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Tips for using Airbnb
Travelling to a new city is exciting as it opens you up to new sights and experiences. One thing that can make or break your trip though is your accommodation. Over the past few years many travellers have been interested in alternative accommodation like Airbnb rather than the often overpriced hotel or loud hostel. This is a great opportunity to not only save a few pounds but to also receive personal recommendations on what to do and see in the city from a local which can often be invaluable.
Understand your needs
If you are new to using Airbnb, here are a few basic tips to help you start out and put you on the right track to hopefully many more wonderful Airbnb stays.
Before searching the website for the perfect place, first consider what size group you are looking for. Are you going with a large crew and want an entire place or perhaps plane for yourselves or are you a single traveller who doesn’t mind sharing a room but just needs a roof over their head.
Know your budget. The more central it is, often the more expensive. But the prices will still often be much lower than any hotel in the city centre. On the website there is budget scale that you can use to make sure only properties within your budget appear.
Unlike hotels, you are staying in someone's home and if you are sharing the place with the owner it is important to get an idea of what to expect. Hosts will have a description of their place and location and what they do and don’t offer. Not only are the profiles informative, but the reviews can also give you an understanding of the host's personality and expectations.
Airbnb have professional photographers who photograph the properties. While the space may not have the perfect lighting that the photos show, the room shown is what you will get. These are verified properties that are owned by property owners and managers. Unfortunately there are some hosts who take their own photo and what you see online is nothing what you get, so be careful.
When you have found the perfect place with the ideal location that is available just when you need it, don’t book quite yet. Hosts often like it if you send them a short message that briefly states a little bit about you and why you are visiting. If you have any basic questions about the place, here is a good time to ask them as well.
Make sure to also take a look at their cancellation policy. There are 3 different basic ones that the hosts can choose from and they range from “flexible” where you can cancel up to the day before you arrive, up to “strict” where there needs to be 7-days notice if you cancel your stay.
Obviously, be courteous once you are there. This is someone’s home so treat it as you would want your house to be treated. Leave the room or place as clean as how you found it, or cleaner. Make sure to respect their check-in and out times, and other rules that they may have. Once your stay is done, take the time to leave them a honest and respectful review. This will also help your profile as they will leave you a review as well. Most importantly, enjoy your stay and make the most out of the unique experience that Airbnb offers.