Tips for using Airbnb

With over 60 million users, Airbnb is an innovative and affordable new approach to booking accommodation, but how do you avoid the pitfalls and ensure a good experience?

Airbnb can be a great tool for making travel easier, more pleasant and less expensive, but not everyone has a great experience.

Here are some tips to help you make your Airbnb experience a good one.

Get specific
When you are looking for places to stay, especially in big cities, you’ll find so many results that you could spend days assessing them all. It is important to narrow down your search right from the start, so that you only get relevant results when looking for a place to stay. Narrow down the number of guests, how much space you will need (a private room or the entire place) and your budget. If you find there are not enough results in your search you can always expand it as you go along.

Review photos carefully
Pay close attention to the photos provided. If one or more of the rooms is omitted from the available photos to view, you might want to steer clear. If you are looking to host make sure all the photos you use of your house or apartment are in focus. A listing with photos from multiple angles of the living room, bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom clearly has nothing to hide.

Research the location
One person’s short walk to the shops is another’s car trip. Use Google Maps and find out exactly where the property is located and how long it will take you to get to the nearby attractions you plan on visiting during your stay.

Sweat the small stuff
Each Airbnb property listing has a detailed listing of what is included in the apartment, a brief description, the location, and the user reviews. A detailed description – maybe even with recommendations for things to do or see in the neighbourhood – shows that the owner is attentive. If you are hosting, try and be as informative as you can in the description. If you are renting, look for an owner who does the same.

Reviews are rarely wrong
This is probably the most important part of ensuring you have a good experience when using Airbnb. The owner of a property will be quick to highlight all the positives about the property, but the only real gauge of how pleasant your stay will be can be found in the reviews of people who have already stayed there. All the tiny details you can’t pick up from the photos like poor water pressure, slow internet connection or odd smells will be contained in the reviews. Once you have completed your trip, make sure you provide an honest review as well. This is what makes the system work so well.

Have you ever used Airbnb? How would you rate the experience? Do you have any tips for fellow travellers?

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