Making the most of high season

Former Community Manager
Former Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Making the most of high season

Handle peak season like a pro.jpg


Hello everyone,


The peak travel season can get hectic, right? More bookings mean more guest questions, more check-ins, more supplies, and tighter cleaning schedules.


Successful hosts have developed a number of clever strategies for handling the rush of seasonal traffic while still creating fantastic guest experiences. That’s why we went straight to the experts to get the best tips on staying organized and efficient during the busiest times of year. Here’s some of the smartest advice offered by hosts in the Community Center.


Stock up on supplies

Before your high season even arrives, stock up on extra cleaning supplies and amenities, and consider investing in extra linens and bath towels. That will be one less thing to worry about as you’re juggling guest needs. Filling your pantry in advance also provides you the opportunity to buy in bulk and save money.


Recycle guest messages

Guests often ask the same questions, so creating standard responses will save you a lot of time. Rather than typing out a new answer to a common question, you can reuse a response that you’ve already provided to a different guest.


To make it even simpler, you can save or edit a message from directly in the messaging stream:

  • Click Use a saved message to open a pop-up window.
  • Then click Save a new message, which adds the message to your library.
  • Click Edit saved messages to browse all of your saved messages.
  • Finally, click and edit the message that you want to send.


Sync your calendars

Keeping track of guest arrivals and departures alongside all the other things happening in your life gets even more complicated during busy season, especially if you’re keeping separate calendars. Avoid scheduling mishaps by syncing your Airbnb calendar with any other program that uses the iCalendar format, including Google calendar or the calendar on other home-sharing sites, such as HomeAway or VRBO. Learn how to sync your calendars here.


Create cleaning kits

Keep all of the cleaning supplies you might need for each room in a separate, ready-to-grab bag or bucket. For example, your bathroom cleaning kit might include rags, glass cleaner, and scrubbing powder while your kitchen kit might contain all those things plus dish soap and floor polish. This ensures you have everything you need to clean a room quickly, without having to rummage through a bunch of extra supplies or carry unneeded ones from room to room.


Streamline linen management

Having a few extra sets of linens available is the first step to a speedy turnaround between guest arrivals. A laundry service, if available, is also recommended as a lifesaver by many hosts. Other tricks include marking a corner of each bed linen set to indicate the size, room, or bed so you always know you have the right ones. If you prefer smooth sheets, you can save time on ironing by using a travel steamer while making up the bed or spritzing with linen spray and smoothing with your hands.


Do you have tips to offer other hosts for surviving a busy season?


Thank you for the last 7 years, find out more in my Personal Update.

Looking to contact our Support Team, for details...take a look at the Community Help Guides.

100 Replies 100
Level 10
Oregon, US

Love all of these tips and experiences, the latter being the key for all.


Communication, clarity, and consistency make for a win-win. I respond to every communication asap and also have several templates I personalize. I do a lot of concise communicating so I get a sense of the personality and needs of my guests in advance, do a check in before arrival to get a sense of timing, and check in during the stay daily to make sure all is well, plus a thank you follow up message after departure.


My goal is a particular ambience/expereince, and my guests book because what I offer speaks to them.  I've created ways to do that and keep costs down with well done simplicity and it's working. I've really enjoyed my guests, being conscious of those who want thier privacy, and sharing sunset wine and morning coffee with others, and a bit of warm conversation with all, so everyone recieves a personal touch, and we are all richer for it.


I love doing this.  Air BnB is not my first hosting experience, I've enjoyed traveling myself, and my whole life has been invested in providing enriching experiences, so I very much enjoy the freedom this platform offers in making this my own. 


I'm always open to new ideas, suggestions, and inspirations and I make sure to connect with each guest to discern thier feelings upon departure.  It keeps me fresh and positive. While I provide a standard for everything, it's flexible enough so each guest experience is created for them.


Here's to a great year to come!








Level 2
Las Vegas, NV

Here are a few guest touches I use;

glade air freshener plug ins. No matter how hard you clean ppl love the vanilla scent and a scent tells them it’s clean. Fresh flowers in the bathroom. Coffee makers in the guest room with mugs, star bucks, real sugar , cream and a mini fridge in each guest room. I also have a larger fridge stocked with juices in my loft, and a cabinet with snacks.  

Each toom has a reading light, tv with a fire stick. Two robes in each room. The bathroom has body lotion, shower gel, shampoo, hair dryer and extra towels. 

I try to make them want for nothing and for me to not spend to much. For anniversary’s or birthdays I supply a bottle of wine. 

Its vegas so I don’t have a curfew and check in is 24/7.  

