The Airbnb Guidebook Alternative That Guests Love

Guests are not just looking for the perfect vacation rental property, but for the perfect all-around vacation experience. What your area has to offer is a major pull for guests—and who’s better placed to give them the lowdown on the best restaurants, popular sights, and activities than you?

Airbnb guidebooks were created for Airbnb hosts to provide guests with the local area information they need during their stay. Although they’re great for guests, they play only a small part in the entire guest life journey. From house rules and manuals, to welcome books and local area guides, guests want all of this information at their fingertips, in one place.

Your priority is streamlining your guests’ vacation experience, minimizing disruptions, and securing 5-star reviews. Read on to find out how RueBaRue, the end-to-end guest communication solution (and Airbnb guidebook alternative!) helps you do just that by offering you a platform from which you can manage the entire guest journey.

RueBaRue is a powerful guest communication tool that allows you to do much more than create guidebooks: send automated messages and alerts, offer guests the option to extend their stays, create local area guides, and more. Book a demo personalized to your rentals to see the platform in action.

What are Airbnb guidebooks?

Airbnb guidebooks are a native feature for hosts, allowing them to provide guests with information about the local area within their vacation rental listing.

This information typically includes:

  • Popular restaurants and coffee shops
  • Places/landmarks of interest
  • Bars, clubs, and casinos
  • Art galleries and museums
  • Parks, beaches, hiking trails, places to rent surfing equipment, etc
  • Shopping malls, cinemas, and theaters
  • Kids entertainment centers such as soft play, arcades, bowling alleys
  • Grocery stores and bakeries
  • Transportation options such as bus/train routes, taxis, and car rental companies

Rather than repeating the same local area information to each guest, Airbnb guidebooks began as a way to streamline this process by consolidating it all into one document.

What are the limitations of Airbnb guidebooks?

As a method of guest communication, Airbnb guidebooks have their limits.

They might be a natural place for Airbnb rental owners to start providing guests with information, but ultimately, each Airbnb guidebook is just another in a sea of thousands of similar, competing rental listing pages.

Here are just a couple of ways the Airbnb host guidebook tool is limited:

  • You can’t “lift and shift” Airbnb guidebooks to other platforms: Since the guidebooks are tied to Airbnb, you’ll need to create a separate guidebook if you’re also using other channels to list your rental properties,
  • They don’t contain all of the practical information guests need: Guidebooks are great for showcasing your local area, but what about where guests can pick up the keys? Where can they find the door and Wi-Fi passwords? What do guests need to know about the actual Airbnb property?

Ultimately, Airbnb guidebooks only represent a small part of the entire guest communication flow. They form just one part of a series of guest communication methods—from welcome books , welcome letters , and surveys—which ultimately leads to a disjointed guest experience.

The best alternative to Airbnb guidebooks: RueBaRue

Local area guidebooks are only one thing out of many that guests need to fully enjoy their experience.

From the time they book your vacation rental property to the time they check out, guests want a streamlined, worry-free process. This includes having access to house manuals, rules, and instructions, to being able to contact you and receive the information they need during every stage of the booking and vacation process.

So, what’s the alternative to an Airbnb guidebook? A comprehensive, end-to-end guest communication process managed within one platform.

Communication processes that are siloed lead to stressful situations for both guests and property managers, such as:

  • Guests calling you at 10 P.M. while they’re stood outside the property in the rain because they can’t find the door code amongst all of the different communication platforms you’ve used.
  • Neighbors complaining of a dog barking, since guests weren’t aware of your no-pet policy.
  • Bad reviews, since guests felt like incoherent communication processes impeded their enjoyment of their stay.

Fortunately, with RueBaRue, a fully-fledged guest communication platform, property managers can combine each part of the entire guest communication process to ensure smooth guest stays for both parties.

RueBaRue is more than just an Airbnb guidebook alternative. It’s channel-agnostic, meaning that you can communicate with guests regardless of their original booking platform (Airbnb,, Vrbo, etc). This way, you can advertise on multiple platforms using the same tool and the same guidebooks.

Let’s delve into the features that make RueBaRue the best Airbnb guidebook alternative.

Digital guestbooks: All the information guests need in one place

For guests, there’s nothing worse than fretting about where exactly they find out where they can park, where to find door codes, and where to eat after a long drive.

Guests appreciate the convenience of having all the information they need in one place on their phones. Unlike Airbnb guidebooks, with RueBaRue, you can build thorough digital guestbooks that contain everything guests need to know about your property and the local area, including:

  • Check-in and check-out time slots
  • Contact phone numbers
  • Door codes
  • House rules
  • Parking information
  • A customized local area guide
  • Instructional videos (such as how to open the key lock box, how to switch on the jacuzzi, etc)
  • Safety information
  • Tips on what to pack

Since RueBaRue integrates with popular vacation rental tools like LiveRez and Hostaway, you can even import your property details like Wi-Fi codes, photos, door codes, directions, and parking information into your guestbook.

For an extra level of customization, you can also add your own guestbook categories to ensure that guests have all of the information they need for a great stay.

Preview of RueBaRue digital guest book

Preview of RueBaRue’s digital guestbook feature.


