From stunning Ibizan villas to treehouses in Thailand, Airbnb has your holiday accommodation covered, meaning you can live like a local wherever you might be. But before you start scrolling through your options, estate agent Portico has come up with ten things you need to know when using Airbnb…
Each Listing Is Unique
You could stay in a hotel. Or you could stay in a family-sized treehouse under the stars… Anyone around the world can list their home on Airbnb, so the site offers an eclectic mix of houses, ranches, houseboats, single rooms, apartments, yachts, castles and even windmills, and unlike most hotel rooms, each and every listing is unique, so you’re guaranteed something different every time.
It’s Active In 191 Countries
Whether a flat in London for a night or a yurt in Indonesia for a week, Airbnb connects people to travel experiences in more than 65,000 cities and 191 countries around the world – so no matter where you’re planning to visit, it’s likely you’ll find a unique place to stay.
Build A Likeable Profile
To use Airbnb, all you need to do is sign up, but make sure you add a photo of yourself, a short bio so hosts can find out more about you and a copy of your ID. It’s all about building trust, so you’ll be much more likely to be accepted by a host if you have a complete profile with a verified ID.
Use The Filters
As well as searching by destination, travel dates and number of guests, you can narrow down your choices by using the search filters. For example, if you’ve got your heart set on a country manor with a hot tub for your birthday (who hasn’t?) simply tick hot tub in the amenities section.
Talk To The Host
Contact your prospective host before booking to ask any questions you have, but make sure you’ve read through their profile first – just in case they’ve already answered your queries. Hosts are also ideal if you’re wanting to find out more about the area, how to get places, where to go, and local recommendations – after all, it’s where they live.
On a Similar Note
Airbnb’s review system allows both hosts and guests to leave detailed accounts of their experiences. Make sure you read reviews before you book, as they usually give a great insight into the property, the host and what to expect.
Don’t Be Afraid To Haggle
Another benefit of booking with people rather than hotels is they’re usually much more flexible on price, but before you ask for a discount, do some research. Check the availability and price of similar Airbnb listings in the area you're planning to stay. For example, if there are lots of affordable options in the area, you’re in a good position to negotiate.
In your message to the host, direct them to your reviews to demonstrate you’re a reliable guest, tell them how much you like the place, how long you plan to stay for, and how much you are able to pay – the worst that can happen is they say no.
Book Quickly & Have A Backup
If you find the perfect place, snap it up quickly! Busy hosts receive several booking requests per day, and many run a first-come, first-served basis. Also, have a backup plan. It’s rare, but sometimes extenuating circumstances will cause a host to cancel a booking with little notice, so make sure you have a second or third choice in mind.
Do Your Research
Unfortunately, some hosts may exaggerate just how close their home is to the beach or the nearest airport so research the area you’ll be staying in and check transport arrangements/proximity before you book.
Become A Host
If you fancy a bit of extra income, why not rent out your home while you’re away? If you’ve not got the time to make it work, consider using an Airbnb Management company, like Portico Host, who will look after the whole Airbnb process – from getting your property reading and setting up the listing to confirming bookings and handling the cleaning.