Level 10
Pamplemousses, Mauritius

@Rebecca @Lizzie How can we possibly make the most out of the high season?Our guests are not willing to leave reviews because of the new procedure that Airbnb has recently introduced.

Level 2
Beirut, Lebanon


this was my first real season with Airbnb

i really enjoyed it and satisfied with its end result

as to toiletary ammunition I already did

the laundry service would be too costly if not done by me due to continuous increase in utilities expenses 




We have 2 Hawaiian Condo's we rent, and besides having a good reliable housekeeper, we find using a checklist is a must to ensure each guest gets what they need prior to their arrival.

We print off the "My Reservations" list from the airbnb website.  This shows each booking, dates in chronological order, name, phone number, amount of payout.

- We copy and paste this to an email to our Housekeeper and delete the payout column so they only see the dates & names, and which condo is being rented

- we use the following codes with each booking to ensure we don't forget important items to do

- RT  Request Taxes.  Hawaii doesn't allow airbnb to collect taxes on our behalf, so we must send the amount owing to each guest to pay through the resolution center.  This works well.  Just bumping up the daily rate to include taxes is a poor solution, because your daily rate looks higher than everyone elses.  We don't program the door lock until the taxes are paid.  We have 100% success with this method and are 70-80% booked in both condos

- TP  Taxes Paid

- SE   Security Notified of the arrival and departure dates of our guest (otherwise they won't be allowed through the gate)

- AR  Arrival Email sent to guest, giving directions, Door Code, Shopping & Dining Choices nearby, etc

- LP  Wifi Lock Programmed with their own unique code, with start & end dates


5 very useful reminders written onto our guest list (which we print out monthly)


Brian & Donna Lecompte

Makaha, Hawaii

Level 4
Artemida, Greece

Hi Lizzie and all, 

1) Standart message templates covering almost every possible question from guest and everything i need to know.New messages are saved as well for future use.We review and improve messages every 6 months .

2) I gather all info needed for me to know (check in time check out time, transportation needs, flight info, special requests, sightseeing plans ) at least 10 days before their arrival so i can share the exact plan with cleaning crew .

3) Stock with everything even batteries for TV and A/C remote controls .

4) Always ask our guests if they have special dietary needs or allergies . As we provide breakfast we always know if something should be removed from the kitchen. In case of allergies we triple check that specific item is removed.

5) Our house is close to airport so we have a lot of 1 night stays . We have pleanty of towels and bed  linen  to cover  4 nights of 6 different guests each night.We always clean immediately after the check out and verify condition of the house.

6) We dont have self checkin but we always welcome our guests and show them around the house.Saves a lot of time later.

7) When refilling after a check out we always refill to maximun  capacity. Refill check list saves time and is accurate

😎 Always ask guests for their prefered way of contacting them (Voice calls/SMS/Viber/WHATsapp/ other) so to have an alternative except airbnb mailbox during their arrival.Also saves time and gives guest a real sense of safety . We explain in advance that we will make their check in worry free.

9) Ask for their flight number and monitor their arrival though airport app. also saves time when delays happen. 

10) When guests are arriving with own car , i always send them link to my house via google maps AND coordinates for GPS navigator. Also ask them to narrow down their estimated arrival time to 1 hr max. 

11) Always have transportation alternative (taxi ) as some change their plans when they arrive and need a (last moment) drive home.


But AUTOMATION and PROACTIVE thinking makes the difference all year.



Yiannis - Irene 

Level 10
London, United Kingdom



Great list.


I would add to that, make sure you have a stock of spare light bulbs!


Also, it's fine to communicate with guests by their preferred method, but then make sure any important conversations/messages are also added to the Airbnb message thread, so you have a record should any problems occur.


This enabled me to have a terrible review removed because it showed that the guests had damaged my property and were lying in their review.

Level 4
Artemida, Greece

Hi Huma, 

I totally agree with you. All important messages are copied-pasted to airbnb inbox as well. 


Former Community Manager
Former Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

This is a great list @Ioannis21 and interesting to hear you also have created some message templates to help save time. If you are interested, we have a specific thread on message templates, it would be great to hear more about yours there, here is the link


You mention that you greet all your guests and show them around you home and this helps to safe time in the long run. It would be great to hear more about this, how does this save you time? 🙂


Thanks so much for sharing your tips. 




Thank you for the last 7 years, find out more in my Personal Update.

Looking to contact our Support Team, for details...take a look at the Community Help Guides.

