Since I have an experience with Airbnb accumulated over the years, I’ve been thinking about writing tips, opinions and recommendations for those interested in using this platform. The point is that we (me and my husband) decided to use this platform when we realized that we could get a lot cheaper by renting different homes. Of course, we have documented a few days before we were courageous for the first time, and then I can say that we started to “get the taste”. 😀 I can say that every time we had pleasant experiences. We used Booking before Airbnb, but now I find it much better to have a whole apartment available instead of a single room at the hotel, especially if you plan to spend a long time on vacation and automatically prepare a breakfast and maybe even a few main meals to save some money. Frankly, although we had the kitchens all over the place where we rented, I never cooked more than eggs or pasta with sauce, and bought it all from the supermarket. But I liked that I had a fridge, an electric hob to make a tea and a microwave. In my opinion, I think it is more convenient to rent a whole apartment.
The idea is that you will always find much lower prices than the hotel. The pictures and the reviews written by those who have rented before you are real. In addition, if you have any questions, please contact the host directly to ask for all the information you need (for example, the area where the apartment is located, if you can check in / check out later or sooner than it’s mentioned on the Aribnb, plus other questions that go through your mind). We have always asked and received the answers we were expecting. I think we were lucky, we met nice hosts on every vacation through Airbnb.
We are used to send a message to the hosts to ask the neighborhood / area where the device is located, unless it is already mentioned in the description. Why? Because almost every country has Street View and that helps us see exactly what the location looks like. Before leaving for Valencia, we take a look as great as we were chanting a cheap and super nice apartment, but the surprise came when we saw what the neighborhood looks like. Terrible! It was an area with daring and full of Gypsies that did not inspire me at all. Thanks to Street View, we avoided that neighborhood – Cabanyal, close to the beach, and we reorientated to the city center, even though the prices were more expensive. I recommend you to do this, look at Google Maps to see exactly the location to better inspect the area. I think nobody would want to live in a scary neighborhood. Below you can see the list of reservations made by me through this platform.
On Airbnb you will find accommodation of 3 types: Entire Home – that is the entire home will be made available to you, without the owner being there during your stay, Private Room – you have your own room but share the common spaces with the owner (bathroom, kitchen, living room, terrace, etc.) and Shared Room – a shared room with one or more people. We have always chosen “Entire Home” because we wanted to stay alone. Also, you need to know that some hosts offer discounts when spending more than 7 nights (weekly discounts) or a monthly discount.
Some owners mentioned in the “Prices” and the “Security Deposit” area. What exactly is Airbnb Security Deposit? Well, nothing bad, you have nothing to worry about! That amount will not be taken off your card unless you leave the apartmen behind material damage. In fact, in this way, the owner wants to make sure he can fix the malfunctions if they occur. And do not think you take 100 bucks because you broke a glass or something, but only when there are material damages that cost a lot. I want to emphasize a very important aspect. When renting a property through Airbnb, I recommend that you book as many as possible apartments, houses or private rooms that have possibility to cancel, Moderate or Flexible, giving your money back.
Why do I say that? Because there are situations where you can change your mind, either because you can not reach for different reasons! The 2 above mentioned are the most “gentle” and offer you the opportunity to get your money back. Also “Strict” offers you money back, but only 50% of the amount, if you cancel long time before check-in (minimum 7 days). From my experience, I recommend you choose only Moderate or Flexible.
Airbnb – cancellation, payment and platform fees
Cancellation Policies – what it involves and what you need to know
Flexible: Full refund within limited period
Moderate: Full refund within limited period
Strict (grace period): Full refund if cancellation is within 48 hours of booking
Strict: 50% refund up until 1 week prior to check in
Super Strict 30 Days: 50% refund up until 30 days prior to check in
Super Strict 60 Days: 50% refund up until 60 days prior to check in
Long Term: First month not refundable, 30 day notice for cancellation
Reading the cancellation policy, I guess you know what each one means. We were “burned” with “Strict,” because we could not reach Berlin due to the December terrorist attack in 2016, and we could not recover our money because the host did not want to understand the situation in any way. It has been our learning of mind and since that time I said that I will never rent properties that have “Strict”, no matter how accessible, well-positioned and beautiful are. If you want to have the opportunity to recover your money if you can not reach it and you decide to cancel, I recommend you to pay attention to the cancellation policy that the host has. Do not let yourself delight in other aspects, I’m telling you this from my own experience!
It is very important to know that the money does not reach the host until the moment you have checked out. Airbnb will only transfer the money to the host after one day after your departure. In this way, if you find that the location does not correspond to the description on the site or other discontent, you can write to Airbnb to take action. If everything is ok at the end of your vacation, it would be ideal to leave a review. The properties are checked by Airbnb, and that means the risk of fallacies is rather small. Just as you want to read reviews before hiring, I advise you not to forget to leave a review at the end! Your impressions will be helpful to others. You can detail location, neighbors, etc.
Since I have touched almost all the points, I synthesize at the end the important steps you have to follow if you want to rent a property through Airbnb:
1. First of all you make an account (real name, picture, contact number, place where you live, description of yourself, etc.).
2. You start looking for accommodation in the location you are interested in, selecting also the number of people to live in that room / house.
3. Using the filters that the platform gives you, you choose the type of property (house or apartment), but also the maximum price you are willing to pay per night.
4. Analyze the offers and then contact the owner through a message.
5. See the answers received, analyze the offers and then decide and pay (the payment methods that Airbnb accepts are PayPal and credit card).
It is very important to know that Airbnb does not ask for any money in host account, the host does not give you the adress unless you made the reservation through the platform! Also, the host does not receive the money until the moment you left his home ! If you find it dubious, you better ask, but DO NOT TRANSFER MONEY outside the platform! I think it’s not hard not to be foolish, be careful and ask if you have any questions!
I hope you can use the information above, I tried to share with you as many things as I learned from the experience I had with Airbnb. If you have any questions and you think I can help with answers, I invite you to address them in the comments area. I also provide you a $24 GIFT CARD if you make an account through this link. You will be able to use the discount for your first reservation, and I will receive $13 because you have made my account through me. In this way we will both have to win by using the discount for Airbnb bookings. Thank you!