Why stay in a hotel when you can stay in an Airbnb! Let me help you make the most of Airbnb while you travel the world 🙂 Annnnnnd I am looking forward to use my Brand New Canon GX7 Mark || in my upcoming adventure. So, look out for fresh new pictures soon!
Airbnb in those transparent luxury capsules! Life’s an adventure!
This unique Airbnb is nestled in the Peruvian Andes and overlooking the surrounding Sacred Valley of Cuzco!
1. Research the Airbnb location
When you are in a foreign place, the location of your accommodation is super important. Airbnb will show you the approximate location of the listing, within a 2-3 block radius. You can also apply filter to search for certain neighborhoods if you know where you want to be staying.
As I travel solo a lot, to feel more comfortable with location, I use the approximate address and do a search on google maps for how long it will take to walk or use public transportation to the things I want to see. I also count extra 10-15 minutes in case I get lost and/or caught up taking pictures on the way which happens too!
I have seen Airbnb listings, where it says, “closed to city center” but once I searched on google maps, found that the walk would be 25 minutes! I mean it’s ok for me if it was once in a blue moon walk but if you must walk that far with no amenities nearby, every time you leave your house, it can be tiring.
So even before you start looking for an Airbnb apartment; ask yourself or whoever is going with you, if staying near grocery store or farmers markets makes sense? so, you can cook meals and reduce expense or perhaps this stay can be around neighborhood with nice restaurants?
Wish list !
The quaint treehouse consists of three separate rooms, all of which are connected via a series of rope bridges.
2. Use the search feature in Airbnb
I don’t like to be drown in thousands of Airbnb apartment listing. And assuming neither do you.
Use search for “Entire Home”, “Private Room”, and “Shared Room”. I tend to rent the ‘Private Room’ but if you are with family or in a group ‘Entire Home’ seems like a good fit and if you are on a tight budget, the “Shared Room” is a great way to save money.
You can also apply filter to narrow down the list of options based on your need. I.e. During my trip to Berlin, I filtered my search to include WIFI, a full kitchen, bathroom and proximity to the city center. It was my Birthday week and I was going out late. so, I wanted to stay close to home. The tailored search results were exactly what I was looking for.
Have you ever stayed in a Lighthouse before?
Airbnb can be neat as 5 star Hotels!
3. Use Calendar and apply extra filters
Each Airbnb listings have calendar where you can see if the property is available or not for your specific time period. You can also filter by host language. (i.e. speaks English) Something worth mentioning is Airbnb’s website and mobile app are equipped with Google Translate so, it is still clear and simple messaging in two different languages.
Including budget and location in filter is a time saver. That way, you get targeted properties to choose from than 10000 scattered around the town.
How about staying on an Island Airbnb style!
Secluded and Serene!
4. Cross check the Listing
I always want to minimize the risk of being disappointed by a property once I show up. Even when a listing meets my budgets, is in the right location and has positive reviews. If I google the property name and find negative reviews in another website, that is a red flag for me.
I was close to booking an apartment in my last trip that had most things ticked off, except reviews were quite outdated. So, I googled the apartment and found some reviews that said that place had bed bugs! I think I dodged the nightmare!
Or Perhaps stay at an Airbnb Clock Tower?
Look at that indoor view!
5. Examine the pictures in Airbnb listing
The photos of the apartments should be clear and visually appealing. If there are pictures from multiple angles of the bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom; then usually there is nothing to hide.
A listing with blurry photos, property that leaves out photos of one room (for example, say bathroom) gets an automatic No from me as well. I like to know exactly what I’m getting, good and bad.
Wow! Airbnb right in the National Park!
Raw and right on the edge!
6. Read the description, amenities and rules
Every Airbnb property will have a detailed information of what is included in the apartment, a brief description, the location, and the user reviews. The more detailed the description, maybe even with the recommendations for things to do or see around the area, is always a good sign that the owner is attentive.
Don’t forget to look at what the apartment includes next. If you are a scenery addict (like me), you can see in the photos or message the owner if an apartment has a good view. You don’t want to discover on the first morning in your Airbnb that all you will see is a giant wall.
Also, take note of the cancelation policies, cleaning charge, service fee and rules on the listing of a property. Airbnb has 5 levels of cancelation policies, from 24 hours prior to check in (very flexible) to 30 days prior (very strict). In case you have a lastminute change of plans, you can figure out how much refund to expect.
