Categories: Guides & hacksHosting

How to Host When You’re Not There

Live away from your property? No problem—we’ve got the perfect tips to help you manage bookings seamlessly from afar.

Many of our Hosts don’t live on the land that they list on Hipcamp. It can seem daunting at first to manage bookings from afar, but we’ve assembled a list of the best tips and tricks that help our remote Hosts succeed on Hipcamp.

Have a solid check-in process

Make sure to outline your check-in process in as much detail as possible in your Rules & Safety section of your Host Dashboard. Let campers know what to expect upon arrival, and communicate that you will not be there to greet them. You can set your check-in time and process in your Booking Options (shown below), as well, to inform campers that they do not need to meet you upon arrival. Set your “Check in process” as “Go straight to camp.” Give campers as much information as possible in your Directions — like gate codes, landmarks, etc.

Send detailed maps and “welcome” documents

Many Hosts find it helpful to share detailed maps and information packets with campers upon booking. When a camper makes a booking, you will be sent their email address and phone number, so you can connect with them directly and forward any attachments via email that might be helpful. If possible, share a map of the campground or area with your property shown on it, and include instructions on what to do and where to go when they arrive.

Create signs or guides at camp

To make sure your campsites and land stay tidy, let campers know what’s expected of them both in your Rules & Safety section of your Host Dashboard and—if possible—throughout camp. Laminate lists detailing how to clean up or where things are found for campers to navigate camp. Create signs that show them where things like bathrooms and water are located. A sign that leads them into camp (and some type of lighting) from the start of your property is also a great idea!

Check out our post on essential property signs for hosting campers for inspiration.

Keep photos and listing information up-to-date

Make sure your Description and photos are relevant. Have you added new features to your campsite? Upload photos when you can to show campers exactly what to expect upon arrival. If there have been any major changes, indicate them in your listing.

Be available online or by phone when campers arrive

Although having thorough directions will often suffice, sometimes campers need a little help getting there. Make sure you indicate how you prefer to be contacted—by text or call—in your Rules & Safety section so that campers know the best way to reach you in case of emergency. Stay up-to-date with your bookings by regularly checking your email and Hipcamp calendar so that you know when to expect campers. If it’s their check-in day, try to keep your phone on you when possible in case they have trouble locating your property or are confused on any details.

Utilize a camp host, cleaning crew or neighbor/friend when possible

Regularly checking in is always a great idea! If you can’t be there to monitor the state of the land, see if a neighbor or friend would be willing to stop by to make sure things are running smoothly, or hire a camp host during busy times of the year if possible. Hiring a cleaning crew or someone to tidy up also helps ensure that the campsite and land are as you left them. Connect directly with any campers who provide feedback stating something is different than expected to learn more about how you can address the issue(s).

Have a tip that we missed for managing your camp when you’re not there? Email sarah@hipcamp.com and we’d love to get it added to this list for future Hosts!

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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