Shampoo & Booze 42: What We Learned From Staying In Six People's Homes

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After a month in Ireland, our Airbnb experiment was a success. It was fun to rent a car and simply drive around the country, spontaneously renting places to stay every couple days. I hope more people get hip to this style of travel. The fact that we could stay in our own little home (vs a stuffy hotel) and meet local people made the experience super enjoyable. We're already talking about taking another month long trip next year.

That being said, staying in other people's rentals helps us know what works and what doesn't work. Here's a short list of things we didn't like:
--Don’t charge people for extras. Just add essentials into your price. One guy wanted us to heat the cabin with wood, but make us pay 5 Euro for each basket of wood we used.
--Hooks hooks hooks! In every room, bedroom and bathroom. Don't make your guests drape their clothes, coats etc over chairs.
--Have nice, matching hangers (wood or bamboo). They're cheap! Too many places had just a handful of bent metal hangers with torn paper from the dry cleaners.
--Provide liquid soap & shampoo. One guy had used bar soap in the shower and sink. That’s gross.
--In this day and age, it's easy to give guests GPS coordinates to your place. That will take us right to your house when using Google Maps. You should even check that Google has your address correct. If not, it's easy to send Google a note to correct the map.

Anyway, now that we're home, the renovation work on our second rental has started in earnest. We're waking up at 5:30am each morning to meet with our contractors. The goal is to get this second rental on Airbnb by March. Can we do it? Tune in to find out.

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. Yes, yes, yes to hooks! And so many places, especially in Europe, don't have a place to lay out your toiletries without danger of them falling into the toilet. Glad you had a good time.

  2. Hey Jay & Ryanne - We've been thinking of buying a rental and finally found a 2 bdrm ranch with great mountain views and decent neighbors. Our area isn't nearly as touristy as yours so we could probably get $100/night. For sure we'd be booked twice a year since we aren't far from the Bristol Motor Speedway (nascar) Here are the numbers. What do you think?

    If purchased at 98k which is the asking price:
    piti 466.00
    heat/elec 150.00
    wifi 60.00
    water 50.00
    TOTAL 726.00 per month carrying charges (not to mention maintenance, mowing, cleaning, furnishing)

    Let's round it up to $800 per month carrying charges. That is $9600 per year. We'd have to rent it for roughly 100 nights in a year just to break even. After all, airbnb also gets paid their percentage.

    So, even if each guest stays a whole 7 days (unlikely), that is 14+ times it has to be cleaned, beds made, mopped, etc.... just to break even.