I can always count on Airbnb to find unique and affordable vacation rentals and apartments around the world. Airbnb offers a local experience and they are usually more affordable than hotels and resorts. They’re also more comfortable than sharing a dorm in a hostel.
Now available in over 191 countries and 34,000 cities worldwide, there are tons of options to choose from. So how do you pick the right one?
10 Things To Consider Comparing On Airbnb
1. Are there any eligibility criteria? Make sure you meet the minimum requirements before you book. Most hosts require at least one night stay.
2. Review the amenities. Will you need Wi-Fi, heating, air conditioning or laundry service? Does the host offer toiletries like shampoo, soap, and towels? Pick an Airbnb that offers the amenities you value.
3. Watch out for extra charges. Be mindful that some Airbnb hosts charge extra per guest. Consider if these extra charges are appropriate.
4. Are the cleaning costs reasonable? Cleaning fees help the host get the listing ready. Since lots of listings waive this fee, consider if the cleaning costs are reasonable.
5. Factor in security deposits to the total cost. If you break something, expect to pay for the damages.
6. Compare host interaction styles. Knowing how often you will interact with your host can help you decide which interaction style best suits you. It’s important to note that some hosts want to get to know you while other hosts prefer to leave a key in the lockbox.
There have been times where I never met my host and I’m comfortable with that.
7. Are there any house rules? Can you abide by the curfew or bathroom rules? Before you go, don’t forget to brush up on your Airbnb etiquette.
8. A great way to compare Airbnb listings is to look at all the photos. Are the photos clear or blurry? Is the apartment nicely decorated? Pay special attention to this section because this is as close as you’re going to get to the real thing.
9. Read all the reviews thoroughly and look for keywords like clean, helpful, organized, highly recommended, flexible and responsive. Each review also has six rating criteria including accuracy, communication, cleanliness, location, check-in, and value.
This section also lists host initiated cancellations. Keep in mind that you bear more risk when you book with a host that cancels reservations often.
Reading reviews is also a great way to avoid Airbnb scams. If you have any questions about what you saw on any of the reviews, don’t hesitate to contact the host.
Helpful Tip: Look for Airbnbs with at least 25 reviews and read as much as you can about past guests’ stays.
10. Contact the host and introduce yourself. Although some listings have an Instant Booking feature, contacting a host before booking is a great way to get to know each other, ask important questions and confirm if your host is a perfect match. If your potential host is unresponsive or isn’t willing to accommodate your request, things may not work out.
If you are looking for more information on how to use the Airbnb app, check out Christopher Rudder’s Rudderless’ Airbnb video. This video breaks down how to use the app, and shares handy tips for booking your next stay.
Danielle is a travel finance strategist, writer, speaker and podcaster. She paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27 and has traveled to 25 countries. She refuses to let her financial responsibilities hold her back from living life on her own terms.