Customizable local area guides for an authentic stay

Sure, guests can do their own research on your local area, but they’re also keen to know your local tips on dining, sightseeing, activities, and any other hidden gems.

RueBaRue’s local area guides also double as a pre-arrival trip planner and handbook for guests. Since they can access them before they arrive, they save time on scouting out the best-looking restaurants and activities and instead spend that time on enjoying what your area has to offer.

Local area guides also offer distance calculators that generate distances for locations in the guide, so that guests don’t have to waste time scrolling through Google Maps or a hard copy of a map.

To save you time, our search algorithm extracts your area’s top-rated restaurants, things to do, and essential services. With our drag and drop feature, you can easily remove suggestions and add your own favorite restaurants and other local recommendations, as well as add your own comments, tips, videos, and photos to highlight the best of your area for your guests.

Preview of RueBaRue’s local area guide feature

Preview of RueBaRue’s local area guide feature.


SMS Automation to boost guest communication efficiency

The key to happy guests is anticipating their needs and questions before they ask.

It’s important for guests to feel at ease before, during, and after their stay. To help anticipate any questions, RueBaRue offers automated SMS templates for all stages of the guest journey to help reduce both time spent answering the same questions and communication operating costs. Guests have a question about how to arrive at the property? There’s a template for that. Guests have a maintenance problem at the property? Yep, there’s a template for that too.

These templates can be scheduled to go out at certain times, and can also be further customized with booking or property details such as guest names, arrival and departure dates, address, door codes, and Wi-Fi information. In emergencies, property managers can also send emergency alert notifications to guests.

Preview of RueBaRue’s SMS automation scheduling tool

Preview of RueBaRue’s SMS automation scheduling tool.


Guest SMS messaging for rapid communication

When guests have questions, there's nothing more frustrating than waiting on an email from vacation rental managers.

With RueBaRue, you can open a dedicated business line for guest texting with an inbox your entire team can access. The app is available on both iPhone and Android devices, providing immediate access to every guest and all text messages.

Not only does that mean that guests aren’t waiting on a reply from one person, but you can also save the time spent on focusing on other important business aspects.

Preview of RueBaRue’s guest SMS messaging tool

Preview of RueBaRue’s guest SMS messaging tool.


Easily extend guest stays and boost revenue

Offering guests the option to easily extend their stay is a great way to increase your vacation rental occupancy and maximize your vacation rental income.

If you don’t want to wait for them to jump at the chance to extend their stay, you can also use RueBaRue to search for gaps on your calendar and offer guests early or late access to your property at a discount.

RueBaRue’s Extend Guest Stays feature offers guests the option to extend their stays in a few simple steps:

  • Identify gap days: You can easily see where there are gaps in your booking schedule, and then offer guests late check-out or early check-in, and select bookings to apply the change.
  • Select guests: You can also select guests via the color-coded calendar, easily identifying those who may want to extend their stays.
  • Message guests using automated message templates: The last step involves you sending messages—using saved templates with our SMS automation feature—to the guests you’ve identified. You can choose to send messages immediately, or schedule them in advance.
Preview of RueBaRue’s extend guest stays feature.

Preview of RueBaRue’s extended guest stays feature.


RueBaRue: The best Airbnb guidebook alternative that gives your guests everything they need

Airbnb guidebooks only provide guests with a tiny fraction of the information they need.

RueBaRue’s comprehensive guest communication platform not only gives you a 360° view of your guests but also enables you to minimize disruption. This enhanced efficiency helps you increase your chances of getting more direct bookings and more positive reviews .

For property managers who want to give guests everything they need and more, while also reducing business costs, it’s time to stop relying on the Airbnb guidebook option and implement a holistic guest communication platform.

Frequently asked questions about Airbnb guidebooks

What should be in an Airbnb guidebook?

Airbnb guidebooks should contain information for guests on areas of local interest, such as dining options, local landmarks, bars, museums, and art galleries, beaches, hiking trails, parks, grocery stores, shopping malls, kids’ entertainment centers, and local transportation options.

Guests need more than just information on your local area. They should also be able to find check-in times, house rules, and many other pieces of information in one place—and for that, you need a proper guest communication tool.

Where is the house manual on Airbnb?

To edit your Airbnb house manual, go to “Listings”, and select the listing you want to alter. Click “Info for guests”. Then, under “Post-booking details”, click edit on “Guest Manual”, and click save once you’re done.

Airbnb guests need to accept the house rules before they can book on Airbnb, but you should also have your rules laid out in a digital guestbook so guests can read them right before/during their stay.

How do I delete a guidebook on Airbnb?

If you’ve finally decided to make the switch to a comprehensive guest communication platform like RueBaRue, you may want to delete your Airbnb guidebook. To do this, go to “Listings” and select a listing. Then, click “Info for guests”, and go to “Pre-booking details”. From there, you can delete the information from each of the fields.

RueBaRue is a powerful guest communication tool that allows you to do much more than create guidebooks: send automated messages and alerts, offer guests the option to extend their stays, create local area guides, and more. Book a demo personalized to your rentals to see the platform in action.

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