Late arrivals

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Well-known member
Feb 28, 2018
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Seward, Alaska
We are getting a lot of very late arrivals which means we don't get to meet them or sign our registration. Although we haven't had issues yet we want to be proactive.We have some concerns that we may end up with extra people staying or perhaps a stay using someone else's credit card which we don't allow. How do you handle late arrivals?
Self check in. If you see an extra person at breakfast, simply inform them that they owe more money. Everyone pays the morning of arrival.
We send an "Welcome" email about a week before arrival stating that " better serve you, we offer in-person check-ins..." If they need to check-in later than the times offered, we get a time frame, so in the event we step out for dinner, then we are home by their arrival. Rarely have we offered self check-ins, and then only in cases where a flight comes in past midnight or something similar.
Not being a "hotel" we just don't offer check-ins at all hours of the night.
With us, if you're going to arrive after 8pm you have to let us know. Sometimes we're up late for check-ins. (Fridays are notorious since we're 4-6 hours from the big cities). Sometimes we're not. If you're going to be after we go to bed, we let you know there will be a self-check-in letter with your name waiting for you. Tells you how to find your room, operate everything, reminds you not to wake the other guests, and what's for breakfast. In the morning, the unrecognized faces are immediately greeted with "Glad you made it in OK, how was your drive up?"
Our bedtime is between 8 and 10, I may discourage a late arrival or for some i may say call me around 8 on the evening of your arrival and I will go over directions, things you need to know and where to find your key, then just come see me before you head out in the morning. Has not been a problem thus far, of course many of these guests are repeat visitors
I have, on a very, very few occasions, had return guests coming in while I was out-of-town. One recently was coming to see his Dad and I had my high school reunion, staying over the night he arrived. He was told how to get in the house Friday, he took Dad out to breakfast Saturday and was instructed to leave me a note with breakfast time for Sunday as I would not be back from Chapel before he would be in bed. Saw him & Dad at breakfast Sunday and everyone was happy. Can only do that kind of thing when they know the layout of the house.
Our late arrivals get an email the day before instructing them where to find instructions. We have a Blink camera in our driveway so we can monitor up until 11 PM when we go to bed. We try to catch them if we can, if not, all works out. One of the instructions highlighted is PLEASE SIGN IN. We use their last four digits of their phone number as their key code to get in. Also, all of our balances are now charged the morning of arrival, like Beachie. If there were an extra person we weren't told about (I'd be really annoyed) and would charge immediately at breakfast (which also means we wouldn't have an extra entree made for them without notice).
We get the check-in time upfront when we can. We wait up for Guests and ask they call us when they pull in. I feel many potential problems are averted because we give ourselves several opportunities to qualify (size up) Guests before and when they check in. The more pre-visit touches the better.

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