Airbnb Nightmare – 15 Absolute Worst Things to Ever Happen!

Airbnb nightmare—have you recently had a bad experience at an Airbnb? There are many great Airbnb hosts out there in the world. Many go above and beyond the call of duty to take travelers under their wings, making strangers a friend.

Some provide personalized tours of the neighborhood and cities they live in. Others may leave gift baskets, homemade cakes, and local bottles of wine. You can tell, they take great pride in their rental unit, neighborhood, and city.

And then there are these hosts. These hosts put the nightmare in #AirbnbNightmare.

Airbnb Nightmare – 15 Absolute Worst Things to Ever Happen!

After staying in 100+ Airbnb properties we feel we’ve earned the right to call you out on the terrible experience you provided. This is by no means Airbnb’s fault.

We’re proud Airbnb enthusiasts and it is always one of our top choices for accommodation when traveling. However, please keep in mind that each Airbnb nightmare has personally happened to us while using Airbnb. Below are the 15 absolute worst things to ever happen.

  1. Provided no toilet paper (or 1 roll).
  2. Left a half-used bar of soap.
  3. Provided the flattest/dirtiest pillows in the world.
  4. Wasn’t cleaned properly.
  5. Didn’t provide any shades in the bedroom.
  6. Left the dirtiest used sponge in the world to clean dishes.
  7. Wi-Fi is ridiculously slow or nonexistent.
  8. The host is never around for check-in or check-out.
  9. Forgot to mention major construction projects that are occurring nearby.
  10. The number of plates has been counted.
  11. The property is cluttered.
  12. Didn’t provide beach towels.
  13. Drains are clogged.
  14. Circuit breakers constantly trip.
  15. Charged a ridiculously high cleaning fee but then complain when guests leave the unit dirty.
  16. A corkscrew wasn’t provided.

1. Provided No Toilet Paper (Or 1 Roll)

Airbnb Nightmare | 15 Absolute Worst Things to Ever Happen!

After a long day of planes, trains, and automobiles, I arrive at your unit to finally allow myself a proper bowel movement and at the last possible moment, I realize (when it’s clearly too late) that there’s no toilet paper. Yes, this has happened to me.

2. Left a Half Used Bar of Soap

Airbnb Nightmare | 15 Absolute Worst Things to Ever Happen!

Why would you do this? Do you think I trust the previous encounters with this soap? Where has it been? What were its whereabouts? This is what you want me to use to wash my face and hands? No!

3. Provided the Flattest/Dirtiest Pillows in the World

Airbnb Nightmare | 15 Absolute Worst Things to Ever Happen!

What’s the opposite of Westin’s heavenly bed? That’s what you provided. I can’t wait to not sleep for the entire remainder of my stay. What happened to the fluffy pillows you had in the listing? Did you take them home to put them back in your cozy bed?

4. Wasn’t Cleaned Properly

Airbnb Nightmare | 15 Absolute Worst Things to Ever Happen!

I’m not stupid, I know when you’re attempting to do a half-assed cleaning job in the last 5 minutes before my arrival. Especially when it takes you 2 minutes to answer the doorbell and I arrive at an overly perfumed apartment. We all know you’re just spraying Febreeze. FYI, Febreeze and air fresheners don’t disinfect and are a red flag for a “cover-up.”

5. Didn’t Provide Any Shades in the Bedroom

Airbnb Nightmare | 15 Absolute Worst Things to Ever Happen!

I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I was living in the 16th century and needed to rise at dawn’s first light with the roosters. This is when I start my day with hate, and it’s because of you. Nothing puts someone in a crabby mood like waking up earlier than they need to.

6. Left the Dirtiest Used Sponge in the World to Clean Dishes

Airbnb Nightmare | 15 Absolute Worst Things to Ever Happen!

You are officially scum in my book and now I have to wash every single dish twice as hard (with a new sponge of course). Thanks to you, my first stop in town is the closest grocery store where I’ll be buying a new sponge AND toilet paper.

7. Wifi Is Ridiculously Slow or Nonexistent

Airbnb Nightmare | 15 Absolute Worst Things to Ever Happen!

Could you do anything worse than this? As you’re surfing the web on your 5G iPhone, I can’t even connect to the Airbnb app to complain to you. Well played host, well played.

8. Host Never Around for Check-In or Check-Out

Honestly, we kind of prefer it, when everything is going the way it should. But with you and your disorganized lifestyle, the key isn’t where it’s supposed to be, the location of the apartment is wrong, we can’t get a hold of you, etc.

9. Forgot to Mention Major Construction Projects That Are Occurring Nearby

Airbnb Nightmare | 15 Absolute Worst Things to Ever Happen!

Wow, maybe you should have warned me before booking that the other side of my bedroom wall is being completely demolished and rebuilt? Did you think the jackhammering at 8 am wasn’t going to bother us?

