Superhost becomes a traveller

Hi everyone, this past month my husband and I took a trip through Europe to visit our daughter. I’m a Superhost from Victoria BC. We stayed at various Air BNBs across the trip & wow what a difference some things make. I thought I would share some of what we encountered:

  • never under estimate the value of a good towel, meaning good material, good size and clean! Trying to dry yourself with a threadbare face towel is a bit much
  • spend money on pillows, a flat old pillow can ruin the sleep of a weary traveller. We had this complaint at 80% of our stays. Give 2 adults 4 pillows, and if you host a lot, get new ones every 6 months. Honestly I would have overlooked a lot for a good pillow at the end of the day!
  • if you list something in your description make sure it’s true
    -have garbage cans in the bathroom
    -update your guide book, it’s so nice to read recommendations and know there’s a grocery store or local pub nearby
    -check in instructions in advance, the stress of not knowing how to get into a place the day before sucks especially if you are relying on wifi
    -over the door hooks are awesome!
    -having a plug in adapter is such a nice touch, better yet, install USB plug ins. It’s a small expense but SO appreciated by your guest who’s travelling with a minimum of 2 devices each
    -consider the lighting, try and get ready/shave in your space & see how it looks

We had an amazing time & met some great hosts cheers to Air BNB and the hosts that have those little extras, it makes a difference!


SO well put. I too am a SH who loves to travel. I did recently in Italy and ended up buying new light bulbs for one of my stops as it was SO dark in the penthouse apartment! Another so sneakily slipped the info into her page about the 4 stories of steps that even though I read listings carefully, I missed it! UGH!

But I have had great experiences too. I’d say the best thing is to always be aware of your space and where you go both and be updating all the time.

Happy Travels and Happy Hosting!


New pillows every six months? Whoa! What kind of pillows are you buying? Anyone have recommendations for specific brands that seem to rack up “likes”? I’m a pillow snob, in fact I can’t seem to find a pillow I like since I lost mine at a hotel a few years back (grabbed the wrong one when I checked out… UGH!).

I’ve had down pillows at my rental, but I’ve only been open six months. In that time I’ve washed every pillow a couple times, but down pillows are expensive and I can’t see any reason to replace them just yet… but I also would be just fine with relocating the down pillows back to my own house and replacing them with other good pillows. If they’re affordable and comfortable…


I liked what you said but … why new pillows every 6 months?

I think pillows are very much different for every person.

I have a modest accommodation by $$ standards averaging $40-50 a night. I have six pillows in the rental. Two bed pillow with pillowcases on the bed are from Nest Bedding and were filled with chopped up foam. There was so much in each pillow I took enough filling out to make a third pillow. In the shams on the bed in front of them are two inexpensive relatively flat pillows. There are pillowcases on them in case the guest wants to take the sham off and sleep with them. On a shelf are two more pillows, I think one is down/feather and the other some sort of synthetic. All the pillows have Allerease zippered covers in addition to pillowcases. As for every 6 months…no. I don’t see any reason that is necessary. If my pillows were slept on every single night and I didn’t have cases over them then maybe I replace them yearly. As it is, this is a good reminder that it’s probably time to replace mine soonish.

Lots of my guests travel with their own pillows because they are in a car on a road trip.

Let’s face it, pillow with dead skin cells, hair, saliva, fetid breaths into them, coughing, sneezing…they should be covered and laundered and replaced fairly often. I shudder to think what kind of pillows are in most rentals. But buying $600-$1200 worth of pillows a year is hard to bring oneself to do when you’ve only made $9000 that year (in my case).


I use IKEA pillow protectors and worth every penny.

As for the ‘six month’ advice, sounds like that figure is plucked out of thin air.
You’ll know the moment when your pillow has to be retired.


It’s actually the figure quoted by quite a few “experts.” I don’t agree as posted above. I had a down pillow from my childhood that I used until I was in my 30s or 40s. :scream::crazy_face:

I still haven’t found a pillow at any price as comfy as that one was.


‘Experts’ would have you drinking 8 glasses of water a day - another debunked myth


My mother was given huge down pillows by my grandmother as her gifts for her wedding. Then I was born and peed and puked all over those pillows as a baby. Then 20 years later my daughter was born and until she was 2 she did the same to those poor pillows The pillows were washed and then dried for days on direct sun. They were really amazing big fluffy pillows. Then we threw them away :joy:.


Completely irrelevant though.

One is that we are in the hospitality business. So I want pillows to be comfy, clean and healthy. I can put water in the fridge too and I do but it’s not because I think you need to consume 8 glasses a day. The reality is that moisture and bacteria can pass through the permeable barrier between the guest and the pillow. I don’t know if there are scientific studies on the nastiness of pillows but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are.

I stayed in one of the “nicer” hotel chains ($300 a night) this past summer and they don’t use zippered pillow covers. the corner of the pillow looked liked it had been sucked on. It was yellowed and deformed. I’m not easily grossed out…it didn’t touch me, it was inside the pillow case. No guest of mine will ever experience anything like that though.


Ross has good pillows (sometimes down for under $10.) I have TEN pillows on the guest bed. … some are definitely ready for retirement and are there mainly for show… but if they can’t find a decent pillow to their liking in that batch of ten, well, hmmm, I have no further comment!


My unit is rented for 4 straight months in the summer and then half the year after that. I find pillows on sale at the Bay, usually buy one get one. I think maybe I’m a pillow snob too and I really like the feel of a fresh pillow. I have 2 sleeping pillows and 2 sham pillows, I generally rotate the sleeping pillows to the shams and then I keep the 2 extra in the closet. So I guess the pillow is really on the bed for a year.

I’d love to find a good pillow for myself!!! I’ve been thru so many - flatten my ears so that they hurt; smoosh down so that my side sleeping shoulders are aching all night long; so high that my neck hurts in the am; and more. I can’t imagine how some of my guests can stomach the pillows that are there for them.

As for washing them? I never have and would think that they would immediately fall apart and clog the damn Samsung washer. But we do have hypoallergenic pillow cases on all of them.

So you change all ten pillowcases every time? I iron my pillowcases. I have 4 pillows on the bed and those get changed every time. I have 2 more in the closet but I don’t change those unless they’ve been used. They all have zippered pillow covers too that get washed every couple of weeks.

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Have you tried a bed store? I went to sleep country in Canada and found myself a dream pillow. It was $150 and worth every penny.

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Yup, I do. It doesn’t really make the laundry load that much bigger.

Good to hear your recommendations, BCShelly.

I am always interested by other Airbnb hosts that stay with me. Not one of them has left a review, which is surprising given how important they must know these reviews are. They have left amazing comments in my guest book, but not on the Airbnb site. Then one of the Airbnb hosts booked through her son’s account which caused awful problems when I tried to contact her - as the son never responded. I can’t understand why she didn’t use her own.

It baffles me a bit!

I do all of this, thanks for the endorsement :wink: maybe as I started off as an Airbnb traveller and still am that I understand what guests like.

Hi BC Shelly, that’s a set of very sensible recommendations! We’re hosting in Ireland and get quite a few American guests, but I have given up on supplying adapters, since they’ve all gone travelling themselves. We even had one for the Video player which has a two pin plug, attached to it and “hidden” in the cupboard, but that went missing too. So, sorry guys, you’ll have to bring your own adapters!

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This is understandable for tourists with limited data or no wifi and the guest’s needs should be considered. When would you like these instructions sent?
As a host I send them on the day of travel because I don’t know what my plans are for the day in advance. If I’m greeting them in person the instructions are different than if I’m not. Also I don’t want guests checking in before check in time. It seems they are less likely to show up early if they have no way to get in.

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