Airbnb Checkout Instructions

Airbnb Checkout Instructions: What to Include? (Free Template)

Setting up your checkout instructions is a crucial step when listing your property on Airbnb. They serve as a guide for guests to know what is expected of them at the end of their stay. Since your guests are likely traveling on vacation, you want to make sure your checkout procedure is straightforward, so there is no confusion and is easy to follow.

The checkout rules have to work for both you as the host and your guests. It’s a matter of finding the middle ground between making your job as easy as possible and making your guests’ trips a breeze. Read on to understand what to include in your Airbnb checkout instructions, and download our free editable Airbnb checkout instructions template!

Don’t see the form to download our Airbnb checkout instructions template? Click here.

Disclaimer: Lodgify is an Airbnb Preferred Software Partner. This post, including any claims or statements within, is solely from Lodgify and is not endorsed by, directly affiliated with, authorized, or sponsored by Airbnb in any way.

Why are Airbnb checkout instructions important?

If you’re tempted to sidestep this part of the process, think again. Airbnb checkout instructions are essential for a few different reasons. Let’s talk about it.

Encourage guests to leave the property as they found it

Which, in turn, makes your job and the job of your housecleaner much easier. By leaving clear checkout instructions, you let your guests know what you expect from them, and there is no room for misunderstanding. The undertone of the checkout instructions should be “leave it better than you found it.” We like to think all guests mean well… but it’s better to communicate your expectations upfront than leave it up to chance.

Checkout Instructions for Airbnb

The goal is to encourage your guests to clean up after themselves without asking too much. You should keep in mind how much you are charging as a cleaning fee and if what you’re asking of your guests in the checkout instructions lines up with that price. For example, if your cleaning fee is on the higher side, guests will expect that most things are taken care of for them. It just doesn’t make sense to charge a high cleaning fee and also asks the guests to take care of a whole list of things at checkout. On the other hand, it’s reasonable to ask a little more of your guests if your cleaning fee is on the lower side.

Show your commitment to quality customer service

Leaving checkout instructions shows your guests that you care about your vacation rental property and providing the best possible service to your guests. It shows your commitment to keeping the property as clean as possible and sets a precedent for what kind of host you are.

Guests love staying with hosts who go the extra mile and it’s this attention to detail that also inspires them to leave you a positive review. Which increases your chances of booking more guests in the future! When done right, clear checkout instructions keep your property well maintained and help you generate more business long into the future.

What should you include in your Airbnb checkout instructions?

You should include checkout time, any chores that aren’t included in the cleaning fee, reminders, and key handoff instructions in your Airbnb checkout procedure. Basically, anything the guests need to do themselves before leaving the property. We’ve also provided you with a free downloadable Airbnb checkout instructions template that includes all of the steps listed below.

Checkout time

Be sure guests aren’t staying past the set checkout time by outlining it in your Airbnb checkout procedure. Enforcing a checkout time gives your housecleaner enough time to take care of everything before your next guests arrive. This is especially important when you receive back-to-back bookings. Explain why it’s so important for guests to check out on time (“the housecleaner arrives at 12:00,” for example) so your guests understand why you are enforcing it.

Airbnb Checkout Time

If you are worried about your checkout time not being respected or have had issues in the past, you may want to consider setting a late checkout fee. This is something you would mention in your Airbnb House Rules and again in the checkout instructions.

Lights and heat

The last thing you want is your energy bill to skyrocket because a guest left the lights on when they left the house. In your Airbnb checkout rules, remind guests to turn off all the lights in every room and mention any other electronic devices that should be switched off like the TV. On the contrary, there may be devices you want to remind guests to plug in and recharge (like an electric golf cart, video game consoles, etc.).

You can also ask guests to set the thermostat back to a specific temperature. This ensures that the heat isn’t running excessively and costing you big bucks in energy bills, but the house also isn’t going to drop to an uncomfortable temperature while unoccupied. This all depends on the weather of the area and may need to be adjusted to accommodate different seasons. Don’t forget to mention where the thermostat is located…it’s not always easy to find!

Windows and doors

Though it seems like common sense to close and lock all windows and doors before leaving a home, you should always mention it anyway. It’s so simple, it’s easy for it to slip guests’ minds! Remind guests to close and lock all windows and doors and point out any windows or doors that may be easy to forget like in lofts or on patios.

