Airbnb is one of the best ways to get great and affordable stays for your travel. This brand has revamped the travel industry. Now, you can get the best apartment for your travel at an affordable price from the comfort of your home. Airbnb is an online brand that connects homeowners or home rental services with travelers. You can book a room or an entire apartment for your stay depending on your budget and your needs. But booking the best stay for your Airbnb travel can be quite dicey. Sometimes, most apartment experiences may not seem the way they look in pictures. I have not had had a bad experience using Airbnb for my travel. So, here are my 9 tips for booking Airbnb for travel as a first-timer
One the reasons I had put off most of my travels for the longest time is due to cost of accommodation. Aside the cost of transportation ( air, bus or train), food, tour, I try as much to keep the cost low on places to stay. So, I opt to visit places where I have a relative or friend that I can stay with. However, with Airbnb, you need not worry of where to stay. After sorting out your stay, you can read my post on travel essentials.
When should you book Airbnb?
There are several reason you need Airbnb. You can opt for Airbnb apartment for local and international travels. So, if you need to go for an examination in another city and you need place to stay, opt for Airbnb. There are several host that allows stay-in in their apartment for at least a day. So, you can book Airbnb for a short stay trip locally or internationally. You can stay in Airbnb for a few days vacation, family trip, business meeting or even a road trip with a short stop over.
Airbnb Apartment is a perfect option when you’re travelling in a large group. This makes it easier to get everyone in one place instead of different rooms as in the case of hotels with min of double beds. You can search for an Airbnb apartment that will take on as much guest that you want. All Airbnb host indicates the number of people their home or room can take at a time.
Also you are such that prefer to have home cooked meals. Opt for an Airbnb to enable you cook your own dishes. Moreover, since the pandemic, cooking your own meals is better than eating out. Cooking your meals also help you save on meals. Although, to have a feel of your locale you travel to, you need to try out the local dishes too. However, if you’re on a tight budget, cook your own meals to cut cost.
How to book an Airbnb Apartment?
Airbnb is an online brand so, you can only book for your apartment online. There are several options available to the host to determine how guest’s can use their apartment ( Request to book or instant booking). Personally, I have only experienced instant booking via Airbnb.
First, you need to type in the preferred location into the Airbnb search box. You can either filter by prices, nearby places or experience. There are so many apartment you can choose from on this website. If you find an apartment that you love, all you have to do is book.
Select your dates of stay and check availability on the site. If those dates are no longer available, you will have to choose other dates. And if changing your dates is not favorable for you, opt for another apartment that will suite your needs.
Airbnb accepts several payment methods like credit card, debit cards, prepaid card or PayPal. However, cash payment is not acceptable on this platform. Airbnb charges you as soon as you make a reservation. There is option to book and paylater.
9 Tips for booking Airbnb for travel
Choosing the best apartment for your stay will make your travel enjoyable and fun. So, to help you get the most out of your Airbnb stay, this tips will come in handy.
Look out for the Sparkle badge on host listing
The recent times demands us to take our hygiene personally. I have horror stories of some rooms looking so unkept. In other to put host on check, Airbnb has set up a 5 step guideline they have to follow to earn this badge.
So, to keep yourself save during these times, ensure you book rooms that has the sparkle badge. This shows that they comply with the Airbnb guidelines for safety and health.
There are several property for rental on Airbnb. So, before you book the property that suites you need. You can opt for a single room for solo travel or room with double bed for 2 guest. Also you can opt for large property for family trip. There are some listings that provides properties with several rooms for group trip. I used an Airbnb property recently that had about 3 blocks of flat in the compound. Each flat can contain at least 4 guest. So, if you find such property for a group trip, it will make it easier to have everyone in same compound. Property listing usually available on Airbnb include;
- Entire place
- Private rooms
- Shared rooms
- Hotel rooms: some hotels also list their rooms on Airbnb. So if you’d prefer hotels, you can book via Airbnb.
Filter with Amenities on property
Host on Airbnb do not provide all the amenities you may need for your travel. So, before you book your room, check for must-have amenities for your travel. For example if you’d be working during your stay you may need Wifi servies.
Also if you need to do your laundry, search for rooms with washer. Some facilities provided shared access to washer, ironing services and swimming pools. So, if you need private access these facilities, opt for listings with these services available. On my last hang out with my siblings to an Airbnb property, there was no iron available in the room. We had to use the shared iron available downstairs for the compound.
Get more information on the listing Neighbourhood
Another tip for booking Airbnb for your travel is to get to know the listing neighborhood. This is something I failed to do on my last Airbnb booking. It was a bumpy ride to the host apartment. Also, the location was far from the city’s side attractions. So, to access places like restaurants or parks, I had to spend a lot for transportation.
Before you book your listing for travel, ensure you look for apartments that are close to the city’s attraction. Also, listing with easy access to transport, market, restaurant, beaches or parks will help you reduce cost on your trip.
To make easy for me to book Airbnb for the best experience, I use the search box to input my preferred area. So, instead of typing in “Bali”, I input a more specific area in Bali so I get the best options. This narrows your search down and you zoom in to see the best listings available.
Read Reviews of other guest
As with any online payment I make, I ensure I read reviews of other buyers. This is to get a general overview based on other people experience. Airbnb request guest to review their stay with host on their listing. So, reading other guest review will help you decide whether to book a listing.
However, a negative review doesn’t mean that you should avoid such host. This is because based on previous feedback, the host may have improved their services.
Also, reviews can help you get the best experience on the property. For example, a host may add Wi-Fi as an added service. So, reviews from guests may tell you if the Wi-Fi works fine or not.
Check the charges and total listing Fee
There are added charges that are applied by host on Airbnb. These charges asides the stay fee adds to the total booking fee before check out. I always ensure that I pay attention to these fees before payment. I have had an instance where the cleaning charge was too high for an host compared to another. Other times the cleaning charge may be more than your actually charge for stay-in.
So, I would recommend you book from an host whose additional service charges are not over the roof. This is because a high service fee can hike up your total charge of booking your stay. I love to cut cost to the barest minimum, so I book listings that have a fair service fee.
Read the cancellation policy and check in instruction
Airbnb host always have their cancelation policy in their listing. So, before you book your Airbnb, read the cancelation policy of the host. There are 3 cancelation policy on Airbnb; Flexible, strict or Moderate.
If you travel date is certain, you can book a host that has either strict or moderate policy. However, you can opt for host with flexible cancelation policy incase you’re unsure of your travel dates.
Also, also contact the host for check in instruction. This is so you can have access to apartment with hassle. Some host may have workers at the apartment to assist you, leave the key in place that will be disclosed to you or receive you by themselves. Be mindful of the check-in time that comes with your booking. This because some guest may be leaving before your arrival. Check in with your host for such information and ask any questions as regards your stay.
Book your stay in Advance
Another tip for booking Airbnb for your travel is to book in Advance. This because most great listing gets booked faster. More so, during peak travel season, you may have to settle for what is available. So, I would recommend you book your stay early as soon as your travel dates are confirmed.
I love to search for Airbnb listing past the first page. You may stumble upon great apartments and affordable deals from hosts while you search. So, for your travel, do a thorough search on Airbnb for the best apartment to meet your need.