BY TARYN JEREZ
Since its surge in popularity in 2010, Airbnb has made the world of traveling for pleasure much more accessible and affordable for the average household. Regardless of your wants and needs, Airbnb allows you to find lodging that meets a variety of budgets, styles, and preferences around the world in a variety of price points, by connecting location hosts to travelers seeking accommodations.
Does the idea of booking through Airbnb interest you but come along with a little uncertainty? Understanding the ins and outs of how everything works can all be incredibly helpful before reserving your first trip! Check out the information below to get a clear vision for how Airbnb can quickly become your new favorite travel resource.
Benefits of Airbnb
Rather than feeling limited by hotel chains, Airbnb opens up a plethora of choices. You’ll find accommodations for practically any of the ‘must-haves’ on your list in over 81,000 cities and 191 countries across the globe. Offering stays in rooms, cabins, condos, houses, and more, it’s not only more practical than a traditional hotel stay or bed & breakfast but typically offers more privacy as well. Just think about the omission of front desk employees, cleaning crew, and other guests nearby. One of the most popular benefits for patrons is that most stays let you really live like a local by creating space for you to explore, shop small, cook your own meals in the kitchen space and make yourself at home.
Navigating Your Search
Similar to other online travel booking options out there, you’ll be greeted with a search option on the Airbnb website or mobile app. First things first, you’ll want to choose your destination location and narrow things down from there. The search feature is very straightforward and allows you to zone in on what you’re really hoping for out of your stay. Choose filters such as neighborhood, price range, room type, amenities, host language skills, and more! As you review your search results, you can mark favorites with a heart, so you have the option to review all of them and compare to one another after you’ve conducted your main search, and can narrow down your booking choice.
Finding the Best Deal
A key part of the Airbnb craze is definitely the price point! Now, not all Airbnb experiences are going to necessarily be cheaper than a nearby hotel; however, many customers find that when they weigh what they’re getting, it’s at a higher value. As you search for that perfect booking, there are a few ways to ensure you get the best deal. First, consider traveling during a low or off-season to your location as you’ll notice reduced pricing, as well as have an upper hand if you choose to negotiate with the host of the property. If you can be flexible on your travel dates, this will open up pricing options as well. Another route to finding a great deal is looking at last minute bookings as hosts are more likely to drop rates due to supply and demand.
Communicating with Hosts
While working with an individual host is definitely different than a hotel or large travel agency, the key to ensure a complicated free booking process and stay is communication. If you are unsure about something regarding the listing, contact the property host. They are there to make sure you have all the information you need and usually will have a quick reply time. If you’re needing additional clarification on details such as check-in, cancellation policy, or amenities, let them know. Talk with them in advance about any concerns or special requests, and of course, as you approach your check-in date and time, let them know of any changes.
Feeling Confident During Your Stay
One of the biggest reasons travelers delay trying Airbnb are questions when it comes to the safety and security of the model. While the majority of patrons you may speak with had a wonderful experience, it’s important to do your due diligence on your end to protect your travel investment and peace of mind. When searching for a property, pay attention to reviews from other travelers to see how their experience went. You can also see if a host has been labeled as a “Superhost” which will be clear by the badge next to their photo. Superhosts gain their titles by exceeding expectations and meeting requirements like getting a certain amount of 5-star reviews and being committed to creating above and beyond guest experiences.
Spread the Love with a Review
Just like any business, a review is always appreciated! Leave a review of the property and host to help future travelers know what to expect by sharing your experience with the property itself and the host. Additionally, the host will most likely leave you a review sharing their experience hosting you as a guest. Remember to be on your best behavior in order not to hinder your chances of being approved in the future and instead be a guest that’s easy to approve for that next trip!