I recently booked my first Airbnb. I wanted to make sure to get a 5-star rating as a guest. I began to wonder, what is proper checkout etiquette at the end of my Airbnb stay? Here’s what I found out:
When checking out of an Airbnb, you should apply the Golden Rule. Treat the property as you would like it to be treated if it were your own. You do not have to deep clean the property, but you should tidy up. Take everything you brought back home with you. Save your host energy cost by cutting off the lights and turning down the air conditioning or heat.
Your host will also appreciate the communication. Let him know when you are checking out. Verify that you have had a great experience by leaving a review. Use common courtesy, and don’t forget to say “thank you”. The greatest tip on checkout etiquette is to treat the host and his property with respect.
Proper Airbnb checkout etiquette should include:
- Tidy Up
- Follow Your Host’s Directions Regarding Used Linens
- Turn Off the Lights and Turn Down the AC or Heat
- Take Everything Back with You that Came with You
- Leave on Time
- Communicate With Your Host
- Leave a Review
We’ll go into more detail below about each of these tips:
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Tidy Up Before Check Out
You may have paid a cleaning fee when you booked your Airbnb. This does not mean you get to leave the place a mess. Keep in mind that an Airbnb is someone’s functional property and not a hotel room. While deep cleaning projects like mopping and dusting will be completed by the cleaning service, there are some things you should definitely take the initiative to do yourself.
Wipe down all counters that you have used. Do not leave crumbs lying around. Generally, you will need to clean up your dirty dishes by going ahead and loading and starting the dishwasher. Sweep up if you have left crumbs or other undesirable items on the floor. Be sure to take your trash out to the designated area and put a new bag in the trashcan.
Follow Your Airbnb Host’s Check Out Directions Regarding Used Linens
Some hosts may prefer you leave the linens on the bed. Others will have asked that you strip the beds. Pay attention to the house rules provided by the host. Be sure that you are following instructions if you are looking to get a 5-star rating.
As far as dirty towels go, your hosts will probably also have left directions on what to do with these. You do not want to leave wet towels all over the floors or furniture.
Chances are, your host will have provided a bin for these or will wish for you to leave them in the bathtub, where their moisture cannot cause any damage. The cleaning service will take the towels from the designated area and wash them.
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Turn Off the Lights and Turn Down the A/C or Heat Before Check Out
Be considerate of your host’s energy bills. Before leaving your Airbnb, make sure all the lights are turned off, just as you would at home. Also, turn the heat or air conditioning down to a point where it is not skyrocketing your host’s energy costs. You should check the house manual or checkout instructions on the app you are using to see if your host has specified a temperature at which to leave the thermostat.
During Check-Out Make Sure You Have All Your Items
Do not leave any of your mess or your personal items behind. Do a quick double-check to make sure there is nothing left under the beds or in the bathroom.
As far as kitchen items go, it is generally okay to leave things such as unused condiments, but everything else needs to leave with you or disposed of in the trash. The only exception is unopened beer, which some hosts are totally OK with…..just saying.
Check Out on Time
Airbnb hosts appreciate your punctuality. You need to make sure to leave at the specified time noted in the listing. Your host needs time to have the area cleaned and prepared for the next guest. It is common courtesy to check out and return the keys at or before the correct check out time.
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Communicate with Your Airbnb Host
Airbnb hosts appreciate your communication from the point you arrive, right up to the point you leave their property. If anything goes wrong during the course of your stay, you should let the host know, so that he can take measures to fix your problem. Upon leaving, if you do not see your host, you should return the keys to the specified location and send a message.
Letting the host know that you are checking out via a message will ensure that he or she knows that you checked out on time. It also lets them know that the property is ready to be cleaned and prepared for the next guest. Not to mention, sending a quick message to say goodbye is the polite thing to do.
Leave a Review After Check Out
Your Airbnb host’s business is largely based on the reviews he gets online. Be sure to go into the Airbnb website or app and leave an honest review for your host. Of course, hosts would greatly appreciate a 5-star review, but it is okay to be honest if there were any problems with the property on which you stayed.
Not only do reviews generate business for your host but they also give him insight into things he might want to do differently or have fixed in the future. Your host will appreciate both your review and your honesty. It does not hurt to send a quick “thank you” message as well, especially if you have had a great experience.
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Are There Specific Habits I Should Avoid When Staying in an Airbnb?
To put it plainly, you should not surprise your host with unexpected guests or requests. Follow the guest/visitor requirements as outlined in the Airbnb listing. Only bring pets if the listing says it is acceptable, and also let your host know about your pet.
Do not invite friends to spend the night with you in your Airbnb without your host’s approval. Also, don’t show up early without first contacting your host, as early check-in may not be possible due to the cleaners time frame.
What Are Some Common Courtesies to Practice During My Stay?
If you have rented an entire house or apartment, then you can treat it a little more like home. If you are sharing a space with your host, you should be respectful of the host and the host’s privacy. Do not leave your personal possessions spread throughout the common areas. Ask ahead of time about what space is available for your food in the kitchen and refrigerator.
Your host will likely be getting up and going to work every day, while you are enjoying your vacation. Ask ahead of time about a schedule for sharing the restroom that will ensure your host does not have difficulty going about his daily routine. Above all, be polite and treat your host and his property with respect.