We’ve all been there: Your vacation flight lands in the morning but you can’t check in to your accommodation until mid-afternoon. Or, perhaps your flight leaves town much later in the evening but you have to check out by noon. So, what can you do in those in-between hours?
Many times, check-in or check-out doesn’t line up well with your guests’ timeline. Because of this reality, they may ask for a little wiggle room when it comes to arriving or leaving.
Instead of stressing when these things come up, prepare ahead for them and avoid unexpected snags in your business. Here are 3 tips for how to manage early arrivals and late departures.
1. Offer to let your guests store bags.
When people are on vacation, they want to get the most out of the time they have. That means they may have to figure out what to do with their luggage before or after they stay with you. Depending on a lot of factors – how early or late they arrive or leave, how close the airport is, whether or not they rented a vehicle – this may prove difficult for them.
You can give your guests a little something extra to rave about by providing them with a place to keep their bags for a few hours before or after they stay with you. Whether you give them space in your home or access to a place outside, like a waterproof outdoor storage bench, you’ll potentially be saving them a lot of hassle.
Whether or not you charge your guests for this service is up to you, but we recommend offering it for free. Consider how most hotels do this for their guests for free: You’re certainly not a hotel, but you are in the business of making your guests’ stay as excellent as possible. If you choose to charge a fee, we recommend setting your price somewhere in the ballpark of what other options charge, if not offering a fairly big discount.
2. Charge a late check-out fee.
As an Airbnb host, solid check-out times are a necessity. When you’ve got guests lined up to come in the same day or even the following day, you can’t waste time getting your turnover cleaning scheduled.
When you set your check-out time in your listing, be firm. Don’t be swayed by guests, especially if you have other bookings to worry about.
If you’re providing a place to keep luggage, late check-outs shouldn’t be a common issue. However, if guests don’t follow your rules or unexpectedly aren’t ready to check out on time, charge them a late check-out fee. Be sure you’ve mentioned this clearly in your listing and do your due diligence to communicate with your guests about when they expect to arrive and leave. This way, you’ll have no headaches trying to collect the fee for your inconvenience.
3. Give specific recommendations on how to fill the in-between time.
What better way to avoid early arrivals or late departures than to usher your guests to suitable time-fillers or solutions to their problems?
- Baggage: If you’re not comfortable storing bags or don’t have a good way to do it, provide your guests with a few options on how they can do it themselves – whether that’s at the airport or at various locations in town.
- Sight-Seeing: Make a few suggestions on places your guests can see in a few short hours that are somewhat near your place. Get creative here: Choose a few local things that are off the beaten “tourist” path.
- Eateries: Your guests will need to eat on either side of their stay, so make some recommendations of where they can go to fill their tummies. If you can, talk with the restaurant or business owner about allowing your guests to store their bags while or after they dine for a few extra hours, too, for a small fee.
Dealing with early check-ins and late check-outs can certainly be a headache but they don’t have to be. As with everything, the more prepared you are, the better off your business and your guests will be.
These tips will help you manage guests looking to bend the rules and still keep you in the hosting “winners circle” – all while providing an above-expectations experience.
At MaidThis!, we pride ourselves on the quality and reliability of our work. For a cleaning service you can rely on time and time again, check out what MaidThis! can do for you.
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