Debbie and Michael Campbell retired to travel full-time, living their daily lives in Airbnbs around the world. They sold their home and left Seattle in the summer of 2013, and since then they have visited 58 countries,180 cities and have called over 135 Airbnbs home. Known as the “Senior Nomads,” Debbie and Michael shared their wit and wisdom on stage at the 2015 and 2016 Airbnb Opens and also in their book Your Keys, Our Home. We’ve invited these expert guests to share their best tips for creating the ideal guest experience. Here’s what they’d like you to know:
Photo Credit: Scott Smith
Since we began our Senior Nomad adventures we’ve literally knocked on the front door of 135 different Airbnbs. Each time there is a moment when we take a deep breath and hope what’s on the other side matches the listing we fell in love with. When the door swings open and you welcome us into your home, we really do feel we can belong anywhere. Here’s how you can help your guests feel the same way.
Welcome us in Person: We really look forward to meeting you! After all, we chose your listing as our favorite, and we spent quality time together online, so it makes our stay even better when we can meet the person behind the listing. If you can’t be there, let us know who will be. Hopefully you’ve found a trusted co-host that will make us feel as welcome and comfortable in your home as you would. And if you have a chance, check in during our stay to say hello.
Help us Feel at Home: It’s the little things that count. A welcome note, a cold beverage in the fridge, maybe a local treat and of course, coffee and tea supplies. Personal touches that add warmth and a home-like atmosphere are why we choose to live in Airbnbs. So go ahead, add some flair to your decor including artwork, books you love, and interesting dishes. And don’t forget a house manual! A guide to how things work not only helps us look after your home and possessions, it saves us having to contact you, again, about how the TV remotes work!
Honesty is the Best Policy: Nobody likes surprises—unless it’s their birthday! If something has changed about your listing, say the shower isn’t draining, or the Wifi is down, or a protest march is planned outside your front door, let us know upfront and tell us your plan to resolve the issue (if you can). It’s how you respond that makes all the difference, and keeps your reviews positive.
Stay in Touch: When we stay in a place for longer than a few days, we appreciate our hosts who check in to see if everything is okay. It’s a sure sign of a host who cares about their guest’s experience. Also knowing we can reach you during our stay in case something goes wrong or we need some local advice makes us feel safe and well-cared for.
Share Your Local Knowledge: We want to eat where you eat! Don’t rely on tourist brochures or TripAdvisor, tell us your favorite ways to experience the city from a local perspective. Including how to get around, where it’s safe, and what may be happening in your neighborhood that only a local would know about. Of course, you can put all of this information in that much-appreciated manual we mentioned, as well.
To learn more about The Senior Nomads visit their website at www.seniornomads.com