3 Lessons You Can Learn from Being a Vacation Rental Guest in Your Own City

airbnb guest vacation rental host


There’s something enchanting about being a guest in your own city. Have you tried it?

Getting out of your own home and trying out a new place can give you a new perspective on the city or give you a whole new way to explore and learn about new (or some of your favorite!) neighborhoods. There are few “downsides” to being a townie on a trip.

In fact, have you considered what you could absorb just by “spying” on other hosts? There’s a wealth of knowledge and hosting tips to be found just by doing a little in-person research.

Here are 3 things you can learn from being a vacation rental guest in your own city.

1. What “works” and what doesn’t when it comes to comfort.

This is a great time to weed through listings and find a few that have things you’ve been considering adding yourself – a Netflix subscription, a video game console, a specialized work or exercise spot… Whatever it is you’ve been thinking about, seek it out.

Alternatively, seek out things you love and wish you had in your own place, whether or not you plan to add them to what you offer in your place.

Now, book a stay and – here’s the key – stay like you’re an out-of-towner. Plan some activities out of the house and scope out the neighborhood. Act like you’re on vacation!

Think about how likely you might be to use that video game console. Would you use the yoga space?

Do some soul searching: Is it worth the investment to include that shiny, new thing? Because maybe you’ll find that it isn’t.

Get creative, think outside the box, and leave no stone unturned.

2. What you’re missing in your own vacation rental.

Plenty of guests choose Airbnb or other vacation rental sites because they like to feel a sense of “belonging” in the city where they stay. Others like the “homey” feel as opposed to the stark, stiff feeling of a hotel. Whatever their reasoning, as a host, you can play that to your advantage.

Take time to look around you and see what creature comforts you appreciate most. If possible, think about how you can incorporate them into your own place. Alternatively, consider the inverse: What are you offering to your guests that your host isn’t? As a guest, how does that make you feel? How much better would your stay be if you had those things?

3. How to improve your listing description.

This is one task that will require a keen and careful eye.

Early on during your stay, pull up your host’s listing description and go through it while “walking” their place with a fine-toothed comb. What were they specific about in their listing and do their promises live up to reality?

What things do you see that are missing from their description that might be helpful to first-time guests to the city? Alternatively, what’s missing from their description and also nowhere to be found that might be helpful?

Keep a list of these things so you can refer back to it when you review your own listing.


Who knew doing research could be so much fun? This year, take a few moments to really scope out your competition and get out of the house to do it. Make this a fun project and see how much you can benefit from it.


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