and worked at night (came home at 3am). Since then I have avoided lot of last-minute requests. I have had request to visit the house before moving in on the same day, and some young guy begging me to take him in as he was almost robbed in a hostel in London… Then three days ago I accepted a woman’s last minute request. She sent nice messages, claimed that she’s staying with friends but didn’t want to bother them for another 24 hours. In the end, I let her come the following day although she wanted to come on the same day. Oh boy, I was naive - she was vague and untrustworthy. On her profile she said she was from France and went to MIT and Columbia University. She’s actually Romanian, which I have nothing against, and live in Canada. With that strong Romanian accent, I find it incredibly far fetched but of course I could be wrong. However I don’t know why people can’t just be honest with who they are. And because of this, I didn’t give her a set of key to use. If she can lie on Airbnb, she could be anyone. She said she’s a rope access technician and is working in London but she’s at home everyday since she arrived and didn’t have a shower once. The smell… She doesn’t shower but she would run a bucket of water just to wash three stalks of spinach. Anyway, my point being, be really wary of people who book last minute. They often have no plan, drift from one place to another and do not care much about taking care of the property. It maybe unfair but I am saying it from experience.

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Change your settings so that guest cannot do the “last minute” thing. Do Not Use Instabook – even more troubles there…

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I’m sorry you’ve had these bad experiences. It’s been the opposite for us. Many of our favorite guests have been last minute bookings. We had one last week who booked at 6:00 P.M. apologized for giving such short notice and stated that he planned to arrive at 7:00 P.M. He was appreciative and considerate and left a lovely review. He was a professional snowboarder; easy on the eyes. We had another one a while back. He needed a place because of car trouble. I figured he’d be grumpy. He was warm, sweet and optimistic. He owns the coolest business. He lives in Las Vegas and rents vintage cars for road trips. He best seller is a car like the one on the TV show “Route 66” which people rent to drive Route 66. On the other hand, all of our worst guests have booked way in advance. It goes to show that there is no surefire way of predicting which guests we will enjoy.

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I do not allow last minute bookings because I am looking for guest that want more of an experience, rather than last minute people who are just looking for the only thing available.

Yes, that has been our experience, too.

I find last-minute bookers more adventures, open, and warm. I’ve met some fascinating people including some political refugees who were on their way to DC when their host cancelled them. They were so grateful I accepted their last-minute booking! They were interesting, polite, and quiet. I was sitting at my kitchen table when they walked in the front door and I never heard them. I’ve not had any negative experiences from last-minute bookers.

I once had a group of 3 lovely young people. They were really a joy to host. They were from the UK adventuring around the US. As they were leaving I asked where they were headed next. They said “that depends on which airbnb host responds first”. How fun!

However, my worst experience was with a family that booked 9 months in advance. They were HORRIBLE. I couldn’t repeat @konacoconutz’s famous expression ‘check-out and pay-out’ often enough.

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