Level 4
Artemida, Greece

Hi Lizzie, 

Thank you for sharing the message templates conversation .

i will  update with full details later today.

regarding your question, Even we dont use self checkin but welcome our guests in person this saves us time  and ensures customer satisfaction as : 

1) we explain everything in detail to our guests ensuring that all critical for their stay factors / and information are covered without relying on them if they read the house manual or rules .For example we have solar boiler for hot water but there are people that do not know that in a sunny day it is better to use it for shower bath before night. 

2) We answer all questions they might have so we minimize or even make null the need for further questions during their stay.

3) Although there is an established channel of communication before they arrive we believe in the human contact and this gives them a sense of safety and both sides know whom we are dealing with.

4) we have no complaints (at least so far) 

5) if there is an expectation or request from guest side not captured so far, the face to face (f2f) check in gives us time to satisfy it or deny it politely

6) Last but not least we love meeting new people and welcome them with a smile .

Afterall we are talking about the famous GREEK  hospitality. 


We have noticed that they dont have any questions or critical questions during their stay. 

More than that they dont have complaints.




Level 2
Holladay, UT

For ideas on extras, I leave a muffin per person and a small milk if they check in after 7pm. This way they don't feel compelled to run out for breakfast food right away. For other checkins I leave cookies and a small milk. (Hint-most stores carry single use milks and the expiration dates are longer so I buy a couple at a time. ) 

Also, I put a candy dish on the kitchen. Funny, I put in a variety of candy but now guests buy their own and often leave the extras in the dish!

Level 2
Dallas, TX

Our rental is a private upstairs studio with its own entry, located on the edge of downtown Dallas. It is very small--only 300 square feet--with a small kitchen approximately 9' long. All appliances are there (even dishwasher) but are small versions. The kitchen also has dishes, cookware, etc; mostly guests never use these amenities unless they are staying longer than 3 days.


We've been doing Airbnb for almost a year now, and have consistently received excellent reviews. However we do not supply as much in the way of food as some of you have reported.  There is coffee from the highly-rated coffee roaster down the street, non-perishable snack items like microwave popcorn, and condiments such as butter, mustard, jam, etc.


Reading the comments above, I question whether we should providing  breakfast as well. In the beginning we set out fresh croissants but half the time our guests didn't touch them. Am wondering--is a fully stocked refrigerator as necessary when the listing is urban, with lots of convenient coffee shops & restaurants that guests enjoy visiting?  Another thing--our space is well decorated and thoroughly furnished utilizing good space planning. However, it IS small. We only charge around $70 a night to stay, so extras like fresh flowers, breakfast, bottles of wine or beer can eat into our profit very quickly! Special items such as wine or a small cake have been provided only when we know someone is coming for anniversary or birthday.


I have never had a chance to ask other successful Airbnb hosts before and would really appreciate your feedback.

Level 7
Jacksonville, FL

Your Place sounds lovely! We are in Florida and leaving any food ‘out’ is a no no. I provide a house wine which I buy by the case from Costco at usually $7- 10 per bottle. I also have a Britta, a few local craft beers, coffee, sugar and creamer individual serving. I also have instant oatmeal, snack bars, and Emergen-C packets. The usual cupboard staples (oil, vinegar, spices, etc) as well as food storage/foil. 

It is nearly impossible to predict what each guest expects without a detailed interview. Most guests do not use the kitchen for cooking unless they are on a longer stay, as we are just blocks from great restaurants and have a convenience store at the end of the block. 


Level 2
Dallas, TX

Connie Jo & Leslie: Your response has been helpful and very much appreciated. I read through it quickly the first time and saved to read again, then failed to thank you. 


It seems we have very similar ideas on Hosting, but I especially loved seeing what you typically provide--very similar but the Emergen-C is a brilliant idea. I have now begun to put those in the bath vanity along with other items guests may have forgotten or need unexpectedly. 


Your kindness in taking the time to give me some excellent feedback is not lost on me (in spite of my slow 'thank you"!)

Level 10
London, United Kingdom




No, I don't think it's necessary to provide breakfast if you are in an urban setting with lots of cafes and a supermarket nearby. Unless, that is, you want to do it and charge enough so that it covers your costs AND your time.


I have several supermarkets within a five minute walk of the house, including a very cheap one two-three minutes away. Two are right next to the tube station and there's one only a one minute walk from the house. They are all open late and one is 24/7. There are also lots of cafes, some less than a minute's walk away. So, it really could not be easier for guests to buy the things they prefer to eat for breakfast.


There are several reasons why I don't provide breakfast:

- I don't have time to make it.

- I don't think I can charge enough to make it worth the time.

- I can't leave out any kind of food because my cats will steal it!

- I hate wasting food and I am sure a lot of it would go to waste (I stopped putting fruit bowls in the guest rooms for this reason).

