Let’s go shopping

Part of the fun of starting your Airbnb is stocking it. Ok, so it’s not actually that much fun to spend money when you want to be making money, so you want to make sure you’re getting the good stuff. After years of running Airbnb’s, these are a few of my favorite things. Check them out on my amazon store, or browse below.

Cleaning is fun, said nobody ever

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The glamorous life of an @airbnb superhost!🤣

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You’re going to be doing a lot of laundry. Like, a LOT. No joke, this stuff smells so amazing I actually like doing laundry. Don’t freak out when you see the price. You literally use a capful at a time so, I’m not a mathlete, but I’m pretty sure it works out to be less expensive than store stuff. And it leaves your linens so super soft — without chemically fabric softeners (which people can complain about). And if you’re springing for the high-end linens for your Airbnb (and you should) this is what they recommend.

Smell goods

This is a sensitive topic, as in some people are sensitive to scent. Knock on wood, we’ve only had compliments about the light fresh laundry scent from The Laundress. I’m still on a bottle I bought months ago and it just helps our Airbnb smell so clean and inviting.

Mop me Amadeus

The mop that makes mopping fun is this one. True story. (Don’t forget extra cleaning pads. Still SO much cheaper and better than swiffer thingies.)

Sweep them away

We’ve tried a few vacuums, and for the sweet spot of does a great job and is easy to lug around, we like the Shark Navigator for our Airbnb.

I need more sleep

I hope you have a linen closet. Keyword is bounty: you don’t want people to feel like there aren’t enough washcloths, and you definitely want to have a backup set of sheets so when you flip your Airbnb between guests with only a few hours there’s a set ready and waiting. Ours go in the wash the moment the last guest checks out so that we always have a clean set waiting.

I love, love, love our Brooklinen sheets even though they cost the earth. (But they’ll take 10% off if you use code VERTIGO when you order!). But you’re also going to need a few other things.

Definitely have a mattress protector and pillow protectors. As for pillows we went with these bamboo memory foam pillows that don’t go flat and can go in the washer.

How about the bed itself? We’ve been team Tuft & Needle since launching our Detroit Airbnb. There are plenty of memory foam style mail-order mattresses now, some that are cheaper, but we stick with T&N and guests rave about them.

A queen fits in our space but if you have room for a king your guests will thank you.

As for the bed frame, I like this affordable and super easy to assemble number from Zinus, and they make a lot of cute styles.

What else? It’s nice to have a fan in a bedroom for the people who can’t sleep without that background noise. People love this one we have – guests have gone home and ordered their own!

Or how about a white noise machine? We have the Marpac Dohm and it’s pretty marvelous. Use code AIRBNB for a nice discount!

The WC

Moving on to the bathroom I like these washcloths as a thick, sturdy, quality feeling number that will stand up to repeated washings. Get a dark color like grey (and also help prevent staining — on washcloths and pillowcases! –  by providing micellar cleansing water and cotton rounds, or disposable make-up removing wipes). While you’re at it it’s nice to have a collection of little toiletries like q-tips and cotton balls.

Costco has great, reasonably priced towels but in a pinch these from Amazon are also good quality. You’ll also want bath mats so people aren’t stepping (and slipping) on a wet floor.

It just keeps adding up, doesn’t it? You’ll need a shower curtain liner, a decently sturdy washable one like this. And some non-rusting, easy to slip in and out shower curtain hooks. I like this double hook dealie because you can easily take the liner off to wash (which you should be doing pretty often, btw. Remember you can never be too clean, or too clean.)

And look, nobody wants to lug a hair dryer on vacation. That’s one of those things people find at hotels and assume will be at their Airbnb. Why risk making them cranky about something like that? This number is awesome.

Take a word of advice on the TP situation: this is not where you want to cheap out. Get the good stuff. ‘Nough said.

What’s cooking?

Part of the reason people want an Airbnb instead of a hotel is so they can cook, or at least so they can whip up breakfast without having to go out. We haven’t had many complaints in our years of hosting, so you can bet I remember those we do get. I’ll never forget Richard who docked our score and mentioned in his feedback that we didn’t have a bread knife. Richard, this one’s for you.  (Because my shtick is that guests are staying at a food and travel writer’s house so we’re looking for food lovers we might go overboard, but we have a larger knife set.)

Ok, ready to have some fun? Channel your inner Julia Child with a kitchen pegboard. Rental kitchens may not a ton of space so this is perfect. And how cute is this toaster?

You’ll need a microwave, and this cute retro-look one is dead simple, and a space saver.

I also love this retro-look fridge in the style of the crazy expensive SMEGs. If you’re got a small space, or just want a fridge in a private room, this is the ideal size.  It’s nice to provide an ice tray and refill it before each check-in. Also, let’s not add to the mountains of plastic if we don’t have to; consider keeping a filled water pitcher in the fridge.

What about pots and pans? I’ve seen so many complaints in reviews about cheap, flimsy cookware. Think about it. When you’re on vacation do you want to use somebody’s garage sale castoffs? We have a nice Analon set that works well for the kinds of things people cook (eggs, mostly, but some people actually do cook!). A must-have we realized when we spent a couple weeks in our own Airbnb (which I highly recommend!) is a pizza pan and slicer.

Now remember, people who cook will have dishes. If you don’t have a dishwasher be sure there’s a a good dish drainer. This guy is awesome. (Pro tip: if your guests was their dishes, INSPECT THEM before you put them away.)

But first, coffee. This may be your most critical purchase. PEOPLE NEED THEIR COFFEE. This 12-cup maker has done well for us. If your local ordinances don’t prohibit providing food and drink you’ll endear yourselves to guests by providing not only coffee but sugar and cream.

Sometimes people want to watch TV on vacation

You will see Airbnbs that advertise no TV as a point of pride. Trust me. There may be a market for that, but it’s not the majority. Give ’em a TV and load it up with Netflix. We did this flat screen Roku TV that we mounted on the wall with an adjustable arm so guests can chill on the couch while they binge watch, or watch TV from the bed if they’d rather.

I like to turn the TV onto Pandora to a fun station before guests arrive. Walking into a place with music going is a nice touch that sets the vibe for #vacationstartsnow.

Safety first

Be sure you have working smoke/carbon monoxide detectors and a fire extinguisher.


Is your Airbnb dog friendly? You’re so smart. Dog people will LOVE you. They’ll love you more if you make it as stress free as possible for them. Our welcome basket for doggo families includes some old, dark towels and these wipes for muddy paws, and Nature’s Miracle floor cleaner. And obviously doggie biscuits. And poop bags. We’re on a subscribe and save plan with this pet hair lifter, but lint rollers also work (and are a miracle at removing hairs from the bathroom floor, your new nemesis.)

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