25 Replies Latest reply: Oct 8, 2019 7:42 PM by calicalling RSS

    Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage

    amanda_ha HomeAway Employee

      QA_luggage.png


      Do your guests ask if they can leave their luggage at your vacation rental before check-in or after check-out?

      If so, how do you normally handle that request? We've heard of people using luggage storages. Have you heard of this?

        • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
          feibus Senior Contributor

          They sometimes ask.  The answer is "no".  We need to get in there to clean, there's no place for luggage to be stored in these "every square foot is used" vacation homes.  That's what rental cars are for.

           

          A larger home might have a closet for that, guests returning after their check-out creates a potential liability you might not want.

          • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
            calicalling Active Contributor

            With special permission, we allow guests to leave luggage in our deadbolted garage-level storage closet and/or to park in the garage on the day of their check in or check out.

            • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
              wildiris Active Contributor

              I've never been asked.  If I am, the answer will be "no."  As feibus noted, the guests were somehow able to fit their luggage into their car.  Their luggage can remain there until the check-in time.  At check-out time, the guests and all of their belongings must be gone.  I don't want guests who have "checked out" to come back in to pick-up their luggage (and use the bathroom that has been cleaned).

                • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                  hmmmm Senior Contributor

                  There is a reason you have never be asked.

                  Something gives them the idea not to ask.....

                  What ever you are doing keep doing it.

                    • Re: Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                      scowol Active Contributor

                      I used to have this problem years ago, and it was always problematic for several reasons.  I don't allow this for the follow reasons, ever:

                       

                      1. It's an incredible burden on the housekeeper:  The housekeeper is disrupted from cleaning, and then are attempting to clean around luggage strewn about the house and bedrooms.    My housekeeper deserves her 4 hours of time to be left alone so that she can follow her routine and get the house perfectly staged and cleaned.  She doesn't deserve the added stress of bags dumped on her. 
                      2. Left-Behind Items:  Oftentimes the future guests would just drop by unannounced and dump off luggage. This was before they could verify that no prior guest belongings were accidentally left behind. The housekeeper needs to do a full inspection and look for left-behind items, and the only way is a clean slate in between guests.
                      3. Security:  My housekeeper is not a PM.  The guests are provided a code to enter the house on their own.  If they show up while she is there cleaning, it's not her job to validate that they are the legitimate guests checking in.  Scams are prevalent, and this just opens the door literally to strangers in the house.
                      4. Liability:  If a guest forgets to pack something, and discover that they cannot find it, the first person to blame will be my housekeeper for stealing.  I will never put my housekeeper or myself in this position.

                       

                      Based on the above, I have the following verbiage in my check-in instruction sheet, driving directions, pre-check-in welcome email, and the check-in section of the hospitality manager:

                       

                      For liability purposes, our housekeeping service is contractually prohibited from granting guest access to the house, which includes luggage drop-off or early visits for any reason. We apologize that exceptions are not possible because we are subject to the contractual agreement made with our housekeeping service.


                      Since doing this, I no longer have guests ask to drop off luggage, and my housekeeper no longer has unannounced pop-ins from early birds.

                      • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                        wildiris Active Contributor

                        I think it's a matter of location.  My rental is rural and a car is a necessity.  My guests are all driving from their homes or flying and renting a car at the airport. 

                    • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                      hmmmm Senior Contributor

                      Good Question Amanda,

                       

                      I have many times.

                      I try discourage it but if they are in taxi or Uber, I try to work with them.
                      But I tell them I am not always there the entire time Housekeeping is cleaning, so the luggage will not be watched.

                      I also try to help housekeeping clean so they can check in earlier in non summer seasons.


                      Its a toss up for me.

                      • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                        hmmmm Senior Contributor

                        So many factors go into whether a property can accommodate that request.
                        Being that we are not a hotel with that kind of storage room, it will depend on each home individually.


                        Many vacationers have to be reminded that we are individual homes.....different animals from hotels.

                        • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                          u0999 Premier Contributor

                          Please. stop trying to remake us into hotels/motels. We aren't.

                            • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                              feibus Senior Contributor

                              I know of places where they have a "front desk", bellhops, the works, but it's a bunch of VRs.  Can't even fathom their HOA bills, but they have all the features of a hotel with individual homes scattered on the property.  One size doesn't fit all.

                              • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                                u0999 Premier Contributor

                                Mine are stand alone log cabins in private settings,. No HOA, no front desk. Not about to impede cleaners when they are working.

                                • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                                  ohst8er Premier Contributor

                                  To what u0999 says, NO HOTEL allows guests to store their luggage IN THEIR FUTURE HOTEL ROOM.   That is a huge difference between hotels and VR's.  Hotels have public space.  Most of us do not.  Hotels have secure back of house space.  Most of us do not.  We cannot accommodate this request like a hotel because we do not have the setup that hotels have.  We don't have loss prevention staff like hotels have.  We don't have security cameras like hotels have.  We don't have millions of dollars in liability insurance like hotels.  Why?  Because we are not hotels. 

                                    • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                                      linky17 Active Contributor

                                      And yet, isn't our ability to be flexible what distinguishes us from h-o-t-e-l-s?  This, and more spacious 'spaces,' amenities, et cetera?

