What You Should Consider When Choosing An AirBnB
Unless you have been living under a rock you know that Airbnb has become 'the new hotel'. The convenience of renting someone else's space, its ability to fit into everyone's budget, and the idea of living like a local has taken the travel world by storm. I've stayed in AirBnb's all over the globe, from Paris to Vancouver, California to London, and throughout Italy. Based on my experiences from booking to staying, here are a few things to consider when choosing your Airbnb. Stay turned to the end of this post to get some money off your first booking!
Time/last minute searching
Is your trip coming up and you are making last minute reservations? Consider filtering your selections to the instant book option. This will allow you to book right then and there, avoiding the "request to book" option, and waiting for the host to approve your reservation.
While this may sound obvious, I'm not solely talking about whether it fits into your budget, but rather how much is the renter charging in comparison to the other rentals with the same compariables. Think of it like buying a house. You would want know how much any other house with the same things in it are selling for. No one wants to be ripped off. So check the prices of other rentals nearby. On the Airbnb site, they provide you with similar listings at the bottom of each post, so this is a good place to price compare. Also take into account any added fees (i.e. $25/night after two guests, cleaning fees). On the flipside, some places offer weekly or monthly discounts.
Make sure you carefully read the reviews and analyze the pictures. Normally the hosts will provide several pictures to help sway you to rent their space. But if you need more pictures to help you make your decision or if you have any questions, simply ask. If the host doesn't want oblige then I would take that as a red flag on renting their space. Also, I personally stay away from rentals that have zero reviews. Normally this will happen with a newly listed rental. But I personally would rather have some type of idea on what people thought of the place I have my eye on. Anything sounds fishy about the rental? Either skip it or contact the host about any potential issues. Consider what any negative reviews are concerning. Slow wifi, lack of service from the host, or safety issues might have you turning away.
Consider which amenities are important for your trip. Are you renting a car? Pick a place that offers a parking space, garaged, or easy street parking. And note whether it's free. You may run into this if you are renting a place in the middle of a major city. Most places nowadays will have wifi available, which is perfect if you have some business to attend to or simply just want or need to stay connected to your loved ones and social media, of course. Take note of any special amenities your host may offer. When I stayed at an Airbnb in Vancouver, my host offered a bicycle to get around this bike friendly town. And guess what?! Biking around the city ended up being my favorite part of my trip. Some hosts will offer you a light breakfast or a bottle of wine. In one of my rentals in Italy, the host provided a portable wifi device to carry around while exploring. While it didn't work 100 percent of the time it was good to have to at least be able to know where I was going. Otherwise I just popped into a Starbucks.
Whole Place vs Room Rental
I have done both. It depends on my budget and the city I'm visiting. I highly prefer to rent the entire space because I enjoy my complete alone time. But don't worry, if you are renting a room, most hosts will tell you ahead of time they won't bother you unless you want them to. However, when you walk into someone elses place and they are sitting in the living room, you feel kind of rude just walking to your room. So you feel obliged to speak and share what you did that day, so on and so forth. It's not as painful as it sounds, although in the moment you don't want to be bothered. Some people enjoy this interaction, but after being out all day and exploring the city, sometimes I just want to go chill in silence. Also consider on whether the owner has pets or kids. One place I stayed in was a 3 level house, where I stayed in the master suite that had a connecting bathroom on the top level, so I had a level of privacy. But they had two small rambunctious children that liked to get up early in the morning. Luckily I wanted to get up early so they became my alarm clock. But if your trip is for relaxation, consider a place with no children.
Most recently Airbnb began offering experiences to enhance your travel journey. Find the perfectly curated itinerary ranging from a few hours to a few days, from locals who are pretty much professionals in a specific area. Choose from a photography adventure, culinary or music experience, and various activities in the arts and design fields or participate in a traditional cultural experience. One of these days I plan to sign up for an experience that I have a feeling will change the way I travel.
Ready to use Airbnb for your next trip? Use my link (www.airbnb.com/c/awilliams1806) to receive a $35 credit (when you spend at least $75).
Have you used Airbnb before? Share your favorite experience.