10. The Number of Plates Has Been Counted

Accidents happen in new environments. Get over it. It’s a plate. It costs a dollar. If you’re buying expensive plates for your Airbnb rental then most likely you’re an idiot. What did you expect was going to happen? That I was going to go on a scavenger hunt around town to try to replace the broken one with a new matching one? If it’s getting you this worked up then maybe you’re price point is incorrect.

11. Property is Cluttered

Airbnb Nightmare | 15 Absolute Worst Things to Ever Happen!

I love it when you have 12 plants in the bedroom but nowhere for me to put my backpack. There’s a reason modern hotels are uncluttered. People want space for “their” belongings, not yours. Please don’t use every available nook and cranny as your storage locker.

And because this concept doesn’t resonate with you, here’s a small list of things you shouldn’t have in your unit. Vases, fake flowers, your college textbooks, plants (that I’m now responsible for watering), dolls, figurines, your guitar, knickknacks, and tchotchkes, just to name a few.

12. Didn’t Provide Beach Towels

Even though you state in your rules, “Don’t take the bath towels to the beach.” It’s not my fault you only provide white towels. What towels do you think I’m going to take to the beach?  Do you actually expect me to go purchase beach towels because you didn’t?

13. Drains Are Clogged

After a long day of sightseeing, it’s a great feeling to come back to your apartment only to stand in ankle-deep water in your shower. If you actually cleaned the shower you’d know that it doesn’t drain properly. So now I’m left wondering, whose filth am I standing in, and what’s the best kitchen utensil I’m going to use to dig the hair out? Yeah.

14. Circuit Breakers Constantly Trip

Oh, I can’t run the air conditioner and use the stove at the same time? That makes sense. No, it doesn’t. You’re not an electrician. I should not have to worry about tripping a circuit breaker because you’ve decided one day that you’re a “handyman.” Multitasking is not defined as using two appliances at once.

15. Charged a Ridiculously High Cleaning Fee but Then Complain When Guests Leave the Unit Dirty

For the record, I always leave the unit exceptionally clean (thanks to my OCD wife). But I have seen this happen to others and it disgusts me. You charge $35+ for the cleaning fee (for a small apartment) only to do a half-ass job cleaning it yourself.

Newsflash, I know you’re not hiring someone to clean the unit (professionally) and you’re doing it yourself. And because you have to do the cleaning, you bitch and moan whenever someone moves one of your tchotchkes. Not only are you a bad host, but you’re also a bad cleaner. Don’t quit your day job. You’re definitely going to need it because your Airbnb hosting days are coming to an end.


16. A Corkscrew Wasn’t Provided

You will come across this guy at some point in your research. Trust me! It doesn’t work.

Just because you’re not a wino, doesn’t mean that I’m not. I’m so glad we booked your property to spend a special holiday, anniversary, or birthday in. Let’s have some wine! Wait, what? You don’t have a corkscrew? Thanks so much. Now we get to spend the next 30 minutes figuring out what we can use around the apartment to open the wine.

My personal favorite (and recommended method) is to acquire the longest screw you can find (ex. door hinge). Next, locate some sort of wire (a telephone wire is ideal but any type of strong thin wire will work). Rotate the screw until it’s almost completely in the cork. Finally, slide the wire underneath the screw and firmly (but gently) pull. Voilà!

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11 thoughts on “Airbnb Nightmare – 15 Absolute Worst Things to Ever Happen!
  1. Top 5 Signs of a Bad Airbnb Guest:

    1) No introduction, no courtesy in the initial message, blunt and direct questions / statements with no background – this immediately tells me two things: you’re rapid-firing off the same template to tons of hosts & leads to the next #.

    2) Not reading the listing in its entirety. You send me a message asking a question that’s already addressed in my listing – that tells me right off the bat you’re lazy, entitled (yes, you have an air of entitlement because you expect me to explain things to you like a 5 year old with a 30 sec attention span), willfully ignorant to my rules, and more likely that not going to be a major PITA. I won’t even respond with anything other than, “having read my listing in full you should already be familiar with this information that I have listed.”

    3) Asking for things that are not listing. I am not a concierge or hotel, I do not work for you. Its not my job or obligation to run around gathering your particular wants for your stay with me. Go get your own spices, your own special whatever it is you claim to need while traveling.

    4) Asking for a discount. I don’t know you, you think its normal to ask a stranger for money like that? Will you also be standing out of my apartement with a cup collecting change ? I will not host anyone who inquires for a discount as from direct experience with multiple guests, those who inquire for a discount and still book despite not receiving it will guaranteed show up and purposefully inspect for issues to claim refunds for. I had a guest literally tell me they wanted a FULL refund because the toaster had crumbs inside of it. I’m not running a charity, nor willing to subsidize your vacation budget because you can’t afford your own trip.

    5) Asking for an exception to the standard agreement without offering consideration. Oh, you want a late check out – in exchange for what, nothing? Then no. Oh you want to drop your luggage off, in exchange for what – are you offering me a holding and handling fee for you?