                                       

                                      High touch CS.

                                       

                                      I, for one, ascribe to + provide to Guests courtesies (when available) that your earlier response detailed/below … absent the *bold qualifier, which is a purely *geographic -- maybe even an *architectural -- choice, on my part.

                                        • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                                          u0999 Premier Contributor

                                          Hotels have staffs and on site storage for luggage. we do not. I do not want to be responsible for someone's belongings while cleaners may be going in and out of the property etc. Not that I do not trust cleaners, but never know. I do not want to be accused of something missing etc. If the property is ready I can allow early check in provided cleaners are done and gone. But not storing luggage concurrently with cleaners being there. Mine is drive to destination (even those who fly rent a vehicle at the airport) so I do not see a big deal storing their luggage in their cars.

                                        • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                                          hmmmm Senior Contributor

                                          100% in agreement.  And with a society who has been groomed for lawsuits for anything, who needs extra trouble??????????

                                      • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                                        casitacynthiasantafe Contributor

                                        My guests don't ask to leave their luggage before or after their check-in time, but sometimes they ask for early check-in or late check-out, and if I cannot accommodate that request, I offer the option of leaving their luggage in their parked car in our secure, underground parking lot (though I stipulate that I do not guarantee the security of their luggage).

                                        • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                                          vrdoctor Senior Contributor

                                          We had a guest ask to leave their luggage in the front hallway while they were skiing so they didn't have to leave everything in their rental car.  The guests came back five hours after the cleaning to shower, change and use the kitchen before finally leaving around 6:00pm.  After that we decided that guests would have to check out and take their luggage or pay for a late check-out or additional night.

                                          • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                                            bonesxxx Active Contributor

                                            As others have stated, I think it depends on your situation and location.

                                             

                                            Guests travel to my cabin via car anywhere from 1-6 hours away.  If they arrive early, I allow them to put their luggage on the covered front porch so they have room in their car to grocery shop.  No way I'd let them into the cabin itself (or their stuff).

                                            • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                                              ohst8er Premier Contributor

                                              If I don't have a check out on their day of arrival I'll let someone check in early, provided of course that the place is already cleaned and ready to go.    If I don't have a check in on their day of departure, I'll let someone check out late, provided I clear this with our housekeepers.

                                               

                                              If it is a same day turnover the answer is ALWAYS no to late check out, and yes to early check in ONLY IF I CAN CONFIRM THE CLEANERS ARE DONE.

                                               

                                              As far as luggage storage, the answer is just no.  You are either checked in (all of you, persons and belongings), or you are checked out (all of you, persons and belongings.)  I don't like gray areas, and I don't like the idea of inviting someone to leave their belongings unattended while the housekeepers are in and out.   Too much potential liability.

                                              • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                                                bhorsnround Contributor

                                                I get this a lot with return guest; if they are good guest I will work it out for them to drop of their items etc somewhere while cleaning the unit for their arrival

                                                • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                                                  bobbie32 Premier Contributor

                                                  This just goes to show how very different all vacation rental owners and their vacation rentals are.  You definitely cannot put everyone into the same basket.  When we got into this business almost 25 years ago, we truly did not know what to expect. We were service driven, yet realistic.  We offered grocery shopping so that the refrigerator would be fully stocked prior to arrival.  We offered in-home catering services for that romantic dinner for two. Granted our ranch is in the middle of nowhere.  If someone wanted to drop off their luggage, they would have to travel up to 2 hours round-trip out of their way to do so.  So no, we typically do not allow early drop-off of luggage.  But we fully understand that theft occurs with car break-ins in the national parks.  Then there are bears that break into to cars when someone unknowingly leaves the window open, or worse yet, leaves their car unlocked. So we try to educate our future guests and definitely like to do so before they book so they know what they are getting themselves in to. We also do not have cell service in most areas of our county and definitely not on the country roads. We once had someone visit for which the airline lost their luggage so they had to do without for several days. It got delivered the day before their departure. We had to be here to accept the lost luggage while our guests were visiting the nearby national park on their last day of vacation. We were glad to oblige, but as I remember we had to cancel an appointment to be at the ranch in order to accept the luggage.  Then we had a filming crew with the BBC that wanted to have all their video camera equipment delivered the day before arrival.  Thus, we had to sign for this very expensive video equipment the day before the producer and photographer arrived. That is a story which was a learning experience for sure.  I could go on and on about the various services/favors we have provided thru the years.  There was also the guest (rock-star) for which we only dealt with her “handler" during the booking process. Bottomline is that each owner/host must choose what is necessary in order to service the guest. And your rates should reflect those services or little add-ons.          

                                                    • Re: Early check-in/late checkout: Luggage
                                                      calicalling Active Contributor

                                                      bobbie32, totally.

                                                       

                                                      As other owners have asserted, we aren't hotels, but I would add that we are *more* than hotels. When guests have needs that I can fill (particularly at no cost to me), I try to do that.

                                                       

                                                      Many of our guests arrive early in the day and either head to a trailhead to hike or fish, or head to the hill to ski. For all the reasons you've stated, it is safer for them to leave their items in the available storage locker (which I readily admit, I am lucky to have), away from thieves of both the human and bear kind.