Airbnb is great; we use the service more often than not when we travel. We always at least check Airbnb offerings and prices in the location that we’re travelling to, to see what there is on offer.
Generally, we only hear good things about experiences others have had with Airbnb, but a first time user can still easily be caught out, or maybe not realise there’s more to the service than meets the eye.
Over the years, we’ve learnt a few lessons along the way that enable us to now make Airbnb as useful to us as possible, and ensure that each stay suits our needs. Check out these tips to ensure your next Airbnb stay is your best yet.
Look out for weekly or monthly discounts.
We’re heading to America for 2 whole months soon, and have booked an Airbnb for the entire time. This length of stay can easily add up quickly, and when we were doing our searches we started to get worried that everything might be out of our accommodation budget.
If you are planning to stay in an Airbnb for more than a week, take a close look at the weekly and monthly discounts on offer. Many Airbnb hosts offer a weekly discount between 5-10% and a monthly discount of up to 60%, especially in low seasons. Take a look and maybe narrow your search to include only those rentals that give you significant discounts for a stay.
We ended up saving around 60% on a two month stay thanks to a great monthly discount on our chosen listing.
It’s worth trying to negotiate the price.
If there is no discount offered on the Airbnb you are interested in, consider contacting the host directly. An email explaining your anticipated dates and your budget may lead to a negotiated lower price.
If you’re enjoying your stay in a chosen listing and want to extend it last minute, it’s also worth contacting the host to see if they might agree to a few extra nights for a reduced rate. Like I said, it’s better for them to let the property go a bit cheaper, than leave it empty. See if you can work out a deal!
Have a solid profile.
Like an Airbnb host, your profile as a guest is really important, and this is the place where you’ll build trust with any potential hosts. Include as much info as you can and make sure you come across well - remember you are staying in someone’s home, or property, and they want to know you’re going to look after it! Share the reasons for your trip, what you love about travel, some things you like to do, and perhaps even some feedback from previous Airbnb hosts. This transparency will also help if you need to negotiate any rates!
Double check the rental has everything you need.
Most Airbnb’s will provide shower gel, a hairdryer, and even sometimes a few more basic toiletries. It’s worth checking with your host before you book, as you’ll save money and space in your luggage if you know a few essentials will be waiting for you at your destination.
It may seem obvious, but read the listing carefully to ensure even more basic necessities are provided. We once stayed in an Airbnb that didn’t provide any towels – hand towels, bath towels or even a bath mat for stepping out of the shower on to. These important details were not mentioned in the listing itself so we weren’t aware, and had to dash out to buy a couple of towels on our first day – not ideal.
These things shouldn’t be an issue though if you exchange a couple of messages with your host before you arrive, it’ll give you peace of mind that you’re going to have a comfortable stay.
Watch out for extra charges.
The price you see listed on an Airbnb property might not be the final total cost, so keep in mind some other fees that might be charged.
The cleaning fee will be listed on the search results- divided across the days of your search- but on the listing page it will be separate, so you could end up seeing a low daily rate, but with a larger than average cleaning fee on top. Extra people, water, and parking could be extra too, so do your research!
Cancellation fees can also sting you if you decide to cancel your booking. Some listings will give you a full refund, but others are less flexible and will only provide a 50% refund if you cancel up to 2 months before the booked dates.
Next time you book an Airbnb, consider these tips to ensure you have the best stay possible.
Pairofpassports.com is a travel blog by Hannah and Rob from Peterborough, UK. They're happiest when they are exploring a new place or planning their next trip. One day they want to travel full time, but until then PairofPassports.com is the place where they will record their travel experiences and tips as they explore the world. email@example.com.