We love Airbnb! It is my first go to when we are traveling, it doesn’t matter if it is just the two of us or with our three daughters, son-in-law, granddaughter and my mom. Right now I am planning a trip with another couple to Europe and we are looking at Airbnb’s for most of our housing. We have booked all over the U.S., Dublin, London, Lisbon, Barcelona, and Paris. With a few simple Airbnb rental tips and tricks, you can help insure a great stay.
The process I use for booking is the same, no matter who is going or where we are traveling. I follow these Airbnb rental tips and tricks to book every stay. Note: we always stay in a lock out – renting the entire space – I am not totally into the “Bed and Breakfast” type of rental. I personally would not share a room either.
Once you have decided on your destination, investigate and select a preferred neighborhood or two. It is too easy to go down the rabbit hole looking at all the pretty pictures; you may end up far away from your “ideal fun spot.” You need to focus your search so it matches your goals i.e. shopping, dining, nightlight, museums, etc.
I start with the Airbnb Plus listing and see if one of those work. According to the Airbnb website, Super Hosts, among other things must:
“To be eligible for Superhost status, you must meet the following requirements:
- Completed at least 10 trips OR completed 3 reservations that total at least 100 nights
- Maintained a 90% response rate or higher
- Also Maintained a 1% cancellation rate
- Maintained a 4.8 overall rating“
Starting with these listings is a great way to guarantee you will have a fabulous experience. If I can’t find a Superhost in my targeted neighborhood, checking the recent reviews is a good fallback.
Where to Begin
To begin your search on the site, set your filters. The more filters you set, the narrower your search. Set your destination, dates and number of guests. Then use additional filters to further narrow your search. How many beds do you want? how many bedrooms? Bathrooms? Laundry? Pool? Wifi?
I don’t add neighborhoods in the filters. Firstly, they are not all listed and I may find a perfect place on the edge of my neighborhood. The map will populate on your screen and you can shift it to reflect your desired neighborhood; the listing shown will be within that map area. This is very handy if you want to expand or constrict your search.
Next, go through the listings shown and quickly review the photos to see if the decor appeals to you. Do you want a balcony? See if the photos show one and also the view; you don’t want to be viewing the house across the alley (ask me how I know!). Do you want multiple bedrooms with certain size beds? What floor do you want to stay on? Save these listing to a wish list you set up specifically for this location. The wish lists are a great tool, particularly if you are visiting more than one city.
After you have done a cursory review. Go to your wish list and give each listing a thorough review. Remove the ones that don’t meet your standards.
Things to look for
- Beds don’t always mean bedrooms – think bunk room or sleeper sofa
- Bedrooms may not have a door, it could be a loft or a drape that separates the room
- Bathrooms do not always have showers and/or tubs
- Patios/decks do not always have a view
- Older buildings usually do not have elevators
- TVs are not standard – a must have for my hubby!
- Dishwashers, Washers, Dryers, Coffee maker – are these necessary for your stay?
- If there are more than a few decor only photos – it makes me question what they are not showing?
Look at the pictures, they should tell a story. Are the beds nicely made and are they the right size for you? Will the Kitchen, Living Room and Dining Room work for your stay? Do the Bedrooms have doors? What does the front of the building look like? Is there parking? How about public transportation?
Also consider the reviews. They should be recent and well written. You want to see positive comments about the location, cleanliness, ease of check in and responsiveness of the owner. Read between the lines!
You need to consider the Total Cost of the rental, not all rentals have the same fees. You will find Service and Cleaning fees on some rentals – so check the bottom line!
Review Your Stay
Lastly, after you check out; leave a review for your host. You build credibility with future hosts based by leaving good reviews. Make your review truthful and positive.
Follow these few simple Airbnb rental tips and tricks when you book and your vacation will be off to a great start.
P.S. Here is my Airbnb horror story – my daughter rented this one!