8 Suggestions for AirBnb Renters And Owners

I have been to 4 Airbnb houses in the past year. FOUR. I've looked at hundreds of them and actually spent time in those four.  This makes me of course, the expert.  I mean, unless there is anyone out there who has been to four in the past year?
A gypsy wagon for a bedroom anyone?
James and I rented these homes instead of going to hotels mainly for three reasons:

1- it is cheaper than a hotel. In some cases MUCH cheaper.
2- I can cook home meals (which we both love) and
3- There is plenty of room for yoga albeit not much in the way of yoga mats per say. That, I am sure, will change after this post.

A tree-house
Right now I am writing from Miami. We are in a beautiful three bedroom home that cost a fraction of what Marriot or Hilton wanted, and there is a sweet potato and cauliflower curry in the slow cooker.

As per yoga, well, there are some things that Airbnb could help us travelers with, like for example make suggestions for their home owners, and, of course, also for their renters.

One of the things I love about Airbnb is that in some cases you don't even need to see the owners.  There is just a code on the entrance door and you go in and leave the door locked when you are done.  

It almost feels as if it is your real home away from home and it is easy.  I also love that I can do laundry before I return home, what a pleasure!

So here are my suggestions:

For Owners Who Rent:

1- Gestures:

Clean house goes without saying of course, that is a given that has to happen, but there are details that make people feel very welcome.

For example in Encinitas we had a chocolate waiting for us and also a bottle of wine.  We don't drink wine but the gesture was of tremendous significance, we felt that the owner really cared for us.

An AirBnb in Florida. 85 a night, with pool and all.
 Click on the image to see more
2.- Stocking the House:

Not with everything but there are some basics that should always be there. Here is the list.  (I only make the list cause some of the houses we went to did not have them, I was surprised)

  • A coffee machine, and a real one, with filters, the type that drips coffee.
  • Coffee sugar and filters
  • Milk or half and half in the refrigerator would be very nice
  • Popcorn for the microwave
  • Tea
  • Salt and pepper and oil
  • A bottle or two of water
  • Fully stocked kitchen with appliances so that cooking can really take place
  • laundry soap if there is a laundry machine. Even if a little bit, that little gesture would go a huge way
  • Soap in all bathrooms and toilette paper and paper towels
  • Would be really nice to have toothpaste and brush waiting for us
  • abundance of blankets and towels in accordance to the number of people visiting
  • a map of the surrounding areas pointing to the nearest a) supermarket b) car rental c) coffee place d) brunch places e) taxi cab (phone number) f) swimming pool / ping pong table / g) pharmacy h) catering i) places that deliver food. 
  • Clear instructions for wifi
  • Clear instructions for how to call the owner if anything is needed
  • If there is a dog that usually leaves in the house, please remove all signs of it, same with a cat. Some people are allergic.

3.- Instructions for Difficult Things

In one of the houses we could not, for the love of God, figure out how to open the door that went into the yard.  For things like this it would be nice to have instructions, maybe like a book of FAQ for the house or something. 

Also instructions for the garbage and recycle, oh and the television.


It would be a bonus to have HBO and ShowTime on demand. I know, a bonus.

5.-House Keeping/Chef

Airbnb charges an extra fee for house keeping that happens after one leaves the house, but how about having the choice of a housekeeper that could come DURING the stay, for an extra fee?  And since we are at it, how about a chef that could come too? Also for an extra fee, you never know! 
A phone number to call directly to arrange for housekeeping.

6.- A YOGA MAT in every house.  Pretty Please. Pretty much everyone does yoga these days don't they?
They look like decorations, wouldn't you say?

7.- Games

Any game, or board game that you can think of. Something that will make the stay wonderful.  For example some big houses (we've not been to these) have pool tables or ping pong tables. Can you imagine how wonderful?

8.- Always review your renters.  

But Airbnb owners know this already.  It is important, it builds trust.  It also serves as a deterrent for people to treat houses nicely.  Be honest but positive.

For People Who Rent:


An easy gesture leads to better review and betetr reviews lead to happiness. Both the owner and the renter should be on the look up for this.  In this case, we could think: what does the house need? 

In one of the houses we went we left a coffee machine (they did not have one) in two of the others a yoga mat... In another one a blow-dryer.  Maybe they need a potato peeler? a cutting board? something... it goes a long way!

2.- Measure Twice Cut Once:  

Make sure you have solid plans before booking and try not to change them. I've never done it but I can see how it would be a nightmare for both parties, so it is better to plan with care.

3.- Early Search

Start looking way in advance of when you will need the house. Use the map option to and Google plus to look at how far from the airport / supermarket / downtown, or whatever is important to you, you will be.
Best located room in Copenhagen! 

When you start looking early you get a sense not just for the house but also the area, and this comes very handy once there.

4.- Look for light in the house.  

If the picture looks dark the place is likely to be very dark.  Don't be afraid to email and ask questions. Airbnb encourages it, and you can learn more about the place before you go.  Is there a blow dryer in the bathroom? Is the swimming suite part of the gated community or private? Is that first photo of the lobby or the living room?  I've asked all those questions.

Light is important to me, you?
5.- Respect check in and out times as well as any requests.

Email the owners to let them know when you will be arriving.  Also be attentive, if they ask you to leave keys in a certain place make sure to do so.

6.- Keep the house in order.  

Some mess is inevitable but owners appreciate when we treat their homes at least as good as we treat our own, and that means picking up after ourselves.   Just as a suggestion, take the trash out when full. Don't leave smelly things out.

7.- Enjoy the house 

8.- Always leave a review of the owner, be honest but positive.


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  1. When I have stayed in rented vacation homes, I sometimes leave the paperback book(s) I finish on the table, for the next visitor to enjoy. Maybe your signature gesture can be a paperback priced yoga mat for the next yogi that visits!

  2. Thank you for the informative post! I have been hesitant about AirBnB before but might actually use this as an alternative to hotel rooms. I might use this next time I travel to Asia.

  3. nice article, just to let you know of another type of airbnb would be couchsurf, I have no affliation but its a great way of meeting people as well.

    A lot of the time the onus is on the house owner to provide for travellers, however they need feedback as well, so nice for you to give tips for travelers

    I do a lot of traveling in Hostels around europe and to be honest a lot of them are better than any hotel Ive stayed in. and they are overlooked by a vast majority of people.
    EG Germany has a great tradition of using hostels and as far as i know the international hostel federation came about from that.

    Its great for families and kids to meet similiar in a more laid back environment than a hotel.
    Anyway Im away, gl with yoga and im big admirer of you and your husband.

  4. Sarah, great, hope it helps, also someone in Facebook mentioned agoda.com for Asia, never tried them but since you brought that region up... might be useful. I love AirBnb so far. Good luck!

  5. That is a GREAT idea. And so far the yoga mat has been the signature thing for me. Guess it just happens.

  6. Hey thanks for the nice blog. I really liked it. I have a web page that deals in hotel reservation for vacation trip around the world. You may also visit this http://www.cheapairetickets.com

  7. Not just any yoga mat, but an elite hot hybrid yoga mat, pretty please! :)


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