How to have a good experience with Airbnb





25/7/2019



For some reason, people seem to think we live in hotels! It's absolutely not true. We've only stayed in a hotel once in the last year and that was only for 2 days in Amsterdam. Hotels are crazy expensive when there are far cheaper alternatives these days.





Airbnb is like a home away from home. You are literally renting out someone's lived in home or second property. You'll usually have amenities like a kitchen, washing machine which you're unlikely to get in a hotel and for us it makes our stay that much more comfortable as we can prepare our own meals and really relax in our own space for the duration of our stay.

We've had a mixed bag of experience with Airbnb and have had to learn the hard way how to pick the best accommodation for our needs. So I've decided to share these with you so you don't have to endure what we have and to help make sure you can focus on having a memorable time.


SEARCH WELL IN ADVANCE


Many of the best places sell out quickly so to have the greatest chances of booking the great accommodation you may need to book at least 2-3 months in advance. I tend to start searching for properties up to 6 months before our next destination and that allows me to keep an eye on how soon I may need to book.



PICK A SUPERHOST


Ideally, you want to book with a superhost, these are experienced landlords who go over and above for their guests to ensure you have a fantastic experience. When you search for a property, you will automatically be able to see which homes are owned by a superhost.

We had 1 experience with a superhost that didn't start off too well. The listing claimed there were 3 beds, when in fact there were only 2 so we couldn't stay there. However, the host was able to organise a separate accommodation for us to stay at for the mistake. Most superhost want to maintain their great reviews so they will usually bend over backwards go make sure everything goes smoothly. Turned out, out new accommodation was even better than the first one.


CHECK THE LOCATION ​


For us, location is key as we like to be able to walk to the places we want to see and do. For safety reasons, Airbnb do not share the full address of a property with you until after you've booked. You'll be able to see the region it's located in though. With that in mind, take not of key landmarks that are highlighted on the map, are there any train stations, historical buildings, etc. nearby? I use these as a reference point and then turn to Google maps to check out the distance to recommended restaurants and activities before booking. We've been caught out before and ended up in locations that have been too far to get to anywhere we'd like. Rookie mistake!



CHECK REVIEWS


Photos, description and reviews are about all you have to go on when deciding if a place is right for your trip and to be honest, I almost want to say forget about the photos and description too seeing as many Airbnb hosts will lie about or exaggerate the features of their place to make it seem better than it is. So I usually read almost every single review and will form a judgement based on all three things. There will always be a few disgruntled people who will leave bad reviews on purpose but these are usually inconsistent and stick out from the rest so can be ignored. But if you notice several bad reviews that mention the same issues then you should avoid that place like the plague.


ASK FOR A DISCOUNT


I did not know this was a thing until I read it on another travelling mum's blog and then I tried it for myself and it honestly works every time now. We usually stay in our Airbnbs for at least a month and many hosts do offer a considerable discount for long stays. Even still, you absolutely should ask them if they would be willing to negotiate on price, I usually ask directly for a long stay discount or mention the fact that their place is slightly out of our budget. The worst that will happen is they say no so why not give it a try.



DECIDE ON NON-NEGOTIABLES


What can you not do without? For us, stong wi-fi and being centrally located are a must. Both are also relative. A landlord can easily claim to have great internet but what is considered great in Bali for example, is probably shockingly poor to most westerners. So make sure you are clear on you non-negotiables and don't be afraid to send the landlord a message for clarification, they usually respond very quickly.


When we get it right, we've had amazing experiences with Airbnb and there are a number of properties we'd definitely return to. It has also gone horribly wrong for us before, if you've been following us for a while then you'll know about our rat encounter. If you didn't know, you don't want to.


I hope you'll strongly consider using Airbnb for you next trip and you can save £25 on your first stay by using my link.


Love & light,


Chi