AirBnB has become a trademark of the sharing economy, allowing travelers to find alternative, low-priced lodging and earning locals extra cash. As simple as the concept sounds, this trend comes with its own set of manners.
Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., a cross-cultural consultant, international protocol expert and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, has five quick tips to help both you and your host have a great Airbnb experience:
- Don’t go at a glance: Some hosts note stipulations such as specific check-in times or guest limitations, so verify that the lodging suits your travel plans. Look closely at the accommodations as well. A room listed for two or more travelers may have just one bed, so be sure to look at pictures or ask the host if you’re unsure about what amenities are included.
- Keep an eye on time: Your hosts probably have their own weekend plans, so be courteous by arriving as close to the check-in time as possible. If the listing doesn’t include a specific time, contact your host in advance with your itinerary so that they can be there to welcome you when you arrive. If you aren’t familiar with the area, determine directions to the residence at least 24 hours in advance.
- Tidy up: Airbnb is just like everything else in life – leave your space cleaner than it was when you found it! Keep in mind that you’re staying in someone’s home, so remember to rinse your toothpaste out of the sink, clean up your trash, and make your bed before you leave. Airbnb hosts clean the rooms and bedsheets between stays, and they will appreciate your efforts to tidy up (which may result in better reviews)!
- Be considerate: In the excitement of discoveries in a new city, it’s easy to forget simple courtesies like entering the residency discreetly, turning down your music, or refraining from using the kitchen late at night. Always remember that you are a guest in someone else’s home, and strive to be as gracious and amicable as possible.
- Say goodbye with grace: Writing a great review of a stellar experience is one way to express appreciation for a warm welcome. When staying for an extended period of time, or if you have become friendly with your hosts, consider leaving a little something before you drop the key in the mailbox. A small treat from the local bakery or thank-you note written on a postcard from your hometown are memorable ways to show your gratitude.