Living in a vibrant and popular city by the water with a lovely fluffy cat has many perks, one of them being that you can supplement your income quite easily through becoming a host on airbnb. After travelling to Barcelona, Sardinia, London, Edinburgh and a bunch of other places using airbnb I decided to give it a go myself. All the places we stayed were awesome, with great hosts and tons of local recommendations that provided a ton more value than what we could have gotten in a hotel or private apartment.
So after a few snaps of my apartment and a lick of paint in the spare room my profile was complete! At the time I started I was living alone so decided to only accept guests with the highest amount of recommendations and ID verifications, and the bookings started to roll in! One year later I’ve decided to share my experiences to help any current or would be hosts (or anyone who loves a good cringe story) know the types of guests I’ve hosted, from the amazing to the terrifying!
The Lovely Ones You Could Easily be Friends With…
I’d say 70% of the guests I’ve had fall into this category. They are polite, respectful and interesting (some have even left gifts!). Airbnb hosting is a great way to meet new people and if you haven’t tried it I highly recommend you do. You can rent private rooms and even entire appartments – I offer the former, travellers can rent my spare room for up to 10 days at a time.
But you’re not reading this to find out about the nice stories are are you?!
The Ones You Think Might Kill You…
So I had this one guest (let’s hall him Andy) who had come to stay from Spain. He was in the area for a concert and had glowing reviews and an excellent guest rating. What greeted me when I opened the door was rather…different. Andy looked a little older in reality and literally said nothing throughout the whole “welcome tour” I give all guests. Literally nothing. Not. One. Word. My questions were met with blank intense silence and my cheerful disposition quickly turned to blind panic. I quickly informed my other half that he’s be required to stay at mine for the duration of Andy’s stay.
Admittedly I went a bit overboard. I convinced myself Andy was a serial killer who must have forced previous hosts to write good reviews for him before slicing them up and hiding them in his carry-on. I’m ashamed to admit that I slept with a chair against the door and a well thought out escape plan throughout the stay, rather than suffer the awkward and rude horror of asking a guest I didn’t feel comfortable with to leave (#VeryBritishProblems).
In reality I think he was just a little odd. He never said a word to me the whole time he was staying but did tell my boyfriend that he was following a rock band around the country on their tour before retreating to his room and only appearing to go to said concert. He checked out without a single words but left us an amazing review and seemed to really like the cat. All in all a very odd but enlightening experience. Some people just don’t want to talk, but that doesn’t mean they want to kill you.
The Ones Who Bring “unexpected late night guests” Back @5am…
This actually happened to me fairly recently and it was the worst. A recent guest of mine who came from the USA decided it’d be cool to bring home a new lady friend at around 5am on Saturday morning (of course without any prior warning or permission). The following hour was awkward and embarrassing for both me, my boyfriend and I imagine the aforementioned lady friend in from what I could gather (think of the famous “When Harry Met Sally” diner scene, only if Sally was furiously banging a hammer against the table at the same time).
What followed was a series of awkward messages and a conversation about security, house rules and common courtesy I didn’t expect to have before having kids. Apparently our guest “felt” like one of the perks of being an airbnb guests in a private room was that he could bring anyone he liked back at any time, for any reason. Fury doesn’t even cover how we felt, but karma got him back. After telling my friends about the whole horrible story at dinner that night they decided to go dancing at a local bar. I bailed owing to the lack of sleep and general bad-mood this encounter had caused. Anyway who approaches them in the club but a friendly American who just so happened to be staying in a local airbnb?! What followed was not fun for him (karma keep reciepts!). My friends berated him all evening (while he was trying fruitlessly to pull one of them, AS IF?!). I woke up to so many satisfying snapchats of this guy acting complete fool, it was amazing. I’ve never loved my friends more.
After all of this I still got a great review (mainly because the sleazebag had a girlfriend back home and didn’t want to see mention of it on his reviews section). So the one piece of advice from this experience is ALWAYS make sure on your airbnb ad that you state that any “unplanned overnight” guests are completely out of the question.
The Fat Shamers
So my little fluffy cat *might* have gained a few pounds over the last few months (my boyfriend recently moved in and the cat has magically gained some weight…). Anyway we had a lovely guest come and stay with us from Poland who overheard me talking about a pregnant friend I’d been to visit earlier that day, but thought I was talking about the cat! She responded delightedly “oh I thought she looked pregnant -thst’s wonderful” referring to our little pudge monster – only to be met my our horrified expressions (followed by a lot of laughing).
We’d gotten so used to seeing her we hadn’t really noticed she’d gained a substantial amount of weight. The giveaway should have been the fact she was physically unable to jump the fence but this was the final straw. I actually Googled weather or not spayed cats could ever get pregnant in the vain hope that it was true and moronically started to get excited for her only to be told by the laptop that my cat was in fact, just fat. As a result we put her on a diet and weigh her every week now. If anything our guest did us a favour (she’s down 100g – 400 left to go!). However I left oddly sad that my cat isn’t pregnant (fully aware of my crazy cat lady status here). In all fairness though this guest wa sone of our very favorites, she’s always welcome back for a visit!
The Messy Ones
In all fairness every guest is entitled to make a bit of a mess, after all what’s the cleaning fee for? However some guests will push the boundaries of common human decency… I just wonder how someone could leave that mess knowing I know exactly who they are!
On the plus side my boyfriend and I are now experts in removing dubious stains from carpets, sheets and even walls from time to time. Once our guests have checked out we open the door in anticipation of what awaits, like russian roulette but with mud (I looked like mud anyway…), smushed fruits (?) and body odour. Oh what fun we have!
All in all though the experiences have been good if not interesting/educational! It really is awesome sharing your space with so many different people, even if you do sometimes fear for your life or have to confront the cat with her weight issues from time to time…