Great Guest Etiquette: Airbnb Tells Us the Secret to Getting Invited Back

We’ve all felt the pressures of being a good host—to friends in for the weekend, relatives from out of town, perhaps even the odd exchange student or couch surfer. But there’s pressure on the guests as well—especially if they want to be invited back. On that front, there’s no better resource than Airbnb, the company that has built an empire around hosting. We asked Managing Editor Andy Murdock for his best tips on being a good—nay, exceptional—guest. Pack these pointers on your next trip to ensure that you wow your host, and score that return invite.

1. Give a gift, but keep it simple

You don’t need spend a lot to make a big impression. Bring something small (the more personalized, the better), like a specialty from your hometown. When you depart, leave a handwritten note, a picture, a photo—anything created during your trip.

2. Share schedules

You may be on vacation, but most hosts are in their day-to-day routine. They still have to get to work, feed the family, and run errands. Ask about their schedule so you don’t accidentally step on any toes, and let them know if you have any important time constraints as well.

3. Stay in contact

One of the most common problems we hear from hosts is lack of communication from guests at key moments. When staying in a home, there’s no 24-hour check-in desk. Everyone understands that travel can be a bit unpredictable, but a quick email or phone call can help the host prepare for a change of plans (or rustle up a last-minute supper!)

4. Be a host to your host

If you have a talent, offer your services to reflect the favor back onto your host: Cook a meal, play a song, teach a skill. Host your host and, if you didn't already know him or her personally, you might just come away with a lifelong friend.

5. Set yourself up for success

A perfect space doesn’t always have a perfectly compatible host. If you don’t know your host on a very personal level, be sure to ask questions not just about the amenities but also the experience of staying with him or her, and set your expectations appropriately. Remember: It’s not your permanent space, and the best trait of any guest is gratitude.

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