Are you getting ready to book your first Airbnb stay and want tips to get the best deal and enjoy your stay? I love traveling Airbnb and have had success with great deals in great cities. I once paid $50 a night for a fantastic two bedroom apartment two miles from the beach in St. Pete. I got a great deal because I applied a $25 promo code I received for adding my airline’s travel rewards program to my Airbnb account.
If you are preparing for your first stay, you probably have questions. First, use my Airbnb referral link to sign up as a guest, and you’ll receive a $40 credit on your first vacation stay with this promotion. There’s no additional cost to you and you’ll get an even better deal. You should also add your work email to get a $50 credit after you take your first business trip of $75 or more.
Why book with Airbnb instead of a hotel? Savings and more space! It’s hard to find a comfortable hotel room that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg when you have three big kids. Usually it requires booking a suite or two rooms. By the time that’s all said and done, you have spent more than what a two or three bedroom home booked through Airbnb. Also, I prefer to “live locally” when traveling, especially intentionally.
If you’re preparing for your first Airbnb vacation keep reading. I share seven great tips that I wish I knew before I booked my first stay. If you have additional questions, please let me know in the comments or by email! ENJOY!
Seven Tips for Booking Your First Airbnb Vacation
- You can negotiate. Don’t be afraid to negotiate a better deal with the host. Be prepared for reasons to support your discount or a rejection. Also, I have had better luck with discounted rates for last minute trips. Most likely hosts rather book a stay rather than lose out entirely on the booking.
- Do a virtual neighborhood walk through. Input the address and do a Google Street View tour in the neighborhood to get a sense of where you’ll be calling home. I had the misfortune of booking a place next to a rundown and abandoned home once. Thankfully it was in a safe neighborhood but when I pulled up, I was really worried. Since then I always request the address and will check out what the street looks like in Google street view setting. During my virtual “walk” in the neighborhood I check what’s in walking distance too. Plus, if I’m not going to have a car, I want to know what my walking route will look like.
- Have your travel size toiletries packed and ready to go. Bringing your own toiletries may be necessary, even bringing your own coffee/teas (creamer), etc. Unlike hotels, soap, shampoo, or coffee may not be provided. Ask before you arrive. Most hosts will provide them but it doesn’t hurt to ask. I have a small coffee maker I sometimes travel with because I want my coffee hot and ready first thing in the morning. I take no chances when it comes to my hot cup of Joe in the morning.
- Kitchens and cooking. When traveling as a family, I usually plan to eat breakfast in the home to save on travel expenses and so we don’t have to rush out every morning. I often will ask how the kitchen is stocked (fully stocked or not?). Foeongee stays I pack a few of my favorite seasonings too. I pack some fruits and non-perishables for the first night such as waters, granola bars, chips, etc. so that I don’t have to rush to the store in the morning. Pro tip, bring a complete pancake mix (just add water) for breakfast in the morning.
- Read the reviews and see how the host responded to negative and positive reviews. A host that is non-responsive to negative reviews is a red-flag. A few negative reviews early on should not be a total cause for alarm as most hosts are learning how to improve guests stays and will respond and adapt accordingly.
- Know all check-in and check-out procedures. If it’s not clear, ask how and when you will have access to the property. Some hosts have a key in lockbox and will understand if you arrive late, however, this isn’t always the case. If you have to meet your host, keep in communication with them and let them know your anticipated arrival time and text when you are close or if arriving late. Check out procedures vary with each host and if you don’t comply, you may have to pay a small fee. One home required that we place all linens in the washer prior to leaving and start the first load as they had a quick turnaround before the next guests arrived. Totally understandable. Another host had no requirements at all. Just to leave by a specific time.
- Leave a review after your stay. It’s always nice to provide feedback. If you enjoyed your stay, explain why. If you didn’t, be fair and honest.