How to Get Ready for Guests in a Dash (Plus Our Easy Cheese Dip Recipe!)

Amazon Dash Buttons

For the last few years, my fiance and I have been Airbnb hosts. Not only does this help us supplement our income, but we also get to meet people from around the world. We’ve had guests from as far away as Australia! (Learn how to become a host here.)

Getting ready for Airbnb guests is pretty easy, as long as you keep your house relatively tidy. You have some extra laundry, since you have to wash the sheets and towels between every guest, and your bathroom cleaning standards have to be very high. That’s it! We love being hosts.

Our beautiful guest beach house guest room

Our beautiful guest beach house guest room

Amazon Dash Buttons are my new favorite tool for getting ready for Airbnb guests really quickly! If you aren’t an Airbnb host, these Amazon Dash Buttons can also help you save time if you have friends and family coming to visit from out of town, or even if you just want to save a little time at the grocery store.

We got three Amazon Dash Buttons to start – Poptarts, Stacy’s Pita Chips, and Vitaminwater.

We have a “breakfast hutch” with coffee/tea and shelves filled with grab-and-go breakfast options, so our Airbnb guests can help themselves to breakfast in the morning if they wake up before or after we do. Poptarts are a very popular choice among guests, so we buy them in bulk. This is super easy with the Amazon Dash button.

Poptarts Dash Button

My dad made that breakfast hutch for me – isn’t it cute? The doors are made from old shutters from our family home, so I have a little piece of Pennsylvania with me in Virginia! :)

Anyway, after taking the above photo, I stuck the Poptarts Amazon Dash Button inside the cabinet. Now, whenever we are running low, we just push the button and Amazon sends more Poptarts right to my doorstep. Shipping is free (as always) with Prime.

When you order an Amazon Dash Button, you get a $4.99 credit after your first order, so the button is essentially free. During set-up, you can choose which specific product you want to order when you push the button. For example, I chose the 32-pack variety box of Poptarts, since I like to give my guests a few different options. But there are 11 different product choices for the Poptarts Amazon Dash Button, so you can tailor it to your specific tastes.

So you might be thinking… what’s to stop someone from pushing the button 100 times and suddenly I have more Poptarts that my guests and I can eat in a lifetime?

Luckily, Amazon has protections in place.

When you push the button, it only orders once. You can’t order again until you receive the first package.

Also, whenever the button is pushed, you get a notification to your phone via Amazon’s app. You can use the Amazon App to check order status, make changes to orders or cancel orders, in case the button was pushed accidentally. Or you can go to the Amazon.com website to view Dash orders alongside your other orders, in case you need to make any changes or cancel the order.

Easy-peasy.

For us, the Vitaminwater Amazon Dash Button has also been great. We also keep a mini-fridge stocked with water, juice, milk, and fruit for our Airbnb guests. When we are getting low on Vitaminater, I just push the button, and WHOOSH! the magic of the Internet brings more Poptarts to my house in just a few days.

Stacy's Pita Chips

The same goes for Stacy’s Pita Chips. We keep some snacks stocked in our Airbnb guest room (those little extra touches help us get 5-star ratings!). Whenever I’m running low, I just push the button and WHOOSH! More chips on my doorstep, and I don’t even have to put on pants to run to the store!

Seriously, y’all… we live in the future!!!

There are now more than 250 Amazon Dash Buttons, ranging from household essentials to beverages & grocery to pets, and beyond, so you can rig up your entire house to run on Amazon.

While we do order Stacy’s Pita Chips for our guests, we also love to snack on them ourselves, so before I end this post, I want to give you a super easy cheese dip recipe, which is completely customizable to your tastes. Pita chips, apple slices, tortillas, raw veggies… they all work well with cheese dip!

Cheese Dip

Nothing fancy-schmancy needed to make cheese dip! I serve it up with a plate full of pita chips and call it a night. I love how easy it is to make cheese dip that is customized to your specific tastes.

Plus, you can literally order more pita chips with the touch of a button as you are nom nom nomming! :)

Easy Cheese Dip

Here’s how to do make this snack:

Easy Cheese Dip

Ingredients

  • Cheese (at least 2 varieties)
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Wine or another acid
  • Garlic
  • Extras (onion, peppers, tomatoes, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, etc.)

