What's the craziest thing you've had to do just as guests are arriving

Following on from another topic, where I was running about with a vacuum cleaner sucking up drain flies just before guests arrived, what have you had to do?

I’ve got a couple of crackers, that make drain flies seem minor, but I’ll keep them for now :wink:



I saw a taxi pull up with the guests. When they got out, I could see that they were young - definitely under 21.

So I ran up into the rental, grabbed the bottle of welcome wine and hid it in the lockable cupboard where I grabbed emergency non-alcoholic fizz to replace it.

The guests were lovely and as they left, he said “We can’t take bottles on the plane so please take the bottle of vodka that we’ve left in the apartment”.

Bottle? It was one of those huge ones that needs a handle to pick it up.

So much for getting the wine out of the way. :rofl:


Hmm. We both got dressed. Right quick.


Obviously there are ways they could get alcohol even if underage, but I’ve been surprised over the years on how some people don’t appear to be their age.

Decades ago I worked at a convenience store. The drinking age was 18 and once someone came in who looked 15 to me. I carefully checked their ID and they were 18. The next weekend he came in again and bought beer. This time I didn’t check the ID as I easily remembered him. As he walked out a sedan pulled up behind his car and a couple of suits questioned him. They were state alcohol agents watching from across the street and I’m sure they were excited to bust me. After they checked his ID and got back in their car they didn’t even glance towards the store again. That’s a shame because I had my smirking grin at the ready.

As for your question, @JohnF , nothing exciting. The worst I can think of was remembering last second that I hadn’t programed the guest lock code yet. But it was always prior to their arrival. The only time I was still cleaning, the guest was two hours early.



One favourite way when I was very underage, was to get an international drivers license. (This was in the UK). Because it was in the pre-computer age, they simply believed you when you told them your age. I think it cost about two quid. :slight_smile:

Because the drinking age is so much younger in Europe, I could have had a sideline as well as the apartments by supplying false ID. European guests of twenty or so are horrified at the US drinking age because they’ve been happily and legally boozing for years at home. :rofl:

Well it was day of, they weren’t walking up the driveway.

Keypad lock started flashing red and intermittently malfunctioning. Got battery and screwdriver. Proceeded to lock myself into the suite with no egress while lock partially disassembled and not cooperating.

Got everything connected just I was about to crawl out the window and find alternate lodgings for the guests.

Now lock battery replacement is on the schedule with the smoke detector test.


Oh gee whiz, there was the time I saw a flying squirrel in the basement the night before. No big deal, I thought, I will be by in the morning and scoot him out an open door. He was careening around the living room the next morning, I opened the front door and he rocketed right on by up the stairs to the bedrooms and disappeared. Of course, these guests were checking in early, so I told them. They were young, they were in town for a wedding and never said a thing to me and gave me a 5 star review. I spent the night there after they checked out and that lil stinker started rampaging about 3 am and just about gave me a panic attack with the noise. THEY ARE NOCTURNAL. There’s no way they didn’t hear him. I flailed around with a havahart trap for a couple of days which he thwarted. Finally I left the kitchen window open (where I had been noticing greasy little pawprints every morning) and he threw himself out of that window as soon as it got dark.


Then there was the shop vac I was using at midnight in the kitchen after the plumber had to sawzall out a section of the ceiling in the topmost kitchen cupboards to fix a leak. My carpenter friend came and screwed a plywood patch over the hole (even though it was tucked inside the upper cupboards.) That was fun. Did I mention that it was 90 degrees?

Well not the second that they were pulling up - but we had an HVAC unit die on us just a few hours before check in! And that’s no go with a cabin in the winter - but we literally hailed down a HVAC guy on the side of the road in town - he followed us back and actually fixed it before check in!

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I had a version of that. It was before Covid and I would often meet guests at the front door and show them around. It was summer so I was wearing nothing but underwear in our apartment on the third floor when I decided to sneak down to the 1st floor apt and check on the A/C setting since the house was empty and the guests were not expected for a couple of more hours.

Of course, they showed up early while I was down there and I already had my hand on the front door, ready to swing it open and greet them before I realized I wasn’t wearing enough clothes and then promptly ducked into the hall closet.


The nastiest thing I did was take all the dirty pots and pans left in the fridge, throw them in a garbage bag, toss them in the trunk of the car and take them home.

