Airbnb Guest Etiquette | How to be a great Airbnb Guest

Airbnb Guest Etiquette | How to be a great Airbnb Guest

If you’re someone who usually stays in hotels when you hop across the globe, the thought of arriving at a stranger’s house in a foreign city and staying in their spare room can be rather daunting, especially in the context that this kind of travel is still relatively new and Airbnb guest etiquette is still a bit iffy.

How much chit-chat with your host is too much when you first arrive? Is it rude to ask lots of questions about public transport, local shops and where to find the best coffee? What are the house rules like? - let me assure you that these are all very valid questions, because you obviously want to be a considerate guest. So let’s dive right into Airbnb Guest Etiquette.

What Is Airbnb Etiquette?

Etiquette is a set of rules and habits commonly accepted within a group, culture, or society. Airbnb etiquette is the set of common trends and practices that most users on the platform abide by. These etiquette trends help to reduce problems and frustrations between guests and hosts.

As a guest, it’s also a good idea to be courteous when interacting with your host. It helps to make their job easier and can improve your guest experience. By employing a few simple etiquette hacks, you can be a perfect guest and improve your guest rating.

How Does Airbnb Etiquette Improve The Host And Guest Experience?

Airbnb etiquette improves users’ experience on the platform and can limit problems. This happens because all users follow the same protocol and standards. For example, if a guest wants to bring a pet to a non-pet-friendly vacation rental, they should ask the host first. That way, the host will be able to say yes or no, which can prevent any arguments from happening later.

What Are Some Surefire Ways You Could Improve Host And Guest Experience?

1. Communicate with your host

Good communication is a two-way street, and you should stay in contact with your host from booking to checkout. Respond to the messages they send, and message or call them if you have any questions.

If your plans change, try to let your host know as soon as possible. If you let them know sooner than later, they can do their best to accommodate any new requests you might have.

2. Be honest and upfront

Don’t try to slip things past your host hoping they won’t notice. For example, if you have extra guests beyond the rental’s guest limit, ask your host if they could be included. The same goes for if you’d like to host friends at the rental.

If you’re unhappy with something, don’t be afraid to let your host know! They aim to provide a perfect vacation for you. If something is less than perfect, they would rather be able to correct it. Remember, honesty is always the best policy!

3. Try to be punctual

Your host might have made special arrangements for your check-in procedure, so try to be punctual as a courtesy to them. If you’re delayed or can’t check in on the scheduled day, let your host know as soon as possible, so they can make alternate arrangements. If you don’t do this, you might end up in a situation where you’re unable to access the property, frantically trying to call your host.

4. Treat their house as if it were your own home

This should be a given, but remember to treat your host’s home as if it were your own. Mistreating household amenities or appliances goes against Airbnb etiquette. If you’re unsure how something works, check the Airbnb welcome book shared with you for instructions. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to call or message your host - again communication is key.

Generally speaking, a cleaning team will come in after you have checked out to clean the property, but you should try to clean up where you can. Don’t leave used wrappers or papers lying all over the floor, and wash any dirty dishes before you leave. Doing this will show your host that you respect their property, which can also improve your guest rating.

Follow their house rules and any special requests

5. Follow their house rules and any special requests

Always follow the house rules set out by your host, and be mindful of any special requests that they make for the duration of your stay. Remember that their rules are in place for a reason. If there is a rule you would like to query, always message your host and ask before finalizing your booking. Your host might be willing to make an exception for you, but it is best you check this before booking.

6. Check out at the specified time

As a guest, you book your hosts’ rental from the check-in time on your first day to the checkout time on your last day. Any time you spend further in the rental is not part of your Airbnb booking and can cut into your hosts’ time and cleaning plans. It’s principled Airbnb etiquette to check out at the specified time set by your hosts. Doing this will allow your host to do cleaning and maintenance work so that the rental is ready for the next round of guests.

If, for any reason, you’re running late or cannot check out at the specified time, try to let your host know as soon as possible and explain the circumstances.

7. Read and understand the cancellation policy

Booking cancellations can sometimes be made by both hosts or guests. No matter who cancels, Airbnb etiquette dictates that they should let the other party know as soon as possible. This minimizes any inconvenience and reduces the chance of them receiving a bad review. Depending on the airbnb cancellation policies, guests may still have to pay part of the booking cost if they cancel after check-in.

7. Leave a review for your host

Good reviews are essential for any Airbnb business to succeed. If you enjoyed your stay, don’t forget to leave 5 stars for your host! Leaving a review for your host can also encourage them to leave a guest review back for you.

If you didn’t enjoy your stay or found that something was wrong, you are entitled to leave a negative review. But, try to leave constructive criticism in your feedback to help the host improve their service to future guests. Using your reviews to just complain can potentially make you look like a “fussy” or “difficult” guest. Future hosts who see this might feel uncertain about accepting any bookings you make.

Unspoken Rules Of Airbnb Etiquette

Are hosts and guests meant to hang out?

Depending on the size and style of the rental property, hosts and guests may end up sharing living spaces. The shared spaces could be a kitchen, bathroom, living room, or outside area. There could be some confusion surrounding the social aspect of Airbnb etiquette if this situation arises. The short answer is no, there’s no obligation to do this. If the host provides an Airbnb Experience or is a registered tour guide, then it’s considered acceptable to do so. Hosts and guests otherwise usually don’t spend time together unless both parties decide to.

Are guests meant to tip their hosts?

Tipping your Airbnb host is not common practice for guests. Hosts provide a service and are free to calculate their pricing to cover their business costs and turn a profit. Tipping is thus unnecessary and is usually considered a “no-no” in guest do’s and don’ts. Tipping could create a negative effect if some guests tip and others don’t because they can’t afford to. Rather show your appreciation by writing a thank you note or leaving a small gift for your host.



Perfecting your etiquette with the host, only maximizes your holiday experience. So in a nutshell, here’s what we discussed in the article.

Before you book

  • Introduce yourself. Share your bio in your profile and verify your identity. Hosts like to know who you are and might be more likely to accept your request.
  • Make sure it’s a match. Examine the photos, reviews, and house rules to ensure the space and hosting style suit your needs.
  • Say hello. Feel free to contact the Host with any questions.
  • Still thirsty? Learn more about what's expected of guests.

Before your trip

  • Talk to your Host. Communicate your expectations and special needs clearly.
  • Give them a heads up. Let them know if you’re likely to be late for check-in.

On your trip

  • Keep your word. Honor your commitments—including arrival time—and house rules.
  • Be polite. Enjoy the place as if you were staying with friends, and be respectful of the neighbors.
  • Live local. Explore the neighborhood and support local businesses—ask your Host about their favorite spots.
  • Be cool. Get your Host’s permission before inviting guests over.
  • Reach out. When in doubt, message your Host with questions and concerns.

After your trip

  • Leave a review. Always leave an honest review for your Host. They’ll be invited to do the same for you.
  • Be constructive. Let them know what you liked, what needs work, and don't hesitate to sing their praises if you want to!

The Don’t list

  • Don’t turn up without warning!
  • Don’t arrive with a pet (unless the listing specifically says it is a pet friendly airbnb or your host agreed prior to thebooking)
  • Don’t bring along a friend who was not mentioned as part of your booking.
  • Don’t have sleepovers unless you check with your host.
  • Don’t leave your things in common areas unless you’ve been allocated specific space (i.e. a shelf in the fridge or rack in the bathroom).
  • Don’t be noisy.
  • Don’t treat your accommodation like a hotel.
  • Don’t have overly-long showers.

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