How hosts handle items forgotten by guests?


How hosts handle items forgotten by guests?

Hi, I’m interested to know, how have other hosts handled forgotten items? I have a pair of boots that were left behind by guests. They had a cross country drive to my house, 35 hours drive time, so I don’t imagine they’ll be swinging back by to pick them up.  I messaged the person who booked the stay, but haven’t heard back. It’s been 3 days.  


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1 Best Answer

Thank you for all of the great input!

Update: about two weeks now since guest forgot boots- I messaged day one that they were left at our house and tonight I spoke with the booking guest and asked him, had none of his friends realized they're missing their boots? nice Timberlands left under the table.


Once someone claims them, I'll offer to ship, otherwise when you come to Colorado and have the right sized feet, I have boots in the mudroom for ya!


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27 Replies 27
Level 10
Huntington Beach, CA

@Krista371 I would message them, once more and ask if they would like you to mail the boots to them ? They  can pay you ahead of time on the Airbnb platform. 

I’ve done the same thing 

Level 10
San Diego, CA

@Krista371   It could be that they haven't looked at their Airbnb messages, so you could text them on their phone number, perhaps they are driving elsewhere after visiting you.  But always use the Airbnb message system as well so that Airbnb also has a record of your attempts to return them.

Message again and offer to mail the boots, have them pay in advance.  If the boots are expensive and/or fit really well it could be worth the cost to them, wait another three days for a reply.  If you still get no reply, give them a deadline, say a week hence, then donate them to the thrift shop.

I occasionally have guests leave odd socks or other small worthless items so I keep them a few days incase they message me, then throw them out.

One lady left a box of contact lenses, so I did what I suggested you do about the boots but she never replied so I threw them away - I think I kept them for a month because I wear glasses and prescription lenses are very expensive!

I've added this line on my website. (I also attempt to contact the guest.)

*Items left beyond one week will either be donated, recycled, or trashed.


Thank you.

Level 10
Balearic Islands, Spain



Guests often leave something behind. I always ask if they'd like me to send it to them. Some say yes, others say no. If they don't respond, I take it as a no. I never charge them (unless it's something big and expensive to ship, which hasn't ever happened anyway).

Level 2
Worcester, South Africa

I do the same. Once I had to send glasses to Rio de Janeiro which cost a lot. The guests paid me with PayPal for the courier. After a few weeks it was returned! Apparently they didn't collect it. So I contacted them again and sent the glasses again. They paid on PayPal again, and this time, they collected! Usually it's much simpler than that, phew!


Level 10
Sintra, Portugal

Hello @Krista371 ,


We find many things that guests leave in the house. I always send them a message as soon as I find something.
Once, a guest was still nearby and returned to pick up a sweater.
Another time, I shipped a bag of medicine and hygiene products along with a special charging cable for some medical equipment. It cost me 10 euros, but I didn’t charge the guests (at checkout, they announced they would stay again next year).
Other than those two instances, people don’t mind. Even if they realize they lost something, they tell me to donate it or keep it.

I’ve had a situation in which a guest left a briefcase outside by the carport.  It was apparent  that at the least it contained medication.   I messaged the guest who was en route to the airport-not enough time to turn around without missing flight.  I immediately mailed the briefcase to him; paid around $90 .  He in turn reimbursed me.  I followed up a few days later to confirm he received his briefcase.  
Another time a child left a pair of sunglasses.  I messaged the guest who had a family member swing by to retrieve them.  
Those were the only occurrences I’ve experienced but both ended on a positive note, thankfully!  

Level 2
Bosmie-l'Aiguille, France

Bonjour Krista,

Je contacte les voyageurs et je valide la solution qu ils souhaitent. 

Soit ils abandonnent leurs affaires, soit je leur retourne gratuitement ou en facturant les frais d envoie postaux selon le coût. 


Level 1
Nashua, NH

I message the guest and make arrangements to ship (and be reimbursed for shipping) if they want the item back and if they don’t then I donate to local charity thrift store 

Level 1
Burbank, CA

I would suggest you to document your conversations, take a picture of the items and keep a copy in a safe place.  Most likely they will not care about the items anymore. You may want to donate them to a local Goodwill or something similar. You have done the right thing and not received an answer from the guest. Usually, all forgotten items end up in the trash. Unfortunately, nothing else we can do. 

I hope this helps. Have a nice day! 

Level 2
Portland, OR

I just set items aside and wait for 30 days. If they reach out then I will ship them their forgotten item. All guests have been real respectful and appreciative. 

Hi Krista,

I contact them as soon as the item is found.  I ask if they would like the item mailed back.  If yes I get their address and mail it back at my cost.  It is usually small items, so does not cost much to mail.