If you’re on the road and making quick decisions on where you’ll be next, Airbnb makes it easy to find same-day rentals and “Instant Booking” options that don’t require approval from the host before you purchase your stay. The convenience of Airbnb has led to its continuously increasing popularity among travelers around the world.
Although relatively straightforward, there are still some tips you can heed to make sure you’re getting the best deals for the best experience. Before you book your next getaway through Airbnb, be sure you’ve covered your bases and make use of these travel hacks.
Use wish lists
The wish list tool on Airbnb is great for planning ahead and comparing properties in the areas you plan to visit. If you don’t have endless amounts of time to put together your own wish lists, no problem — you can look at lists others have already made for the destination you’re seeking to visit. You’ll be surprised at some of the great places people find, but finding the lists will take a quick search on Google since there is no direct link through Airbnb itself.
By adding your Facebook profile, email, phone number, an image of yourself, and a bio to your Airbnb account you can demonstrate to hosts that you are a trustworthy person. This goes a long way for hosts since they don’t usually want to lend out their homes to strangers that might vandalize or disrespect their things.
Use the ‘instant book’ feature
When a place has the “Instant Book” option, that means the host does not have to approve you before booking your stay. This is great for quick plans where you won’t have to hassle with the back and forth of talking to the host and creating a plan together. The only thing you’ll have to coordinate after booking is how to get the key, and then the check-in and check-out procedures.
Look for 100 percent response rates
When finding an Airbnb you want your host to be responsive. If you have a question or issue you’ll want answers rather quickly, and those with 100 percent response rates are on top of their game. These hosts are clearly interested in renting out their place quickly and efficiently, as well as providing a positive experience for their potential guests.
Read the reviews
Beyond the images of the property you’ll want to read through the reviewsbefore booking. Be sure to look at the bad reviews along with the good to see what exactly the issues were from previous guests, and if the issues they had are ones that might affect your experience as well.
You don’t want to book a place and then realize the house rules are three pages long, making your stay miserable and stressful as you try to remember the laundry list of rules to follow. Given, most hosts will have some, but glance at them before buying anything to make sure they aren’t going to get in the way of your experience during your stay.
When you’re interested in a listing be sure to express to your host what you like about it and why you’d be a great guest in their home. Compliments on the place go a long way in having the host say yes to you and proceed with booking. If you don’t seem interested, they might go with someone else, and you’ll end up losing out on a great find.
Once you’ve started talking (and probably after the complimenting) you can haggle with the host about pricing. You don’t want to be too pushy, of course, but creating a relationship with the host beforehand can help you reach a better price for the same beautiful home you want to call yours for a few days.
Know your host
Check out what interests your host on their Airbnb profile to have a better understanding of what the house will be like. For instance, if your host maintains an active lifestyle , you may be able to use their skateboard, or surfboard, or any other activity equipment they have at home (provided they’ve given you their consent).
Much like airfare prices, if you are flexible with your travel days on Airbnb you’ll have a better shot at obtaining a deal (or discounted price for off days). If you’re booking to stay during the week, you’ll likely find cheaper prices than on the weekend since many people are traveling on those days. However, this can differ depending on your destination.
Rent out your place
Many people who use Airbnb to book their stay when traveling will also post their empty home as a listing while away. Instead of paying rent for an empty place and also paying to stay at someone else’s home, you can get paid while you’re away as well.
If you’re willing to risk it, you can sometimes find great deals on the place you’ve had your eye on by waiting until the last minute to book. By waiting so long you run the chance of the property being rented out, but otherwise if you have a strong verified profile you’ll have a higher chance of snagging a deal for a same-day (or next day) booking.
Before buying and booking anything, make sure you’ve seen a few quality images of the Airbnb listing. You don’t want to be blindsided when you arrive because the images weren’t clear and you didn’t know what you were getting yourself into. Assuming you’ve followed all of the other tips on this list, though, you should be fine.
Longer stays can mean discounts
If you know you’re going on a long vacation and want a place you can call home for the time being, you’ll want to consider finding one great spot and staying there for the duration of your visit. Instead of hopping around to various nearby cities, consider sticking to one and taking day trips from there. On Airbnb you can usually find discounted rates when you book a listing for a longer period of time.
Know what you’re booking
When skimming through the listing, be sure to pay attention to what you’re getting. Sometimes people on Airbnb will only rent out a room, which can be deceiving. You’ll be awfully upset if you think you’ve rented out an entire apartment only to show up and realize you’re sharing it with strangers in other rooms (unless that’s what you specifically looked for, of course).
Communicate with your host
As part of the booking process, when you’re getting personal with the host and potentially trying to haggle a deal, you’ll want to have consistent communication. If you have any questions or concerns, definitely voice them before you’ve committed to renting anything out. You can’t assume the place you’re visiting will have all the same amenities you have at home.