What are Airbnb essentials? There are essential things that every Airbnb should have. We’ve tried to narrow it down the most concise list possible. We’ve also added general things that make an Airbnb better than another and examples of hosts going above and beyond what’s expected when it comes to Airbnb essentials.
The Airbnb Bare Essentials
What do you absolutely need in an Airbnb or any accommodation booked online?
1. It has to be clean and tidy.
You can let a lot of things fly if it’s clean and tidy. It smells clean and there has been a little effort in cleaning the space up. You don’t want to live in another persons filth. It’s our number one deal-breaker and we’ve only not stayed at an Airbnb twice. Once, because we were being ripped off and once because it was dirty. It was a Hostel and it was disgusting.
2. Enough cutlery for each person staying.
Knives, forks, spoons and cups. A sharp knife for food preparation and a pan for cooking. Absolute bare minimum. As long as you can boil water on the stove a jug is not essential. I would love to say a coffee maker or plunger of some description, but I’ve learnt that I can make coffee in a cup or a bowl using coffee filters. I’ve even cut an old water bottle and fashioned a coffee percolator.
3. Toilet paper and a clean bathroom.
Although we do take toilet paper everywhere, just in case. So maybe it’s not essential.
A clean bathroom is for sure an Airbnb essential. Especially when you’re travelling with a few females.
4. A bed or mattress for each person.
Depending on how and where you travel. It can be exhausting. Sometimes there’s nothing better than laying your head down for some well-deserved sleep.
Something I never really considered in New Zealand, but is essential. Lockable doors and windows. Feeling safe is a big part of getting a good night sleep. Especially when travelling with kids.
6. Hot water for a shower and doing dishes.
Now I know some people like a cold shower now and again. I know it’s probably good for you. I’m not one of those people. I want a nice hot shower. At the end of the day or the start of it, doesn’t matter.
7. A friendly, honest host.
99% of our hosts have been amazing. They have to be in this day and age where so much is based around reviews. We’ve only had one dishonest host that tried to rip us off. We walked away, managed to get a refund and booked somewhere else.
Even with the language barrier in most instances. A lot can be said with a smile, some hand gestures and a simple “si, por favor, grazie, mercie, efcharisto, bitte, ciao”.
Ok, maybe it’s not an Airbnb essential. Just give us the keys and go or message us instructions to get in the house. We’ll make the most of it.
Things we like to have, but don’t need.
1. A comfortable bed.
I mean, it really speaks for itself. So much in our lives depend on us having a good night sleep and rest. A comfortable bed with nice pillows and clean sheets and blankets can be heaven. This is also a tough one because so many people consider different beds comfortable. Some like a hard bed. Some like a soft bed, some like lots of pillows and blankets other just a sheet.
2. A kitchen with everything you need.
Pots and pans, stove, oven, cutlery, sharp knives, spoons and utensils for cooking and serving up, coffee maker, chopping board, jug, fridge freezer, bowls, strainer, cups, plates, glasses, wine glasses and everything else you would have in your everyday kitchen. A bottle and can opener – it may seem crazy, but a lot of places don’t have these. We travel with some now.
Also, ice. Ice trays even. It’s not big in Europe. We love to mix our own G&T or Spritzers. It’s essential to have ice with them and one of the first things we do is to try and make or source ice. In southern Italy, we weren’t even able to find ice in shops or supermarkets.
I spend a bit of time in the kitchen in every house we are in and the best ones are the ones that are most like the one at home. Not everything matches, but there’s enough of everything. There’s a slightly messy drawer with scissors, tape, toothpicks and a sewing kit. Just little things that also come in handy at times.
Cleaning supplies. For doing the dishes obviously, but we do also like to have a clean up before we go, so a spray and wipe wouldn’t go amiss. Sometimes accidents and spills happen, so something to keep things clean and tidy is always welcome.
3. A Bathroom with all the extras
Clean towels are the only real essential. Enough toilet paper, extra shower gels, shampoo, hand soaps, face towels, hair towels, washcloths etc. In our case, travelling with kids – we’ve realised a washing machine also comes in handy. We don’t need one at every accommodation, but one now and again is good. Laundromats work too, but there isn’t always one handy.
It may sounds crazy/ “You want to be entertained on your holiday?”. Believe me, travelling can be exhausting and we like to take “days off”. To just chill and relax wherever we are. Our kids love a “library”. They enjoy looking through a book collection or playing board games or cards.
Some toys or even just room to play outside is also always welcome. They have screen time – usually school work time – but we always make sure there’s still outside playtime. Not that it’s a problem for our lot. They would spend a day at the beach without blinking an eye.
Going above and beyond
Some owners or hosts will go above and beyond the “Airbnb essentials”. Those are the ones that put a big smile on your face and those are the ones we take extra time to put effort into an amazing review.
From simple coffee and tea to cookies and fruit or jars with cereals and fresh milk in the fridge (fresh milk isn’t all too common in all of Europe). Some like to leave a bottle or two of fresh cold water in the fridge. We’ve had croissants and store-bought cake for a dinner dessert.
Kids are always hungry and a little reprieve while they snack when you’re trying to check-in, is always welcome. So is the kids helping themselves to breakfast while you’re trying to have a sleep-in. This should be on top of a list of Airbnb essentials.
Packaged soaps, conditioner, moisturiser, toothpaste, air fresheners and ample fresh white fluffy towels. It just makes you feel good knowing someone has put thought and effort into making your stay comfortable. Especially if you’ve just happened to run out of one of the items they’ve provided.
3. Living area
Thoughtful touches and decorations. We’ve been in some sterile, barely furnished accommodations that feel like a visit dental offices. We’ve also been to warm inviting homes with all the necessities and homely touches. Pictures on the wall or photos of local attractions and books or games.
For the most part, hosts are friendly and welcoming and they almost always sign off with an “if you need anything…” of some description. Very few come over with a local map of the area or city. Sits down with you and explains the must-see and do’s. Gives you tips on how to get around and where to go for the best coffee or pizza. We have had hosts offer to organise trips or experiences for us. If we wished to do them. Including cooking classes or fishing trips.
Someone that sits down with you and explains how to keep yourself safe in case you need to.
We’ve had the best time with a host that offered to drive us around for a whole day, seeing sights, dropping us off at attractions and waiting around, taking us out for breakfast and lunch and meeting some of the local people. It still ranks as one of our best days travelling and our best host experience.
Obviously, this is our opinion of Airbnb essentials. I’m sure there are plenty people would agree or disagree with. Everyone has different expectations and experiences.
We’ve made the most of each accommodation we’ve stayed at. Sometimes that meant doing day trips and just using the accommodation as storage for our things and a place to sleep. Other times we’ve loved it so much, we’ve changed plans and booked an extra few days in the same accommodation.