The Must-Read Airbnb Check-In Guide For Hosts

The check-in process is a crucial part of any short-term stay. Let’s think of it like this: the timeline of an Airbnb check-in time can be described from the moment you open the front door to the moment you step in at the Airbnb. It has to be seamless because if it isn’t, your guests will be disappointed, which is a no-no welcoming gesture that any host and guests want. Boo hoo 🫤.

It’s time to create a breeze check-in process! This Airbnb check-in guide is the secret of a smooth, stress-free check-in that’ll leave guests smiling and saying, “Wow, that was easy.” So, let’s transform your Airbnb check-in process right away!

The Best Airbnb Check-In Time For Your Guest 

What is the standard or recommended Airbnb check-in time?

The typical Airbnb check-in time is at 3 PM. This gives you enough time to turn the space around between guests and gives travellers wiggle room after flights or commutes.

Alternatively, you can choose the best time for your schedule and property. You could offer early check-in for an extra fee or cater to late-night travellers with a self-service system. 

How do you determine the best Airbnb check-in time? 

Deciding the best Airbnb check-in time involves a mix of practicality and guest experience. Be in the travellers’ shoes, jot down their pain points and craft the best Airbnb check-in time that works for you and your guests. 

Here are the 3 best tips you can apply to determine the best Airbnb check-in time:

  1. Consider guests’ needs: Families with young kids might appreciate an earlier time to settle in, while solo travellers might be more flexible.
  2. Quickly dive into your guest’s itinerary: Knowing their travel details can help you sync the Airbnb check-in time with their journey.
  3. It’s time for some spring cleaning: How long does it realistically take to get your place sparkling clean after previous guests? Factor that in.

The two types of check-ins for Airbnb

Host-led check-in process

A host-led check-in process is greeting your guests upon arrival, handing over keys, giving a quick tour, and answering any questions. Think of it as a warm handshake at the start of their stay.

Some hosts prefer a host-led Airbnb check-in process due to these reasons:

  • Making a good first impression: Meeting your guests lets you put a face to a name, making them feel welcome and cared for right from the start. 
  • Answer guests’ questions there and then: Getting answers from a conversation is way quicker than reading from an information pamphlet or online. You’re there to spill the local secrets and provide insider tips. 
  • Set a positive tone: A personal touch sets the stage for a positive experience. You can share house rules, highlight amenities, and address concerns before they arise, creating a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.
  • Build rapport: A face-to-face interaction allows you to connect with your guests on a deeper level. You might make new friends, get valuable feedback, and create a memorable stay for them.

So, if you want to add a personal touch, create lasting connections, and ensure a smooth start for your guests, host-led check-in could be your Airbnb check-in style. 

Self-check-in process 

The self-check-in Airbnb process is when guests let themselves in using smart locks, keypads, or lockboxes with unique codes you provide. Think of 24/7 access without needing you to be there.

This option offers many benefits as well, such as: 

  • Flexibility for everyone: Guests arrive on their schedule, whether it’s a late-night flight or an early-morning adventure. 
  • Stress-free hosting: You don’t have to be glued to your phone waiting for guests to arrive. Have peace of mind knowing guests can settle in smoothly, anytime.
  • Tech-savvy appeal: Travelers who appreciate a seamless, tech-driven experience would dig this Airbnb check-in style.
  • Offers privacy: Self-check-in allows guests to arrive, settle in, and start their vacation without a host hovering around. 

5 Tips To Providing a Good Airbnb Check-In Time Process 

Provide a Clear Communication

Send a clear, concise Airbnb check-in guide with pictures and videos or jot down on notepads how to access your place, unlock that fancy lockbox, and operate any gadgets they might encounter — with or without the host present. 

Think step-by-step guides that a 7-year-old can understand. Answer questions promptly and set expectations about your availability. 

Choosing the right key box 

Choosing the right key box is like picking the perfect sidekick that protects your property and guests’ safety. It should be sturdy, weather-resistant, visible in the dark and practically invisible to burglars. 

You can invest in a smart lock, too. A smart lock from August Home allows you to use your smartwatch to unlock and has built-in Wi-FI to enable voice assistance and features that allow remote access. 

Follow up with guests after they have check-in

Send a quick message to ensure everything is smooth and answer any lingering questions after your guest checks in. It shows you are willing to go the extra mile and reflects a good hospitality gesture. 

Offer personalized local tips and recommendations, and if something goes wrong, address concerns promptly and professionally.

Welcoming gifts 

You don’t have to provide luxurious or over-the-top welcoming gifts. It could be as simple as stocking up on toiletries such as shampoo and laundry liquid wash or providing clothing hangers showing care for your guests’ needs. 

A small basket of local products would be thoughtful as well. Basic information on the local language can be a good idea if your guests are from a foreign country. Aha! 

Lights/ automatic lights for guest check-in late 

If your property area lacks a sufficient amount of lighting at night, such as if it is situated in an alley, set up motion-sensor lights near the entrance and key box, creating a safe, welcoming arrival. 

Leave a few lamps inside for a cozy ambience. And if you have stairs or uneven paths, consider extra lighting to prevent any stumbles — and keep your guests from anxiously touching the wall and tapping the stairs with their toes before landing the whole feet to ensure it’s safe to continue walking. 


Hosting is about creating experiences. A smooth check-in is the first impression, setting the tone. By following this Airbnb check-in guide, adding your creativity (and quirks), and embracing your guests’ needs, you’ll transform check-ins from chaotic fumbles to seamless experiences. 

It’s all about clear communication, a sprinkle of thoughtfulness, and a dash of flexibility. Now get out there, and it’s time for you to execute your version of Airbnb check-in time that your guest will be pleased about!