Are your guests giving you a hint?



Last year I stayed with a couple in Nashville while I was attending a conference there. 

They were friendly enough people, the room was comfortable, and the house was clean.

My strongest memory of them, however, is of how much they talked. 

My conference was 3 full days of lectures, networking, and general “extrovert” activities. As a natural introvert, this took a lot of energy out of me every day. When I arrived back at my Airbnb, I just wanted to go straight to bed. 

Yet I had to walk past the living room to get to my bedroom. All 3 nights I was there, my hosts were in the living room watching TV. All 3 nights, I greeted them, but then quickly followed up with how tired I was and how much I was looking forward to going to bed.

And all 3 nights, they talked to me for over an hour before I could gracefully make my exit. 

This is a tricky balance for hosts. You want to be friendly and approachable. If you’re like many hosts, you are also on Airbnb partly because you enjoy meeting new people. So it can be hard to let interesting guests pass by without much conversation. 

That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to non-verbal cues. If your guest is not sitting down, shifting their weight or yawning a lot, checking their watch, etc, those are probably pretty good indications that they don’t really want to talk right now. 

Don’t take it personally. I’m sure you’re a very friendly person. Perhaps they, like I, simply had a long day. Try to be sensitive to your guests’ needs. Some guests will be happy to chat as long as you want. But for the rest, try to respect their needs and give them space if desired.

I know from experience, it can make a big improvement on the quality of their stay!

Creating memorable stays in nondescript places



Many people are intimidated by the thought of hosting, because they don’t feel like their space is “good enough.” It’s not nice enough, or big enough, or in a good enough location, yada yada yada. 

They forget that the ambiance you create matters much more than the physical characteristics of the space.

A few months ago, Michael and I stayed in a delightful little Airbnb on the outskirts of Chattanooga. It was tiny, just a converted one-car garage, yet it truly was delightful. It had concrete floors and cinder-block walls, like one would expect in a converted garage. But it also had a wonderful bed, and a comfortable lounging area, and fun little details all over the place.

Despite the fact that they didn’t have much to work with originally, the owners had put their heart into it. They had worked hard to put character and comfort into their little converted garage, and it showed. 

Some of my best, most memorable Airbnb stays have been in simple, nondescript places. Despite the lack of high-class amenities, the hosts themselves had put in the effort to make their space wonderful, and it had paid off.

The best example of this principle, of course, is Vee, the Australian host who gave Michael and I the best hosting experience of our lives, despite having nothing more in her space than 2 twin beds in a small, cramped room. 

It’s not difficult to create memorable stays in nondescript places. You just have to be a little creative!

You don’t have to have a great space to give a great experience



A few years ago, my husband and I went to New Zealand. It was a magical trip.

We saw rare glowworms in Waitomo, visited Hobbiton in Matamata, played in the hot water beaches in the Coromandel, and more. 

But what always strikes me about our trip whenever it comes up in conversation is that we always, without fail, talk about one of our Airbnb hosts just as much – if not more – as we talk about the amazing sights we saw. 

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My first experience traveling with Airbnb



A friend of mine once told me that I look at flights like most girls look at clothes: “ooh, that looks nice, I’m going to get it.” 

It’s a funny analogy, but I can’t really disagree. The thought process behind my decision to go to Australia a few years ago went something like this: “I want to visit all 7 continents and I haven’t been to Oceana yet. Hmm…Cairns sounds good.”

Happy Thanksgiving from Dubai!



Happy Thanksgiving! I’m spending it enjoying ridiculously priced drinks in the Burj Al-Arab, the only 7-star hotel in the world. 

The $30 drinks were really quite average, but I still say it was worth it! We were definitely paying for the experience, not the drinks. 

Airbnb spaces are sadly lacking in this part of the world, so we settled for a plain ol’ ordinary hotel. I got some great pictures of the inside of the Burj Al Arab, though!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful day. Enjoy the time with your family and loved ones!