Matthew Gates 12m 3,047 #airbnb
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
How To Be A Great AirBNB Guest
If you have not already heard about it, AirBNB is this great new tool that helps you find places to stay at, whether they are at homes or apartments of everyday ordinary people, instead of hotels or motels. They are usually much more affordable and cheaper than staying at hotels or motels. In my own experience, I actually prefer them, as you get to meet the locals of the area, get some great recommendations on places to go and places to eat, especially if you are in town for a few days, which means you are not just limited to going to your event and one or two local restaurants.
Click here to read about Proper Etiquette As An AirBNB Host
As a guest of an AirBNB Host, while AirBNB probably has a blog and suggests ways that you should act — and to put it bluntly — I could end this blog article right now and tell you to act like a decent human being, but to give that statement some content, I will continue writing and at least give you some advice for how to act when you are an AirBNB guest at someone’s house. It is really no different than if you were a regular guest at someone’s house.
In a way, “mi casa su casa” is not always the case in everyone’s home, but some people certainly like to say it. Access to their refrigerator should not always be assumed. Access to the bathroom, at least, in the hallway, or closest to your room, definitely should be. Remember that when you go to a hotel or a motel, you are paying for a room as well and you are usually restricted to your room. Sure, you can wander the hallways, but most of those places do not want you in “employee only areas” or janitor closets and you definitely should not be going into other rooms which are not yours. Obviously, you do not have a key, therefore you do not belong. The same exact thing goes for anyone else’s room in the house! Just because there is no key does not mean you should be going into another room. You paid for a room. That is where you are confined. So that is really the basics!
Think of it this way: Imagine if you had an AirBNB guest in your home or apartment, how would you want them to behave? Hopefully with dignity and respect. Do the same.
Lets get started on how to act like a proper guest.
Do Some Research
You do not have to do it, but if you are curious, it is always interesting to do some research on the area you are staying, from interesting and fun activities you can do in the area to even hopping on Zillow and seeing how much houses are going for in the area, which gives you a sense of why prices are the way they are on AirBNB. Obviously, staying in a private room in 2-bedroom condo in San Francisco is going to cost you much more than staying in an the same type of place in San Jose, California. It is just a good idea to have a good sense of the area and the costs of things in the area, so researching where you are staying, including getting a Google eye view of the neighborhood is a good idea.
Whenever you enter anyone’s home, you want to know who is in the home. Make yourself aware of who is in the house. Get to know the people by their names. The husband. The wife. The children. Make sure you introduce yourself (or selves) as well. Be sure to remain as courteous as possible. There is absolutely no reason to ever discuss any political views or any controversial matters whatsoever. You are there for your business and your business only, and to save some money in the process.
If the conversation is going well, you certainly can ask what they do for a living and state what you do for a living because that is really what we do as human beings: We like to know what we do for work. We are curious creatures and it is always interesting to hear what we do to earn our bread and butter and pay for the very things that support our lifestyles.
If you wish to discuss your business with the people that have allowed you to stay in their home, you may do so as well. I have happily told people that I am in town for a concert or an event (comic con or something going on) in their town that they had no idea about.
Finally, as a courtesy for yourself, do not hesitate in this day and age: it is certainly common and the host may not always have it, and does not have to supply it: You can ask if they have WiFi and if you can use it. A simple question: “Do you have WiFi?” will do. That question usually implies that you want the password and in most cases, hosts are happy to oblige. You are a guest in their home. Why not enjoy yourself? You being kept busy on the Internet means you aren’t doing anything else in their home. At least, that would be my thinking!
Last thing about introducing yourself: remember that your hosts are not your friends. Do not try to be friends with your host. Respect the fact that they are running a service to help them make some additional income. Don’t try to get a day free by offering favors, such as cleaning the kitchen or buying food and offering to cook. If you choose to do this for your host and they accept: you are simply being generous and it is likely that they appreciate what you did. Don’t do it because you expect something in return.
Where’s the Room?
