I’ve stayed at a few Airbnbs now during my sojourn around the world and I’m continuously surprised by what I find. Sometimes, everything is amazing and all the supplies and Airbnb essentials are provided by the host — like the time we rented a house in the New Forest in England that had everything you could ever possibly need. (So much glassware!) Other times, the properties are woefully empty and under stocked and completely devoid of character and essentials. I find myself frequently thinking “If only they had done X or told me Y…” As such, over the years, I’ve assembled an “Ultimate Airbnb Host Checklist” that summarizes all the Airbnb essentials I’d love to find in any Airbnb. Some of the items are fairly basic…some are a bit more advanced. But they will all guarantee an awesome Airbnb experience and contribute to great host ratings.
My Ultimate Airbnb Host Checklist: Kitchen Essentials & Supplies
Nice hand soap: The first thing I do when I arrive at an Airbnb is usually wash my hands. Travel is a dirty business! I’m surprised by how many Airbnbs don’t have any hand soap. If I’m lucky, sometimes there’s some dish soap I can use but a lot of times, there’s none of that either! (I’ve noticed now that Airbnb asks you if there was soap in the post-property review.) Small hotel soaps are fine but hand wash of some sort is just as fine.
Universal phone charger: The second thing I do after checking in an Airbnb is charge my phone. While I always carry my own chargers, I always appreciate when a host leaves a universal phone charger behind. I’m putting this on the kitchen Airbnb essentials list because I feel like most of us charge our phones in the kitchen during the day.
Salt & pepper: Once I’m checked in and my phone is charged, it’s time to determine what to do for my next meal! I like the self-sufficiency of an Airbnb and having the option to cook for myself. If you’re just traveling for a few days, it makes no sense to bring your own salt and pepper or buy full-size salt and pepper dispensers when you reach your Airbnb destination. It would be wonderful if more hosts would provide salt and pepper and other cooking essentials in the kitchen. I like salt and pepper on my eggs and salt and pepper is hard to buy in small quantities. Please make sure salt and pepper is on your Airbnb host checklist!
Olive oil and/or vegetable oil: Same as the above. A little oil can be really helpful for cooking and short-stay guests generally are not going to use an entire bottle so it’s silly to buy a bottle.
Coffee maker: I think most of us in the Western world can agree that one of the first things we do in the morning is make coffee. It would be wonderful if more Airbnbs had a coffee maker — it’s an essential item, especially if there’s no Starbucks around! I’ve found that about 50% of Airbnbs that I’ve stayed in have one right now. I suggest adding a single-serve unit like this Keurig to your Airbnb hosting checklist.
Kettle: This may be the European in me but I really rely on my kettle for everything: boiling water for pasta, instant coffee (don’t judge) or instant noodles. And of course, making a good cup of tea. Especially if there’s no coffee maker, then I need a kettle!! These are really inexpensive purchases that go along way to helping your Airbnb guest enjoy their stay.
Sugar: All this talk of coffee and maybe tea…while it’s understandable that Airbnb hosts don’t provide milk (it goes bad too quickly), it would be lovely if there was a small stash of sugar packets around. Sugar is hard to buy in small quantities! This is another item for the top of your Airbnb host checklist. Again, just the basic kitchen essentials for a short stay would be great.
Dish soap, sponge, and dish towels: If you want me to wash my own dishes, leave me with some dish soap, a sponge and a dish towel. I’m a neat and tidy guest. I don’t want to leave a sink full of dirty dishes when I leave! So make it easy for me to wash your Airbnb’s dishes by providing basic but cleaning supplies. These are definite Airbnb essentials!
Scissors: I am continuously amazed by how frequently I need scissors in someone else’s home. Just yesterday in Chiang Mai, I couldn’t get the wrapping off some brie I had bought (sorry, first world problem) but luckily, I had fingernail scissors in my bag. Add a pair of scissors to your Airbnb host checklist!
Bottle opener: I hope this one needs no explanation! It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere! Make sure your guests have a bottle opener for beer! Otherwise, they may try to bang the bottles open on your counter top and you really don’t want them to do that. This is one of the definite Airbnb essentials!
Corkscrew: Same with this one! I recommend the type with arms. Easier for guests to use for that celebratory bottle of wine. Also consider going the extra mile and leaving your Airbnb guests a bottle of wine to enjoy during their stay.
Laundry detergent: If there’s a washing machine, a small amount of laundry detergent would be really great. It stinks to have to buy a big box if you are only staying for a few days. I’m in an Airbnb in London as I write this and although there is a washer and dryer, there is no laundry detergent. I went to the store to buy some and the smallest box had 15 pods in it. I am not going to do 15 loads of laundry while I am here! If you have a washer in your property, I think offering laundry detergent is essential!
