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How to Set House Rules and Stay Happy While Hosting Travelers from Around The World
Trippers have every intention of respecting you and your home and often just need a clear explanation of how to do it. Taking the time to create and discuss house rules is essential for managing expectations, preventing miscommunication and helping both hosts and guests have great experiences on Tripping. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
If you have roommates, talk to them about hosting before offering your home to travelers.
No traveler wants to arrive to a house full of angry roommates. If you’re considering being a host, be sure to discuss your plans with your roommates and make sure that everyone is in agreement on who, when and how you host.
Take a personal inventory of what you're willing to offer guests and what you expect in return.
Before opening your home to guests, it’s important to think about what you’re willing to offer as a host and what you expect in return. If you have roommates, discuss and decide on a plan together. Once you’ve decided on something, it’s always a good idea to write your decisions down so that everyone has a concrete plan to reference.
Here are some important questions that you’ll want to ask -
- How often do I want to host?
- Who am I willing to host? Men, women, students, groups, families?
- How many Trippers am I comfortable hosting?
- Ideally, how long do I want my guests to stay? (Often hosts specify a maximum number of nights, but hosts who want to learn something about their guests’ culture or language in exchange for their hospitality may set a minimum number of nights as well.)
- Is it okay for guests to use my kitchen?
- Do I want to share food with my guests or cook them meals?
- Am I comfortable giving my guests a key?
- Is it okay for my guests to be in my house when I’m away?
- Do I need my guests to be home or quiet by a certain time?
- Do I have time to show my guests around town while they’re here?
- Will I need my guests to bring their own bedding?
- Are there certain amenities that are too expensive for me to offer on a regular basis to my guests, such as phone calls, laundry or hot showers?
- Do I expect my guests to return my hospitality by cooking me a traditional dish from their culture, tidying up around the house or participating in a language exchange?
- Do I have any allergies or food restrictions that guests should know about. (e.g. I’m allergic to dogs or perfume. I keep kosher. We’re a vegetarian household.)
Share relevant house rules on your profile.
It’s helpful to share house rules on your profile so Trippers can better evaluate whether it will be a good fit before requesting to stay with you. You don’t need to go into detail about how to jiggle your toilet handle or coax your couch bed into life, but it’s always smart to include information they’ll need to help plan their stay with you.
In your About My House description, be sure to include important information like whether your guests will need to be out of the house when you’re away, if they should bring bedding, if you have allergies they need to be cautious of, or if you need them to be careful about the types of food they bring into your home.
Remind your guest about house rules when responding to host requests.
Trippers should take the time to read your profile before sending you a request, but it’s always a good idea to remind them about a few key house rules when you respond. A friendly, “I’d be happy to host you, but I just want to make sure you’re comfortable with these house rules...” should do just fine.
Discuss your house rules when your guests arrive.
Once your guests arrive, take the time to go over your house rules and answer any questions from your guests. Be clear about what your guests are welcome to use, how to treat fragile items and what to avoid using altogether.
Also, be sure to discuss your schedule and even write it down, especially if you want your guests to be out of the house when you’re away.