Airbnb is an online sharing and hosting service where travellers have access to listings by hosts who post their home, apartment or other property for short term rental.
Airbnb acts as a broker and doesn’t own any of the real estate listings, and it is a huge success. As of 2019, there are about 150 million users!
Airbnb has revolutionized travel and made it more organic.
Here are six things you need to know about Airbnb if you are looking for lodging:
1. Set Up a Profile
Set up a profile on the Airbnb site that has a photo and a brief description of yourself. Hosts will want to get an idea about who they are letting use their property, after all. Some hosts don’t require this, but it is good to have a profile just in case.
2. Consider Your Options
There are different options to choose from, like sharing a room within a home, or renting an entire home. Most hosts have minimum rental periods, like two or three days. The site allows for a stay up to 28 days. If you need to stay longer than that, let the host know so they can adjust the calendar, and maybe adjust the pricing. Remember to always check the cancellation policy.
3. The Host Matters
If you have looked at a few properties and you’re not sure which one to pick, try messaging the host with questions or requests. Do they respond right away? Are they friendly? Helpful? You can get a feel for what kind of guest experience you will have from your communication with them. If you are going to an area you are not familiar with, and you need to ask questions, the host may be your only contact!
You most likely will not get things like a concierge, cleaning or a hot tub like most hotels, but you will save money if you don’t care about them. One thing you will probably get is a kitchen. Not only will you save by not going out to restaurants, but having a kitchen allows you to get out into the neighbourhood and shop for food, making for much more interaction with the local culture.
5. Security Features
It is understandable that it might be a little daunting to rent from someone you don’t know. That is why Airbnb hosts are required to provide identification and verify themselves. The photos of the listings are verified as well. Reviews are always a good way to find out what to expect. Airbnb has a 24/7 hotline to support services in case something goes wrong, and a secure payment platform.
6. The Top Three Airbnb Cities, According to Airbnb
The top three Airbnb cities are Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, Bilbao, Spain and Buriram, Thailand.
The trend for travel in 2020 is eco-conscious destinations and off the beaten path “hidden gems”. You can give the top three cities a try, or check for Airbnb locations in a city of your choice!