Most people know how to be good guests in someone else’s household. Between couch surfing, staying at a cousin’s apartment, or visiting with your boyfriend’s parents over Thanksgiving break, most travelers have enough practical experience to be a decent guest. Cohabitating for any length of time is an art form, to be sure. What elevates a Try It Tiny guest from good to great though? Truth is, no one knows.
The concept of a sharing economy (Try It Tiny, Uber, TaskRabbit, DogVacay) didn’t even exist a decade ago. Since the acknowledgment of such an industry though, little has been done to prep guests for the experience. For example, when staying in an ADU (accessory dwelling unit) or a backyard cottage, is it considered rude to head straight to your space upon arrival, or do you first introduce yourself to the hosts and spend a few minutes exchanging pleasantries? How clean should you keep your space during your stay? Can you have a guest sleep over for one night? Until this point even we have offered little guidance as to how to walk the delicate wire other than to avoid canceling and respond to questions from the host within 24 hours. The actual protocol between guest and host is hazy.
Hopefully, these tips will help you elevate yourself from good guest to great guest though and decrease the awkward moments of trying it tiny!
READ THE ENTIRE LISTING
Most hosts are more than happy to correspond with a guest to help them find restaurants or outdoor activities that suit their tastes. No one wants a guest to have a bad time. But be sure to read the entire Try It Tiny listing first. See if the location is what you are looking for and in the area, you are most interested in. Don’t start your search by sending hosts questions like “How many people does your tiny house sleep?” “Is WiFi available?” A listing description typically answers all of these questions and when asked, can create a frustrating and time-wasting exchange. If you need information that isn’t in the listing (“Do you need a fishing license to fish off the dock behind your tiny house?”) then certainly message the host. Otherwise, read first!
OFFER A COMPLETE PROFILE
The best way to start your experience off on the right foot is for the host to feel like you are a great fit for their tiny house. If you have a complete profile and a good review or two, you are golden. There is no need to send an introductory message or try to sell yourself. Create a solid profile and show potential hosts that you care about the details in your life the way you will on their property.
REMEMBER IT ISN’T A HOTEL
Staying in a hotel can often elicit feelings of being a king or queen. You first walk in and are greeted by hermetically sealed soaps and bath products. Your coffee station is stocked with coffee and teas. A fresh robe waits for you at the foot of the bed. Everything is as close to immaculate as possible when you arrive. When you leave though, things are a bit disheveled. In a Try It Tiny situation, however, you must remember you are in someone else’s home. This means that not everything will be as immaculate because people pass through there regularly and there is no army of employees to tend to the caulking around the tub edge or create animals out of the fresh towels. There is no maid turning down the bed each morning. Be kind and leave the tiny house almost exactly as you found it. While there is a nominal cleaning fee for each rental, a decent level of tidiness is appreciated.
LET THE HOST KNOW IF SOMETHING IS WRONG
If you find you’re unhappy with something or something is broken or even if you feel the listing was inaccurate, tell the host as early as possible. Most hosts will do their best to rectify the problem. However, you have to communicate the error. Don’t stay silent and wait to unleash on the review of your stay. That is unfair to all involved. Don’t act as if everything is fine only to complain later. Communicate well and communicate early.
LEAVE A REVIEW
Hopefully leaving a review is an obvious tip. However, when a host has opened up their space to you and provided you a home away from home, it is appreciated for you to leave a review soon after your stay. Oftentimes listings are left unread when they have no reviews. Try to leave more than one line and include your opinion on everything from the coffee pods waiting next to the coffee pot when you arrived, to the proximity of the gluten-free bakery just around the corner. If you do have a complaint, be fair and even-tempered. A review like this will help the host and future guests.
Be sure to create your profile today on Try It Tiny. We also want to hear your tips for being a great guest. Leave them in the comments section below. If you want to continue the conversation visit our Facebook page.