Using Airbnb to stay while on a holiday has suddenly become a very popular thing by tourists across the world. But Airbnb is not a recent development, its been there since 2008. Over the years it presence has grown and spread its wings covering almost all parts of the globe leaving no land untouched. We have been using Airbnb to stay during our vacations and we must say that this site has saved a lot of money and also given us some amazing homes across the world.
Our first stay in an Airbnb was in the year 2013 and since then we are Airbnb converts. We have used Airbnb in several countries across Asia and Europe and it is surely our favorite way to find a place to stay around the world. This being said, we have to tell you that we are just back after spending our weekend in a 800 year old vintage house listed on the Airbnb site. The reason we decided to do this post is because we have had so many friends reach out to us in the past asking us to give them some Airbnb tips that would help them plan their holiday better. So yes finally here it is. In this post we talk about how to use Airbnb effectively and we also give all first timers some Airbnb tips and tricks.
Airbnb Safety / Is it Safe to use Airbnb?
Absolutely. We have never had a bad experience till date. All transactions are transaparent and there are no scams whatsoever. Eventhough you submit your credit card / financial details , the money doesnt reach the host until 24 hours after you check in, giving you enough time to ask for a refund if something goes wrong when you reach your stay. Also there is a new development that is happening on Airbnb with regard to host verification. It is complusory for every host to go through a new verification and submit an address proof . This whole process is one of the ways to ensure there are no scams and the traveler has a safe stay at the listed property. That being said, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong. So whilst you are there,be a resposible traveler.
Why use Airbnb?
Tons and tons of options that suit every traveler. Jus log into their website and you will know what we mean. Also when you stay at an Airbnb , you are paying for an experience.The best advice we have is to keep an open mind and embrace the uniqueness of the experience rather than being too picky and fussy of the amenities you might have had in a hotel.
Our Airbnb Tips/ Tips for using Airbnb
Complete your profile
Dont take this step lightly. Many a times when we need to create a profile to log into a particular site, we just quickly fill it up without giving in all our details. Take a good 10 minutes and fill up your profile details carefully and do not forget to upload a recent photograph of yourself .Your profile says a huge deal about you and your hosts use this information to decide whether to accept or decline a request from you. Once you have filled in your profile, dont forget to verify your profile. The hosts generally like to have like minded people sharing their property, so be sure to include your hobbies and interests and tell the host why you are
Play the search game wisely
Now that you have created your profile , you are all set to look up for housing options. Make sure to use the advanced filters to choose from a wide variety of lodging options ranging from gigantic castles to charming tree houses. Be clear as to what you want. You must decide if you want the whole house to yourself or just a room from the entire listed property. If you are going for the second option, then would you like to have the whole room or are you okay with sharing it with someone else? Search using advanced filters and you are sure to find something that suits your preference and budget. Look closely for the house rules and amenities provided by the host. House rules will give you an idea on what is acceptable and what is not . You should be extra careful with the cancellation policy- it can range from flexible to super strict. Due to unavoidable circumstances, if you have to cancel your holiday then the refund will purely depend on the cancellation policy. Also some properties are not pet friendly and may also not be suitable for small children so watch out for these details before you zero in on the property.
Read the reviews in detail
This is the most important part. Take some time out to read the reviews posted by other travelers who stayed in the property. Check for the number of reviews and also the average star rating the property has got for its housing experience. The reviews help shed light on the true conditions of the stay and you can use that to decide if you should go ahead with the booking or not. Look in particular for any complaints posted by the travelers – like cleanliness, WiFi connectivity issues, incorrect location , noisy neighbors, bad breakfast, rude host etc. Research the location/ area – to check connectivity. is it close to the attractions you wish to visit? What is the mode of transport that can be used to move around in the area? Take this tip very seriously or for all you may know, you may end up with a beautiful home which is dirt cheap but is far away from the city. A lot of time and money will go in commuting to the main city area then.
Get in touch with the host
Write to the host for any concerns you may have and wait to see if he/she responsds within 24 hours. Its always a good sign when the host gets back within the first 24 hours. And once he gets back and confirms your stay, do keep checking your email regularly for any last minute cancellations. Sometimes the host may not be in a situation to have you over so then you will have to make a Plan B. Start the search all over again!
We cannot tell you how important it is to communicate with your host once you have packed your bags and all set to leave your home.You should confirm the address and ask the host to share his/her location with you via Whatsapp so that you know where you need to go. Also ask your host how far is the stay from the airport/ train/bus station and the cheapest way to get there. The host will give you first hand information and also a ballpark figure on the approximate money you need to shell out to your taxi /bus driver. And confirm his availability to receive you . If the host is not available to give you the keys to the property, ask him what are the alternative arrangements made and who is the point of contact for getting the keys. Make sure you ask for a phone number and email address. If you need directions, have some changes in check in time do not hesitate to ask.
Do a thorough check on the property you are renting before you let the host leave. If you feel there is a huge discrepancy in the listing and what you see in front of you, be sure to contact the Airbnb customer service immediately. You are not too late and can still get your refund within the first 24 hours. This is because the payment is witheld by Airbnb to the host until 24 hours after you check in. Make sure you check the wifi works , how to operate the keys and you ask the host about where to drop the keys when you checkout .If you are going to be staying in the rented property for a long duration- say a couple of weeks, be sure to ask the host on how the garbage disposal works etc. Lastly dont forget to ask for recommendations on the closest grocery /supermarket store, restaurants serving authentic food, offbeat places worth visiting etc.
Be a good guest
Make sure to take care of the property well and ensure you leave it in the same condition as you got it. If you damage the property, the host can claim the money from the security deposit.
Leave a review for the next person
Be fair and give a honest review which will help your host get new guests and provides them with additional verification. Also be considerate and do not complain about things that couldnt be fixed by your host – simply because it was out of his/her control.
Bonus Airbnb Tips
- Look for the newest listing as they tend to have better pricing. This is because the host is new to the whole concept of renting out their property and they are currently looking at getting more references than just aiming at making money.
- Negotiate- Yes it is possible. If you happen to stay for a couple of weeks, you can get in touch with the host by hitting on the message button and tell them what you think could be a good deal. It maybe possible for the host to bring down a certain fee-like the Airbnb cleaning fee or maybe provide you a meal once a day at no extra cost. Do try and talk it out with your host but make sure you are asking for something which is doable and which is not too hard on the host.
- If you are planning a road trip, do check out for parking options in the rental property. If the property has no parking facilities, ask the host if there are any paid/ free parking facilities available nearby and what are the timings. This is an Airbnb tip which we can never stop
- If you see a triangular, “A” watermark in the top right hand corner of the photos posted by the host in the advertisement, then you can be sure to getting what you see. This is because the hosts have got professional Airbnb photographers come out and click the pictures for their listing.
So that was our bonus Airbnb tips which we slowly learnt over the years.
Booking on Airbnb / How to use Airbnb?
Its super easy and convienient to book on Airbnb. All you have to do is log into their website and create your profile. Once that is done, its all easy peasy. We highly recommend you download the Airbnb app on your phone.
So now that you got our Airbnb tips what are you waiting for? Log in today and try out the Airbnb experience.You can login using this Airbnb coupon . Sign up today using our referal code and Get ₹1,200 off your first trip of ₹3,300 or more.
We highly recommend Airbnb to stay healthy during travel. Not sure how? Read HERE
Are you someone who is already using Airbnb and do you have some Airbnb tips for us ? Tell us in the comments below and help other fellow travelers. We hope you enjoyed this post on Airbnb tips for guests. Which out of these Airbnb tips did you really enjoy? Let us know!