Obviously, this will be part of the introduction process and the host will show you to your room. It is likely this room will not be a 5-star hotel type room. Don’t be surprised. If that is what you wanted, you should have gone to a hotel and paid for it. You are staying at someone’s house and they did their best to make a nice room for you. Isn’t that all you really need? A bed with some heat or air conditioning, pillow or two, a blanket, and some sleep? Maybe some Internet to kill some time before you have to go do your thing or go to sleep? That is all you really need.
You may or may not have access to their refrigerator and if you need access to it, it is something you ask for in your introductions. The chances are that you will likely go out to a local Walmart or grocery store and pick up a bottle of water or soda and it will be fine for a few hours. You will end up drinking it all or throwing it away. Your AirBNB host may even leave you a bottle of water or two. Try to limit yourself to your room and the bathroom. You really do not need to be anywhere else in their home.
In most cases, hosts may provide you with a towel. If you wanted to, during introductions, you can ask your host if you can take a shower. Some certainly do not mind, while some just do not want you taking a shower in their home and that is completely up to them. Do not be mad or upset with them. You can shower at your own home. If they supply a towel in your room, assume you can take a shower. If they do not, assume that you cannot take a shower. It is not your home. Respect the rules of the host.
If you do not see a towel, it does not always mean they do not want you to take a shower. It definitely never hurts to ask for one. Maybe the host just forgot. They are busy people trying to make their living too and while they are trying to make some money on AirBNB, and they are not always thinking of everything, but most people are quite kind and will probably give you a towel to shower.
Most hosts just hang out in their rooms or out in the living room, watching television or on their computers. Everyone is just like you or me. We are bloggers. We are on our Facebooks. We are trying to meet deadlines for our jobs. Whatever the case may be. It is completely alright to come out of your room and make some casual conversation if you want. It is recommended that you do keep the conversation casual. As I mentioned earlier in this article, politics is extremely dangerous to talk about and you should not do it. If you lost friends on Facebook, you will probably not get a great review on AirBNB and you need to keep getting good reviews, so keep your political views to yourself, even if your AirBNB host tries to coerce you into answering your political thoughts and ideologies. It is best to just nod your head and agree with whatever they say.
Try to keep the conversation towards things to do in the area. Work is almost always safe to talk about. The weather or things to do in the area. Traveling. AirBNB itself is another topic of conversation. Movies. The event or concert you are going to or went to. There are plenty of safe things you can talk about with your host that will not lead to controversial subject matters. In most cases though, you and your host did business together, and much of the time, you will respect each other’s privacy and likely not want to talk, or spend less than 10-20 minutes talking. That is perfect normal and acceptable time to be talking to each other.
After you are done with your business as an AirBNB guest, it is appropriate that you leave the room the exact way you found it, including the bed. Yes, even if the bed was made, it means you should try to make it. It may not be perfect, but try your best to leave it the way it was. If there was nothing on the floor, nothing in the trash bin, than make sure there is nothing at all when you leave the room. Make sure you grab all your belongings and leave nothing behind. Clean everything and leave no trace that you were actually there.
If you have ever gone to the grocery store, they give you plenty of bags. If you are like me, you should make it a habit to actually carry a few of those on your person, or if you travel, to just pack a few of those with you. Since I have a dog, I actually always carry a few on me just in case she does her business and I have to clean it up.
The point is: Make no mess. Leave no trace. AirBNB hosts will love you for that. It means they have no work to do and they will leave you amazing reviews.
If the host is not there when you leave, make sure you leave the keys on the counter or in a place where they can easily see their keys. If no one is home, make sure you follow any instructions they left. Make sure you discuss with them what to do with the keys the night before or beforehand. Whatever you do, DO NOT TAKE THE KEYS WITH YOU. If the door was locked beforehand, than make sure you re-lock it.
If the host is there when you leave, make sure you tell them you enjoyed their time and that you would be happy to stay with them again and hope to see them again in the future.
This was worth mentioning because it is rarely mentioned on any article and is quite an interesting topic that I wanted to talk about. I had actually searched for it on Google and DuckDuckGo and other search engines and could find very few things about it! I had only seen a few hosts complain about people having sex and making loud noises. There is hardly any mention of AirBNB sexual activity or AirBNB sex in articles about AirBNB.