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector: A lot of Airbnbs have a smoke detector but I’m actually less worried about fire than I am about carbon monoxide, which is a silent but deadly killer. I think it’s only a matter of time before Airbnb has a major incident with carbon monoxide. I don’t understand why carbon monoxide detectors are not required Airbnb essentials — they should be on every Airbnb host checklist. It’s to the point now that I’ve considered purchasing a portable carbon monoxide detector.
Fire extinguisher: Better safe than sorry. Seriously. You never know. (Also, make sure you understand local fire code as it relates to your Aribnb property. You may be required by law to have a fire extinguisher at the property.) Please put this on your Airbnb checklist. It is definitely one of the major Airbnb essentials.
- Plates, cups and bowls, at least one set per guest. (Bowls seem to be especially rare but cereal is so easy for breakfast!)
- Silverware, at least one set per guest
- Wine glasses, at least one per guest
- Coffee mugs, at least one per guest
A good knife block. Some Airbnb guests like to cook. A good knife block is essential!
Cutting board: You do not want guests cutting things up directly on your counter tops and tables. Provide one ore more cutting boards in your Airbnb.
Pots and pans: The Airbnb I am in now came with one frying pan. That’s it!! No pasta for me then! (Oddly, although there is a frying pan, there’s no spatula.)
Oven mitts: Of course. You don’t want anyone to burn anything.
Garbage bags: Help me keep your place clean! Leave me with at least one extra garbage bag. Also, instructions for throwing out the trash. Garbage bags seem like essential items for your Airbnb host checklist.
Broom and dustpan: Give your guests an easy way to clean crumbs up off the floor by providing a small broom and dustpan. It will make your cleaners’ lives easier in the long-run, I promise!
Manuals for all the appliances: This is another head scratcher — I can’t believe more Airbnbs don’t have this! If you have a lot of small appliances, add manuals to your Airbnb host checklist and leave a binder of all the appliance manuals in your property.
My Ultimate Airbnb Host Checklist: Bathroom Essentials
Toilet paper: Most places I’ve stayed in have had at least one roll of toilet paper, but there was a place in France I stayed in that had none when I arrived. While I don’t expect my host to leave six rolls, one roll in each bathroom plus a spare roll or two would be really nice. Really, you can never have enough toilet paper.
Bath mat: I’ve been surprised by how few Airbnbs provide bath mats and wonder what the owners do themselves after they take a shower? Stomp around in their bare feet on the wet floor? I’ve actually started bringing my own bath mat with me for Airbnb stays. No one should have to do this! Make sure you provide a non-slip bathmat too.
Bath towels: One set of towels for each guest: bath towel, hand towel, facecloth. Maybe an extra set just to be nice. People are not going to bring their own towels! These are essential items for your Aribnb host checklist.
Towel rack and/or towel hooks: Oddly, the place I stayed in in France and no towel rack in the bathroom nor any hooks to dry towels. I had to hang my towels over the metal kitchen chairs to dry. You would think hosts would get this but…
Hairdryer: There are studies out there that prove that listings with hair dryers make more money. Why wouldn’t a host provide a hairdryer? (My guess is that the host is probably a dude.) This to me is an Airbnb essential.
Nightlight: Your guests may need to make a midnight trip or too to the bathroom so provide a nightlight to guide the way in case they don’t want to wake up other guests. Put a pack of four on your Airbnb host checklist so you can provide nightlights in other parts of your accommodation.
Tissues: Tissues are essential. You never know when you might need one!
Soap: For the sink and/or the shower/bathtub. Honestly, no one travels with soap! You should provide some.
Shampoo & conditioner: This is a controversial one because with Airbnb, you would think that people would realize that they need to bring their own shampoo and conditioner. I am much better about doing a little pre-Airbnb shopping now but it would be so great if hosts could put shampoo and conditioner on their Airbnb host checklist and leave some behind for every guest. Amazon even lets you buy multipacks if it helps! (With shampoo, conditioner, AND SOAP.) Alternatively, you could purchase shampoo and bodywash dispensers for the shower and fill them up regularly.
My Ultimate Airbnb Host Checklist: Bedroom Essentials
Full-length mirror. I stayed in one Airbnb once that I swear had no mirrors and it was the oddest experience. The town we were in a dining destination and has a ton of great bars and restaurants. I would assume that most guests would want to dress up a little and make sure they look nice before heading out the door! But no! Not in this apartment. A full-length mirror is an Airbnb essential!
