Top 5 tips for first-time Airbnb guests
When you want to be among the comforts of a home away from home, the first thought is to take advantage of the services of Airbnb. However, the online platform for letting and renting private accommodation is like a giant city – the site has 6 million listings for homes in 100,000 cities in nearly 200 countries around the world. It’s quite possible to get confused and lost among the many rules and suggestions, so we’ve put together a short guide with the most important points to watch out for.
1. You have registered a personal profile with a valid email
You begin the great search for the most suitable corner of the world in which to stay. When you enter your destination, travel dates and number of guests, all listings you see should be available.
You think you found the place and you are about to make a reservation? Do not make it until you have read all, absolutely all opinions, reviews and descriptions of the place.
Verification is of utmost importance, so even if it looks like the guest house is available and perfect for you, just in case, send a message to the host to make sure it is.
2. Read the full table of listings, until the last word!
This is important to ensure that:
– you will make the best possible choice, since in Sofia alone there are over 2,500 listings for overnight stays, and in New York – nearly 36,000. It is very likely that if you look at the site “diagonally” you will miss super interesting and profitable offers;
– you are OK with all the requirements of the home,
– you will find out what amenities are or are not included: internet connection, parking, air conditioning,
– you are aware of what is allowed and what is not, for example, whether you can bring pets, when is the right time to turn on the washing machine, what is the schedule for using the bathroom, etc.
This will save you and the hosts a lot of headaches. They have wasted time and effort to compile a complete profile and describe everything important: public transport stops, nearest dry cleaners, restaurants, taxi ranks and other details, so you will probably find an answer to everything you are interested in. Also – you won’t bother with unnecessary questions!
3. All photos – under the miscroscope
Homeowners usually post the most polished shots of the home and the city, but there are some indicators which help you learn a lot about what remains hidden from view.
Examples: If the photos are blurry, maybe the host is trying to hide something. If there are only 1-2 photos, be extra careful. If certain rooms, such as the bathroom, are not included in the gallery, it is important to inquire whether it is by chance or if it is in poor condition. Keep one in mind if each room is not presented from different angles.
4. Pictures and descriptions are very important, but reviews are crucial!
Real reviews are the only feedback you have as potential customers because they offer information that hosts don’t share. They usually share only the favorable facts and beautiful pictures that make the place look better than it really is.
You may come across several opinions on a particular fact, which should sharpen your attention. Make sure the reviews are real – according to the platform’s rules, any Airbnb user with a confirmed stay in the last two weeks is allowed to review the place.
Even for perfect hosts, you may read the occasional negative review, but that’s normal because every customer has different tastes, expectations, preferences, and experiences. But if most of the reviews are positive, you will most likely enjoy it.
5. No reviews?
This would be quite strange, so you should investigate the host more thoroughly. Do they offer one or several homes, if several – what are the reviews for them? Study their profile to learn a lot about their personal interests. For example, if they say they like to cook, it’s realistic to expect that their kitchen will be tidy and well-stocked. Of course, there are no guarantees, but you will still learn something more that will be useful to you before submitting a booking request.
Warning: it can take up to 24 hours for your host to approve your reservation, so when you come across the best deal, don’t delay. Or use the “instant booking” option – it will guarantee that the desired home will not be occupied in the next few hours, and is useful in cases where you need to stay there for a day.