For vacation last summer, my husband and I had our first foray into the world of Airbnb (Yes, we’re a bit behind the times.) We went back and forth for a while about whether we should book a hotel or give Airbnb a try, but we ultimately decided upon the latter.
We rented a little cabin on Cape Cod, and we had an incredible week of hanging out at the beach, taking walks with Bruno, and exploring the town. It was fantastic.
In fact, Airnb is all I’ve used since.
One of the things I like most about the website is, you can cater it entirely to meet your needs. Are you on a tight budget? No problem! Do you have ten people in your party? Great! Want to bring your dog? Of course! If you have certain travel requirements, chances are, you won’t have any problems fulfilling them.
During my various bookings over the past year, I’ve learned quite a few tips to help ensure a successful rental. And with both spring break and summer vacation sneaking up quickly, I thought I’d share these Airbnb tips with you, too!
What’s more, I’m hoping this provides you with a gentle nudge to actually take that vacation. And to do it soon.
Simply put, we all need to step back from the daily grind every once in a while. Our bodies and minds require extended breaks from our day-to-day demands in order to fully recharge.
Seriously. It’s science.
In an article from the Huffington Post, Renee Jacques discusses a survey done by Erasmus University in Rotterdam. The researchers studied the happiness levels of ~1500 Dutch adults, 974 of whom took vacation. They found that those who took time off “were happier than those who did not, mostly because they were excited in anticipation for their vacation. They also showed signs of slightly increased happiness for two weeks after they returned from vacation.”
Similarly, a study “by the American Psychological Association concluded that vacations work to reduce stress by removing people from the activities and environments that they associate with stress and anxiety,” while the “Boston Consulting Group found that high-level professionals who were required to take time off were significantly more productive overall than those who spent more time working.”
In other words, by taking vacation, you’re happier, less stressed, and more productive. Need I say more? Take a vacation.By taking vacation, you’re happier, less stressed, and more productive. Need I say more? Take a vacation. #vacation #selfcare #worklifebalance #relax Click To Tweet
And as you decide upon your ideal location and accommodations, be sure to keep my top 7 Airbnb tips in mind for a successful stay.
Top 7 Airbnb Tips
Narrow Your Search Right Away
Airbnb is quickly becoming the leading provider in short term rentals (seriously, according to CNN, the company is valued at $31 billion!). So keeping that in mind, it’s probably not surprising to learn there are MANY options available for rent, especially in popular vacation spots.
So rather than just searching for all available rentals in Boston, for example, start by narrowing your search right away.
Are you looking for an entire house or a single room? Do you need a kitchen? Are you bringing your dog along? Is A/C a non-negotiable? Do you want access to a washer and dryer?
By limiting your search criteria, you’ll have a much easier time finding the perfect place while avoiding decision fatigue.
Research Your Location
This is especially key if you’re new to the area.
It’s important to note, that when you’re researching potential locations, Airbnb does not provide you with the actual address of the home. Instead, they give a three-block radius.
So as you look at that radius, I recommend pulling up Google maps to consider questions like:
- How close is this location to public transportation?
- Is it near a busy highway/loud train crossing/industrial area?
- Is the beach/ocean/”touristy stuff” within walking distance?
- Are there restaurants and grocery stores near by?
I also recommend reaching out to the host. Again, they likely won’t share the specific address until you book, but you can ask for general location information.
For example, you might ask, “I won’t have a car, and I hope to walk to the restaurants, grocery store, shops etc. Is your location within a 5-10 minute walk from these locations?”
By taking just a few minutes to research your location, and selecting a property that fits your needs, you’ll likely have a much more enjoyable experience.
Scour Those Reviews
Of all my Airbnb tips, this one is a make or break for me.
Make sure you read those reviews. And seriously – read them carefully!
First, look at the reviews as a whole. Is there just one crabby person out of 400 who seems to complain about everything? Or, are there repeat complaints from different customers about cleanliness, poor communication, broken air conditioning etc.
Then, take note of the things that are most important to you. Ryan and I look for cleanliness, a kitchen, good wifi, and a/c. If you see complaints about your non-negotiable requirements, it might be a good idea to keep looking.
Understand the Rules (Sometimes, the more the better)
When I started looking for places, I quickly found a trend: hosts with more rules tended to have nicer lodging. Now, I’m sure this isn’t always the case. But in my experience, it has been.
So as you look over potential locations, check out the rules. Make sure you fully understand and agree with them before booking. And if you have any questions, reach out to the host.
Also, keep in mind that on a broader scale, there are different laws and regulations depending on your location. For example, the New York Airbnb laws might be different from the Chicago Airbnb Laws. While much of this information pertains specifically to the hosts, it may be helpful when you’re thinking about extended lodging, large group stays, etc.
Inspect the Pictures
Like the reviews tip I mentioned above, pay close attention to the pictures as well. Make sure the host provides clear pictures of every room. You want to know exactly what you’re renting; if there are missing pictures, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.
Talk with the Host BEFORE Booking
Before hitting “book,” make sure you contact the host. Introduce yourself, your traveling companions, why you’re taking the vacation, and any questions you might have.
This is a great way to get a feel for the host and their communication style. Plus, it lets them learn a little about you, too.
Be Respectful And Follow The Rules
Remember, just as you can rate your Airbnb host after your stay, your host will also rate you. And if you have a bad rating, you’ll likely have a difficult time staying in another rental.
So make sure you follow the rules, treat their property with respect, and clean up after yourself.
Also, be sure you understand the checkout procedure. Where do you leave the keys? Should you take out the trash? Do you take the linens off the beds? Etc.
Long story short, if you adhere to the rules, be courteous, and treat the house like it’s your own, you’ll be all set.
And there you have it, friends. My top 7 Airbnb tips for a successful stay. Now it’s time to decide on a location, start researching your options, and take that vacation. You deserve it!
Have you ever used Airbnb before? Do you have any tips for renting an Airbnb? What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Where do you want to go for your next vacation? Let me know below!