Traveling can be hectic, and after a long journey all you want to do is get into your vacation rental and settle in. But what if your Airbnb host can’t accommodate an early check-in? Don’t stress – with some planning and communication, early check-in is possible with Airbnb.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Contact your host in advance to ask about early check-in availability. Be flexible on timing, offer to pay extra, and have a backup plan if early check-in isn’t possible.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about arranging early check-in with Airbnb, including tips for improving your chances of an early arrival.

What is Early Check-In with Airbnb?

Early check-in is a service provided by Airbnb that allows guests to check into their accommodation before the standard check-in time. Typically, the standard check-in time for most Airbnb listings is in the afternoon, around 3 PM or 4 PM.

However, with early check-in, guests can gain access to the property earlier, usually in the morning or even as early as 9 AM.

Airbnb’s standard check-in times

When booking an Airbnb, it’s important to be aware of the standard check-in times set by the hosts. These times are established to ensure that the hosts have enough time to prepare the property for the next guests.

Most hosts set their check-in times in the afternoon to allow for sufficient cleaning and maintenance between guests.

While the specific check-in times can vary from host to host, it’s common to see check-in times between 3 PM and 4 PM. This gives hosts ample time to clean and reset the property after the previous guests have checked out.

It’s crucial for guests to respect these check-in times unless they have made arrangements for early check-in.

Reasons travelers request early check-in

There are several reasons why travelers may request early check-in with Airbnb. Here are a few common scenarios:

  • Early arrival: Travelers who arrive in a city earlier than expected may request early check-in to drop off their luggage and freshen up before starting their day of exploration.
  • Flight/train arrival times: If travelers have early morning flights or trains, they may request early check-in to avoid carrying their luggage around the city or waiting for hours until the standard check-in time.
  • Special occasions: Guests celebrating special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries may request early check-in to ensure they have enough time to prepare the accommodation for their celebration.
  • Business travelers: Business travelers who have meetings or conferences early in the day may request early check-in to have a convenient and comfortable base of operations.

It’s important to note that early check-in is not always guaranteed. It depends on the availability and willingness of the host to accommodate the request. Some hosts may charge an additional fee for early check-in, while others may be more flexible and offer it as a complimentary service.

It’s always best to communicate and make arrangements with the host in advance to avoid any disappointments or misunderstandings.

How to Request Early Check-In on Airbnb

When planning a trip, getting early check-in can make a huge difference in maximizing your time and enjoying your vacation to the fullest. Here are some tips to help you request early check-in on Airbnb:

Contact the host in advance

The first step to securing early check-in is to reach out to your host in advance. Send them a message expressing your interest in checking in early and inquire about the possibility. It’s always a good idea to be polite and respectful in your communication, as hosts are more likely to accommodate your request if you have a positive interaction.

Be flexible on timing

Being flexible with your check-in time can increase your chances of getting early check-in. If you’re willing to check in a few hours earlier or later than your preferred time, mention this to the host.

They may have other guests checking out early or arriving late, making it easier for them to accommodate your request.

Offer to pay extra

In some cases, hosts may be willing to grant you early check-in for an additional fee. If you’re comfortable with paying extra, you can suggest this option to your host. Keep in mind that not all hosts will agree to this, but it’s worth a try if getting early access to the property is important to you.

Book longer stays

Booking longer stays can increase your chances of securing early check-in. Hosts may be more inclined to accommodate your request if you’re staying for multiple nights, as it minimizes the gap between guests and gives them more flexibility in scheduling the cleaning and preparation of the property.

Look for 24-hour check-in properties

To avoid the hassle of requesting early check-in, you can search for properties that offer 24-hour check-in. These properties typically have a self-check-in process, allowing you to access the accommodation at any time once your booking begins.

This can be a convenient option if you have a tight schedule or if you’re unsure about your arrival time.

Try instant booking

Some hosts offer instant booking, which allows you to book a property without having to wait for their approval. This can be advantageous when requesting early check-in, as you can see the availability and choose a property that offers flexible check-in times.

However, availability may vary, so it’s important to book well in advance.

Find a backup plan

Despite your best efforts, there may be situations where early check-in is simply not possible. It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan in case your request is denied. Look for nearby cafes, luggage storage facilities, or attractions where you can spend your time until your check-in time.

Planning ahead can help you make the most of your day, even if you can’t check in early.

