The AirBnB Surprise

I’ve written about AirBnB twice before, once as we were about to embark on our first ever position as host, and the other afterwards, refreshers here and here.  As we hosted our third group of people, an unintended consequence hit me square in the face.  AirBnB is so much more than a hosting or rental site, it’s a site for making real in-person connections.

After our first hosting experience, the Austrian family that called our home their home for a few days invited us to theirs.  “Come to Austria,” they said, and we certainly want to take them up on that.  Additionally, our latest stretch of guests, a wonderful pastry chef who currently calls Miami home, promised to help us plan a visit to her native Atlanta, when my husband has a conference there in early 2016.

This blog is a travel blog, and while I’ve barely scratched the surface of seeing the world, I had no idea that AirBnB would work to bring the world to me.

Happy Hump Day!

Closing the loop – AirBnB Hosting, a great experience!

A week or two ago I posted how we were renting out our home on AirBnB and how nervous I was, not just for my stuff, but for the community.  Well, I’m here to say it was an incredibly positive experience with a few lessons learned.

My husband and I used the opportunity to clean out and shred a lot of our “why do we still have this?” paperwork prior to our guests arrivals.  My husband believed the worst that could happen during this whole experience was identity theft, so all of our key documents, think passports, social security cards, checkbooks were all hidden.  One of these days we will buy a fireproof safe but until then, we were like little squirrels hiding nuts around the house, car, and office with our key documents and jewelry.  Good news, we purged a lot of unnecessary crap, like my medical bills from 2010.

Once we left for the long weekend and locked our doors, we had four days for our imaginations to cook-up the best and the worst.  So when we returned home we were really nervous about what we would find and expect, apart from about 10 loads of laundry.

Our home was immaculate.  And oddly enough, they even fixed our salt and pepper shaker!  We have the below Kate Spade Salt and Pepper set but I had broken the horn off the giraffe.  We had always just left the broken horn next to it on the table as a reminder to eventually try and fix it but I had never really gotten around to it.  Well two days after getting home, we sat down to dinner and I noticed the horn was back on our giraffe!  So whoever fixed our giraffe, thank you!$478$

I don’t know who had a hand in fixing our little pepper shaker, because we had two separate sets of guests staying with us on a super quick turnaround.  Another source of stress, but by that point what could we really do?  We were upfront with the second group about our inability to get a cleaning service in on-time, and they seemed okay with this fact.  However, this also garnered some great post-stay feedback that we will use going forward (see our lesson learned below).  We left out clean sheets and fresh towels and instructed our previous guests to strip the beds.  Our guests missed that whole “strip the bed memo”, but despite that, our second guests also seemed to enjoy their stay.

Now, if you have anyone looking to stay in Philadelphia for the Pope’s visit in September, send them our way!

Lessons learned:

  • Don’t double stack guests
  • Only double stack guests if you can get a cleaning service in
  • Anticipate extensive amount of laundry
  • Set very strict check-in/check-out times
  • Hire a cleaning service


This weekend my husband and I are doing something crazy new.  We are hosting not one, but two families via AirBnB in our home.  We’ll be out of town.

We’re no strangers to AirBnB and similar sites, as we’ve rented quite a few homes during our travels.  All homes we have respected, loved, and left just as clean if not cleaner than when we first arrived. Despite this fact, I’m a nervous wreck.  It’s not so much about the stuff (well definitely a bit about the stuff), but more about the community in which we now live.

We recently purchased our very first home in a quaint little residential area in the northeast.  What of my neighbors with small children who think they know who they are living near, but find in reality, that new families and patrons begin to come and go.  Is that fair?  Is that kind?

Maybe I’m being a bit oversensitive or invested into what it means to rent out your home when I so willingly waltz into homes, apartments, and other residences in other suburban and urban communities alike.

What do you think?  Am I over thinking this?

peter pan statue