It’s official – Jacob & I are now officially seasoned Airbnb hosts!

Our first guests just checked out of their weekend stay with us, & I’ve got so much to do before guest #2 later this week. (Yes! Back to back guests!)

Our First Airbnb Guests

Read about our first experience hosting (PLUS, some of our tips for hosts!)

Preparation

I had already prepped myself with hours of Airbnb DOS & DONTS, I felt prepared. (Side note: I am a FREAK about reading reviews. Restaurant reviews, thrift store reviews, clothing reviews, Airbnb reviews, etc etc.)

I won’t lie to you,  I was freaking out about our guests arrival the entire week before.

As you know, we bought our house 2 years ago as a fixer upper. Jacob & I have stuck so much work into our house, and I wanted to be sure it looked really beautiful for our first guests.
This meant that Jacob & I spent a couple of hours each day cleaning the house. We already keep our house very clean, so was there really enough cleaning to be done for hours each day? No. But I found something for us to do.

When you host on Airbnb, you can’t get away with just dusting & vacuuming. It was imperative that every nook of our home was clean, just in case our guests wanted to do a spot check, we’d be ready.

Not to mention, if Jacob and I were going to expect a stable income from hosting, then our house needed to be perfect – reviews are key!

Amenities

I’d read so much about the “extra touches” you should provide to make your guests feel more welcome, and I wanted to stand out.

Our house is a lakefront property, and on an island, but we still need to cover all bases for our guests.

I raided the entire travel toiletries section of Walmart & Dollar General. We had all toiletries covered – shampoos, razors, lint roller, toothbrushes, lotions, contact solution, a sewing kit

TIP: Make sure to purchase the individually packaged items for sanitary reasons. Not to mention, if you purchase them online in bulk, you’ll save more money.


Not to mention we had plenty of towels, sheets, pillows, all of the basic necessities. Plus, we bought extras.

TIP: Have at least 2 sets of sheets. This will make turnover a lot easier. Throw a new set of sheets on without having to wait for the original sheets to be laundered between guests


Complimentary Snack & Beverage Station

Because Jacob & I are moving cross country, we cannot provide daily meals for our guests.  I’ve read that doing so does increase your attractiveness, but it wasn’t possible for our situation.

Instead, we elected to offer a complimentary snack & beverages station complete with plenty of choices for our guests.

We have ample stock of water, tea, and coffee for the Keurig.  In the refrigerator, we supply single serving OJ & some soda choices.

TIP: Don’t forget sugar packets, coffee creamer, stirrers, and disposable travel mugs for people on-the-go.

Our snacks include items like granola bars, oatmeal bowls, packaged nuts, and mints. We can only offer items that have a long shelf-life.

TIP: Ask your guests if they have any dietary restrictions, and be sure to at least offer one gluten free option.


 

Day one – Saturday

Our guests arrived on Saturday all the way from South Carolina. They mentioned that it was their first time in Wisconsin, so I wanted to make it memorable – Wisconsin is cool!  I bought a bottle of red Wisconsin wine, Door County cherries, and cheese curds for them to take back to SC.

When they finally arrived, we greeted them inside but they retired to their bedroom after a long 18 hour car ride. Not to mention, they were here to run a marathon on Sunday.

We didn’t see them much on Saturday, which made me feel super anxious that they might not be enjoying their time.  I was acting crazy, but I really wanted to make a great impression on our first guests.

Was it too cold? Was their bed comfy? Did they find everything they needed? I was probably driving Jacob crazy. I knew they were exhausted and had a long day to prepare for, but I still was uneasy.

The night came and went without much interaction, so Jacob & I retired early in case they wanted a more “hands off” experience.

Day two – Sunday

Early, around 5AM Sunday, I heard our guests wake up. It was marathon day, and I knew it’d be an all day event, so I wouldn’t see them much.

When we woke up around 730, they were gone already, but I noticed they’d helped themselves to our snack & beverage station (they like our house! LOL)

The day was quiet. We didn’t want to leave & miss our chance to interact with our guests, so most of Sunday was spent around the house.

TIP: Do not enter a guests room while they’re away. (I felt like the bedroom was a black hole I couldn’t go near…what was happening in there?) Ignore all instincts of curiosity, that’s their private space, respect your guests.

Finally around 3PM, our guests returned home.

Jacob & I were watching TV in the living room when the guests returned home – here was our chance! 

When they walked inside they said hello & we engaged in light conversation.  We asked about the run, and we asked about the comfort of the bedroom.  I really wanted to ask more about how we were doing as hosts, but I didn’t want to seem pushy if they didn’t want to talk.

Shortly after, they went to their space – but not for long!

I was totally excited when they joined us in the living room and engaged in conversation.  We sat for about an hour, talking lightly about the Packers, travel, and learning about each others lifestyles.

Our guests were here from South Carolina competing in a marathon.  They told us how they’ve planned to compete in each state crossed the country.  We also learned that they were fixer-upper’ers too, so we shared stories about our homeowner projects.

Her & Nalah even enjoyed a cuddle session togehter, so I was feeling a lot better about them enjoying their stay.

After we talked for a short time, they went outdoors to read on our back patio.  It’s totally peaceful out back, so I was happy to let them relax outside together.

They retired early again because they had an early drive back to SC, 18 hours, so Jacob & I did too.

On to the Next

When we woke up, they were already gone, and they’d left us a very sweet “thank-you” note for our hospitality.  I was partly sad because I felt like we had a lot in common, and learning about these new people was so interesting.

TIP: It’s totally normal to be anxious about your first guests. But I spent so much time being uneasy about making things “perfect”, that I missed out on having fun with the experience. Don’t be so nervous, & remember to have fun with this.  It’s an awesome way to meet some cool people!

Jacob & I are very excited to continue hosting guests.  We are leaving in 5 days, so we’ll only have the opportunity to interact once more before we leave.

While in New Mexico we will be staying in a couple of Airbnbs, so we’ll be able to learn more about the guest experience.

Stay tuned.

M ♥