As a family of 5, going on holiday is not cheap. A family of 5 made up of 2 adults, 1 teenager and 2 children – the teenager is now 16 and so is classed as an adult for just about everything. So the cost of family travel, and in particular family accommodation, has increased significantly. But … we have found a solution. Airbnb! Using Airbnb as a family travel accommodation option has made a significant difference to our travel budget and therefore our family travel opportunities. With that said, there are a few things you need to remember when booking an Airbnb for a family. There is, after all, an Airbnb User Etiquette to bear in mind.

airbnb booking guide for large families

Why is Airbnb so great for Family Travel?

Airbnb has been revolutionary with the impact it’s had on affordable family travel! And one that I am very very grateful to have embraced! However, as with most things, there is a certain Airbnb Etiquette that one should adhere too with regards to the Airbnb booking process and the Airbnb experience. This goes for family travel as well. 

If you haven’t heard of Airbnb where have you been living? it’s basically a way for private people to hire out their available accommodation to travellers. Be that their whole house, a cottage, or a spare room. It has been embraced by the likes of lodges, Bed & Breakfasts, even hotels and has grown into a real power player in the world of travelling and holidays.


Whilst a lot of the Airbnb concept is based on trust and a belief in human decency, the Airbnb booking process does offer a secure booking service that allows you peace of mind and financial security, both as a user and as an Airbnb host. However, booking with Airbnb does require a certain amount of etiquette, manners and fairly high expectations when it comes to timely communication and cleanliness.

You must always remember that the whole concept of Airbnb bookings and travel, comes down to one thing: Airbnb reviews.

As I said, there is a certain etiquette that is expected. Here are the basic Airbnb Etiquette expectation when using the Airbnb service, specifically for family travel. 

tips for using airbnbs for family holidays

Communication is Key!

Before making a booking with Airbnb there is a function that allows you to contact the person who manages the property you are interested in booking. You can ask them questions in advance of the booking to ascertain whether it is right for you. Questions such as location, amenities, parking, rules etc. Whatever you need. 

Aside: The exactly location is sometimes restricted to an approximate area to provide privacy for Airbnb Hosts who are perhaps renting out a room in their own home, as opposed to a room in a hotel.

But communication is a two-way street. So when you ask questions, the host will reply. And this back and forth continues throughout the booking procedure. Not always, but the function is available and after a few unfortunate experiences I would strongly suggest that ALL communication between yourself and the host is done via the Airbnb messenger centre. That way, if Airbnb do ever need to intervene, they have a record of all conversations.

Communication Is A Two Way Street!

Remember that when a question is asked, the expectation of a reply in a timely manner is there. Here’s a short break-down:

  • Keep each other informed of timings, – arrival time etc.
  • Expectations – parking requirements, excess luggage, pets etc.
  • Please and thank you – we’re all adults here.

Basically, just mind your manners. 


Be A Clean Person  

There are also certain expectation that Airbnb guests tidy up after themselves. These mostly pertain to cleanliness and respect for the property you’re staying in.

Imagine you’re visiting friends you haven’t seen for years, and they’re not home. Those kind of expectations: clean up after yourself, don’t break stuff! Basic ‘be a good person’ expectations.

However, if you’re unclear, here are the main Airbnb cleanliness tips: 

  • Do the dishes and washing up before you leave. 
  • Dry them and put them away. 
  • Make the beds. Nicely. You don’t need to go all ‘hotel level’ on the beds, but straighten them up.
  • Hang the used towels up, or throw them in a pile in the empty bath/shower floor. 
  • Take any leftover food with you, or throw it out. Don’t leave it in the fridge or in the open. 
  • Take the rubbish/trash/garbage out and throw it in the necessary bin outside before leaving. (Be aware of recycling expectations.) 
  • Check under the beds and sofas for any lost socks or … whatever. 
  • Make sure the toilets are flushed clean and basins rinsed out. 
  • Turn off all the aircons, the TV, and all lights before leaving. 

Leave A Review

After your booking, it is good manners, good Airbnb etiquette, to leave a review of the property and in turn the host. I mentioned before that the whole Airbnb Booking system is booked based on trust. Whilst you are required/expected to review the experience of staying in the host’s property, don’t forget that, in turn, there is an Airbnb host etiquette too. They will also review you.

Mutual respect. Mutual trust. 

Yes. This is not all about them, the host and their property. This trust street goes both ways. 

As a user of the Airbnb experience, you are also reviewed by the host. The review is based on your communication, your cleanliness, your Airbnb etiquette etc. 

Part of the booking experience, right in the beginning, provides the host (a normal person potentially allowing a stranger into their home), to turn you down without any reason at all. Good reviews go a long way to being accepted. Bad reviews will almost certainly ensure that potential hosts will reject your booking request. As is their right. 

Fortunately, another great feature of Airbnb is the Airbnb Messages function. It allows you the opportunity to communicate any concerns or issues you may have had with the property or the host directly with them before leaving a review. You don’t have to jump the gun. You can #justbekind, and actually be adult enough to talk to the host about the concerns you have BEFORE leaving a bad review. And they, in turn, would return that favour!  

We did have a really nasty experience in France which just about ruined our holiday. Airbnb did try to help us but this just reinforces my earlier point about making sure all communication goes via the Airbnb messenger service.

Airbnb User Experience! 

So, the next time you are considering booking an Airbnb, remember that this is not all about whether their facility is good enough for you, or meets your needs. It’s also about you, and whether you are a good and decent enough person for them to allow you into their home or home away from home.  

Am I a fan of Airbnb?

I have booked numerous overnight stays with Airbnb over the past couple of years.


So, Yes! If you haven’t already signed up to Airbnb, you should! It’s a really great way to travel solo, or for family travel that is budget-friendly, and also offers you the flexibility that is not always afforded by the traditional travelling community. Alternatively there’s always the option of holiday parks, here are some great Holiday Parks in Great Yarmouth that I’m keen to try.

So, if you’re on the fence about whether to try out Airbnb, here is an invite link for Airbnb Signup to get you started. If you sign up using the link you will get £25 off the first trip of £55 or more. 

This post is not written in collaboration with Airbnb. All thoughts and opinions are my own. For each person who signs up, I will receive £15 travel credit.  All images from Airbnb Official site.

 Some images from Airbnb Official site.

Happy travels everyone! Pin this post for future reference.