Airbnb is on the rise. The revolutionary website that offers hassle-free holiday booking is growing in members everyday and is the best place to go for a unique holiday experience. Here’s some do’s and don’ts when using Airbnb to help you have the smoothest travel experience possible!
Do – Take a risk
First and foremost, Airbnb isn’t for everyone. When booking somewhere there are sometimes lingering questions that you’ll only know the answer to once you arrive – it’s quite common with Airbnb to share the space with your host; however this varies depending on the size of the place, the layout (sometimes hosts will live in separate accommodation downstairs or at the other end of the house) and your host’s schedule! Airbnb hosts are usually helpful and discreet, so don’t be afraid of sharing a space with them, more often than not they’ll only appear when you need them!
Don’t – Ignore your host or treat them like your slave
On the other hand, don’t treat your host like they work for you. If your host is out of town or doesn’t live near to it then this isn’t a problem; but most Airbnb hosts will go out of their way to make your stay enjoyable and memorable, so therefore the least you can do is chat to them or share your schedule with them. In every Airbnb place I’ve stayed the host has left out local information, travel booklets etc. and been excited to share their city – ask your host for advice on where to go and what to see and let them show off their local knowledge!
Do – Follow their Instagram for inspiration!
Warning: looking at the Airbnb Instagram will induce severe wanderlust. So perhaps not the best thing to look at if it’s a rainy Monday morning and you’ve just spent all your money on bills and food shopping. Despite this, their Instagram will fill you with inspiration, which you could always turn into motivation to finish that essay or not buy that fourth Jesticle, so it’s worth taking a look!
Don’t – Be put off by temporary problems in reviews
I once read a review that discounted the fact that the property had a prime location, cheap rental, pristine rooms and immaculate facilities in favour of ranting about a less than powerful shower head that was being replaced in a couple of days. More often than not Airbnb rentals are people’s homes and so have inevitable DIY requirements every once in a while. Read reviews carefully as these are what will tell you the most about the property; but be wary of complaints about things that will be easily rectified. On that note…
Do – Ask the host questions
If you see a review that says ‘broken toilet seat’ message the host and ask if this has been fixed. Likewise ask your host about any special requirements you might have, such as allergies or accessibility. Finding out extra information can be vital when deciding to book a place and once you’ve booked, it’s handy to keep in touch with your host and build a good rapport that can make your stay feel less anonymous and in the best case scenario build a friendship!
Don’t – Forget to respect their home!
Airbnb spaces are not hotels – a seemingly simple concept that some people don’t get. These horror stories from AirBnbHell will be enough evidence for that fact! Some people fail to understand the apartment-sharing concept and still expect the service and amenities of a hotel. When researching your Airbnb break pay close attention to what’s supplied and even more attention to what’s not. Once you’re there, be respectful of your host’s space. That doesn’t mean to say you can’t relax; but be appreciative of the fact that more often than not you’re staying in someone’s home.
Do – Research the location carefully
This should go without saying, but can sometimes be overlooked. If you’re travelling alone or in a small group it can be even more important to research the area you’ll be staying in is safe, especially in city breaks where inevitably you’ll get a more varied experience from area to area. What’s more, make sure the area you’re in is easily accessible. If you’re staying in a city, research transport links to and from your apartment and make sure it’s in reaching distance of the places you want to visit. Likewise for a more rural holiday, find out how you’ll get from the airport to the place. Sometimes Airbnb hosts offer airport pick ups, or will arrange taxis to come and get you, so make sure you see if this is available, or ask for their advice on public transport routes.
Don’t – Forget to review
Airbnb runs on reviews. The reviews you read will influence whether you stay in a place or not, so don’t forget to do others a courtesy and leave an honest review about your time. Don’t include details out of the hosts control, such as weather (seems obvious but people do it) and focus on the experience the host has given you, the quality of the place and whether it matches up to the description the host gives. Also, don’t forget the host reviews you! This will impact on whether other hosts accept your bookings in the future, underlining why reviews are so important to the Airbnb community.
Do – Use for any type of holiday
Be it a city break or three week long stay, Airbnb has a range of properties that will cater to whatever you’re after. There’s a similitude of city apartments for short breaks at very reasonable prices; but there’s also villas perfect for family holidays, yurts for glamping and just about anything else you can imagine! Some properties have a minimum stay, which is usually around 2 nights, but other than that Airbnb offers a flexible variety of city pads and country bolt holes – just get searching!