Renting an Airbnb is a bit like flying. Before your first time, the questions and worries are endless. Once you’ve completed your first journey though- the rest are filled with excitement. Airbnb can be a brilliant way to save on accommodation, while gaining extra space– and we’ve got a few starter tips to make your bookings perfect from first to last. Here’s how to rent with Airbnb.
Make A Collection
Airbnb has a few very handy features, but when it comes to selecting a place- there’s none better than the “heart” button. Since there are cities where you’ll find 1000’s of listings, you can make an easy to browse short list, adding potential winners to your personal list with just the tap of a “heart” next to each property. Having a short list makes things instantly more manageable.
You can use Airbnb’s interactive map to instantly filter out places outside your ideal stay zone. Much like a hotel, you need to do research on what part of town you would like to stay in, but once you have a couple ideas based on what you want to see and do; and how you plan to get around, the app can take it from there. The handy map tool allows you to zoom in on certain areas, easily comparing rates in different parts of town, highlighting great places.
The Fine Print
Some places have low rates but huge security deposits, which could tie up your available credit or cash while traveling. When you’re comparing prices of different places, make sure to check the extra fees to avoid potential shell shock. Almost all places have a cleaning fee, security deposit (which you get back if all goes smoothly), extra fees for additional people over a certain number, and if you’re staying for a week or more, may even offer a slight discount. These vary widely from place to place and can make a big difference in the total end price.
Especially when you’re just getting started, a confidence boost is everything. While a place may appear truly perfect, if it’s lacking reviews in general- or has a mixed bag, it’s safer to give things a pass- at least on your first Airbnb stays. When there are hundreds of positive reviews and only one bad apple review, it’s fair to assume it could be the person and not the place, just FYI.
Do you want to share a room with a family of five? Didn’t think so. Airbnb has plenty of filters to make sure the results that pop up are exactly what you’re looking for. You can set the type of room, such as entire property, private room, shared room and then additional filters, like a price range. While browsing filters, you’ll see the option to turn “instant book” on or off. Some hosts don’t allow instant booking because they want to hear from you, so there may be hidden gems if you turn it off. You’ll still see instant book places, but you’ll then see those that aren’t- as well.
If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to contact the host. They want you to have a great stay, and you want to make sure you don’t have buyers remorse. Communication with the host ensures “what you see is what you get”, while also providing great insights. Hosts can be very generous to offer help arranging tours, meals and other excursions. Messaging with the host before booking is also a great way to get a feel for their “vibe”. Some people come off instantly uptight- and that may not work for you.
The reviews can be gems. Look, it’s 2017, everyone wants and needs good wifi these days. It doesn’t matter whether it’s for work, pleasure or just making friends jealous on Instagram, it’s a necessity. By reading through guest reviews and complete property descriptions you may see that a great looking spot has slow wifi. While this may not be a deterrent to some, it can be a game changer for those who rely on speedy connections- even for Netflix.
At the end of the day, you’re staying in someone else’s home. Even if that means nothing to you- you get reviewed too. If given a list of house rules: such as no pets, no parties, no smoking, no shoes in house.. you should follow them. If the rules don’t suit you, try and find a place that has different rules. If you disobey rules, you’ll get a bad review, which will make it very hard to be accepted to rent other places.
Great timely post. Trying to use AirBnB for a trip to France next year (utilized the cheap Iceland air prices). I have made my list. Sorted by what is important to us and I found a perfect place with only 3 reviews. Would you take a chance? I have not messaged the owner yet.
Timely post. Looking for my first AirBnB in the Loire Valley. I have a short list, but my favorite place has only 3 reviews. I have not contacted the owner yet. Would you chance it?
If the 3 reviews are great I’d say go for it!
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