Categories: Guides & hacksHosting

A Guide to Successful Hipcamp Hosting, as told by Hipcamp Hosts

Looking for tips on how to be a successful host? Best to hear it from Hipcamp Hosts themselves. By opening up their land to others and knowing where to hang hammocks for just the right mountain view, Hosts are the real experts.

These tips and suggestions will help you create a great experience for both Hipcampers and yourself as a Host. We know many of our current Hosts have plenty of their own tips to share as well—if that’s you, head to the bottom of this post to let us know so we can continue to update this post!

Hosts Alan and Veronika of Paradise Shores Camp in California. Photo by Madison Kotack

1. Clarity is best

  • Always be honest. Hosts should never make their facility out to be something that it isn’t, nor should they promise things they cannot deliver. Campers and guests seem to appreciate warm honesty.

         –Valeria, Host of Stillwaters Farm in Tennessee

 

  • Make your listing as honest and detailed as possible. Campers want details and this helps greatly to manage expectations from the start.

        –Veronika, Host of Paradise Shores Camp in California

  • Have you laid out a master plan for the perfect camp? Do you have it lined out to the letter? Some campers won’t, or can’t, follow it. When I go out to the camp, I’m in my truck, so it’s no problem for me to throw a 55-gallon bag of trash in the pickup bed and toss it in a dumpster afterward. I have to remember some people drive compact cars, and they probably don’t want to drive home with a dirty bag of trash cradled in their back seat.”

        –Mark, Host of Whitewater Springs in Texas

  • Supply a map of the property and trails that are accessible.

        –Michelle, Host of Jug Handle Creek Farm in California

How to put this into action

One of the best ways to make sure Hipcampers know what to expect when they see your listing? Keeping your calendar availability up to date. Whether you have chosen to accept Instant Bookings or Requests to Book, maintaining your calendar will save you time and keep you from having to decline or cancel bookings. If you also host on platforms, be sure to sync your calendar so this is done automatically for you.

You can also set expectations by showcasing real photos of your property. You can request a Hipcamp Photographer to verify your listing (in the ‘Photos’ section of your Host Dashboard)—they’ll come out to take professional photos for your listing page and leave you a review to share their experience on your land. Listings with Hipcamp photography typically earn an average of 5x more revenue than unverified properties.

Hipcamp Host Tony of Country Camping At Its Best in Virginia. Photo by Erin McGrady

2. Focus on the details

  • “It should go without saying, but in this world of ‘grab the buck as fast as you can,’ sometimes you need to slow down, listen to what your guest is asking, and do your best to meet their needs.

        –Valeria, Host of Stillwaters Farm in Tennessee

 

  • “It’s helpful to have firewood onsite so campers can purchase to build fires.

        –Michelle, Host of Jug Handle Creek Farm in California

 

  • We greet every guest upon their arrival and offer any assistance or advice. We invite them to the party pavilion for an outdoor fire, but let them decide how much interaction they would like with us. We have enjoyed all types of guests and made fast friends with a few.

        –Angela, Host of Columbia Flat in California

 

  • The No. 1 piece of advice I would give to other Hipcamp Hosts is to put yourself in the place of the guests. Go out of your way in being available to any needs that might come up. For me, I am always 275 miles away from my guests. But at the very moment I receive a reservation notification, I message them and let them know of anything in particular that needs mentioning, and more so, I let them know that I’m available basically 24 hours a day while they are experiencing my land, should any situation come up. I never act as though they are bothering me, but rather, I’m so thankful they are experiencing my beautiful place, and I truly want them to have a wonderful time.”

        –Gary, Host of ShastaView in California

 

  • “This is the sharing economy, so be thankful for shared feedback. Act on the feedback and follow up with photos! Request your guests give you feedback, use the feedback as a tool to increase return-guests in the future with discounts, put their feedback to the test, and keep them posted on the improvements.”

        –Mackenzie, Host of Mendocino Magic in California 

How to put this into action

Consider putting your own special touch on a Hipcamper’s visit by offering Extras. These are your own custom experiences, rentals, and goods that you can sell to earn a bit of extra money and also share more of your land with others. Consider offering farm-fresh eggs, a guided trail hike, or time feeding your animals. You can find more inspiration from other Hosts here.

We’ve also heard time and again that Hipcampers appreciate the ease of Instant Book Hipcamps. As we work to make getting outside as easy as possible, this is one less barrier. Aside from this, it’s always a good idea to be as communicative as possible using Hipcamp Messages and SMS.

Hipcamp Host Sandy at Living the Dream in Vermont. Photo by Candace Hope

3. Build connection through your land

  • Be open minded about your clientele. Some of my campers I would never talk to if I met them as strangers out on the street, but the beauty of Hipcamp is it gives you common ground: the love of camping in nature. My background is military, very regimented and formal, but I live outside Austin, a city known for its hippie roots and progressive nature. My campers enjoy my land just as much as I do, and that is what joins us. That’s what matters.

        –Mark, Host of Whitewater Springs in Texas

 

  • I typically give campers six farm fresh eggs to enjoy with their breakfast. During the summer, when we have a ton of produce, I also give them some veggies. We always have so much it is nice to share with folks who don’t have a chance to garden or have chickens.

        –Angela, Host of Columbia Flat in California

 

  • I like to leave books and maps about the surrounding area. I think it’s wise to take the time to give your place a little feng shui upgrade. When I hang the hammocks in the spring, I make sure the branches that have grown from the previous year are not blocking the view of Mt. Shasta.

        –Gary, Host of ShastaView in California

How to put this into action

The advice really speaks for itself here. Open up your land and life with Hipcampers and they’ll be certain to reflect the experience in the review they leave you. It can help to remind them to leave a review as they depart, too! 


Following the advice of our most successful Hosts is a sure way to create a great experience for Hipcampers, as well as yourself. If you have any advice for new Hipcamp Hosts that you’d like to share, please reach out to us at hi@hipcamp.com!

Featured photo by Hipcamp Photographer Vanessa L. at Lupine Loop Car Camping in California

Hipcamp is an online marketplace where you can list, discover, and book campsites and accommodations on private and public land. Hipcamp is your go-to guide to getting outside. If you’re a landowner, Hipcamp creates new revenue streams for your business, which can help conserve your land and keep it wild. #FindYourselfOutside #LeaveItBetter

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