Are you looking for an Airbnb coupon? If so, here’s my Airbnb referral link which will give you a rebate on your first trip as a Guest. Then check out my Airbnb Beginners Guide here.
If you haven’t heard of Airbnb yet, or perhaps you’ve heard about it but been skeptical to try something you don’t know much about, then read on! With over half a million properties to choose from, Airbnb is a great accommodations option for travelers looking for alternatives to pricey or corporate and impersonal chain hotels. From quaint bed and breakfasts to chic city lofts to treehouses and even sailboats, you never know what you’re going to find when searching for an Airbnb! Keep reading my Airbnb Beginners Guide to learn the ropes, and get a $35 credit on your first stay!
Airbnb Beginners Guide
The service, in both its website and the convenient mobile app, was designed to allow average people to list their personal properties and extra guest rooms for rent. Both condos and houses, even smaller inns and bed-and-breakfasts from around the world can be found here in an easy-to-use format. Their slogan, “Why visit a city when you can live there?” hints at the far more local experience available through using their service.
Rentals can be nightly, weekly, or monthly which allows those traveling for longer periods of time a bit more of a cost effective way to stay in one place for longer. The website/app is extremely easy to use, but I am going to break down the process so you can be well on your way to your next destination!
Set up your Airbnb profile
Before you can rent from anyone, you must set up your profile. Do your best to fill in as much information as possible; include a friendly photo of yourself, your home address, etc. You can even link your Facebook account to make logging in easier in the future. To maintain security, at random, Airbnb will require some new users to provide a verified ID like a passport or license, but this is easily done through the app. If you set up your profile using my link to Airbnb, then you’ll get a nice little credit towards your first stay, whether it’s now, or months from now.
Begin your search
The home screen of the app and website makes it incredibly easy to begin your search. Enter the neighborhood, attraction you’d like to be near, city, state or even as broad as just the country that you’re hoping to visit. This will give you a lot of listings, so now it is time to narrow down your search.
First, properties can be shared rooms or even just couches or plots of grass for a tent, private rooms in apartments with others, whole apartments/houses, or even boats and trailers. Make sure to pick the options you are comfortable with.
Next, you can filter your results by amenities. Things like price, dates, wifi, included breakfast, pet friendly, swimming pools, etc. can help you narrow down your search. Their handy map can also help you determine which places are more in your ideal areas.
Find the right Airbnb for you
Once you’ve narrowed your search down a bit, now it’s time to take a closer look. Listings can include detailed descriptions of the property, neighborhood and rules for staying, photos, and reviews of the property. Make sure to look closely at the photos, you can get many clues about the property, the layout, what to expect. You can even access reviews of the property owner. They may have multiple listings on the site, so it is good to check out what other property renters have said.
Airbnb Beginners Guide – Rules to Keep in Mind:
First, remember that these are not typically hotels. They usually don’t come with maid or room service, and many don’t carry the right insurance typically needed for these types of properties. (But don’t worry, Airbnb carries an umbrella policy.) With the savings in price and often the enhanced experience, come other cautions that you must keep in mind. If you are a solo woman traveler, are you comfortable being alone with a male host? How private a person are you? Make sure to note features that may be important to you, like whether the bath is private or shared. Will you have kitchen privileges, or perhaps you need a parking space?
Second, don’t be afraid to ask questions. The app makes property owners readily available to make inquiries of. Scroll down until you see info about your host. There, you’ll find the red “Contact Host” button. If something isn’t answered by looking at the description or photos, don’t be afraid to speak up. You don’t want to book a month somewhere to enjoy a peaceful and relaxing holiday only to be greeted by pets that you may be allergic to, or a loud highway out back.
Finally, pay attention to the House Rules. If they say no alcohol or late night parties, this may not be the best place for a bachelorette weekend. If you respect the property owners, it is much easier to expect them to respect you. Something to keep in mind is that each property owner is given the opportunity to leave you a review as well after your stay — something that future owners can see and use to determine if they want to rent to you.
Book your Airbnb
Payment and reservations can be done directly through the property’s page. There are a few fees and things you should keep in mind before you start your booking process. First, some properties include a security deposit to cover incidentals or any possible damage. Second, some include a cleaning fee, that is non-refundable. There might be a surcharge for extra guests, or a discount if you book a whole week. Airbnb also takes a service fee which is a certain percentage of the cost of the stay.
Some properties allow instant booking while others require you to request a stay. The first allows you to finalize your booking on the spot, while the later allows the owner to check you out before agreeing to allow you to rent their property.
Keep an open mind
Airbnbs offer a unique opportunity for travelers to stay in places previously unavailable to visitors. Some property owners will be on site and will offer to make breakfast, take you out exploring, or give you details of your surroundings. It can be a great way to make new friends around the world! Other hosts are very hands-off, living elsewhere, but available by phone or text if you need them.
It is important to keep safety in mind, too. If you are traveling as a single woman, find something you are comfortable with. Personally, I don’t like to stay in shared rooms, or even private rooms in shared places unless they have an en-suite bathroom. I like my own space, the ability to unpack and spread out, or leave things out. I like the security of being able to walk to the bathroom without having to wonder where the other people in the house are. Of course if I’m traveling with my beau, then we always book our own place.
But, It Depends…
I also like to get to know my host, and look to them for local recommendations for places to eat and must-see sights. It all depends on them, so I try to get a feel for how much they’ll interact with me, by carefully reading the listing, their profile, and even their past reviews. One host I had insisted she pick me up from the airport, which was so helpful. On our way back to her house, she zigzagged through town, showing me the sights of “her town.” Upon arrival, we toasted the sunset with a glass of bubbly! Needless to say, we became fast friends, and have since stayed in touch. That never happens when I stay in a hotel!
You may feel comfortable in either of these situations (shared or private) but just make sure to keep your safety concerns in mind when choosing a property, and ask questions – don’t assume. Having the correct expectations and no surprises will almost guarantee a good experience. That’s why I’m sharing these important tips in this Guide to Airbnb for people like you who are Airbnb beginners.
Try Airbnb with my Discount Credit,
You May Never Stay at a Hotel Again!
I love a gorgeous hotel to pamper me with great service and views. But I also love getting down on the local level to experience a new destination. If you are at all interested in Airbnb, then click here through my link to register and set up your account now. If you do, you’ll get $35 off your first stay! And, if you’ve got friends who are also curious about Airbnb, then be sure to direct them here.
So now — go check out Airbnb, find the most unique property and go!
This post contains affiliate links which – if used by you – may give me credit, but at no expense to you. As always, opinions stated here are my own, derived from my own personal experience, and in no way are influenced by Airbnb. *Some graphics above credit to Airbnb.