my big trip is less than 2 weeks away! so much to prepare for, my head is spinning. one of the main things i needed to get done was to rent my apartment out while i was away. i’ve never actually done this before, however i know a few friends that became hosts and rent out their apartment a few days a month to make some extra cash. since i will be gone for 6 weeks, i knew that paying all of my LA rent on top of my accommodations abroad wasn’t going be reasonable at all…

so i listed my silver lake apartment on airbnb. (see how much you can make on your place here!) it took a while for someone who was serious and interested in renting it for a longer period of time, but last week a couple from paris inquired about booking for a whole month. we exchanged messages and i decided they were a good fit (ps. it’s still available may 10-17th) i gave them a good deal since it’s easier to manage less people coming in and out of my home. on airbnb you can list your price but then send specific people special offers, which is a feature i really like. another great feature is that you can see their renting/hosting history and read reviews about them. that makes the whole process feel safer. (and airbnb’s 1,000,000 host guarantee is a huge plus!)


now that my place is booked i have to get my place READY. i’ve stayed in over 20 airbnbs all over the world (some of my faves here, here and here), so i have picked up a few of my favorite hosting tricks. little things that made me feel that much more welcome. here’s my prep list!

1. directions and the key: first things first, they are gonna need the key to your place and to know how to get there. i’ve been in both situations where the host has met me in person, or just left the key for me. it’s always a little nicer to meet your host so you can ask questions and get a feel for where you will be staying. i like when the host provides a message beforehand about the best way to get from the airport to their home, because sometimes there are cheaper/better options you like to know about. (like the flyaway from LAX) it just shows you’re treating them how you would treat a friend if they were visiting!

2. a nice welcome: it’s always sweet when you arrive to your apartment after a long day of traveling and your host has a bottle of wine or beers in the fridge waiting for you. a simple gesture, but goes a long way. i remember many times enjoying a bottle of wine with my travel companion and feeling very at home. pick up some fresh flowers and a candle if you are feeling hostess with the mostess.

3. the essentials: all the best apartments i have stayed in had all the essentials, and they were easy to find. extra towels, sheets, shampoo & conditioner, soap, toilet paper, dish soap, laundry detergent. i usually order all of my household products on amazon prime (prime pantry, it comes so quick and all in one box!) so this time i just stocked up on extra for my guests.

4. food: you definitely don’t have to give your guests food. but spending just a little extra at the grocery store definitely makes an impact. i’ll be stocking my fridge with just a few treats: eggs, bread, fruit. coffee for the morning. some condiments. sparkling water. again, you don’t have to do this, but it sure is nice when someone does it for you!

5. clean up / remove valuables: i’m the first to admit that having a person you don’t know living in your space can be a little daunting. (again, the individual reviews calm my nerves about it) but to be extra safe, it’s a good idea to remove your valuables. passport, jewelry etc. i’ll be getting a couple of boxes and storing my extra special things in my friend’s garage. it’s also a good idea to de-clutter your space before a guest arrives. this makes the essentials easy to find and makes the experience a little more like a hotel. i’ve stayed in places where the host had way more stuff in their place than in the photos and i wasn’t really a fan of that. lastly, you want to make your space as clean as possible for your guests arrival! i look at this as a time to do some spring cleaning myself and get rid of things i don’t need in all those junk drawers.

6. the handbook: there should always be a guide for your guests on how to navigate your home. what’s the wifi password, how to use the air conditioning or laundry, what’s parking like, where the breaker box is etc. also, your guests probably don’t know your neighborhood, so help them out a little. what’s your favorite local places to eat? what’s the best coffee spot? favorite date place? some good tourist activities? give them a little rundown! (like THIS)

7. prepare your home: i usually rip the batteries out of the smoke alarms once they start beeping like crazy and get too lazy to replace them. now is a good time to do that (and i should do it anyway) think of those things like extra lightbulbs or a first aid kit just in case.

as for setting up your listing, it’s pretty easy. just add the description of your home (stylish 2 bedroom silver lake apartment) and your neighborhood, what your place offers (wifi, air, laundry etc), add some photos of your space (the better photos you have, the more likely it will book. airbnb will send a photographer to you if you are interested!) add a cleaning fee for when your guest leaves, and lastly update the pricing and availability. that’s it. took me about 15 minutes to set it all up. see my listing here.

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want to try out airbnb? take $25 off your first trip here!

and learn more about hosting on airbnb and even see how much you could make for your place here!

(photo source 1 and 2. this post was sponsored by airbnb, all opinions are my own. photos by designlovefest)


Add your own

    jaclyn says:

    I’ve never used airbnb since I always find a hotel for much cheaper. Maybe it’s just the types of places I travel to or the fact that I always book through Expedia but the airbnb’s just always always seem prohibitively more expensive. Maybe it’s only better if you’re traveling with more than just two people?