- People seem to have so many allergies, intolerances, preferences and special requirements these days. Even buying the right type of milk (full fat, semi-skimmed, skimmed, lactose-free, dairy-free, soya, almond, coconut, oat etc. etc.)

- If you start providing catering, especially a cooked breakfast, you may be falling foul of local laws. Are you sure you can do this legally without a liscence/registration, health inspections, taxes etc.? Is it even allowed for you to do this in a private home?


So, I offer my guests different types of tea and coffee, sugar, sweetener, hot chocolate, jam, honey, syrup, oats/muesli and cookies (with big label as containing nuts). If they want milk, they are welcome to use mine if they are happy with lactose-free semi-skimmed! As I host in my own home, I also have plenty of oils, spices and condiments that they are welcome to help themselves to. I always offer to make them a drink on arrival, but ususally they only want a glass of water. Tap water is safe to drink here, plus I have a filter tap and put a carafe and glasses in each room, but unfortunately, many guests still buy loads of little plastic bottles.


That's it! If there is a special occasion, they get prosecco and/or chocolate.

Level 2
Dallas, TX

Huma, your response was helpful and very much appreciatedl. I read it right away  but saved it to read again when not just scanning emails, and then forgot that I had not yet thanked you.  You are really kind to provide such thorough feedback!

Level 2
Toronto, CA

I I found the same. I have bought us all or English muffins Jam salted and unsalted butter Etc and sometimes the guest don't touch it at all period a lot now do not drink coffee but I always have coffee on for myself in the morning if I'm here and I'm always make more so I share it. I do ask them in my responses not to purchase staple foods when they get here and when I have leftovers like I've accumulated 11 different kinds of rice I donate it all to the food bank in my area. I think we need to remember that Airbnb a started with two guys sharing a futon and I'm sure they didn't go overboard on anything else as they couldn't afford it. So we're not operating five star hotels although we do get 5 star ratings. We are offering an alternative and just check with the guests ahead of time to make sure of whether they have special needs or allergies that night might need to be accommodated. I started out big and I've gradually cut back. My biggest thing is fresh towels clean sheets and a clean bathroom those are the biggest things that keep the reviews positive and high in number

Level 10
Minneapolis, MN

Greetings R Jane.  My co-host and I have been doing this for about  9 months.  Everything has gone generally well.  Our listing is a 1 bedroom apartment which is part of my duplex (I'm next door) and I'm able to provide the comforts of home such as a private bathroom, full kitchen with dishes & utensils, a dining room w/business center (computer), lending library with games and tourist information, and a den/living room.


Breakfast is definitely not on the agenda since I work and wouldn't have time to prepare items for guests.  Also, some prefer to avoid cooking and check out our local restaurants.  However, guests do arrive to find fresh flowers and a welcome card.  In the kitchen, there are non-perishables in the pantry (many from former guests) and condiments in the fridge.  There is also water and an assortment of soft drinks in the fridge.  By the stove, we leave a basket of snack products made in MN.  Those are very popular and guests often take the contents of the basket when they leave.


If guests share a special occasion they're celebrating with us prior to their arrival, we may decorate and/or provide something special such as elegant candy or alcohol.  It has been a fun year so far!  


Good luck and thanks for sharing your experiences!

Hi Jane, I've been a host for 6 years, and a superhost most of that time.  I provide some Seattle-specific non-perishable snacks at check-in.  I used to also have fruit, cream, and flowers.  I've discontinued the perishables, though if I'm in the mood to bake, there might be some cookies.  Along with the snacks is a personal, hand-written note.  The note demonstrates that I know why they're in town (visiting family, work, etc) and just makes things that much more personal.  


I also provide lots of little things to make their stay easier:  food storage containers, shopping bags, oil and spices, laundry & dishwasher detergent, and so on.


There's no way I'd want to be in the business of providing breakfast!  I did that early on and it was just a lot of work.  There have definitely been no complaints.


My philosophy:  a very accurate listing (good and not-so-good), excellent communication, cleanliness, and only good surprises make for happy guests.

Level 2
Cottage Grove, OR

This is my third year and I have been scaling back on perishable food items and no longer provide fruit or baked goods because more than half the time they weren’t used and went to waste. I keep instant oatmeal packs, Luna or Cliff bars and microwave popcorn available. They are really cheap and don’t go bad. I do have beer available in the fridge and only about 1 in 10 guests drinks it, so cost-wise in minimal. I stopped offering bottled water and yogurt because of the environmental impact of plastic packaging. If I have a guest staying for more than 2 days I might offer a bit more since they are paying more (like a bottle of wine or some fruit) So far it’s been a success!