Some property will also ask for additional fee for bedsheet and pillow cover and still charge for cleaning fee. That to me is another definite no.
7. Read the reviews
Already mentioned this a bit previously but I think this deserves a point by itself.
I have come across Airbnb apartment that ticked all the boxes but when it came to review, it was in a foreign language. I pasted it in Google translate and found out, it was an awesome place to stay (like I imagined) but with limited Wi-Fi! I had plans to work on my blog and wanted an apartment with strong Wi-Fi. It didn’t fit my situation.
The user reviews are what we rely heavily on as it influences our decision-making progress. We can tell the Airbnb owner will be exaggerating in their description of their property. So, we go to the reviews to understand any remarks or downsides.
I don’t have a specific rule for how many reviews to read before making the decision. I typically don’t tend to book the place with zero or few reviews. However, if an apartment has more than dozens of positive reviews, that’s generally a good sign.
8. Communicate with the host
There is no point assuming or guessing. It is not our place so, it is always better to ask than not. Any clarifications you need about amenities, bathroom schedule, checking in/out time, or just any questions. Just pop a message to the owner and usually hosts response within 24 hours, some even earlier. However, if you don’t hear back for multiple days, that is not a good sign and you shouldn’t book that Airbnb.
When you write to host, introduce yourself, explain your situation, and ask any questions you may have. I write to owners as how I would like to receive message from my guests. Being open, friendly and honest. That way you feel good and makes the host feel more assured that you will be a good guest as well.
Make sure you know where you are getting the keys and where you are leaving it.
When I arrived at an Airbnb place in Copenhagen, I couldn’t open the door of the apartment! I thought I got the wrong floor (you know how some countries call Ground floor the first floor and vice versa) I went the next floor up and tired the keys. To my surprise, a man opened the door from inside the apartment! Ha’
Embarrassed, apologized and I left.
I learnt my lesson – make sure beforehand, the nitty gritty of the apartment. (exact floor, any problems with the door, windows etc)
Also, let the host know if you are running late! And know the house rules; whether it be taking the garbage out, or coming home before midnight! Better know what you are getting into than complaining later.
Going to try similar techniques with my new camera! 😀
9. Be a good guest
Almost needless to say but be a good guest and treat the accommodation with respect. Bear in mind, Airbnb reviewing system goes both ways. So, not only can guests review the host, but hosts can rate the guests too. If you leave the apartment like a trash and disregard the house rules, you may get a negative review from the host. Not a good look, when you try to book in the future and your future hosts can see it.
If there is a major issue with a room, property or an entire house like false representation via photos, an incorrect address, cameras or major cleanliness issues. Contact Airbnb customer service immediately. If you address the issue within the first 24 hours, a refund will be much easier to process as Airbnb withholds the payment to the host until 24 hours after you check in.
Personally, I have had good experiences with Airbnb. Whether it be hotel like stay in middle of berlin with high ceilings and a host who has lived WW||, outskirts of Paris with other Airbnb guests, Copenhagen with a beautiful courtyard, Hong Kong with its tiniest room, or traditional Japanese Airbnb house in Sydney and many more. They were all memorable, unique and affordable in their own ways. And I look forward to making more memories with Airbnb as I continue my travels.
If you were on the fence about Airbnb. I hope that with the tips I mentioned, you would take the leap and try it for yourself.
10. Use my referral link and save $50
Best tips and I saved it for the last! Of Course I have travel savings for you my loyal readers. Stick with the tips above and get even more out of your next travel by using this link here. Open an account it’s easy just like any other accounts and there you have $50 to use for your first Airbnb booking!
Ps: Let me know in comments below if you want to know where all these Airbnbs are located and their information. Also, comment if you have any tips to add to this list. Spread the love like butter 😉
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Hi! I am Anna, Nepali-Australian who, not too long ago, left my career in corporate Information Technology and Services to become a world traveller. Since then, I’ve travelled to over 37 countries, lived in 4 and have ticked some big adventures off my bucket list. I enjoy travel writing, travel photography, and a minimalist lifestyle. I have written for Ariana Huffington, Matador Network, TripZilla and collaborated with Hyatt Regency Hotel, National Geographic Australia, Uber, Red Cross, Lightroom, SilkAir-Singapore Airlines, Kerala Tourism Board, and some more. My goal is to show you how you can travel the world easily, safely, and adventurously on your own. I hope to inspire you to live a life you love.