Airbnb for beginners

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

If you ask me, Airbnb is the best way to go when it comes to finding the right place to stay. It’s cheaper, it’s homier and the hosts are wonderful.

Know what you want

Do you want the whole place to yourself? Is it important for you to have a washing machine/dryer? Would you like to stay in a treehouse or a riverboat? Airbnb does a good job sorting the places that would work and those does not.

Suggestion: If you are traveling somewhere woodsy, wifi is not a given, so filter your search to make sure that you don’t end up in a cabin somewhere without wifi.

Don’t dismiss shared rooms

Speaking in terms of room type, Airbnb offers you three room options:

  • Whole place: they give you the keys of the house/apartment.
  • Private room: you will stay in a room inside a house, where your host will be.
  • Shared room: share a room with another person.

Even if you’re a total loner, a shared room might still be a good deal for you.

Read the fine print

Some hosts go to great lengths to describe their listing, others prefer a shorter description. For safety, read always all requirements. You may find something you don’t like and can make your trip becomes a small nightmare. Everything will depend on your personality, but, for example, you’ll find hosts who have something like: “we love to make new friends and hope they take a time during their visit to sit and talk with us, if you don’t like this type of threat, it won’t be a great place to stay. Also, It’s very important that you are aware of their policy of cancellation or if the host has a rule strange for the house, for example, a curfew.

Be flexible

As in hotels rooms, the ads of Airbnb tend to have high seasons and low, so, rates are subject to changes depending on the month or even the day of the week. Take a look at the calendar on listings to see the availability and cost of each day. You know, be smart.

Always read the opinions

Reviews are at the heart of what makes Airbnb great. For one, they hold hosts and guests accountable. Knowing that you are subject to a review process makes you far more likely to be on your best behavior. But for another, they give great insight into what’s really going on. A host description could be like, “I have the best house in the world. Three bedrooms. Two bathrooms and one other for visits. House is close to Metro Station and shops”, but then, you read the reviews and they are like: “From the three baths, only worked one private, the metro station was close, but we never found shops that supposedly were walking two blocks”, (this was just an example). Take interest in what a host says about their place, but put your trust in reviews.

Introduce yourself

When you’ve found a place you love, reach out to the host to say “hello” and make sure they have availability. Be nice, complementary, say what your travels plans are, use proper grammar — just be a decent human being. Many hosts run their Airbnb listing as a business, but at the same time, they are also welcoming perfect strangers into their home which can be a vulnerable position to be in. Put their mind at ease by showing them you are a considerate person, and you will be far more likely to be approved.

Be a guest star

Hosts aren’t the only ones who receive a review on Airbnb. Guests do too. Think about this during your stay. Say please and thank you, don’t shout, be a decent person and everything will be fine. Do it, you will receive good reviews and the hosts will be much more likely to rely on to trust that you will take care of their homes.

Now that you know how to be the best Airbnb user possible, it might be time to finally give it a try! Here’s $20 from me to you to use on your first Airbnb adventure!

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

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