How to Cancel as a Guest on Airbnb Responsibly

There are many reasons why you may need to cancel your reservation on Airbnb with a host. You may have had a sickness, your plans may have changed or you might not be able to make it to the property anymore. This is OK. Usually you will find that hosts are not dragons and will understand your reasoning. How to cancel as a guest on Airbnb responsibly is important for the best chance of success. There are times when cancelling can be OK and even though a host may have a strict cancellation policy, they still have the option to override it. What you find is that if you let a host know early and clearly explain the reasoning then you are more likely to get a positive result.

Here are a selection of do’s and don’ts for how to cancel as a guest on Airbnb responsibly.


  • Provide plenty of notice. The earlier you know you can’t make a reservation the better!
  • Give a clear reason. Hosts are humans too! They will understand that sometimes life throws up a few punches.
  • Act respectfully and don’t overly demand anything. It is a 2-way process and the host needs to feel they are getting on with you.
  • Ask for what you want, you need to get to the point but do it in the right way.
  • Flatter, tell the host why you chose their place and how you will be disappointed not to be able to spend your vacation in their special place.


  • Expect anything. If a host has a strict cancellation policy then it is up to them if they waive it.
  • Be rude or threaten anything bad against the host.
  • Try and cancel the night before, chances of you getting any refund here is very slim.
  • Raise an unexpected point close to the reservation such as you being 6 people instead of 2 and if it will be ok..

At the end of the day. Hosts have discretion on whether they provide you with a refund if you cancel and it is part of their policy not to give refunds. Some will assist on this and waive the fee, some won’t. You have to understand that a host is often running things as a business and needs to balance the books. Whilst they can try and be accommodating, it is not always possible for them to provide a full refund for a booking. You can also see the official help page on this by clicking here.

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