Travel is amazing. It opens you up to whole new worlds of landscapes, cultures, cuisines, people, etc. As much as you plan your travel ahead, however, there are always things that don’t go as planned. It’s these unexpected mishaps, particularly the ones you can laugh at, that really shape your memories of travel. Here are 11 of the funniest stories of Airbnb mishaps.
From an Airbnb host in London...
We had a guest who was a lovely lady but a little short on common sense. We had just changed the locks and made sure it was super easy to unlock and locked automatically when the door is closed. Our guest, who had checked in, called me to say that she had been locked in. I initially assumed that she had not been given the keys but the photographs she sent me showed her holding the keys. She said she had tried to unlock the door for 30 minutes and failed and was unable to leave.
I start to explain to the lady how to open a door but she just won’t understand that after pulling the handle down she also had to pull it, so the door would open. Instead, she held onto the handle, waiting for it to open on its own. It took me 30 full minutes to make her understand.
There is a saying in my family that ignorance is contagious. Since then we have had 5 other guests who were also unable to work a door, confirming the saying.
From a guest who stayed in an Airbnb in Tokyo...
My best friend and I stayed in a converted bedroom in a shared family home with a middle-aged couple and their 6 year old son. They were very nice to us. The mother was super hospitable and made sure all our needs were taken care of.
We had come in from staying in Okinawa and had a sizable amount of dirty laundry. We washed our clothes and hung them up to dry on the rooftop and then went sightseeing. When we got back, all of our clean laundry had been folded into neat little cubes and placed in our suitcases. These also included our bras and panties. We were super grateful to the hostess for going the extra mile but also mortified that a total stranger had gone through our underwear.
From a host in Great Broughton, UK...
We had 2 guests who rang our cleaner after they left saying they had left a paper bag under the wardrobe but refused to say what was in it. Because new guests had already checked in, we had to wait till they went out to go retrieve the bag. Because they did not say what was in it, we assumed it was something shameful like a dirty video or maybe even drugs. When we did pick up the bag, it fell open, revealing about #15,000 in cash, neatly bundled up. With our eyes popping out of our heads, we took the bag with the money and left.
Back at my house, I called the owners and made arrangements for them to pick up their cash. What I did not know was that my new guests, who had left for a walk, had already found the bag of cash. Finding it suspicious, they had then left a hair on the door handle when they left. When they returned to the Airbnb, they found the hair had fallen off and the money was gone. They assumed the bag was some kind of drug money stash and not wanting to put their family in danger, packed up and left the cottage, the village, and the country. They also stopped by the police to let them know what had taken place.
Luckily the local policeman knew us and came up to find out what was happening. Turned out the money was not a drug stash but honestly earned cash. Our previous guest merely hated banks!
We wrote to our second set of guests explaining what had happened and apologizing for the scare though we never heard from them again.
From a host in Auckland, New Zealand...
I got a call from a guest saying he could not find the keys. He insisted that there were no keys in the key box. So I asked my neighbor to check the box and they reported that the keys were indeed in the box. When my neighbor handed the keys to the guest, they were completely bewildered by the strange metal things hanging on a key ring. My guest had apparently never used a traditional key before and was only used to swipe cards.
From a guest who stayed in an Airbnb in Cartagena, Colombia...
My husband and two younger daughters were staying in an Airbnb that was right next to our host’s tattoo parlor. The wall separating us was thin. Throughout the day we would hear tough sounding male customers come in to get tattooed and end up screaming and cursing as they got inked. We giggled the whole time. We also learned a lot of Spanish cuss words.
I had bought new dark blue towels to match the décor in the guest’s bathroom. I had washed them first to get rid of any excess dye. We had a guest come into stay: a well-dressed young man with a 5 ‘o' clock shadow. He only stayed one night. When he left the next morning, after a shower, he thanked me before leaving. I noticed there was a lot of dark blue fluff caught in his beard. I wanted to say ‘you have fluff on your face’ but was afraid he might think I was judging the fact that he was unshaven. Before I could phrase it differently, he left.
I rewashed the towels several times until they stopped shedding.
As related to one Airbnb host by another...
It was my very first booking. A family with kids who were going to share my home. Because they were getting late and I had to leave for work early, I told them I would leave the front door unlocked for them. I made sure everything was ready for them, even left the lights on, and went to bed.
Soon as I woke up the next day I knew I had automatically locked the front door before going to sleep. I ran to open the door and found the whole family asleep on the front porch, covered in coats and clothing. Luckily they were very nice people and didn’t begrudge me. They went on to have a great stay.
I was traveling for work and using a new calendar. When I saw that it was my guest’s last day, I sent him a goodbye message, hoping he had a good stay and wishing him safe travels. I then forgot and later resent it to him. That night, when I checked the calendar I realized that it had not synced with mine. He was only checking out the next day. I had sent him a goodbye message twice, one day early as if to indicate I couldn’t wait for him to leave.
Luckily he was a good sport and even left me a great review.
From a guest who stayed in an Airbnb in Malaga, Spain...
I was on vacation with my husband. Our host was very welcoming. On the last day, he even taught us how to make his grandmother’s paella recipe. He also invited his friend Kiko over. Kiko however was freshly heartbroken and was moping the whole night while we tried to cheer him up.
After the meal, they wanted to drop us at the airport. Kiko was driving. He played the saddest music at full volume and was crying the whole time while driving. We had to keep consoling him while also keeping an eye on the road because Kiko wasn’t.
My guests, a couple, arrived early and their room was not ready. I allowed them to drop their bags off and leave with their keys to go explore the city. The day was particularly hot. So after they left I stripped down to my underwear, put on my iPod, and started ironing the bed linen. My guests however had forgotten something and came back. To find me shaking my skinny booty and singing loudly to Florence and the Machine, in just my skivvies.
We rented a room on Airbnb, with a private bathroom adjacent.
We were in the kitchen when he heard repeated loud banging. We just assumed our neighbor was doing some work. We didn’t realize that the lock inside our guest’s bathroom had broken and that he had forgotten to take towels with him. He only had a small hand towel in the bathroom and the only way he could escape was to climb out of the window.
Our poor guest had to run past the kitchen window and through the kitchen where our grandchildren were having breakfast while naked. I did notice that he was laughing as he did so, so we knew he had also seen the funny side of the whole situation.
As mortified as he was, he felt comfortable enough to book a stay with us the next month.