Yesterday, we discussed how to use Airbnb when sharing with the host. Today, we’re going to take that one step further to see how you can rent a whole apartment or even a house. For some reason, there seems to be more nerves surrounding this option as opposed to staying with someone. However, hopefully we can address this today so you feel comfortable joining the 150 million users currently taking advantage of Airbnb for vacations and business trips.
Getting Started - If you're unaware, you can actually filter Airbnb results so it shows the ‘Entire Homes’ available in the area you’ve selected. Although you might picture enjoying a whole house to yourself, this can mean a number of different things so you need to be careful. Above all else, it means you have dedicated space to yourself with some facilities (i.e. not shared with the host). Therefore, it can include converted outhouses and converted basements as well as entire apartments and homes.
With this in mind, the first tip we suggest is reading the description and checking the pictures. With some hosts, they may offer a caravan on their driveway and register this as an ‘Entire Home’ because, strictly speaking, you’ll be left to your own devices with some facilities.
Customer Reviews - While in your research phase, you’ll soon learn the importance of customer reviews because people tend to go quite deep on Airbnb. Not only will they explain how the experience was, they’ll also give advice for future travelers so pay attention. If a home has no reviews whatsoever, proceed with caution.
Contacting the Host - Once you’ve found one you like, get in touch with the host so you can discuss exactly what’s being offered. Furthermore, you can found out where they’ll be during your stay. For example, they might own two apartments in a building; one to live in and one for guests on Airbnb. With these types of hosts, you can be confident they can be reached if you have any problems; the same goes for a converted outhouse.
If the host will be away during your stay (or at least a good distance away), you need to factor this into your decision. Sometimes, things can go wrong or you might not like where you’re staying. At these times, it’s always good to have the host nearby to ease your concerns and help you to get settled.
Check the Facilities - If you’re thinking of going for an entire place to yourself because you want the freedom of a kitchen and bathroom during your business trip rather than staying in a hotel, be sure to check the listed facilities before booking anything. Just because something is listed as an ‘Entire Home’, this doesn’t mean you’ll have access to everything you might have in your own home including a washing machine and even a TV. Although we’ve said it before, the biggest tip we can provide is to read the description properly (as well as the facilities). If you can’t see something listed that’s make or break for your stay, feel free to ask the host using the messaging system.
Cancellations - To finish, we appreciate you might be concerned about last-minute cancellations and this is fair; the last thing you need a week before your trip is to be looking for new accommodation. However, there are some important things to remember. Firstly, cancellations are actually very rare on Airbnb and those who do cancel within two weeks are fined, they receive a standardized cancellation review for all to see, and they cannot qualify for ‘super host’ status. With this in mind, do these things while researching;
Summary - As long as you follow these tips, you’ll soon find the perfect accommodation for your trip!