One of the (admittedly strange) perks of being an Airbnb host is discovering what objects my guests have left behind. As I ready my rental kitchen for the next temporary inhabitants, I get to conduct an exercise that's part anthropological analysis of the eating and drinking habits of travelers of the world, part Easter egg hunt.
In addition to the standard-issue leave-behinds like phone chargers (and, um, some unmentionables), here are 10 of the most common things I find.
Y'all drink a lot of beer. Mostly inexpensive domestic beer. Well, at least that's what's left behind anyway. It only makes sense that people will drink the good stuff, and leave the Miller. Usually we hang on to it for parties.
I rarely see bourbon left behind, although there are plenty of empty bottles! The clear liquors of the world, however, are a different story. Vodka is the most common spirit we've found hanging out in the freezer.
To complete the alcohol trinity, we see lots and lots of wine, generally half-full bottles. I get it: You have a couple glasses, then go out, and by the time you get back you're ready to crash. I can hear Bacchus weep every time I pour the bottle out.
This one comes as a shock to exactly no one. People order pizza when they're on the road. I've opened the little fridge many times to find the delivery box wedged in there, with last night's leftover slice of pepperoni pie just chilling inside.
5. Sports Drinks
Whenever someone asks me where they can go for a run, I know what I'm going to find in the fridge when they leave: Gatorade or one of its many ilk. Hey, I know, it's important to stay hydrated!
6. Energy Drinks
Travel takes energy, and you want to make the most of your trip, so what do you do? Grab a Red Bull (or Rocket/Monster/whatever) and keep going, apparently! I guess at some point you decide to get some rest, though, because there's usually a can that gets left behind.
7. Ice Cream
Just because you're not at home doesn't mean you skip your nightly treat, am I right? There's no shame. I've done it myself.
8. Peanut Butter
This comes from a fellow host on the West Coast who tells me if she had a dollar for every jar of PB left behind … well, probably she wouldn't need to Airbnb! My deductive reasoning tells me she hosts families; that's no big leap, since my parent friends tell me they often make PB&J sandwiches for their kids' lunches when they're renting homes.
9. Mystery Meat
We sometimes end up with remnants of family dinners, which can be a little mysterious and also disconcerting. One time we found an unwrapped chicken carcass in the freezer, which led to a mass disinfecting of the entire kitchen because where else did they have the raw bird lying around?
10. Restaurant Leftovers
Oh, the old "my eyes are bigger than my belly" dilemma. You're in a new place, want to try out all the local specialties, but you just can't fit it all in. No worries, take it back to the Airbnb and stash it in the fridge for later. Except check-out time comes before "later." I'm not brave enough to lift the styrofoam lid to see what's inside; also, do I really even need to know? Yeah, nope.