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Between April and September 2017 I've spent well over 60 nights sleeping in other peoples' homes and I've enjoyed basically every minute of it. While I get the benefit of luxuries like a kitchen space, a comfortable place to rest my head, and occasionally the company of a friendly local, who in turn gets my hard-earned money in return for the benefits above, there is so much more that I love.
Here are some small touches from my recent trips that made me say, "Wow!"
The Breakfast Cook
While I knew breakfast would be included, because it was mentioned on the very thorough listing, I wasn't expecting a beautiful two-course, freshly made meal of local cuisine every morning. My host not only made sure I was comfortable, they made sure I never went hungry either.
If you're a host and you're not up to cooking every day, that's OK! Some hosts have let us know we need to fend for ourselves, others have included bread and spread for toast or cereal and milk.
Our host couldn't meet me so in order to make sure I knew everything I needed to know about their apartment, they filmed a short youtube video on their phone, taking me on a tour of their place and sharing lots of useful information. The best thing for them is that they can use this video for every guest, instead of having to repeat themselves 1,000 times...
If you're not comfortable posting a video, leaving a helpful list or some Post-It notes* around the place is just as good. As long as you tell me how to use the shower (if it's complex), or anything else important, I'm happy.
The Gift Giver
After a long journey, there is something so nice about arriving to find a small gift. Recently I arrived to an apartment to find some locally made treats and a small note that simply said: "Eat me!" It was such a nice touch and instantly made me feel welcome. There are also scientific studies that show that giving a gift is nicer than receiving one.
Equally good gifts might be some fresh flowers or a small handwritten postcard with well-wishes.
The 7-Day Discounter
So this one happens before we arrive, but I still love it, so I had to include it on my list.
Airbnb offers hosts the ability to discount their rates if guests stay for longer than a certain number of days. I've been lucky to enjoy discounted rates for places where I have stayed 7 nights or more, which always helps stretch the travel budget that little bit more.
Since I often stay for seven days or more, it's nice to have access to some extra things. One towel per person is perfectly good, but two towels* per person is 100 percent awesome. That way I can wash one set and use the other without a worry in the world. The same goes for sheets, blankets, and even toilet paper.
Extra credit goes to the hosts who have a stash of additional toiletries like toothpaste, shaving cream, and tampons for those 'uh-oh' moments.
And an A++ goes to the hosts who include coffee, tea, washing powder, and soap as part of their 'basics'.
The Local Guide
The best part about avoiding a hotel is getting to experience the town you're visiting. That can be made even better with real recommendations made by a host! Hosts are also super knowledgeable about using local public transport. We have even seen listings which include a public transport pass for the duration of your stay!
If you're hosting in a city with a great public transport or daily deal app, sharing information about this is super helpful too.
So, there you have it.
There are just six little "Wows" that I've enjoyed so far in my Airbnb use this year alone. What are some of your favorites?
*If you use this link you will get a discount on your first transaction and I will get some Airbnb credit too. Other links may be affiliate links which will reward me if you go on to buy.