    Lastly – the universal rule of Airbnb – You are not staying in a hotel, you are staying in a private residence, even if its a stand alone rental. Set your expectations accordingly – no one cares that you’re on vacation, the neighbors around you certainly don’t. Being on a trip doesn’t entitle you to anything, in fact quite the opposite. Being on a trip in a strangers home behooves you to behave and act respectful.

    Sound harsh? Not according to my 90% occupancy rate, 6 year strong Super Host status, and 4.8 average rating. You’re an adult traveling, act like it and show some self sufficiency and initiative.

  2. While hosts should ideally provide most of things in your list, the way that you’re bemoaning trivialities here makes you sound entitled and spoilt. It also indicates that you lack the resourcefulness and adaptability to improve a suboptimal situation.

    Wi-Fi is a luxury in any accommodation, not a necessity that ranks higher in importance than physiological needs, and if you just took the time to buy a local SIM card and set up a mobile hotspot the lack of it really wouldn’t matter to you so much.

    Toilet paper is not a necessity in all bathrooms – at least not in Asian bathrooms that use bidet showers.You didn’t mention that in the article at all.

    If not being able to run two appliances simultaneously irks you that much then how will you be able handle far more challenging situations like having to shit in the woods, or having to sleep rough?

    It sounds like you’ve become worryingly dependent on comfort and pampering when you travel. I’d advise a few weeks of living rough just to renew your perspective and make you appreciate what you have a little more.

    The stoics of ancient Athens would deliberately expose themselves to hardship and spartan living conditions to prevent exactly this kind of weakness and sense of entitlement from taking root, which you seem to be a victim of.

  3. Unfortunately, as a Super Host of 7 years, I have ton of horror stories. Nearly all my bad experiences began with guesting having unrealistic expectations & absurd sense of entitlement.

    1. This is actually the first article I found about bad hosts. There’s an entire Facebook group dedicated to “blacklisted” Airbnb Guests, but not one for hosts that should be blacklisted. I just had a very bad experience with a host yesterday and was the first time in my 3 years using Airbnb.

  4. Good article, thank you! Unfortunately we’re in the process of trying to get a refund from Airbnb. We’ve encountered the WORST host in Raleigh, North Carolina! (For what it’s worth, we later discovered that the city of Raleigh doesn’t allow Airbnb rentals).

    We booked a full house to have a nice Thanksgiving dinner with our family. We arrived only to trip & stumble our way through the trash, electric cords, and a 6-8″ trench running the length of the backyard, in the dark, to get to the key.
    After finding our way inside we were shocked to find the host was kind enough to leave his kitchen trash full, as well as a full refrigerator, and a sink full of dishes. Although I had wanted to provide good, fresh food for our family dinner, not the hosts rotting, smelly leftovers and the rotten avacadoes on the counter.

    Apparently our host has an affinity for Asian or Eastern European food as the VERY strong odor permeated the entire house; it was extremely noticeable upon entering. I can only presume that is the reason for his halitosis? He left his partial bottles of mouthwash (I counted 5 in plain sight during our less than 10 hour visit) as well as several, random, used toothbrushes throughout, (and they were not only in the 3 bathrooms)!

    The liability of safety issues didn’t concern him as he left several saws out and about including the one with the rusty blade next to the back door I had to enter through, the broken bricks at the front steps, and the rope tied at neck /head height between a tree and a make-shift pavilion?

    Finally, the icing on the cake was that the host was kind enough to leave a few surprise items not pictured in his listing from restraints on the headboard, to a partially used box of condoms. a basket of sex toys, and a few “how to” books on the subject, accompanied by a sock that could stand on it’s own. All of this was perfect for the family vacation we’d mentioned when communicating with the host before making our reservation, just the kind of things a Mother wants to share with her young daughter, (HEAVY sarcasm there in case you couldn’t tell).

    Needless to say, we left as quickly as we could & messaged our host for cancellation and a refund. He couldn’t be bothered to reply until more than 30 hours later.

    After staying in 1/2 dozen Airbnb’s over the last 12 mos., we had never requested a refund. However, words to live by, NOT all Airbnb’s are created equal!
    As they say in Jamaica, “Walk good” (meaning safe travels)!

  5. Loved the post and completely agree. My wife and I are in the same position and have used around 50+ Airbnb’s too whilst travelling as digital nomads. The only one we haven’t experienced is the no blinds in the bedroom (unless you count the thinnest possible curtains when it gets light at 4 am and dark at 10.30 pm).

    And a new one we encountered just today that you’re going to like (or dislike!):

    For the first time ever, the host demands 10 Euro in compensation from us for his time because we arrived later than we said and he missed a ‘business’ meeting. But, our bus didn’t show up and we’d spent the best part of 10 hours to travel less than 150 km. When we check in, it’s our fault that his last minute messages to us failed to send…

    And another bonus one that we find a lot in Europe – no A/C, No fan, and no bug net on the only window in the apartment in the middle of summer!

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