Hotel alternatives are launching quickly and more and more of us are taking full advantage, getting more out of those few vacation hours our bosses hesitantly give us. After all, it makes no sense to pay $100 per night for two double beds and a nightstand on the outskirts of the city when we could pay $60 per night for a full house downtown, just above one of the only two good Thai restaurants and massage parlors within 30 miles. While backpacking through Peru and Brazil, a friend asked, “do you have sex on those folks’ bed?” Suddenly I found myself wondering if I should run a black light over my sheets when I return to my often-rented space in Johannesburg.
In hotels, we let the bodily fluids fly and land where they will and sometimes clean them up with hotel towels and at no point do we feel bad. Shouldn’t we treat our Innclusive and Airbnb rentals like we treat our hotels? Shouldn’t these homes be our home immediately after checking in and up until checkout? When booking a place on any of these hotel alternative sites, I also read the house rules and I will always abide by them, and fortunately I’ve never seen a no sex rule. Also: I just hope there are no hidden cameras set up.
As for me and my house, the rules are as follows:
1. The Food in the Fridge + Cabinets: Don’t leave anything that will spoil, sour, mold, or stink. You are welcomed to eat and drink anything I left behind and anything previous guests left behind.
A. If you are going to have sex, do not pull out and/or do not let your partner pull out. Too often they may try to aim for your face, chest, back or butt and, almost always, something will get on my sheets. Yeah, sheets can be washed, but I will always think I’m lying in your old wet spot.
B. Put a towel under you and throw that towel away.
C. No sex workers inside unless I recommend them (yeah, I may have a hookup for you…where it’s legal, of course *wink wink*).
3. Theft: If anything from my house is missing, no matter how big or small, I will call customer service and let them know you’ve robbed me of all my belongings. Depending on how they handle to case, I will then call the police.
4. Noise: My neighbors have been told me call me should they hear you. The walls are thick, so if they can hear you, you are just being utterly foolish.
5. No smoking cigarettes, crack, or meth. No drugs with complex, questionable recipes.
Being a host isn’t for everyone, especially those “what if they steal all my kids’ things” type of people, but for those who are ready to rick it all, go for it. Make sure your rules are fitting to how you want order to be maintained and make sure you communication them clearly. I’ve been hosting for four years and the only bad thing that comes to mind is having a blanket stolen from a group of Russians who complained about my place being in a “sketchy” neighborhood (read: Black Neighborhood).
Travel far and wide and be a comfortable as possible if comfort is what you seek. Find a home that will allow you to be as unapologetically you as humanly possible and make it yours.
My Space On:
Darnell Lamont Walker, a self-professed traveling foodie, has been found sitting at tables eating baby goat sweetbreads, drinking tequila, and laughing loudly with strangers. The writer, filmmaker, artist, and sometimes photographer puts happiness above all.