Clothing rack. If there is no closet with hangers, purchase a simple freestanding clothing rack — like they use for fashion shows — and put it in the bedroom. I don’t always want to live out of my suitcase or throw all my stuff on a chair. Likewise, with some outfits, I don’t want to cook them in a dryer. I partially dry them and then hang them to dry from there. You definitely need to put at least one mirror on your Airbnb host checklist!
Mattress cover. Again, help me help you. Recently, I twisted my ankle while staying in an Airbnb. I had to go to bed with an ice pack on it. Of course, in the morning, the ice pack had melted all over the bed. A waterproof mattress cover would have prevented any mattress damage. Mattress covers will help your mattress last longer, protect against uh foreign matter, and they don’t need to be cleaned as often as sheets. Add one or more waterproof mattress covers to your Aribnb host checklist please.
Decent pillows: I am so disappointed in the world when I experience the pillows left in most Airbnbs. Is this how people sleep? Buy comfortable pillows for your guests! (And, apparently, for you too!!) 2 pillows per guest please! There are a ton of choices on Amazon…down, fake down, latex…anything! Personally, I love two big down pillows just for me! (Four is even better per person in my opinion but that may be a little much for your Airbnb host checklist.) Some people are allergic to feathers though so you may want to buy the artificial down pillows instead.
Pillow protectors: I am a little grossed out by how many people may have breathed into the same pillow as me. Buy pillow protectors. Your pillows will last longer because of it, saving you money! You should wash and dry your pillow protectors between guests.
Luggage rack: Want to reduce wear and tear on your bedroom? Provide guests with a simple an inexpensive luggage rack so they are not throwing their suitcases all over. This to me is an essential item on your Airbnb host checklist. It also prevents your guests from always rooting around on the floor for stuff.
Safe: This is something I wish that all Airbnbs would have, especially for international guests — definitely one of the top Airbnb essentials in my mind. I don’t always want to be carrying my passport around with me but I feel weird leaving it in a property unattended. Get a hotel safe for your guests so they can feel secure! Even non-international guests may want to leave some things behind in the safe.
Extension cord next to the bed: If there is no outlet next to the bed for charging devices, add an extension cord and set it you for your guests so they don’t go pulling out all the furniture looking for outlets. Set one extension cord up on each side of the bed to be an even better host.
Laundry basket: If you have a washer and dryer in your home, definitely add a laundry basket to your Airbnb host checklist so your guests can easily collect and later fold and distribute their laundry.
Iron & ironing board: Personally, I’m not much of an ironer but I know other people are. Tip: Buy an auto-off iron so you don’t have to worry about guests burning your property down! That will provide you with essential peace of mind!
Nightstands: I like to have a glass of water next to the bed at night. Hard to do if there’s nowhere to put it! This seems to be an odd trend these days — no nightstands. You can buy cheap tables at IKEA no problem.
Decent lighting. I’ve stayed in a lot of very dark Airbnb bedrooms. Do people not read at night before they go to bed?
My Ultimate Airbnb Host Checklist: Entrance-way Essentials
Key hook: A lot of Airbnbs only come with one set of keys so having a key hook in the foyer is a great way of making sure no one has to play the “Who has the keys?” game. (That being said, I recommend foregoing keys entirely and using keypad locks instead where you can automagically change the code between guests.)
Coat rack: If there’s space, it would be great to have a coat rack in the foyer.
Mirror: Like my bedroom suggestion although this one can be smaller. It gives people a chance to make sure they have nothing in their teeth before they leave the house!
My Ultimate Airbnb Host Checklist: Living Room Essentials
Framed wifi code. Especially if your wifi code is complicated, print it out and frame it and put it on an end table in the living room. This prevents all the guests from wondering what it is.
Instructions on how to use the television remotes. Some Airbnbs come with like 12 remotes. Make it easy on your guests by leaving instructions!!
Enough seating for your guests + 2. I rented an Airbnb with friends once and there was seriously no where for anyone to sit. There were enough beds for everyone but unless we brought kitchen chairs into the living room, not everyone could get comfortable. I’ve rented other places where we sorta have enough seating but we all have to sit on top of each other. Make sure there’s a little extra seating so your guests have some personal space.
Bluetooth Speaker: When I travel, I love listening to music. I’ve taken to bringing my own Bluetooth speaker but these are so inexpensive these days…why not have one or two available in your place for guests?
Decent lighting: Again it’s amazing to me how dark some Airbnbs are!
Summary of My Ultimate Airbnb Host Checklist
I will keep updating this post as I come up with new must-have essentials and supplies for this Airbnb host checklist. I’ve left off things like Nest thermostats and AppleTV for now because they feel more like nice-to-haves but perhaps it makes sense to add an Airbnb essentials “nice-to-haves” section to this host checklist as well. If you have other suggestions, please tell me more in the comments!