Oh, Airbnb! How us travelers love you so. You’ve become the best way for us to live like a local while saving some serious dough compared to overpriced hotels. Not to mention, you provide your guests with some serious homey feels whilst on the road.
But there are a few key factors in finding THE perfect Air BNB for yourself and your travel mates, and here they are:
Location is important when you’re unfamiliar with a place. We have all booked accommodation in the wrong area before, right? Nothing is worse than arriving late at night, and realizing you’re in a pretty rough area. Airbnb doesn’t always say the exact address of the place you are booking; it just gives a generalized area of where the accommodation is. So if you don’t know what the neighborhood is like or want to know more about the location, message the host. Staying somewhere practical is a must to make the most out of your time.
WHEN CAN I CHECK IN?
A guest usually can’t check-in earlier than 2 pm, which can be an issue if your flight/train/bus arrives very early. When you book, there is an option to estimate your time of arrival, and if you put an earlier time than 2pm, your booking might not be accepted. I suggest you always claim to arrive at 2pm, but make sure to contact your host if you arrive early so you can arrange baggage storage. If you are lucky you may be able to check-in at your preferred time. Don’t be discouraged by timestamps.
DOES IT HAVE EVERYTHING I NEED?
Wifi? Kitchen? Security? Walking distance to shops/restaurants? Pool or laundry facilitates? Do you have to pay for breakfast or is it included? Airbnbs can be very different, some feel like hotels, others more like you have crashed on your friend’s couch. Make sure to read about the facilities, so you don’t end up misunderstanding the property. You can of course specify your search and choose different options, price ranges and filters, which can make it easier to find the perfect match.
HAVE YOU READ ALL THE REVIEWS?
I never book a place without reading all the comments/reviews first. It’s the best way to understand what you’re getting. Chances are the advertisement doesn’t say, “Come stay at our Airbnb! Our Wifi is horrific and we have ants!!” But the comments below will. They also can provide you with some wicked entertainment. People actually comment on pillow selections and creaky doors. Take those with a pinch of salt! But DO look out for comments like “bad location”, unsafe neighborhood, rape-y host etc.
PICTURE VS REALITY?
Arriving at a place you can’t recognize from the photos you have seen is disappointing and eventually it will happen. When it comes to the facilities listed, you should see the pictures of them in the booking. If it says for example “Gym” or “Pool” and you can’t find a photo of it, think twice. Maybe they don’t have it? Contact the host.
TIPS & TRICKS
- Don’t forget to screen shot the phone number/email to the host and the exact address when you get it. Directions too! Remember that your phone doesn’t work in every country/location.
- If you want to stay a little bit further from town, make sure to ask your host if it’s possible to rent a car/scooter somewhere nearby, or if it’s easy to access local transportation.
- You can always ask your host to arrange reliable airport pick-up if you are in foreign place and don’t feel like just taking any taxi.
- Don’t forget that the best part of booking with Airbnb is all the unique places you can find and pretend that it’s your home! It’s definitely a different way of traveling.
Photos: Emma Cunningham
SHOP THIS EXPERIENCE: