Since Airbnb entered the market around 2008, it changed things for travelers as well as property owners. Airbnb provided a marketplace that allowed people who are known as hosts to rent out their own properties on a short-term basis.
These properties range from apartments, townhouses, houses, hostel beds, and hotel rooms. As for the traveler, they were no longer restricted to either hotel or hostel for their accommodation. Now they can choose a townhouse, apartment, or something unusual like a farmhouse.
I use it regularly during a week-long stay in a townhouse in Chiang Mai or for a short stay in Rome. It’s something I will continue to use on future trips.
Guide To Using AirBnB
There are always dos and don’t with using AirBnB but using AirBnB can be a strange experience when using it for the first time and hopefully, this beginner’s guide to Airbnb can help in using Airbnb to find your perfect place.
Firstly, Sign Up And Fill Out Your Airbnb Profile
This is pretty straightforward, you can register with your Facebook, Google, or email account. Once you are registered, there is a verification process required before you can use Airbnb.
Verification requires verifying your email, and phone number, and providing a photo ID.
The reason for the strict verification is that the hosts renting out their property, want to be sure that you are who you say you are.
Check The Location
This is a pretty obvious one, like a hotel there is nothing worse than being in the middle of nowhere or even in a questionable area where you don’t feel safe.
Always double-check the location and do the research on the area. Also, check the reviews from previous guests, there may be comments about the area and general facilities.
Research the transport options for the sights you want to visit on your trip and ensure it’s convenient and cost-effective from the location.
It Is NOT A Hotel So Checks The Facilities Carefully
It is not a hotel, so there’s no reception or any on-site assistance. When I was using Airbnb I always needed WiFi and a washing machine. By using the search filter functions you can narrow the search down to what you need.
Really, It’s your responsibility to check the facilities listed very carefully and read the description of the property. Even confirm with the host about the facilities.
Read The Previous Reviews
This is another pretty obvious one, reading what the previous guests have to say can give you an inside what the property and general facilities are like.
Contact The Host Before Booking
Contact the host before booking as not all properties can be booked instantly. Check availability and what you want to do. Normally they reply quickly and approve. This makes booking faster.
If not available you will get a message from the host stating that they’re fully booked. If it’s a very slow reply or no reply more than likely not available.
There Is Weekly/Monthly Discounts
Some Airbnb hosts offer discounts if you stay for a week or a month. So keep an eye out for the discounts.
Beware Of Extra Fees
Beware of the extra fees that will be applied. There is an Airbnb service charge that applies to all bookings. Most hosts charge a cleaning fee.
A few places require a security deposit but it is rare. Read the small print.
Only Pay Through Airbnb
This should be obvious, only pay through the Airbnb website. There are scams on Airbnb with hosts asking to be paid in some external way.
You have no comeback with Airbnb if you pay in some external way.
What If I Need To Cancel?
The hosts can opt for a ‘Flexible, Moderate, or Strict’ cancellation policy, and their choice will be very clearly marked in the rental information.
Always read the small print.
Remember, Hosts Review You Too
Remember the host can review you too so leave the place reasonably tidy when leaving.
Finally, if you’re not happy, don’t be afraid to reach out to Airbnb which has a Resolution Centre to resolve problems that may occur if the like host cancels unexpectedly.
If you use this guide on the beginner’s guide to Airbnb, your experience using Airbnb will be positive.
And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on the beginner’s guide to Airbnb has helped you. And let me know if you have any questions and if there is more to add.