Airbnb Experiences, how I book my Airbnb
My first Airbnb experience was eight years ago in April 2015 in Athens, Greece. Since then I’ve stayed in 32 Airbnb’s in six countries, so I think I can say that I’ve become an expert at selecting an Airbnb that fits my needs. Airbnb experiences vary from private rooms in someone’s home to entire apartments or houses. Here are my tips on how I go about the whole process.
Tips on how to book your Airbnb: Location and dates
First of all, I decide on the location and dates. Just like flights, the sooner you book, the more options you have as only those available on the dates you’ve selected, show up on the Airbnb site.
Location is crucial when staying in a city you’re unfamiliar with or when you are visiting family and friends. Although you won’t be given the exact address until you confirm your booking with a credit card, you can still see the approximate location and surrounding street names on the map provided. I sometimes Google Map the cross streets and check the distance between the location and whatever I want to be close to.
Next, I check a few items on the filters, for example, I no longer want to book a private room in a house with a shared bathroom. I click on the filter that says “entire home” followed by the number of beds and baths, and since I’m alone, I just need one of each. The next filter I click on is house or apartment, and finally amenities. If you’re looking for a beach location, you can click on beachfront, and other amenities such as “free cancelation” or “allows pets,” and on the bottom right corner, it will show how many listings are available.
Airbnb Cost and Rating based on Reviews
As you can see on the Airbnb screenshot above, there are 3 photos with cost/night and ratings which vary from 4.79 with (19) reviews, 4.9 with (70) reviews and 5.0 with (5) reviews. I generally pick the 4.9 and 5.0 ratings and read 5-10 reviews to see if they talk about comfort, cleanliness, proximity to shops and grocery stores, as I normally walk everywhere or take public transport. I also look at all the photos to make sure there’s a fridge, cooking range, nice, clean bathroom, etc.
You generally get a discount if you stay for 7 nights, and when you click on the Airbnb you want to book, there is breakdown of cost, with cleaning fee added, and Airbnb service fee. You can check the terms of cancellation.
Airbnb Photos are important to get a feel of the place
I love to look at all the photos and see if the place looks cozy and if I can see myself enjoying the interior or the view, or garden. Who wouldn’t want to stay in a nice cottage with a thatched roof. This was in the UK, during one of my trips, and although cute, I had to bend over upstairs as the ceilings were so low. Still charming though.
So the real reason I love staying in an Airbnb, is the flexibility of being able to make my own coffee, having a fridge and buying local produce at the market, the cost savings compared to a hotel especially for longer stays, and the feeling that I’m in my second home. When I select 4.8 to 5.0 star reviews, I’ve had good luck with the hosts, location and cleanliness of the Airbnb. Maybe I’ll reach 100 Airbnb stays one day as I travel around the world!
Have you stayed in an Airbnb? If so what was your experience? Please share so we can read your opinion.