Using Airbnb for the first time can be a daunting experience. A first-time user could easily make mistakes and as a result, your trip might not be as enjoyable as it should. Get it right however and you will get great value accommodation, live like a local and really get under the skin of your destination. Here, we want to share our Airbnb experiences with you, to make sure your first few trips go perfectly, as well as share our Airbnb coupon code referral link to give you a big discount off your first booking.
Kate signed up with Airbnb Australia whilst at home in Perth, WA. She has booked properties whilst travelling with Airbnb USA, in Iceland and with Airbnb UK. Ian signed up with Airbnb UK and has experience as a linked user to Kate’s bookings and has let out a property as a host on Airbnb.
How To Use Airbnb:
Airbnb is an online platform that allows property owners to let out rooms, apartments and holiday homes direct to travellers. Airbnb is most popular in the USA, France, Italy, Spain and the UK due to expensive hotel prices in these areas. As the properties are not exactly regulated, like the hotel industry for example, the process relies on the feedback process of travellers leaving reviews, so you know if a property is of good quality. Think of it as the Ebay of holiday accommodation. Because of this system, it is easy to make errors and not get the kind of accomodation you want. Equally however, if used well, you can end up getting great value and more of an experience than from staying in a hotel for example.
The Benefits of Airbnb:
Using Airbnb means you can pick out accommodation that suits your trip perfectly. If you want a kitchen to cook in, you can get it. If you want to share a property with a friendly local who is happy to show you round, you can find it. If you want a full apartment with lots of separate bedrooms for your whole family, it’s on there. Often there are properties which have much more character than hotels offer. You will find the prices are lower than you would get from the established travel industry. You might also end up in a neighbourhood, living alongside the locals, rather than just amongst other tourists – ‘live like a local’, Airbnb call it.
Everyone needs to feel comfortable with their accommodation. If there are any comments in the reviews of a property that concern you, then you should take notice. Check all the photos and exchange messages with the property owner before all bookings.
We would recommend only booking with Verified members who have the green tick displayed on their profiles ✅. This means that the person has proved their identity with either a drivers licence or passport. The verified person takes a photo of their ID and submits it to the Airbnb. Then they are required to take a selfie photo using the Airbnb website system. The ID and selfie are then compared to make sure they are a match. Then also all the details on the person’s profile are compared with the ID and if it all matches, then they become a verified member. Here’s how my profile displays:
How To Make Your First Airbnb Booking:
First of all, click here on our referral link to sign up to Airbnb. By using our referral link you will get £25 off your first booking for UK based users and it will convert into local currency for other users. Add all your information and become verified yourself. Next, it’s a case of searching for a property that suits your needs, is available on the dates you want and the reviews confirm the property as good quality.
When searching for a property, the most useful feature we have found, is that Airbnb allows you to filter between rooms in shared properties and entire properties. Some people prefer more privacy and some prefer the social interaction of shared places. it’s up to you.
Once you’ve found the property you want, you’ll then need to apply to rent it. This should involve some conversation with the host over the Airbnb messaging system. You want to get a good feel for who the host is, what the property is like and the area it is in. The vast majority of hosts are community minded people who want you to enjoy you trip and you should get a sense of that.
Airbnb Rules of the House:
Of course, the Airbnb service is a two-way street. It is vital that you check and respect all the rules that the host has set out, before booking. Breaking them is very much against the ethos of the site. The rules often ask that people don’t smoke, take pets and inform you of the check in and out times.
Often, there is a fee for the rental, a service fee for the cleaning and maintenance and possibly a block booking discount if you are booking for longer than a few nights. Once you’ve paid your deposit or agreed amount, it is held by Airbnb in escrow. This helps you to have confidence in the process. If anything goes wrong or you need to cancel, then Airbnb will check the terms and give you any money you are due back. If you cancel at the last minute however, you may lose all of your money, so check what the terms of each booking is – it is normally 48 hours before the trip. The fee that Airbnb makes from the booking is taken from the host, so you don’t need to factor that in.
Enjoying the Experience:
When you head off on your trip, make sure you know where your going and have directions to your Airbnb. It is wise to take the contact details of your host, in case you get lost or find it hard to identify the property. Arranging in advance to meet your host at the location and giving them an accurate ETA is wise. Please do ask your host for advice over what to do when you stay – local insider knowledge is one of the biggest benefits of Airbnb. Be friendly, perhaps share a little of your own culture with them if you want to and finally, treat their home with respect.
Have a great time!