Easy, it’s an awesome way to save money while traveling.
Let’s start with the basics, what is Airbnb? It’s simply a spot where regular people just like me and you can put their homes or apartments up to rent out to us travelers. Many people stop right there and say wait, what? Isn’t that weird? Well like everything in life it’s going to come down to personal preference. Everyone has different wants or needs when it comes to accommodations. But, for me I really only need a few things; a clean shower, bed, air conditioning, and decent Wi-Fi.
Honestly, I was weary of booking through Airbnb, (especially in a foreign country & alone) but, it has now become my go-to! It’s really been a great experience all around. I’ve been very fortunate with all wonderful hosts and the payment aspect was a breeze. When I’m looking to book, I firmly stick to these 4 simple guidelines:
1. Flexible date range.We all know that getting your boss to approve your vacation time can be a hassle. We get the classic “sorry, we have department needs” or “Susie has seniority”. Insert eye roll here. Trust me, IF you can plan your trip around the cheaper dates vs work you’ll save a ton of money on Airbnb/Hotel/Flights. Just like everything else, the rates will go up on weekends, special occasions, and of course high travel season. Sure it may only be 10-15 dollars a night. But, if you’re staying twelve nights that could be $150 towards an excursion!
*Booking Monday-Friday instead of Friday-Monday; huge money saver!! Not only will M-F save you money but, depending on the season Tuesday & Wednesday will have less tourists around, giving you more time and space to explore. Discounts are also offered for longer stays! Weekly (7-27 nights) & Monthly (+28 nights).
2. Pick a Location. Airbnb offers up a super handy map!! Seriously, the map will rock your socks off! I’ve saved hundreds of dollars by booking places that are 5-10 minutes outside of the city. If you’re renting a car or motorbike, you’ll easily avoid the higher city prices with your small commute. Take your list of places to see and open up a bunch of different tabs online, (Airbnb & Google maps) two or ten tabs if you have to. You want to start familiarizing yourself with the area so that you’re not wasting your vacation time commuting all over the place.
A little much? Maybe, but when I was in Bermuda for the first time bombing around on my motorbike, guess who didn’t need a map because she already knew the roads? That’s right, this girl! Use technology to your advantage!!
***Please do not skimp on safety just to save a couple bucks***
3. Compare listings. Check out the pictures; ALL of them. Download the Airbnb App onto your cell phone so you can zoom in on pictures. This might seem like a weird tip but I like to see what it going on in the background. Can you see mold in the corners or is it really messy? Read the entire description—odds are that if your host took the time to write a small novel about the place, they truly want you to have a great place to stay.
Do your research; reach out to people who have actually been there. Since I travel alone often, I rely heavily on reviews when it comes to safety.
Read the reviews!
4. Book with a Superhosts. What is a Superhost? They’re experienced with 5-Star reviews; also well known for their high response rate and commitment. Questions, message your host! This might just be the best part of Airbnb; the ability to communicate directly with your host. Whether it’s specific to their listing or who has the best tacos in town, ask away! Your host doubles as your personal tour guide. How great is that!?! They will also have a badge of honor attached to their profile picture. Click Superhost to search listings.
New users: Sign up here and receive $40 off of your first booking.
Current users: A new email for the same $40 off.