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Are You Allowed to Check into an Airbnb Early?

Are You Allowed to Check into an Airbnb Early?

Have you ever wondered, Can you check in early Airbnb? The sun is shining, you’re ready to explore a new city, and you need to get rid of your luggage. But wait, it’s only 10 AM. The official check-in at your Airbnb isn’t until 3 PM. 

What do you do? Do you loiter around with your luggage, counting down the hours? Or is there a magical button on the Airbnb app that lets you waltz into your temporary home early?

The rules can be as varied in short-term rentals as the properties themselves. As a traveler, navigating these waters can sometimes feel like trying to solve a mystery. As a host, balancing Airbnb guests’ expectations with the realities of managing a property can be a juggling act.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the world of Airbnb check-ins, specifically tackling the question that plagues many travelers: Can you check in early at an Airbnb? I’ll give you insights from the perspective of a guest who’s checked into an Airbnb that hadn’t been cleaned. Plus, as a five year Airbnb Superhost I’ll give you important information on the best ways to ask your host for something like an early check-in.

Can You Check In Early With Your Airbnb?

Understanding the basics of Airbnb’s check-in process is crucial when planning your travel adventures. Typically, there are two main methods: self-check-in and host-greeted check-ins. The former offers the convenience of arriving at your leisure, often facilitated by a key lockbox or smart lock. In contrast, host-greeted check-ins involve meeting your host in person, providing that warm welcome many travelers cherish.

Can you check out early airbnb without extra costs?

Importance of Check-In Instructions

Before you can even ponder, Can you check in early Airbnb? it’s essential to know your Airbnb listing’s default check-in time. These details are usually outlined in the check-in instructions. Adhering to the set check-in time is not just about courtesy, it’s a matter of logistics. It ensures enough time for cleaning crews to prepare the space, especially during peak season when hosts juggle back-to-back bookings.

House Rules and Their Role

Every Airbnb host sets house rules, often including check-in time policies. Whether you’re a guest seeking an early arrival or a host managing expectations, familiarizing yourself with these rules is key. They’re guidelines and a foundation for mutual respect and understanding between Airbnb hosts and guests.

Check-In Flexibility

While the standard process is straightforward, the question remains: Can you check in early Airbnb? The answer varies. It depends on factors like the host’s schedule, the cleaning service’s timing, and the departure of the previous guest. Some hosts offer flexibility, while others adhere strictly to their check-in schedule to ensure everything is perfect for your arrival.

An image of an Airbnb property owner ensuring the rooms are clean.

Communicating with Your Host for Early Check-in

So, you hope to answer that burning question: Can you check in early Airbnb? The first thing to do is check the calendar of the Airbnb property you are staying at. Be mindful that it’s possible the property is listed on multiple websites so the best thing to do is be hopeful, but not assume a vacancy for the night before based on the Airbnb calendar.

Timing is Everything

When it comes to asking for an early check-in, timing is crucial. There is no point messaging a host months in advance to ask for a courtesy no cost early check-in. Because, of course, if someone books the house and wants to pay money for the night before, they will choose that option.

The only way you can hope for a no charge early check-in is if the night before your reservation isn’t booked and your host get’s the place cleaned the day before your arrival. That is why you should message your early check-in request about ten days before your check-in date.

Crafting Your Message

In your message, be clear but flexible. Use phrases like, “Would it be possible to check in early?” or “I understand if it’s not feasible, but I thought I’d inquire about an earlier check-in.” This approach shows respect for the host’s time and the effort to accommodate your request.

Understanding Host Perspectives

Remember, hosts on the Airbnb platform may have different policies regarding early check-ins. Some may offer this flexibility as part of their guest experience, while others might have constraints due to cleaning schedules or previous guests. By acknowledging these potential challenges in your communication, you demonstrate understanding and respect for the host’s process.

Unlike a front desk agent at a hotel who has potentially hundreds of rooms they can allow you to check-in early to, this Airbnb property is just one physical space. The way guests leave the property determines how long their cleaning staff will take to turnover the space.

Can you check in early airbnb to have more time visiting attractions?

Utilizing the Airbnb App

The Airbnb app is your best friend for seamless communication. It provides a direct line to your host and ensures all conversations are documented for reference. This can be particularly useful if you need to revisit the details of your early check-in arrangement.

Alternatives If Early Check-in Isn’t Possible

Sometimes, despite your best efforts and clear communication, an early check-in on Airbnb isn’t feasible. But don’t let this hiccup dampen your travel spirits! Explore many alternatives if you can’t check in early at your Airbnb.

Luggage Drop Off

Personally, I hate allowing guests to drop off luggage before the property is ready. New guests can get freaked out by the state of a Airbnb mid-clean. Plus, the last thing we want is for our cleaning staff to have to awkwardly tell them to get the heck out when they pretend the host said it was okay to check-in early.

