Renting Airbnb? 12 Tips to Avoid Rental Mistakes
By now everyone has heard of renting Airbnb. Maybe you’ve been curious, but haven’t yet tried it. If you’re planning a weekend, a holiday, a road trip or a longer wander around the planet, it may be time to take the plunge and start renting Airbnb.
Renting Airbnb, you’ll likely save, or at the very least, get a more unique experience for the same money over a hotel room.
You’ll live like a local – starting with your hosts – who will usually help you with the neighborhood to get you acclimatized fast.
You’ll have a greater choice in the types of accommodations. Airbnb offers everything from a room, a house or apartment, to a houseboat in Amsterdam (our first Airbnb!), a beach house in Venice Beach, California (loved it!) or a castle in Scotland that sleeps 13 (on our list when we bring our friends).
Top 12 Tips For a Great Renting Experience
Don’t let your rental go wrong. Here are our Top 12 tips for renting Airbnb and having a great experience:
- Location, location, location. Do some research so you know what part of the city / village / countryside you’ll be staying in. It can mean the difference between cafés right outside your door or a long drive to civilization. On the other hand, maybe your goal is to get away from it all. Whatever your location preference, make sure you get it with your rental.Look at online maps, do some neighborhood searches, look at Google street view.
- Use the filters to input your dates and price range per night. This will save you time so you’re only considering suitable properties.
- Don’t rush. Take your time looking at the pictures. Do they show you everything you want to see? Bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, living room, the outside entrance? Think twice if something obvious is missing.
- Read the reviews. Reviewers are typically honest and will point out what they did and didn’t like. Make sure you have the same priorities as the reviewers.
- How easy is it to get to the front door of your rental? You should know beforehand if it’s a long walk up a steep hill or whether you have to climb 4 flights of stairs.
- Make a must-have checklist. What’s important to you? Great WiFi, TV, washer and dryer? Tub or a shower? A real bed versus a futon? If you’re cooking, do you need a well-equipped kitchen? Airbnb has extensive checklists in their filters. Make sure you use them so you don’t overlook anything.
- Will the owner be there to show you around or are you getting the key from someone else? How accessible is the owner if you have any questions? If it’s not stated in the listing, ask ahead of time.
- Make sure you know how to operate the appliances. They might not work exactly like the ones you have at home. For example, in Europe you’ll often find a washer and dryer in the same unit. Whoever is giving you the key, should also be able to show you how everything works. It’s good if there’s a detailed guide book too.
- Review the cancellation policy. Hosts have varying policies, so it pays to read the fine print in case your plans change.
- What extra costs are there on top of the rental? In addition to cleaning costs, cities such as San Francisco also add hotel taxes. Get the full price to help you budget. Oh, and remember, you don’t pay the host directly. All transactions are credit card only through the Airbnb site.
- Above all, communicate with the owners before making a decision. In your first communication, tell them a bit about yourself. After all, they’re entrusting their place to you. So, ideally, you are quiet, responsible, will take good care of their place, etc. Remember, they are not obligated to rent to you. Then, ask any questions that matter to you. Now is the time to make sure this rental is for you, before making a commitment.
- Ask for a discount if you’re staying a week or longer, especially if it’s a month or more, even if there is already one indicated. You may see a 20% discount for a month or more. Ask if they would consider a better discount. It can’t hurt. The worst that can happen is that they say the existing discount is the best they can offer. On the other hand, any further savings, means more spending money for you!
Is It Time to Try Airbnb? We love it. Lots of choice, interesting neighborhoods, and the cost a fraction of a hotel room. We also like having a kitchen to make our own breakfast, snacks and meals. If you’re new to Airbnb, click here to get $50 CDN off your first stay.