And Tonight’s Guest Is . . .

Less than 3 weeks ago we took hospitality and hosting to a new level when we started to share our guest room on Airbnb.  Our listing went live late on a Wednesday evening.  Living in a small borough we thought it would be weeks before we’d get a hit.  We were wrong.  Thursday afternoon we received our first reservation for four nights.  From that point on we have had steady traffic.  We have now hosted four guests over 12 nights and have two more guests booked this week.

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Eighteen days after opening our home, we have learned:

  • There is a greater demand for overnight accommodations in our little town than we would have ever guessed.
  • Travelers don’t make reservations too far in advance. Some requests come in for the very same day. None of our guests have reserved more than a week in advance.

Our first guests were a pleasant young couple from the Washington DC area.  They made a same day reservation.  While chatting after check in we learned the husband was from Bethlehem, “PA.”  Not Pennsylvania, but Palestine.  The irony was not lost on us that one of the first people we had room for was from a place where there was no room in the inn for Jesus.

Two gentlemen, while only booking short term rentals, were in need of transitional housing while they fulfill contracts with nearby businesses.  Both of these gentlemen were a pleasure to host and each asked if we would consider a long-term rental agreement with them (30 days or more).   They commented on how they visited other possible hosts and preferred our home.  We offer a private guest room with access to 1/3 of the closet. They share the bathroom with our long term tenant and friend, Scott.  Guests can make use of our kitchen and share the living room with us.  I am certain it is not the most spacious, or fanciest place they’ve stayed, yet they have stated they felt most comfortable here.

Jerry noted that some of our guests seem to have many more resources (financially) than we have, yet they are restless and searching.  We have less in the way of financial resources, but share joy and peace in our humble home. Our hope is that what guests are experiencing is the presence of the Spirit of God.

We started hosting for the income, it is an “easy” way to supplement our budget.  We have quickly learned that this type of hospitality is about so much more.  As we consider reservation requests, prepare the room, and engage with each person for who will occupy it, we pray for them.  Interacting with those who pass through our home is broadening our understanding of other cultures. We pray it has also planted a seed in their heart of the eternal home that can be theirs with Jesus.

Stay tuned and see how God continues to use this venture for His glory.

feedback.jpg                                                                                                                       Have you stayed in a host home or Airbnb while traveling?  If so we’ll love to hear your experiences.  Please comment below, or on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you are reading this.

11 Comments

  1. Oh.my.goodnes!!! I would NEVER have guessed that many reservations either!!! I would love to hear more stories about this as time goes on…is it ever scary? Do you make meals? Etc

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So far it has not been scary. We already have 3 people in the home so that is helpful. We have put some safety measures in place that help too. Ultimately I believe that living is a risk – anything can happen at anytime. So we need to live knowing we are doing what matters. We invited one guest to share one dinner with us. Tonight our guest bought us dinner! I have fruit, popcorn, cereal and coffee and tea available. We can meet up sometime and I can share more.

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  2. That is great, what a mission field, to show Jesus to life’s weary , busy travelers and peace and serenity to the hectic. Lots of ideas for possible writing assignments . CB from lehighton

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  3. We stayed at 2 lovely Airbnbs in Sydney, AU! It was a great experience and we would do it again in a heartbeat! I booked a 3 bedroom for our first place as some of my siblings were meeting us in Sydney. Just a few weeks prior to leaving, the manager of the Airbnb property emailed me with a profuse apology stating that she had to revoke my reservation because the tenants wanted to stay 4 more months. She did however give me 3 alternative properties and stated that she would honor the price of the initial reservation. Well it was a blessing in disguise—we rented a gorgeous home with 3 bathrooms in a beautiful Sydney neighborhood called Woolhara. My brother-in-law was in a wheelchair and we could easily roll him up the level walkway into the front door and right into my sister and his bedroom. No steps!

    When my siblings left, Steve and I rented another Airbnb in a first floor apartment building. The woman who owned it traveled a lot and left us with a super clean bedroom with all amenities—luxurious bed linens and towels, spa-like shampoos, soaps etc in the bathroom. We had access to her washer/dryer; she had the fridge stocked with all kinds of snacks, beer and wine. Her secluded outdoor patio was just lovely and she had a list of local restaurants and tourist attractions. This Airbnb was short distance from the church Lara works at so she was able to walk over to visit us in the evenings.

    The great thing about Airbnb is that not only do the owners get to review you—but you get to review them and of course I wrote 2 sterling reviews. Are you able to review your tenants as well Joan?

    Of course, there may be a risk especially for the owner of the properties but so far my experience as well as others that I know have only positive things to say about their stays at Airbnbs. In fact some of my extended family are leaving for London this week and have booked an Airbnb there as well as Paris. We’ll see how they make out!

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    1. Love hearing this Maureen, thanks for sharing. Yes we can both write reviews on our guests and also read reviews others have written about them.

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    1. We can read reviews of the guests written by those who have previously hosted them. Airbnb does some verification the the person really is who they claim to be. The rest (well really all of it) is by faith.

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  4. Oh, how exciting this is. I know the two of you will allow the love of our Savior, Jesus, to shine thro you. The two of you are so interesting & know each person that will be staying in your home, will be taking something with them, from your love & caring. Betty Poinsett

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