But, some hosts are nicer than me and allow you to drop off bags prior to the check-in time. Just please if you are asking for this option, don’t try and use the bathroom or take a peak at the rooms before the actual agreed upon check-in time. We want you to have a great experience at our Airbnb and a dirty version of the space makes us embarrassed. 

Luggage Storage Solutions

First and foremost, consider luggage storage options. Many cities offer secure luggage storage services near train stations or major tourist areas. This is a great way to unburden yourself from heavy bags and enjoy hands-free exploration.

Can you check in early airbnb without additional fees?

Check Nearby Facilities for Comfort

Another practical tip is to check for nearby facilities like gyms or spas. Some offer day passes, providing a place to freshen up and a bonus of relaxation or exercise. This can be particularly appealing for business travelers or those who have had a long journey.

The Power of a Good Meal

Never underestimate the power of a good meal. Arriving early might be the perfect excuse to try out that brunch spot you found in your search results or to savor a local delicacy. It’s a great way to start your trip on a delicious note and get a feel for the local cuisine.

Can You Check-Out Early from Airbnb?

Just as you might wonder, Can you check in early Airbnb? there are times when you need to check out early. Whether due to a change in travel plans or an early flight, understanding how to navigate early check-out times are essential for both guests and hosts.

An image of a bedroom in an Airbnb property.

Communicating Your Early Departure

Communication is key. If you anticipate needing an early check-out, inform your host immediately. Use the Airbnb app or your booking details to send a courteous message. This allows the host to adjust their cleaning schedule and more efficiently prepare for the next guest.

Adjusting Your Reservation

In some cases, adjusting your reservation might be necessary, especially if you’re leaving a day earlier than planned. Check the Airbnb platform for details on modifying your booking, and be aware of the host’s cancellation policy to understand the probability of not getting a full refund.

An image of an Airbnb guests who checked in early.

Think of it this way, you booked 100% of the space. In a hotel you only book 1 room out of maybe 300 rooms, so you’ve booked a third of one percent of the space. There are totally different economic elements of canceling a place where you’ve booked 100% versus a fraction of one percent. 

The Checkout Process

Early check-times are often a simpler process. If your Airbnb has a self check-in system, like a key lockbox or smart lock, it usually means self-check-out as well. Ensure you follow any check-out instructions provided by your host, which might include tasks like leaving the keys in a designated spot or turning off appliances.

Respecting the Space

Even if your checkout time is early, respect the space as if you were checking out at the set standard time. This includes handling any trash, cleaning up after yourself, and ensuring the place is left in good condition. A responsible guest experience can lead to great reviews, which are beneficial for future Airbnb stays.

Early Check-Out and Cleaning Crews

Be mindful of the cleaning crew’s schedule. An early departure can sometimes be a boon for hosts, giving them extra time to prepare the property for the next guest. However, it’s important not to assume that leaving early always helps – it depends on the property owners’ arrangements.

You don’t want to be leaving gross food on the counter for multiple days before a cleaning crew expects you to be checking out. There could be additional fees based on an issue caused if you don’t inform the host of your early departure.

By communicating effectively with your host and respecting the Airbnb property, you can ensure a smooth and considerate early departure, much like you would seek a seamless early check-in experience.

An image of couples entering their booked airbnb place.

What About Late Check-Ins and Late Check-Outs?

While the question Can you check in early Airbnb? is common, late check-ins and late check-outs are equally significant scenarios in short-term rentals. Whether it’s due to flight delays or a desire to savor a few extra hours of vacation, understanding how to handle these situations is vital for guests and hosts.

Late Check-In and The Convenience of Flexibility

Late check-ins are often less disruptive than early check-ins. Many Airbnb listings offer self-check-in options, such as key lockboxes or keyless entry systems, allowing guests to arrive at their convenience. This flexibility is particularly appreciated by guests with last-minute bookings or those arriving at different times due to travel schedules.

Communicating Late Arrivals

Effective communication is crucial for late arrivals. Inform your host of your expected arrival time, especially if it’s outside the typical check-in window. Detailed instructions for accessing the property, such as the access code for a keypad lock or the location of a key lockbox, are often provided in the listing description or through direct communication via the Airbnb app.

Late Check-Out

Asking for a late check-out requires consideration of the host’s schedule, especially regarding cleaning services and the arrival of the next guest. While some hosts might accommodate a late checkout for an extra fee, others might have tight turnaround times to fulfill guest’s needs. Expect difficulties when asking for additional time. 

Understanding Policies and Potential Fees

Always refer to the listing’s house rules for policies on late check-outs. Hosts may have specific procedures for requesting extra time, and some might charge an additional charge for late departures. This much information is crucial for guests to avoid any misunderstandings or red flags in the booking process.

FAQ: Can You Check into an Airbnb Early


  • Veronica Hanson

    Veronica Hanson blogs from whatever country she happens to be in at the time, currently she's hanging out in Japan. She's been living as a nomad remote entrepreneur with her family since 2020.

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