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We have children -- is becoming a host a bad idea?

I’d love to hear experiences from other AirBNB hosts who have children of their own in the home. My children are young (not yet in school). We live in a major tourist destination, and I love the idea of occasionally hosting travelers in our home, so I am considering trying AirBNB. We have a guest room with a queen bed, and I would be open to travelers bringing children to sleep in a crib or air mattress, if they didn’t mind the cramped quarters.

Naturally, my primary concern is my children’s safety, and how I can ensure that while still hosting travelers.

I’d love to hear more about the “reality” and whether it matches my fantasy of kind respectful strangers chatting over breakfast before they head out for their day’s adventure. :slight_smile:

There are hosts on this forum that it seems to work well for. @dcmooney - Over to you for this, I think, Nancy!

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Nancy hosts in her basement, I host above my garage. It’s slightly different for our situations, but if you are clear in your listing and house rules that you have children and maybe decorate and word in a way that attracts females it would be totally doable!

Do you get a lot of single female travelers? Is it ethical/acceptable to specify the kind of guests we’re looking for? What type of background checks does AirBNB do (if any)?

They do no background checks, and their verification process is lacking. You decide what kind of guest you are looking for, and in your house rules you could say something like: “since I host a bedroom in my home with my children, I only accept x,y,z type guests. Thank you for understanding.”

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We are a family of four and host in our own home. We’ve got a guest room for only one people. At the beginning I was really worried (just about everything but also about the safety). From the first bombs on the road, it’s been really nice. At the moment we’re having a guest we wouldn’t like to leave. And I’m quite happy that the children can see different people. Our children are quite shy, but they interact very nicely with the guests. I think it is very good for them to see these other cultures.

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I have a 4year old son and have been hosting for over a year. Guests absolutely love him & he really enjoys helping me greet guests and show them around. I let him help me out if he wants, like putting pillows on the bed and he enjoys it and calls it his little job :slight_smile: I also love that he is seeing and meeting people from all walks of life. I have a video monitor in his room since he was born and still leave it on when guests stay as peace of mind that I can hear him if he wakes up during the night which is very rare. People love the family feel when they get when they meet all of us too. Overall it’s been a great experience all round.

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Hi @arialvetica! And other hosts - nice to know there are more of us!

Yes, as @Sarah_Warren said, my guests do sleep in a basement apartment, but they enter the home through our front door, and have breakfast upstairs (in their own space).

We have had excellent experiences. Not perfect, but excellent. Many of our guests love interacting with our kids. (Mine are 16, 15 & 11). Many guests choose us just so they can see and American family. My son is a social hummingbird and makes friends with many. Sometimes he has the guests’ children (or even adult) playing wii or chess, or other game with him. My daughters are not as social but enjoy participating in the hosting in other ways, such as setting up the breakfast table, etc.

We have a large paper map and the guests put a star on the map of where they are from. I think my kids have learned a lot, and have the experience of hearing so many languages spoken.

My opinion is that, since this IS a family arrangement we eliminate people who are really crazy and coming to party. We do have some groups of younger people who will come in later and sleep late, but that doesn’t bother us.

The craziest thing was a pretty little missy from Belgium who came upstairs to shower (our guests now have their own) wearing a tiny t-shirt and a thong. She hadn’t brought a towel so I brought her downstairs to show her the towels and the - ummm…bathrobes. Didn’t make a difference. Walked around in front of my son. We still laugh about it to this day. Besides that, we’ve had some loud guests, and some leave beer bottles around (but this is like a little apartment) but even that is just a good lesson for my kids.

Just last night we sat around late with a family from The Netherlands. We talked about everything and learned about horse ball (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-xYJV51FxQ) and the popularity of watching darts on TV. And about politics, etc, etc. It was fun watching my kids participate in the conversation.

So for us, it has worked great. You can always start out slow and see how it goes. I assume you have monitors in their rooms, or some way to keep an ear out for what’s going on? Is the guest room in the middle of your family area?

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And I have had guests who are new to AirBnB and have said that they chose us a) because we’re a family b) because of our location. So it has been a safety issue for some… so far we’ve had 50/50 of female/male guests and every one have been really nice for our kids.

Arialvetica we host also occasionally: we don’t take guests for school holidays or when our children have something important going on. Happy hosting @arialvetica!

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My girls are older, but we haven’t had any problems. It’s nice to pay my teens to do the cleaning. Whoever cleans gets $35 of the cleaning fee, the rest goes to consumables, etc.

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Oh @SPulley! Don’t tell my kids! They do the cleaning as part of their chores. I tell them it’s for their college fund!

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I don’t have kids yet, but I personally would only feel comfortable hosting if the guests had a separate space because I hate feeling like I’m not in control of my own home. I don’t even trust my guests with my pet birds, for fear they’ll leave the door open and the birds will fly away. Luckily, my guests rent a basement suite with a separate entrance so I don’t have to worry as much!

However, my first baby is due this fall and I plan to stop hosting a few months before his/her birth, mostly because I think I’ll be too worn out to host. I’m renting the AirBnB suite to my best friend after I stop hosting, but will probably pick it back up again when she moves out. I’m not sure how long she’ll stay… I’m charging her below market rate in exchange for pitching in around the house, but living with an infant and parrots might scare her away. Regardless, I’ll probably start hosting again when she moves out.

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