Why I have a snow shovel in my car

Okay, yes, first of all, I’m Canadian. That’s the main reason there is a snow shovel in my car, just like in any of yours in a snowy place.
But second of all, and more pressing at present, I had an interesting message from a host with whom I have an upcoming reservation. He said he hoped the weather would get better before my arrival, because right now his driveway is so full of snow it can’t be used.
Note: This is a suburban driveway, not some km-long farm lane.
Note 2: The listing offers free parking on site.
I wrote to thank him for the heads up and said I will pack my snow shovel. However [imagining it is an untouched-for-months iceberg we’re talking here], I asked whether he could tell me about the options for parking nearby.
He wrote back to say he will do his best to get it cleared before my arrival.
I’m still taking the shovel. And maybe a pick.
I’ll let you know how it goes.


Please, let us know.

In our Airbnb we say we have contracted for a service that will shovel by end of day the snow.

We provide shovels and calcium chloride pellets if they need assistance earlier.


There’s more stuff it’s wise to carry in your car in snowy, frigid winters. Blankets, drinking water, some non-perishable snacks, a small battery pack to charge up a phone. Too many people died this winter getting caught in blizzards. One of the saddest was a young woman who died of carbon monoxide poisoning trying to keep from freezing in her car. Normally it would be okay to keep the motor running for the heater when outside, but she didn’t know her exhaust pipe was plugged with snow and ice.


Our Airbnb is a self-contained guest suite in a suburban house.

We also advertise free parking in our driveway for our guests, and it has never occurred to me that snow removal was their problem – and I find such an attitude from a host… peculiar. It seems that someone has lost sight of the fact that we are being paid for accommodations, and this kind of thinking is (in my view) directly related to reports from hosts that Airbnb seems to be losing its lustre in the marketplace (i.e. slow bookings).

If you can’t get your driveway shovelled when it snows, don’t offer driveway parking (and I say this as someone who grew up in snowy Montreal, and who has shovelled a cumulative five or six feet of snow in the past 90 days at my Airbnb).

If I had a booking at a winter weather property and the host suddenly told me “I can’t promise a clear driveway” I’d cancel (on the totally-refundable basis of “bait-and-switch”) and switch to a host with their own snow shovel (or blower).


I agree. I always did the snow-clearing for my guests’ vehicles.

I am keeping the reservation because it won’t kill me to move some snow, but mostly because this guy is the only game in town. At least the only self-contained suite with parking (diy parking, but still), and self-check-in, which are my big three for this trip. And, you know, maybe he has a heart condition. Won’t I feel bad if he ends up in intensive care? Well, not too bad; the parking space is an amenity after all :wink:

Yes, of course. My car is properly kitted out for survival. I once spent 12 hours stopped cold on Hwy 401 and didn’t die, except of boredom. It’s just that only the snow shovel features in this story. :slight_smile:


Absolutely. We live & host in a mountain pass in the PNW - it’s not uncommon for winter storms to strand someone. Always carry warm items, water, food, and kitty litter/sand. Better to be safe than sorry!!

You people need to get real. This site started as Air Bed and breakfast. If you want 5 * with snow clearing go to a hotel or motel. If you want cheap someone’s holidays house go Airbnb. I have had to dig my way into a parking spot at a motel in Silverton Colorado and I did not complain. Airbnb is not a 5 * hotel it is a cheap disruptor to expensive hotels and resorts.

If you take that approach, just make sure that you clearly and prominently disclose that in the listing, AND remind the guests again in the confirmation and in the pre-check-in messages.

I’d provide shovels and any melting pellets. I’d make sure that the listing’s photos clearly showed the areas that would need to be shoveled (in case you have a long driveway or walkways – whatever they are you don’t want a guest to say that they did not understand).

I’d confirm with my insurer that they had no problem with that well- communicated procedure.

I guess you wouldn’t take the approach this Host did.


My listings are far more expensive than a hotel.
I don’t want cheap guests that expect a cheap places to stay.
My listings are priced well above the local motels and I run at 91% occupancy …….


OMG, what a horror story. That poor host. And what bad luck to get such ungrateful, uncooperative, nasty guests like that in those conditions.

I listened to a radio interview last week with a guy from that area- the situation was dire, people were stuck in their homes, some on the verge of starvation, neighbors who had the means to get out in some way checking on other neighbors, sharing whatever food they had. He said his wife and he basically spent all their waking hours continually shovelling snow, when they weren’t snowshoeing around checking on neighbors, as it never stopped coming down.


[quote=“ocker, post:7, topic:56825”] If you want cheap someone’s holidays house go Airbnb.

What makes you think all Airbnbs are cheap? What a weird thing to say. And running an Airbnb means you are in the hospitality business. Barring disaster conditions where no one can go anywhere because no one can keep up with the amount of snow that’s coming down, good hosts would try to make sure the guests had a path to navigate that wasn’t treacherous.

That said, of course the host can’t necessarily show up every 2 hrs to keep a path shovelled if it’s snowing non-stop.

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Yes, and what a great Host this Host is/was – everything we could hope a Host would do.

I was so impressed with the Host’s preparations, the Host’s communications and the actions this Host and Host’s family took. Just exemplary Hosts.

It was very disappointing , so very shameful, to read how the guests mis-treated the property and then mis-treated the Host, asking for a refund and threatening to sue.

I wonder if I would have gone to the lengths this Host did, so generous – the Host even offered a refund when the Host became aware that the storm was coming.

Yet this guest mis-treated the property, showed no self-reliance and no gratitude, behaved despicably,

There are different styles of hosting.

At least one Host here has a creative arrangement by which the guests clean the property.

Another has an infinity pool on a Caribbean island with staff/cook that will cook your meals, arrangements to pick you up from the airport and tour the island on a range of tour packages.

Hosts on this forum are from all over the world with prices I’m guessing that range from $50 a night to over $1,000/night.

It’s human nature to project your own situation or preconceived ideas but the more you’re on the forum the more you realize how varied situations, hosting styles, markets, laws, customs are.

It’s all very real. You’ll enjoy the ride here - Welcome to the Forum!


He’s not new. …

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Thank you for your kind comments. I am the host who posted on Reddit. I was told I should join this group.
We really did do our best to help them.


Thank you. We’ve loved our years as hosts (and guests). We started with the idea that we would share our family’s property with others. The kids and grandkids in my family grew up roaming the mountains and since none of us wanted to live up there full time, AirBnb seemed like a good way to keep the property used and also help with the costs. We especially loved being the place where kids got to experience their first snow day or hike in summer. These guests were caught in an unenviable position and we tried to help them navigate this trial. I just wish they’d have done the things we asked and I was really angry when they suggested our home was making their children ill.


Welcome to the forum! Honestly your guests sound like complete and utter arseholes and I hope this won’t permanently turn you off to short term rentals. Your hosting sounds amazing and you went above and beyond. If I were your guest and caught in a historic snowstorm, the whole family would have been out there shovelling and trying to help neighbours – no better way to solve the problem of cabin fever.

As for your horrid guests, I agree with the person on Reddit who suggested that you contact a lawyer and instead of threatening to sue (like they did), just do it. At the very least, put the claim in through Airbnb and give them a scathing, scathing review that ensures they can never stay at another Airbnb again.

Good luck and please keep us posted – so many people read about your story and felt so much sympathy so I know people would love to know how this turned out!