Guests had messaged me that they were 15 mins away and I knew I didn’t have time to scrub the pots and pans left in the fridge.

The nasty thing was that when I got home, I forgot about them. I drove around for a week until I smelled something gross. Thought maybe a mouse had died in the garage.

After playing follow your nose, I realized the smell was coming from my trunk.


I was still assembling my last Ikea Tarva bed as my third set of guests were coming up the stairs. I redirected them to the teapot in the kitchen and the homemade cookies. Fortunately it was the third (and last) bed, so it went quickly.

That was quite an opening week, with a biennial event that always results in sellouts 6 months out. Folks bring fishing boats to town just for the bunk space.

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Similar late assembly story, and not my Airbnb, but one I had made new lounger slings for.

This just happened about a month ago. The reassembly with the new slings requires two people. So I had come up and the property manager and we started working on them about 2-3 hours before the guests were due to show up. We thought we had plenty of time- I have done lots of those loungers before and it’s never been very difficult. But for some reason, these just wouldn’t go back together properly.

We were working outside, but then we had to move inside as it was getting too dark to see. We had just started working on the last one when the guests arrived.
So the manager had to stop and deal with the guests, who were tired, and one was quite grumpy, and they were arguing between themselves about whether to go out for dinner right away, or shower and change first.

And the manager and I were also quite grumpy as we had been working on it, with a lot of frustration, for 4 hours, when we thought it would take less than 2, and we were both tired and hungry.

We apologized to the guests for still working on the chair, and finished it up, but it took about an hour. The guests seemed to not mind, they were sitting outside by the pool, but I was worried that it would sour their attitude about the stay and they’d leave a bad review for the host.

But the manager told me they were happy and liked the place so much they rebooked it to come back the next month.

In my situation our guests had just checked in to our upper apartment. I noticed them on the front porch and went out to say hello and make sure they didn’t need anything.

I had left the door to our apartment cracked open a little bit when I went out and my curious pug Alfredo in the process of trying to join me and meet the guests pushed the door closed locking me out of my apartment.

The guests ended up helping me move a rain barrel so I could climb up and get the extra skeleton key that I had hanging in the kitchen window. (The key only works for interior doors). I had to then ask them if they were okay with me going up into the Airbnb so I could unlock the door to our back staircase and get back into my apartment.

Luckily they thought the whole situation was hilarious.


Honestly, situations like that can be great ice breakers.

There’s a host who used to post on the CC who once told the story of her very first booking. She’s a home share host and as the guests said they were arriving late, past her bedtime, she said she would leave the front door unlocked for them and gave them instructions for where to find their room.

She went to bed and when she woke up in the morning, the first realization she had, in horror, was that she had actually forgotten to leave the door unlocked when she went to bed.

She got up to find the family of four sleeping on her front porch, laying on their extra clothing and wrapped up in their coats.

She apologized profusely, feeling like a total idiot, ushered them in, made a nice big breakfast for everyone while they were settling into their room, and they all ended up laughing about it over breakfast, and got along great for the rest of the stay.


:cold_face: :dizzy_face: :flushed: :rage:

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Oh hell no. I don’t care what time my home share guests are getting in - I’ll sleep/nap on the great room couch in order to be there to greet them.


1,000% agreed.


As I said, she was a brand new host at the time and it was her very first booking. When she posted that story, she was a very experienced host by then, who had years of hosting under her belt. She was mortified at her stupid newbie screw up when it happened, although years later it’s just a funny story about how stupid she was, and I’m quite sure she never made that mistake again.

It’s around quarter to midnight here, and just checked a guest in.

Lovely cheery wee woman from Burgos, who was so grateful we waited up for her.

It’s just what we do…



That doesn’t excuse the complete lack of hospitality on her part.

“past her bedtime” is probably past the guests’ bedtime too. She’s darn lucky she didn’t get a horrible review and booted from the platform.


Off to buy the 2 Oloroso you recommended. Will do a taste test comparison with “lunchables” board. Do you have Lunchables in the UK? They’re pre-packaged cheese, crackers, nuts and fruit designed for a child’s lunchbox. Formerly known by adults as a charcuterie board… but now GenX (the lunchables generation) has discovered charcuterie in the US (revived from the 60s and 70s) and it’s a thing.

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