Booking an Airbnb – How to Get the Best Experience

Credit: Karsten Winegeart

As you plan your next vacation, you may decide to book an Airbnb instead of just staying at a hotel or timeshare. Airbnb’s are controlled by individual people instead of overarching companies, making them different from other booking options. Sometimes these places are cheaper, but you should always be aware of what you are booking at what price, and compare to more traditional options. 

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How to Find the Best Airbnb

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When you go on vacation, you always want to make sure your housing is a priority. First, you need to go on Airbnb and look for the location you are traveling to. Next, take a look at prices that will comfortably fit in your budget. The last thing you want to do is spend too much money on just housing. 

This may sound self-explanatory, but always check out the photos of the house or room you are thinking about booking. If you’re expecting a cleaner property and it ends up being not great, then your vacation will already be ruined by not checking what you were booking. 

Next on your radar should be past ratings from other vacationers. Next to the name of the rental is a numerical rating in stars from past users, which is the number in parentheses. Clicking on this will bring you to the listing and all of the ratings. This can help narrow down possibilities, especially if you want a smaller or bigger space, or you need parking options. 

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Some Airbnbs also require you to stay a certain amount of time, so always make sure you are choosing the exact dates you want to reserve the Airbnb for. In my personal experience we had an issue with Airbnb hosts because they only allowed at least a month-long booking, while we only wanted to stay for a week. This leads into the next step of Airbnbs – communicating.

Communicating with Your Host

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If you’ve ever heard the saying “communication is key” then you know where I am going with this. Your host is there to provide you with a living space, and you should always feel comfortable both with them and the place they are providing. On Airbnb, you can message a host before even booking a room or house, so then you can ask all the questions that may be popping up in your head. They are there to answer questions because they want to make you happy with their service. 

If you do end up booking with a host, get their contact information just in case you have questions once you get to the property. I know when I went to an Airbnb we asked the host not only about food left in the pantry, but where our parking space was to avoid parking tickets. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your host – it’ll benefit you in the long run. 

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Questions You Should be Asking

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Written below are just a few of the possible questions you can ask your host, especially if they are not clearly laid out in the listing of the property. Make sure that you are putting yourself first when booking – if there is ever an instance you feel not ready, then either ask the questions that will make you ready, or try another place. 

  • Do you have internet/is it fast?
  • Is there a kitchen that I can use?
  • What is around your location to do?
  • Are there any house rules I should be aware of?
  • What basic necessities/toiletries do you provide?
  • Are there any extra fees I could incur?
  • What are the safety measures on the property?
  • How do I check in/check out of my Airbnb?
  • How do I find your property/where is the entrance?
  • Is there a cancellation policy?

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No matter where you decide to go with Airbnb, make sure you take this guide with you in order to get the best vacation experience. The world is right in front of you, so take the leap and book an Airbnb!