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When Does Airbnb Send Check-In Instructions to Guests? (2024)

Booking a new trip is exciting. Once you find the right Airbnb to stay in, it can be hard to wait until it is time for your trip. Some people are excited, but can stand to wait on check-in instructions – why worry about it if your trip is 2 months away? Others cannot contain their excitement and want to know all the details right away, including those check-in instructions. Why not prepare while you can?

Does Airbnb Send Check-In Instructions To Guests?

Airbnb does not automatically send check-in instructions to guests. As an Airbnb host, you can decide when you want to manually send check-in instructions, but it is best advised to send them the three days before the booking begins.

Why is this the best time to send them and what are some best practices for the check-in process?

if you send them closer than three days to the reservation, guests will reach out to you asking where are the check-in instructions, which is not a good way to start off hosting guests.

Some hosts are concerned about sending check-in instructions too early due to safety concerns, especially if the host lives in the Airbnb. But sending the check-in instructions around the 3-day mark should provide a happy medium.

Benefits and Best Practices for Conducting a Host-Led Check-In 

A host-led check-in can have many benefits. In the spirit of bringing comfort to your guests’ stay, greeting them in person can give them a sense of warmth and set the stage for a welcoming and comfortable stay.

This type of welcome will put a face to the name, for both your guests and you as an Airbnb host. Some guests also want to get to know their host. After all, the reason they chose to stay in an Airbnb versus a hotel was to be able to have a down-to-earth and authentic experience that feels like home. Allow for some time to spend in conversation getting to know your guests.

If you choose to conduct the check-in yourself, be courteous and provide and provide an extra touch of hospitality. Try welcoming them with a cup of coffee or tea and be sure to give them a house tour. Even offering to help them bring in their belongings can make a big difference and will leave a good impression.

Benefits and Best Practices for Self Check-In 

While some guests prefer the personal touch of a host-led check-in, others prefer a hands-off approach. This type of check-in process allows guests to have a quick and simple check-in. You can leave the keys under the doormat or use a smart lock by providing the code with check-in instructions.

See here the best smart locks to use for your Airbnb.

Guests who do prefer the self-check-in process will appreciate you giving them privacy and trust. Sometimes a host-led check-in can feel a bit more like an interview than the start of a vacation.

To ensure the check-in process goes well, make sure your check-in instructions are easy to follow and as detailed as possible. What might be easy to understand to you might be confusing to guests. Try to write the check-in instructions from the perspective of a guest – what information would you want to be included?

To enhance check-in instructions, write them as a step-by-step procedure. As an Airbnb Superhost, I have found that this is the best method for self-check-in instructions. If anything might end up becoming a lengthy process, such as a complicated door handle or lockbox, include video or picture instructions. This can all be done through Airbnb’s self-check-in settings which are described below.

If you are renting out an apartment in a building with a doorman or front desk, be sure to include instructions on checking into the building. Let your building management or property manager know that you are expecting Airbnb guests to check-in. Try to get the check-in time as accurate as possible if you can. Some guests may not know an exact ETA.

Note that if building staff is required for access into your Airbnb home, per Airbnb policy, there must be someone available for check-in 24/7.

An extra touch of comfort for guest self-check-in is to keep some lights on inside and outside the house. Some guests may know that they will be arriving in the daytime, and if so, then leaving lights on is not necessary. However, if guests know they will be arriving at night, leaving the lights on will add a sense of safety to their stay. You should probably consider exterior lights with daylight sensors if you operate a self check-in property.

It is the little things that make a big difference during their stay, and what will ultimately get you a Superhost title.

Check Out Our Other Articles on Rental Recon:

How Do I Add Self-Check-In Into My Airbnb?

When you are viewing your listing, click on guest resources, and select the option to edit.  Directions will pop-up, then select add self-check-in. From there, you will be able to choose how exactly guests will be checking into your Airbnb. You will then be prompted to follow a set of instructions that will allow you to add check-in instructions.

See the instructions for setting up self-check-in from here. After everything is set up, just go to your message section within Airbnb, and click the key button at the bottom of the message. This will insert check-in instructions right into the message to send to guests.


Check Out Our Recommended Tools for Airbnb Hosts HERE >>

How Do You Know Which is the Better Check-In Process?

If you do not have a preference, simply ask guests which they would prefer. It will clear up a lot of confusion and will ensure they have the best start possible during their vacation.

Ultimately, the check-in process sets the stage for your guests’ stay in your Airbnb. Whether you choose to go with a host-led check-in or guest self-check-in, it is important that you make either process as comfortable and as simple as possible.

Once guests have an excellent check-in experience, they can start the vacation they have been waiting for!

Related Questions:

Does Airbnb Automatically Send Check-In Instructions?

Yes, Airbnb can automatically send check-in instructions. You will need to add check-in instructions in the listing; guests will not see these instructions when browsing the listing. Airbnb will not send check-in instructions until 3 days before the check-in date.

However, you can edit this and opt to send check-in instructions yourself and customize the time. I recommend sending instructions a day before the check-in date.

When are Guests Charged for their Reservation?

Guest payment information for the reservation is collected whenever they send a reservation request. Once you, the Airbnb host, accept their request, guests are charged the full amount, excluding in the case of having a security deposit.

If a security deposit is required in your listing, there will be an authorization hold of the deposit amount placed on the payment method 2 days before the check-in date. If there are no issues during the stay, the security deposit will be refunded to guests on the same payment method the deposit was withdrawn from.

Either allow 14 days for the amount to be refunded, or the deposit will be returned when the next guest checks-in, depending on which happens first.

Payment to Airbnb hosts for the reservation is held until 24 hours after check-in. The purpose of the hold is to allow both the guests and Airbnb hosts to ensure everything is as expected and runs smoothly.

Ryan Drew- Contributor
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Ryan Drew- Contributor

I'm an Airbnb Superhost sharing my Airbnb journey and tips that I've learned along the way.

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