10 Tips for your first Airbnb stay

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Airbnb has become a fantastic resource for people looking to explore new locales on a budget. This mobile app and website allows people to advertise and rent out rooms, apartments, and even houses to folks who are traveling. It’s a great way to experience a city as a local rather than staying in a touristy hotel. First-time users should know a few things before booking a place through Airbnb, though. Check this list to better prepare yourself for your first stay.

  1. Assess your needs first. Before beginning your search for an Airbnb place, understand what you need in terms of living conditions. What amenities would you like to have? Do you need to be located near something specific?
  2. Read the reviews. If people who’ve stayed in a place have left negative reviews, use caution when booking a stay. Only those who have had a confirmed stay in a particular house or apartment can leave a review, so you should strongly consider the experience of others.
  3. Remember that you’re being rated, too. Just as lodgers give reviews of their hosts and their accommodations, hosts can write reviews of people staying in their house or apartment. A bad review can make it tough for you to book an Airbnb in the future.
  4. Take note of the cancellation policy. An Airbnb host can choose one of five cancellation policies, ranging from “flexible,” to “super strict.” Knowing the policy is important if you think your plans might change.
  5. Book with care. There are a variety of accommodation options available on Airbnb – an entire house or apartment, a private room, or a shared room. The Airbnb platform allows you to filter your preferences. In addition, there is no standard in terms of what hosts must provide to you, so read the descriptions carefully.
  6. Reach out to your host. Airbnb is built upon personal interactions, so send a message to the host before you book in order for you and them to feel more at ease. Just sending a quick message to say hello or asking a question if something is unclear is easy with Airbnb’s messaging system.
  7. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Any grandiose promises made by a host will likely be hard to back up. You should look for reasonable accommodations to come with any place you plan on booking.
  8. Go with a place that has more “house rules.” First-time guest users of Airbnb may not be used to staying in what is essentially someone else’s home, where the levels of cleanliness and privacy can vary. Staying at a place that emphasizes a set of rules regarding these things will help you stay comfortable in this unfamiliar setting.
  9. Be courteous to the host, and show respect to the property. As was mentioned in the previous tip, you’ll be staying in a private home owned by a regular person. So, treat it and the host’s belongings with care and respect.
  10. Keep an open mind. Using Airbnb is a different kind of experience than staying at a hotel. So take advantage of it! Staying with among locals rather than other tourists is a chance to engage with and share in their culture, and embracing the opportunity to do so can be very rewarding.
  11. Feel free to negotiate. Although the host gives the rate for a stay in their house or apartment, that rate is not set in stone. So, go ahead and try for a lower rate if you’re so inclined.

Top Tips for First-Time Airbnb Guests [Digital Care]

Is Airbnb Safe? Seven Tips for First-Time Renters [Conde Nast Traveler]

5 Tips for the First-Time Airbnb Guest [Fairbnb]

6 Things to Know When Using Airbnb for the First Time [U.S. News and World Report]

  • September 28th, 2016
  • Posted in: AVA