Airbnb Checkout Procedure

Along this same line, it can be really beneficial to make friends with the neighbors to have an extra set of eyes on the house. They can let you know if they notice a guest left a window open or if they see something suspicious before you are able to inspect the property yourself.


Asking your guests to take care of their linens is one of those things that depends on the cleaning fee amount. If you’re charging a high cleaning fee, guests are not going to be happy about paying the fee and handling their own linens. But it is a reasonable request if your cleaning fee is relatively low.

Commonly, hosts will ask guests to leave their used towels on the bathroom floor or in the bathtub so the housecleaner knows to wash them. This is fine if the house cleaner will come the same day guests check out… but keep in mind that if the house cleaner can’t come right away, those towels will start to get moldy and can even damage your bathroom floor. Instruct guests to do whatever will work best for your cleaning staff and their schedule.

Disposing of food

Oftentimes guests will stop at a local grocery store or travel with snacks they want to keep in the kitchen. But there is nothing worse than opening your fridge to find gross, moldy food from previous guests. Avoid this disgusting experience by asking guests to please dispose of any food they brought with them.

If you typically keep a few condiments in your fridge, let them know that those can stay. Guests should also dispose of any pantry items they brought. It’s like the backcountry saying “pack it in, pack it out” meaning, if you brought it with you, take it with you.

Returning keys

Arguably the most important thing to mention in your Airbnb checkout instructions is what the guests should do with the keys when they leave. Miscommunications here can lead to many extra hours of work on your part… something we definitely want to avoid!

Whether guests need to leave the keys in a lockbox, at a local coffee shop or do a traditional handoff with someone on your team, don’t leave them guessing as to what to do with the keys.

Airbnb Checkout Key Handoff

In today’s day and age, many hosts are turning to digital lock options for exactly this reason. A physical key can quickly turn into one more thing you have to worry about. Whatever option you choose, state it clearly and be available if guests have any questions.

How to tell your Airbnb guests about the checkout procedure?

There are a few different easy ways you can send checkout instructions for Airbnb. You should use more than one method so that there is no chance of the guests not receiving the instructions.

Airbnb allows you to create scheduled messages and send them to guests automatically which you can set up for the night before or morning of their checkout. In addition, you could hang up a nice sign in a place where guests will see it (like the kitchen or living room) with your checkout instructions.

Finally, you can use our free downloadable checkout instructions template to leave a letter for guests.

How to send checkout instructions on other listing sites?

Sending checkout instructions on other vacation rental listing sites is simple. Don’t forget: if you have your property listed on multiple OTAs, you’ll have to go through the steps to set up automated messaging on each one.

Vrbo checkout instructions

First of all, make sure your checkout time is set to the correct time on Vrbo. To edit the checkout time on a Vrbo listing, you need to:

  1. Click the listing you want to edit
  2. Click “Property”
  3. Click “Rules & policies”
  4. Click “Check-in & out times”
  5. Use the drop-down menu under “Check out before” and select the time
  6. Click Save

In terms of automated messaging, Vrbo allows you to create “templates” to send to guests. To create a Vrbo template, you need to:

  1. Click “Inbox”
  2. Click the paper icon to access your saved templates
  3. You can add a new template from there checkout rules

To schedule an automated message on

  1. Click “Property”
  2. Click “Template scheduler”
  3. Click “Schedule new template”

Here you can write out your checkout rules and decide when you want the message to be automatically sent to the guest.

Automating checkout instructions with vacation rental software

When you have your property listed on multiple different sites at once it is a pain to remember to keep every listing consistent and send automated messages for each site. Lodgify’s automation tools allow you to set up automated email messages to be sent to your guest across all listing platforms. That means there’s no need to edit and update your automated messages on every OTA. It minimizes your workload by avoiding repetitive tasks and streamlining the process.

Download our free Airbnb checkout instructions template

Streamline your Airbnb checkout procedure even more by downloading our free Airbnb checkout instructions template. It includes all of the basic elements we mentioned above plus you are able to customize the template to fit the needs of your unique property. We’ve done all the heavy lifting for you!

Don’t see the form to download our Airbnb checkout instructions template? Click here.

Disclaimer: Lodgify is an Airbnb Preferred Software Partner. This post, including any claims or statements within, is solely from Lodgify and is not endorsed by, directly affiliated with, authorized, or sponsored by Airbnb in any way.

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