So lets talk about sex and AirBNB.
We all know that when you go to a hotel or a motel (without kids), many people hop on one foot and do the naughty thing. There are plenty of things that go on in hotel and motel rooms that you can do plenty of Internet searches on, and well, we just need not get into it any further, because you have probably done it yourself with your partner, at least once or twice in your life. Sometimes you have even just needed to rent a motel room to get away from it all just to do the deed. There is something about the security and privacy of a cheap motel and a nice wam bam hours long session.
Anyways, lets get to the point. You are in someone’s home.
Honestly, if you wanted to have sex, you should have probably gone to a hotel or a motel.
Should sex happen? Probably not.
It would be awkward to have sex in someone else’s home while they are home.
Lets say you had sex. And the people knew you had sex.
How would you look at them the next day? Okay, so don’t do it.
So now lets get to the other point because things do happen when people are not home as well.
Sometimes a host may have scheduled for an AirBNB to happen, but they also scheduled for something else that weekend, so they cannot go back on the AirBNB, and now they have to go out of town, and so they leave a key, and the AirBNB guests are home alone.
It is human nature that people can be naughty when they are alone. It is bound to happen.
As an AirBNB host:
Accept that sex may happen.
Everything is going to be alright.
It is just two humans having sex.
Yes, the AirBNB guests should not be doing it in your house, but don’t make it too awkward if they do, unless of course, you and your children were home and were able to hear everything going on, than it is okay to confront your guests and advise them that this is not acceptable behavior in your home.
If they did do it, however, and you were not home, you might not even know about it.
But it is technically not illegal for them to do it, just frowned upon.
As an AirBNB guest:
Whether your host happens to be home or not, it is highly advised that you forego having sex.
If you choose to ignore this advice, we’ll just get into it:
You finally have a place to yourself, away from the kids, and you are not in your home. AMAZING!
Going back to cleanliness, be courteous: bring at least two or three towels that are your own.
Don’t be cheap. Go buy the expensive huge thick towels.
Place them on the bed so you can have sex on top of them and not make any mess.
Make sure you have some baby wipes to clean yourselves up or make sure you have access to the shower afterwards. (Or just go have sex in the shower and avoid the mess altogether!)
Sex is great but it can certainly be messy.
The wet spot is likely to happen.
The towels will make sure that does not happen.
Keep the moaning and dirty talk to a minimum or low level.
Make sure you refer to the Showering and Cleanliness section of this article.
So there you have it, while there is no official article on AirBNB sex etiquette, and it would probably be condemned, if it happens, it happens, but as an AirBNB guest, be courteous towards your AirBNB hosts, as they are offering you a place to stay in their home. If sex does happen, the least you can do is not make a mess and be courteous about it.
Imagine if you had an AirBNB guest in your home or apartment, how would you want them to behave? Hopefully with dignity and respect. You should do the exact same. For sure, you might not mind someone having sex in your home, but most people really do not care for that kind of behavior happening while you are staying there. Try to respect the boundaries. I certainly am not encouraging it by writing it in this article, however, I am just saying that if it does happen, to have the courtesy, both as an AirBNB host to know that it can and it does happen, and as an AirBNB guest to have the courtesy to be respectful of being mindful and treating the place with respect.
Leaving A Review
Almost all AirBNB hosts do not list their apartments or homes just because they want to rent them out. They are likely looking to make some extra money and they have taken the time and consideration to do some general cleanup and upkeep of the room to make it somewhat comfortable for you to sleep in during your stay. You should not hold actual interactions against your hosts too much, unless they were not good, but if you feel your host did a good job to ensure your comfort and the affordability of renting the room or the place, than let them know that you enjoyed your stay and will likely visit again and consider using them. Good reviews help drive more business and likely to help AirBNB hosts stay “open for business” so it is important that if you had a good time, that you take a few minutes out of your busy schedule and have the courtesy to leave a review.