Shampoo & Booze 40: Running Our Airbnb From The Road

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Every year we take two long trips for about a month each time. We're usually doing some work on these trips, but we also love traveling because it keeps us feeling fresh and motivated when we get back home. When you work for yourself, burnout is the biggest pitfall. Travel is the great burnout antidote.

For the next couple weeks, we'll be in Ireland. Several years ago when we were renovating our farmhouse, we dreamed of having our future Airbnb rental pay for our travel. Fast forward to the present and we can say this actually happening now!

We've rented a car and will be driving around Ireland with really no plan. We're staying in little houses every two or three nights that we find on Airbnb. The money we spend on lodging is being paid for by the people renting our Airbnb back home where we have a friend acting as our manager. We're actually making money because we're staying in smaller, more inexpensive places. It's a dream come true.

While we're on this Irish adventure, we're also busy planning our renovation for the river house. As soon as we get back, the big project begins. Contractors will be hired. Building material will be bought. Money will be spent (and spent and spent). Pressure will build. Stress will happen. So any planning, schedules, and cost predictions we do now will at least give us the illusion that we're on top of this big project. We just keep reminding ourselves that all the time and investment will be worth it when we get this second place rented and making money.

Our October rental schedule is almost full booked as people come to our area to enjoy the cool weather and watch the leaves turn. But winter is coming so we know slow times are coming. Hope things are good with you.

Here are link we discussed on the podcast:
  • Airbnb has a simple tool to give you an idea of how much your place is worth if you rented it. We find it to be showing you top market value.
  • Airbnb announced their anti-discrimination policy after there was evidence that some hosts were racial profiling.

Thinking of becoming an Airbnb host or guest? Use our referral code and get $20 off your next stay or $80 credit if you become a host!


  1. We just got back from England and stayed in two airbnbs. They were just for one night each, and were just for one bedroom + bathroom privileges. At the first one we were very disappointed because the hostess wasn't home when we got there and we had to sit outside on her steps after 36 hours of exhausting travel. Finally got a hold of her and the key was under the mat the whole time. Poor communication for sure. This room was cramped with two twin beds pushed together and, bizarrely, a table lamp sitting right on one of the beds. My SO strung it up with dental floss so that it was perched precariously on a window sill, but at least off of the bed. I had told her ahead of time that my SO is allergic to cats and we arrived to find her cat confined to that room.

    The second one was our last night before coming home and that one was great, although very hard to find in the dark. Great hostess there who is also an ebay seller. Bonus!

    1. Yes, Airbnb hosts can be hit or miss. It's crazy when a host doesn't communicate the most obvious details of your stay. Or doesn't think that a weirdly furnished bedroom is inappropriate.

      These days, we always sort by "Superhosts". This means we only get shown places that are run by experienced hosts. We also always read the reviews since other guests will warn us if something's up. Usually there are enough Superhosts in a given area to give us choices.

      Right now we're staying in a gorgeous 17th century stone house in rural Ireland that's been converted with all the modern conveniences. And it's only $80 a night. Took me about 30 minutes of searching to pick this place from 30 other choices.

  2. That place sounds outstanding! Both of the places we stayed at were chosen for proximity to the Winchester train station or Gatwick airport, also because they had ground floor rooms which I like. The rest of our trip we stayed at regular b&bs which are pretty thick on the ground in England. We had fun driving on the other side of the road too. Don't you love roundabouts?

  3. Wow..that 17th century stone house sounds incredible. I'm green with stomach started to butterfly when I read that. Just the history of such a house. Amazing!!!

    Did you guys see this video on Youtube entitled "why your Airbnb may be illegal": d4cb0bd1ca9e437ec2427a0a0b067194

    1.'s the link:

  4. Hi again! Hope you are enjoying your trip abroad-I just got back from a little European adventure myself where I stayed in primarily Airbnb's in Barcelona, Greece, and Croatia for 3 weeks Lots of different styles/experiences/places but mainly I have all positive things to say. Only 1 host in a very tourist locale at the end of what I am assuming was a heavy tourist season seemed uninterested if I actually arrived, was settled in, knew where I was going, etc ;)
    In terms of having a friend/assistant easily access your listing information, pretty new, but there is a 'Co-host' feature that is about 2 months old. I've tried it both as a host myself and for my friends' listings I manage, and mostly like it. To access-go to 'my listing', then get the menu on the left side, and then all the way at the bottom you should see 'Management' underneath 'Co-hosts' and then you can explore from there.

    1. yeah we see that too, some hosts are great, some are chaotic and don't care. but we find that to be rare thank goodness. we will check out the Co-host feature for sure, thanks for pointing that out!

  5. Hey guys! Been really enjoying the podcast. I've been binge listening and up to about episode 25 so far. Keep up the good work!

    A bit of feedback:

    1. I subscribe via Pocket Casts and the episode subscriptions are basically useless. Basically says something along the lines of "iTunes youtube Download .mp3"... and a very short snippet of actual content. Maybe can tweak that somehow?

    2. We lowered our daily price from $90 to $70 but increased our cleaning fee from $20 to $60. This is to encourage the more ideal longer stay guests as the price per night decreases as you stay longer vs the original pricing plan.

    When guests search on AirBnb they see the price per night pay with cleaning and service fees. So we tend to show up toward the top of the list when people search for three night or longer stays but are lower on the list for one or two night stays. Have you guys tried playing with this?

    I know the principal of it you're thinking you hate to pay that much for cleaning, but in the end it's all about the total price for the value vs the alternatives.

    We basically eliminated one-nighters (and if we do get one it's a pretty good payday) and are seeing our median average shift from two-nighters to three-nighters. We had a three week request but didn't work out because of dog situation.

    Keep up the great work!

    1. Welcome Cyrus. We'll check our podcast feed and see if we can better structure the info. Thanks for the tip.

      Interesting with your price changes. That does make sense to lower the nightly price, but raise the price of cleaning. In the end, it's really all the same price....unless someone books for a week (which is a good thing).

      But this also shows why I hate the cleaning fee. I wish we could all compete on just price and we each can build in the cleaning price we want. Just like a hotel price. Still feels like bait and switch! I'm glad Airbnb shows the guest the comparisons between places based on the combined cost of reservation/cleaning.

      We don't allow one night reservations because of the hassle of cleaning up for such a small profit. Plus single night reservations can block longer reservations. Someone books just books a Friday night can ruin the chance of booking the entire weekend.