If you’re like me, you’re always trying to get the best bang for your buck on vacation. Whether it’s asking locals for the best recommendations on restaurants, looking for discounts on excursions, or perusing for cheap accommodations, finding ways to spare my wallet while having a good time on vacation is a win-win.
Speaking of budget accommodations, Airbnb is a popular and growing platform for people to list and book exclusive lodging around the world. However unique a place can be, Airbnb can sometimes still be cheaper than a hotel. But booking through Airbnb may have its drawbacks. From unaccommodating hosts to sudden cancellations, successfully finding a place to stay can be a challenge.
Check out these tips to ensure you have a successful Airbnb experience.
1. Read the fine print
Similar to signing a contract, you always need to make sure you’ve read all the fine print before booking your potential place. Some hosts have strict cancellation policies where you will not be refunded any money if you cancel. Other hosts may cancel their accommodation at any time without reason, while some may have lenient cancellation policies and house rules. Always read everything that is listed in this booking so you can inform yourself on the house rules and polices. For the most part, I have had many successful Airbnb stays, but some I wish I had done more research on.
You may also have questions such as: Is wifi available? Can I bring pets? Will I be charged for cleaning and maintenance fees? Read the fine print and do your research.
2. Communication is key
There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to get a hold of your Airbnb host. In order to avoid confusion and chaos in the days before your arrival, make sure you’re able to reach your host — whether its through text, phone calls, emails, or even the Airbnb messages. A week before your vacation, you should make sure your arrangements are running smooth and everything is up to date between you and your host. Remind them again what time you would be arriving and how long you are staying for. It would also be advantageous if you inform the host of any sudden changes to your itinerary. Flight delayed? Make sure you find a way to contact your host to let them know you will be late. If you can, save their number on your phone in case you need to reach them.
3. Scope out the location
Location, location, location. Location is everything when scoping out your Airbnb stay. Use Google Maps to find where your accommodation is in relation to a city center, or if the location is convenient for you. Most hosts will talk about the location and provide ways to get to and from their property on the listing. However, you should always double-check to see if you can easily take public transportation from their place, and if it’s central or too out of the way for you.
4. Read the reviews
Reading the reviews can be a decisive factor when booking an Airbnb accommodation. For example, past guests may write that although their place was nice and clean, the hosts weren’t considerate and friendly. Who would want to book with a review like that? However, past guests may write that they loved their host and the location and accommodation was beautiful and they would go back again. Either way, you should carefully read the reviews to consider if this listing is right for you or not.
Most reviews also write about the location, how easily (or not easily) accessible everything was from where they were staying, any amenities the accommodation may have, how helpful and nice their host was, the cleanliness of the place, and the overall experience the guest felt. It is always important to read the reviews because they are normally always honest and will give you more reassurance if you choose to book this listing.