    Also, where will your kitties be when you’re away??

    Karina says:

    I love the idea of AIRBNB; my first time using it was about a month ago, I was traveling with another girl and had a bad experience there (I must say it was 1 of the 6 days we where there; the second to last) the problem never got solved, but even with that sort of bad experience I would use it again 🙂

    the handbook is such a great idea and so useful! BTW love your place!


    Lela says:

    I have never thought about doing it in reverse! Great idea.


    After reading this I’m convinced that you might be the most thoughtful AirBnB host ever! Your attention to detail would make any guest feel at home. I also am a huge fan of the review section on the site. It makes both parties responsible! Awesome post Bri!

    I’m so excited to have our first airbnb experience in Paris next month…your amazing stays have been inspiring!

    Kelly says:

    I would advise your readers to check their leases for details! Many landlords consider this illegal. If you own your place it’s a different story. Otherwise, this post is awesome! Love the photos.

    bri emery says:

    hi kelly! i definitely checked with my landlord before and they were cool about it. luckily there is so much coverage with airbnb that can put their minds at ease. i also know people that give their landlords a % of the cost!

    Shauna Nep says:

    Love this! Another good resource – I just came across Pillow, which literally takes care of ALL of this for you if you want to list your place! It’s property management for short-term rentals… https://www.pillowhomes.com/

    Amna says:

    Hi Bri!
    I have lots of house plants and I see on your photos that you have too! Do you ask your guests to take care of them during the stay especially if it is a longer one or you move them to friends garage? 😉 I would hate to see them potentially neglected during the stay but also it could be stressful for plants to move them from house to house..

    Sarah Cauble says:

    Great tips, Bri! A couple questions:

    What do you do with ALL of the clothes in your closet and in dressers? Leave them, stash them in the garage?

    The same with other random items (extra bathroom stuff, makeup you aren’t bringing, canned goods and things that are always stocked in your kitchen pantry)?

    Do you just try to completely purge? Many thanks!

    bri emery says:

    hi sarah!
    no need to get rid of everything. most of the places i’ve been have had clothes in the closet and things in the drawers. i just tried to do some spring cleaning so everything would be a little more organized and might move some of my clothes into another closet. each place is different, but it’s totally fine to keep your stuff in the place. i wouldn’t do it if i had to get rid of everything! 🙂

    bri emery says:

    hi sarah! i haven’t decided what to do about the plants yet. i am hoping the couple that is staying there can give them a watering once or twice 🙂

    Stacey says:

    I’ve used Airbnb 6 times now and haven’t been disappointed yet. You are right that some people do more than others to make their guests feel welcome and I think you’re hitting a lot of the things I’ve seen that I’ve been the most impressed with.

    My first thought when I saw LA in your post was “I wonder if her place will be available when we’re in LA” but looks like you’ll be home by the time we get there in August. 🙂

    Have a great trip and I bet the Paris couple will take great care of it while you’re away.

    Sabrina says:

    I got introduced to Airbnb just a few weeks ago. And I love it already. I also love those pictures! ♥

    Oh I love Airbnb, just booked a room for my Berlin trip in a couple of weeks 🙂

    Sarah Cauble says:

    Thanks so much, Bri!

    Polly says:

    My boyfriend and I are thinking of using Airbnb for our apartment. This is such a great idea! Thanks. I love using Airbnb when I’m away – it’s often so much cheaper than a hotel and I feel like you get the ‘local’s’ feel of the area. X

    Laci says:

    This is so helpful! I’ve been thinking about using Airbnb whenever I go overseas. I’ll definitely be referring back to this!

    I love airbnb! We traveled around Italy on our honeymoon and used airbnb mostly. It was such a magical experience!

    Ali says:

    If you are in NYC, Paris or London, EasyGuests (http://EasyGuests.com) manage all the needs for your property (key delivery, cleaning, booking, laundry etc) so you can travel without worrying about the next guest.
    We will be present in Miami and Montreal in April 2015.

    Robyn says:

    We’re going to Greece in the fall and it never even occurred to me to rent our place while we’re out of town. Why not?!?! Extra travel money! This is such a great guide.

    Katy says:

    Hi there!

    Please let me know if your air bnb guests fall through for May 14-17. I will be in LA for a few weeks for work and would love to avoid the crazy weekend atmosphere at the hotel. Your home is so lovely and welcoming!

    Thank you,

    Awesome advice. We’re glad you warn people to remove their valuables. If you read the Host Guarantee carefully you’ll see that there is a lot which is not covered! Also, yes, definitely check with your landlord and if they’re hesitant then you can negotiate giving them a cut of the profits as mentioned above. Not a good idea to fly under the radar however, as this is considered breaking the terms of your lease and is a rightful cause for eviction.

    There are some more very serious lessons to be learned form those who’ve had bad experiences. Make sure you read this and stay safe, and don’t become the next Internet horror story!


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