Through some recent familial travel, I’ve recently had the opportunity to stay in a great many residences booked through AirBnB and VRBO. By and far, these experiences were wonderful! However, we learned a few lessons that I’d like to share.
Offer clear expectations.
If you’re expecting that your house guests will clean (or not), I would suggest making that clear. At several places, we were left with no real clue about the cleaning expectations and therefore consequently didn’t really do much cleaning. While this is probably what was expected, it might save a host some frustration and that would have saved us a little uncertainty.
We travelled with children. At one residence where the hosts also had children, our children were asked to be quiet more than once. However, their child woke us up on multiple occasions. (One would think that it would be okay to ask the same request, but that dynamic is not always clear.)
At another residence—a vacation home where the owners also stayed the week we were there—they decided to do some significant remodeling of the landscaping of the property. While most landscaping/carpenter/construction workers often work early in the morning, I would encourage hosts to be considerate of the fact that guests on vacation probably aren’t looking to wake up before normal working hours—hence the vacation.
Don’t change the rules.
A friend recently told me of a VRBO host who had included electricity in the rental fees and who had also been quite up front about use of dryers (a real electricity hog—a no-no in Europe). Put in a precarious situation with wet clothing, the guests opted to use the dryer. The owner, although up front about the matter, stated that they felt they had provided enough electricity to the guest and all additional charges would be levied to the renter. What was “enough”? Honestly, that statement would have been okay if only a threshold had been specified.
Make information clear.
In more than one place we have stayed, we had to contact the owner for WiFi information. Part of the reason we had stayed with that host was access to WiFi.
As a general rule, our experiences using services like AirBnB and VRBO have been excellent and we continue to use those services. The comments I left above are hopefully taken as constructive and as recommendations for how to treat those who rent through these services.
Thanks for reading!