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Making a little extra cash from your visiting guests


With the amount of guest turnover we have through our 6 properties, I often feel it is a wasted opportunity to not try to upsell something to all these passing tourists.

In one hotel while on a road trip around the UK, they were selling teddy bears with the hotels name on it ($50 mind you!) and it got me thinking… Is there some way I could sell my guests something and make a little extra cash along the way.

I have thought of breakfast baskets, an Airbnb version of a mini bar, selling framed photos of our city, but everything I think of I can think of 10 ways the guest will find something wrong with it and complain.

One Airbnb we went to in Wales charges for the use of towels, I did think this was a bit cheeky, but good on them I guess if they can get away with it.

Has anyone else thought of something that is working to bring in a little extra cash?


I would hate to stay somewhere that just considered me some sort of cash cow.
I supply a breakfast basket that is included in my cost of room.


Yes agreed, that would be awful.

I have considered a breakfast basket, but then I would have to put my prices up and add that to the growing list of things I already do for Airbnb. I had to draw the line somewhere!


It costs £15 to have a photo printed onto canvas over a wooden frame, I’ve toyed with the idea of hanging one near or in their room with a £20 price tag. Might be nice if it was a picture of something local.

Brighton Pavilion, arrived yesterday


Guided tours? This seems to be a thing in big cities, but possibly not elsewhere. It depends on your location, I suppose. But it might be too time-consuming.


If you provide breakfast, or at least a toaster, buy a few pots of local jam/jelly, if they enjoy it on their toast, they might buy one off you (don’t forget to add to the price you paid!).


I make jewelry as a side business and sell it to local shops. I keep a display on my kitchen counter and sell it to guests at wholesale. It’s not much, but brings in an extra 3 or 4 hundred a season.


I’m with you @Debthecat about being a cash cow. We provide a full breakfast as part of our room rate. Charging for a breakfast basket seems a bit “cheeky” at best.

Although we’ve stayed in a number of Air properties where the host was marketing some local thing or another, we don’t (although a few guests have offered to buy my partner’s watercolors which decorate the cabana).


Guided tours can be dicey. Some places require tour guides to be trained and licensed by local authorities. Raises the heck out of your liability insurance too.


Hi @KenH,

I can see why these might be regulated. But why would liability insurance increase? Actually, I’m not even sure what kind of liability insurance is being referred to here.


I have always thought about this too! I make crafts and was thinking to put a price tag on my display.

I saw the other host sells jewelry and makes a few hundred bucks a year. That is very encouraging!

If you don’t want to place a tag on everything around the house, you can put them all together in a display case or a shelf.


I personally would get turned off if a host tried selling me something. I rather include extra ameneties and simply increase the rate a bit.


Personal liability – as a tour guide you are responsible for the health, safety, etc. of those you are guiding. Some overweight American tourist has a stroke while you’re guiding him up flights of steps to see some sight in your “slightly warm” city Faheem, and you could be liable for damages; if you see what I mean. I take people on a guided walk through part of the Everglades and someone breaks a leg, and I would be liable because I took them there…


I think it depends on the kind of rental you have. An entire place that’s very hotel like and it wouldn’t seem strange. Auntie Ally’s house it would come off icky to me. OTOH, if it offers value to the guest then it doesn’t feel like the guest is being exploited, it feels like a service. Example: I can get a nice bottled water or other drinks for about a $1, for example beer. If a guest wants one beer before they go to bed they can go to a nearby store and get one for more than double that and they have to make the trip. If I offered beverages for double it would be much more convenient and I could pocket a little extra. I just don’t want to fool with it.


Hi @KenH,

I see what you mean. So liability insurance exists for tour guides? I’d never thought about it, but I see it makes sense.


I am toying with the idea of a honor cabinet/bar sort of thing. Besides overpriced snacks I am thinking phone chargers would sell. I have an empty cabinet in the kitchen I could stock, have a price list and put one of my blink cameras in the cupboard (disclosed of course) so there is no monkey business oh I did not take that sorta thing. My only hesitation is would it really pay? I avoid that stuff at hotels but it would not be there if it were not profitable. How do they pay? Cash would be best left in a jar in the cabinet but if they do not pay I would have to ask after the fact and thats a pain.

Still mulling this one over myself



I’m sure you’ll be trouble-free if it’s 2 people showing 3 people round town


You’re kind of away from stores, right? I think having something like that when the closest store isn’t convenient is much more of a value added and not just an upsell.


Nothing walking distance and almost everything in town closes by 9, and NO place to get a charger cord up here even in the daytime! I leave cords out to use, but I would put those away…



How about home-made bread, scones or biscuits. The host at the last AirBnB we stayed at made the most amazing shortbread biscuits to put on the early morning tea/coffee tray - we would happily have paid a couple of quid for some!

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