Thoughts on Beach Towels?

I live a 3 minute walk from the beach so was thinking of having beach towels available to my summer guests… but how often do they get lost/ stolen etc? I think if I dont have them then my bath towels will disappear. Anyone have insight? I know- raise my rates enough to cover… just trying to be prudent.

This has been discussed in another thread. I think it was a side discussion so you can’t search for it.

You will find opinions all over the place on this one. Many hosts provide them. I noticed they tended to be on property or have diligent cleaning assistants who notice if towels go missing.

I’m not on property. 3 of my four very nice beach towels disappeared within 6 weeks. I don’t provide them any more. I advertise “bring your own beach towels”.

Guests liked having them but I couldn’t recoup the cost

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I have English Channel Swimmers stay in Summer, usually from abroad and travelling light. I’ve found they will take bathroom towels if I don’t provide beach towels for them, with instructions not to use the white bathroom towels. The Channel is the busiest and dirtiest waterway in the world, with oil and tar washing up on the beaches they use to train off. I can buy beach towels very cheaply locally, and make sure the patterns will hide tar and oil stains.

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Yes- I’m assuming my bath towels will disappear if I don’t have beach towels. Maybe I could just sell beach towels lol. I AM on property but even if they go missing I dont see air fighting on my behalf for replacement costs.

Maybe a solution is to provide them but at a cost or have something in your rules about a fee for missing ones. Or ask upcoming guests if they need them then charge in advance via special offer. I for one would love to have them provided if I were going to a beach location and would be willing to pay so I didn’t have to pack one. But you can’t charge too much because they aren’t that expensive in some locations. The corner Walgreens or the tourist shops will have them for $10.


How about a modified lease/purchase approach? Something like: Assuming you can buy new ones for $10 locally, offer them to guests for $11 new and IF they, at end of stay, return them in condition where a wash/dry cleaning will work, give them maybe $8-9 back? And do same with used ones except offer those for $8 and give $5-6 back. Guests might appreciate the ability to get them on-site without shopping and be willing to pay a bit extra for new or get a discount for used. That scheme would compensate you a bit for wash/dry effort/costs.

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We have beach towels. I buy them at Costco for $12 each. Very few have gone missing - I think only one in four years has actually disappeared. However, we are in a fly-to location so people don’t usually steal them, and have a housekeeper that is there almost every day and keeps an eye on inventories. I consider replacing lost or worn-out ones part of the cost of doing business and include that as part of the nightly rate.

I think I’d try find a low-cost source for beach towels (i.e. buy lower-end towels in bulk from AliExpress or similar site), then raise my price a little to cover their cost.

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My not-quite-good-enough-for-guests bath towels become the beach towels, since I provide large bath towels. If the guests seem responsible, I will offer them a large tote that has towels and a large flat sheet to spread out on the sand. One guest accidentally found my beach sheet in the backpack their daughter carried and mailed it back to me. It cost her $12 to ship a used sheet that I could have replaced at a thrift shop for $2. She even included a little jar of jam and an apology note. Very sweet of her.

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We provide beach towels, sand chair, cheap styro cooler, and have never had any of it go missing.

Thanks all. Definitely food for thought. Maybe its just the new englander in me that assumes they will go missing etc. Lol. We are a suspicious bunch.

Can you buy souvenir beach towels with name of your seaside community?

Have your guests leave a beach towel cash-deposit for the amount each towel had cost you. If they don’t return the beach towel, you keep the cash and they leave your seaside Airbnb with a lasting souvenir of their visit.

I buy navy “oversized bath towels” from Sams Club for $5.91 USD for use in the hot tub. Not a beach property. I never have towels disappear but I also keep all of my towels locked up. I give guests one bath towel, a hand towel and a wash cloth. A bath robe and ‘beach towel’ if they use the hot tub. If my guests ask for another, I take their old ones first. That way I always make sure every room and every guest has the same amount of towels and I should always get the same amount back. When I left the towels in the linen closet where guests could access it or when I didn’t keep tight control on the number of towels, they would disappear.


Walmart has them for $3 right now


I pick them up at the 2nd had store, so they are all odd, I don’t care if they come back. Oddly enough the ugly ones always come back!

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I provide beach towels and while they aren’t heavily used, the guests who go to the beach appreciate them. None of them have walked away.

I’d trial it for a bit and see if you have problems with them being taken. I find it such a rare occurrence that I would just absorb the cost. If it happens frequently then add a note on replacement cost to your house rules or manual.

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All our bath towels are white and I don’t want them going to the beach so provide two striped beach towels (each apartment has a two guest limit). They are reasonable quality.

Guests are delighted to find that we have them so they’re a good idea. Do have spares though for turnovers.

Once I thought that one had been taken accidentally by a guest when packing but I discovered that it was a neighbour who had taken it by accident. I have never had one stolen in several years.

I provide beach towels. I already had them so they’re old and no one has taken them. I would suggest buying inexpensive ones.

How does that happen? And how did you discover it?

I think that the guest left it on one of the lounge chairs out on the dock. I thought, when she left and I realised it was missing, that she had popped it into her suitcase accidentally. (Who, I thought, would go to the trouble of stealing a simple beach towel?)

The apartment opposite is owned by a couple who come here only a few times per year; it’s their vacation place. One of them was using their apartment when the towel went missing. So it was much much later that I saw one of them lounging outside on the very striped towel I’d lost. (I’m assuming it was, I must admit, but otherwise it was an amazing coincidence).

I didn’t mention it to the neighbour as I’d replaced it by that time, plus I’m a firm believer in keeping the neighbours sweet :wink:

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