Ah, AirBNB. If you haven’t heard of this hot new accommodation trend, you’re probably living in a well sheltered hole at this point. AirBNB is comprised of a community of renters all over the world, which can be found with a click of a button. These accommodations range widely from affordable and cosy to luxurious 5 star vacation homes, and can be dirt cheap affordable to sell-your-limbs expensive. That being said, this is a platform I swear by. As a well-seasoned AirBNBer, here’s my guide to finding the perfect space on AirBNB for you!
1. Do your research.
What area do you plan on staying in? What are you planning on doing? Do you want to be close to the action, or a little out of the way? These are all things that you should consider before diving head-first into accommodation surfing. If you want to be close to the beach, the last thing you want to do is accidentally book accommodations that are ways away from said beach. I usually tend to map out a rough area of where I’d ideally like to be, and then go from there.
Note: Obviously certain areas are more expensive than others, which can make being a little out of the way worth your while depending on pricing.
2. Choose a budget.
I usually chose a budget and set the AirBNB search engine to that amount right away (Just in case I get my heart set on a place I love that’s out of my price range by accident!).
3. Decide what you’re comfortable with.
AirBNB is unique in a way that it allows both accommodation options within spare rooms of homes that have tenants living there at the same time, or accommodations that include the entire private home/apartment. Before you look, decide on what you’re comfortable with given your price range. Would you be okay sharing a space with someone you don’t know and possibly pets? Or would you rather have your own private space without the roommates? These are things you need to consider, as they can effect the price tag of your stay.
*Note: Usually private spare rooms are cheaper due to the fact that others are still living within the home at the same time, while full private homes and apartments are more expensive for obvious reasons. That being said, my boyfriend and I stayed in someone’s spare room in Toronto (which I originally was quite hesitant of), but it turned out to be a wonderful experience that we still talk about today.
4. Make a list of the top contenders & their specs.
Once I’ve found a few places I like, I’ll usually make a list of said prospects in order to narrow down my search. I write them down according to the area they’re located, pricing, and their amenities. You’ll find that some places come with breakfast stocked, while others have laundry amenities or early check in options. Narrow down things that you’re looking for in an accommodation, and that will definitely help you make your choice.
5. Contact some hosts.
I always feel better contacting the hosts of the AirBNB’s prior to booking, in order to get a “feel” for the property owner. I also feel more comfortable once I’ve had a conversation or two with the person, and knowing that they took the time to respond is always nice. That, and I genuinely do have questions regarding amenities/dates/check in times.
*Note: In every AirBNB I’ve experienced, I’ve always made sure that the AirBNB Hosts I’ve gone with have had reviews. Having a plethora of reviews is not only helpful, but also reassuring since it shows you that this place is real and people have experienced it. Also, if they’re rated as a “Super Host” I tend to lean towards them, as well.
After weighing your options, it’s time to make a decision! Some Hosts will have an “Instant Book” setting where you can book right away, but some may not. However, if you’ve partaken in Step 4 above, this shouldn’t be an issue since most hosts “Invite You To Book” (basically, you’re given the “OK”) after you’ve chatted with them. In those cases, you usually have 24 hours after they’ve given you their OK to book, or the offer expires (don’t panic, it can be renewed easily by the host if you need more time!). AirBNB will send you a receipt through email, and I usually print it out so that I can bring it along in my bag (if needed).
7. Now, get excited for your trip!!
I hope this has been helpful and informative. Please leave me any questions or suggestions below!
(Please note that all opinions I’ve expressed here are my own, as I’m not affiliated with AirBNB).