I’ve started traveling quite regularly and to be honest, at the moment I prefer to stay in hotels. I’m good at finding unique yet budget hotels and when the price includes a buffet breakfast, it’s hard to say no!
However, when I travel with other people (more than just the boy and I), I think Air BnB does work out cheaper. For countries/cities that work out quite expensive: Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway etc, it can save a lot of dollar if you have a whole apartment and can cook there, rather than eating out all the time.
I’ve heard a lot of good and some bad experiences from using Air BnB so I thought a Top Tips post would be helpful who are unsure or are thinking of using it in the future.
I like to think of it as the eBay for accommodation, haha!
1 Research which neighbourhood/district you want to stay in.
Search for accommodation only in that area. Otherwise it can get quite confusing trying to work out where each one is and if it’s suited to you.
2 Decide which factors are important to you.
Free wifi, ground floor, parking? Filter out places that don’t have what you need to make your search super efficient. This would also include the type of accommodation. Do you want an entire apartment? A room in someone’s home? A houseboat? Because Air BnB has it all!
3 Read a LOT of reviews.
I read a few that said “the host cancelled the day before arrival” and it made me want to cry. Make sure they have a lot of reviews and that they haven’t cancelled last minute. Spend some time reading through them to see what people have to say about their experience.
4 Look through ALL the photos.
If there isn’t many or they are mostly of the outside/location then usually they’re not very nice. Although, Air BnB do hire photographers to take photos of the places so the ones WITH photos of the inside should be representative and accurate.
5 View the area using Street View.
You can usually tell how nice an area is just by cruising on Street View so this way you can avoid any dodgy districts.
6 Check additional costs.
Some add on costs per extra person etc so it can go up quite a bit from the advertised price. Make sure you know the total cost before booking.
7 Contact the host before booking and before arrival.
Build up a rapport, get to know them a little and feel free to ask any questions you may have. A few days before travelling it’s worth dropping a message just to check everything is good to go.
8 Check the “House Rules”.
I came across a few which asked for all bedding and towels to be washed, dried and folded at the end of the stay. That’s absolutely fine but if your trip is only a couple of days in duration, this could be an annoying factor. Make sure your intentions are suitable for the host’s rules and regulations.
9 Check the cancellation policy.
There are 3 levels of cancellation policy: Strict, moderate and flexible. Check that you’re happy with whichever your chosen place has to offer.
10 Communicate with your host
Remember, it’s not a hotel. If you’re delayed or lost, let your host know. Air BnB is all about building relationships so keep your host informed and be friendly.
11 Leave a review about your experience.
If the host goes overboard to welcome you and provides a lovely accommodation, let people know! It will make other travellers’ decisions easier and make the host feel appreciated.
Happy travels, let me know of your Air BnB experiences in the comments!