Instructions

  1. Grate your cheese and toss in a few tablespoons of cornstarch to coat. I use at least 2 varieties (just 1 is boring!), but no more than 3 or the flavors get muddled. Some great cheeses to use include Gruyere, Cheddar, Emmentaler, Fontina, Gouda, Provolone, and Mozzarella. I like to pick one cheese that is milder (like mozzarella) and one cheese that has a stronger flavor (like gruyere).
  2. Rub the post with a clove of garlic. This is going to give you a nice garlic-y flavor without actual chunks of garlic in the cheese. But if you like it chunky, I say go ahead and chop up a few cloves to throw in there! Otherwise, give the pot a rub-down and toss the clove away when you're done.
  3. Pick an acid. Most recipes call for wine. I like to try a piece of the cheese with a little sip of wine. If it tastes good together, it will taste good when melted. You can also use a splash of lemon juice instead.
  4. Melt some butter over medium heat. Add your acid and a small amount of milk. I like to start with 3 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup wine, and 1/4 cup milk for every 16 ounces of cheese.
  5. Once the mixture is bubbling, turn heat to low. Add cheese slowly, whisking as you go. The key is to heat the cheese slowly over low heat. If it gets too hot, it will "break" and look like clumpy bits of cheese floating in liquid. If this happens, remove from heat and whisk. It should come together!
  6. Add extras if you desire! This can include sauteed onions and peppers, diced and drained tomatoes, a pinch of nutmeg or red pepper flakes, etc. Don't add everything! Pic one or two flavors that match the flavors of your cheese. For example, when I use mozzarella, I sometimes add small pieces of pepperoni and some red pepper flakes to make a pizza-inspired cheese dip.
  7. Serve immediately with Stacy's Pita Chips and other dippers.
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Easy, right? You can really make this recipe your own, and change it up based on the flavors that fit your mood. Then, when you run out of dippers, just hit your Amazon Dash Button to send more Stacy’s Pita Chips your way! :)

I also want to encourage you to become an Airbnb host if you’re looking for an innovative way to make a little extra income on the side. Here are the most commonly-asked questions I get about being an Airbnb host:

How do you know the people who stay in your house aren’t weird or creepy?

You can set your profile to “insta-book,” but we prefer to manually approve guests, and we require guests to upload ID or have at least 1 review. You can read reviews from past hosts to make sure their experiences with the guests have been good. The Airbnb messaging system also allows you to ask questions before you say yes or no to a booking.

Airbnb keeps the booking fee in escrow for 24 hours after the person checks in, then it is released to your account. The 24 hours gives the guest time to check in to make sure you aren’t weird or creepy either! :) In over 100 bookings, we have never had anyone ask Airbnb not to release the money.

How much money do you make?

It varies! We charge anywhere from $35 – $75 per night depending on the time of year, the day of the week, and whether or not it is a holiday. Since we provide breakfast, we charge a small fee for each additional person. Airbnb gives you pricing suggestions based on your area and whether you are renting a shared room, private room, or entire apartment/house.

You make more money if you go the extra mile for your guests. We not only provide grab-and-go breakfast via our Amazon Dash Buttons, but we also provide travel-sized toiletries in case our guests forgot anything, snacks in the room, a guidebook of things to do, access to the kitchen and laundry room so they can cook and do laundry, bottled water and juice, and wifi. Special touches also help you earn 5-star ratings, which can in turn grant you special perks from Airbnb.

During the summer, when we get the most bookings, I estimate that it takes me maybe 5-10 hours per week to answer questions and clean the room, and I earn (on average) around $250 per week. So that’s $25-$50 per hour… not too shabby!

Have you had any bad experiences?

We’ve had a few slightly inconsiderate guests, but those instances are few and far between. The horror stories you can read about online are the exceptions to the rule. Most Airbnb users are friendly, clean, and very considerate. If you do have a problem, Airbnb is super quick to help you! Once, for example, we lost power during a very bad storm, and Airbnb was able to rebook our guests at a nearby hotel at no cost to them and no penalty to us.

Do you interact with your guests?

We let them call the shots. Some guests want to sit and chat all night. Others like to stay in the room or explore the city and are only here to sleep. We keep in touch with a few guests, and have had some repeat visitors.

Doesn’t it take up a lot of your time?

Not really. It’s a few extra loads of laundry per week, tops. We do a manual check in, so we greet the person when they arrive to give them the tour of the house and key, but some hosts have a lockbox with the key, so people can check themselves in when they arrive. It does take some time to respond to messages and bookings, since we prefer to do it manually, but you can also choose the insta-book option, which automatically books guests as long as they meet your criteria and check a box agreeing to your rules.

Amazon Dash Buttons definitely help us save time! I’m able to reorder products quickly, so I don’t have to run to the store every few days when I’m running low. I’m going to order Amazon Dash Buttons for our bathroom and laundry room products as well to save even more time.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Allison is one of the co-founders here at The PinterTest Kitchen. She also works as a content marketing consultant and freelance writer - find out more at AllisonBoyer.com.

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