Remember, while early check-in is a great perk, it’s not always guaranteed. By following these tips and maintaining good communication with your host, you can increase your chances of securing early check-in on Airbnb. Happy travels!

What to Expect When Requesting Early Check-In

When booking an Airbnb, many travelers hope to be able to check in early and start their vacation or business trip without delay. However, it’s important to understand that early check-in is not always guaranteed. Here’s what you can expect when requesting early check-in:

Early check-in isn’t guaranteed

While some hosts may be able to accommodate early check-in requests, it’s important to keep in mind that it is not a guarantee. Hosts have their own schedules and may need time to clean and prepare the space between guests.

It’s always best to communicate your request in advance and be understanding if the host is unable to accommodate it.

Hosts have valid reasons to deny requests

Hosts may have valid reasons for denying early check-in requests. They may have other guests checking out on the same day and need time to clean the space thoroughly. Additionally, some hosts may have other commitments or work schedules that make it difficult for them to accommodate early arrivals.

Remember, hosts want to provide a clean and comfortable space for their guests, and sometimes that requires sticking to the normal check-in time.

You may have to wait until normal check-in time

If your request for early check-in is denied, you may have to wait until the normal check-in time designated by the host. This could mean killing time in a nearby café or exploring the neighborhood until you can access the Airbnb.

It’s always a good idea to plan accordingly and have a backup plan for early arrival days.

Some hosts can’t accommodate early arrivals

It’s important to understand that some hosts simply cannot accommodate early arrivals due to their personal or work commitments. They may have a job they need to go to or other responsibilities that prevent them from being available for early check-ins.

While it may be disappointing, it’s crucial to respect the host’s availability and make alternative arrangements if necessary.

Remember, the key to a successful Airbnb experience is clear communication with your host. If early check-in is important to you, be sure to communicate your request in advance and be understanding if it cannot be accommodated.

By being respectful and flexible, you can help create a positive experience for both you and your host.

What to Do If Early Check-In Isn’t Possible

While getting an early check-in with Airbnb can be a convenient option for many travelers, it’s not always guaranteed. If you find yourself in a situation where early check-in isn’t possible, don’t worry!

There are several alternatives you can consider to make the most of your time before you can officially check-in.

See if luggage drop-off is allowed

If you arrive at your Airbnb before the designated check-in time, it’s worth reaching out to your host to see if they allow luggage drop-off. Some hosts may be accommodating and willing to let you leave your bags at the property while you explore the area or grab a bite to eat.

This can free you up to make the most of your time without lugging around heavy luggage.

Ask if late check-out is available the previous day

Another option to consider is asking your host if a late check-out is available on the previous day. While this may not necessarily allow you to check-in early, it can give you the opportunity to extend your stay and have a bit more time in the morning before you have to vacate the property.

It’s always worth asking, as some hosts may be flexible with their check-out times.

Book a day use hotel room

If you need a place to freshen up or relax before your official check-in time, booking a day use hotel room can be a great option. Day use hotel rooms are designed for short stays during the day and often offer amenities such as showers, comfortable beds, and a quiet place to rest.

You can use websites like or to find and book day use hotel rooms in your desired location.

Change travel plans to arrive later

If your schedule allows for some flexibility, you could consider changing your travel plans to arrive later, closer to the designated check-in time. This way, you can avoid the inconvenience of waiting around for your Airbnb to be ready and make the most of your time exploring the surrounding area or enjoying other activities before settling into your accommodation.

Wait in a cafe or public area until check-in time

If all else fails and you have no other options, you can always find a cozy cafe or public area nearby to relax and pass the time until your check-in time. Use this opportunity to plan your itinerary, catch up on some reading, or simply enjoy a cup of coffee while people-watching.

It might not be the most glamorous option, but it can be a pleasant way to spend your time until you can settle into your Airbnb.

Remember, while early check-in is a great perk, it’s not always possible. By exploring these alternatives and staying flexible, you can make the most of your time and ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience.


Early check-in with Airbnb takes some pre-planning, flexibility, and communication, but it can help make your vacation start off smoothly. With some courtesy toward hosts and backup options in case early arrival doesn’t work out, you’ll be settled into your Airbnb and ready to start your trip on time.

The key is contacting hosts proactively, offering incentives like extra fees if possible, and understanding if they can’t accommodate an early arrival. With these tips in mind, early check-in is achievable with Airbnb.

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