We love renting from Airbnb when we travel, but the experience is not like a hotel experience. In Part 1 of my Airbnb series I cover the Pros and Cons of using Airbnb. In Part 2 I covered 25 searching tips for finding a family rental on Airbnb. Once you have a place and you’ve coordinated your arrival you will still need a little help getting set up for a great time.
5 items you need to look for promptly when you arrive
1. Wi-Fi password. Open your phone or another device and login while the owner is still in the room. Write the password down. If you arrive without an owner, then look on the back of the door, for a sign on the wall, the router, or a binder with the Wi-Fi information. If you can’t find the information, then contact the host upon arrival. The owner expects a lot of questions at the beginning.
2. Ask where to take out the garbage. Where you take out the garbage should be obvious, but it sometimes is not clear. Every place and every country is different. In Germany we had special garbage and recycling rules. Also, the garbage had to be carried down three flights of stairs, walked around the corner, and through a gate that led into an inner courtyard.
3. Ask where the washer and dryer is located and how to use it. This is especially important if you are in a foreign country, because the labels may be in an unfamiliar language. I had to find a YouTube video to teach me how to use a German washing machine, because I had never used one with an interior drum that had to be opened from the inside. If the place does not have a washer and dryer, then be sure to ask where the closest laundromat is located.
4. Ask where the nearest grocery store is located. The host can point you in the right direction or tell you the name of the local market. You can probably use Google Maps to help you find one, but the host may know something that Google Maps doesn’t.
5. Look for toilet paper and hand soap. Your family arrives after a long day of travel and inevitably someone will need to use the bathroom. However, the place doesn’t have any toilet paper. I have no idea why owners don’t always provide tissue paper. This has happened to us more than once. If there isn’t any toilet paper provided, then you’ll have to go out and buy some.
When you depart from an Airbnb the host may ask you to do a few things before you leave. Most of the time we don’t have any instructions, so I’ve come up with our own protocol. The owners will give you a guest rating and you want to leave a good impression. This is especially important to me, because I want to prove that we can be good guests even with small children. Future hosts will look at your rating when they consider hosting your family.
5 cleaning instructions to complete before you depart from your Airbnb
1. Put furniture and decorative items back the way you found them. We often rearrange furniture to better suit our needs, but it’s a courtesy to put everything back in their original locations. We also remove a lot of decorative items to childproof the place, so we put all those back as well.
2. Do the dishes. I have no idea when the host will come on the check the place after we leave and I’m sure they don’t want to find a sink full of soggy cheerios. If the place has a dishwasher, then I load it up and start it before we leave. Conversely, in one rental we found dirty dishes in the dishwasher from the previous renters and it was gross.
3. Take out the garbage. Taking out all the garbage is simply a nice thing to do. A little non-stinky trash is fine, but please throw out your leftovers.
4. Make up beds and put all the dirty towels in one pile. If the owner doesn’t leave any instructions to remove the bedding, then making up the beds leaves a good impression. I know they will be removing the sheets to wash them after we leave, but making up the beds makes the place appear as if it took good care of their things while you stayed in their Airbnb.
5. Wipe off any fingerprints or mouth prints from glass surfaces. I don’t know why my youngest licks mirrors or gets face prints on windows, but he does. A quick wipe up hides the fact that kids gummed up their place all week. It’s like I have to prove that hosts shouldn’t be afraid to accept families with little children.
I hope these tips for arriving and departing from your Airbnb are helpful. What things do you look for when you arrive at an Airbnb? What do you clean up before leaving?