Travel Tips

Improving Your Airbnb Stay

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My husband and I have been living as modern-day nomads for the past two and a half years. We love exploring new places, and have been fortunate enough to call more than twenty places our “home.” Since we are constantly on the move, we’ve become quite skilled in securing ideal housing during our travels.

Although we’ve found places via Craigslist and other short-term rental sites, Airbnb is hands down our favorite way to book a place. In addition to listing a decent selection of homes, Airbnb’s website and mobile apps are simple and enjoyable to use.

While our experience with Airbnb has been positive, we’ve learned a few lessons from our apartment-hopping adventures that we want to share with you:

1. Learn more about hosts from their profiles.

In addition to perusing the photos and reviews, check out the host’s profile. How do they present themselves? Do you share common interests? It’s more likely that you’ll enjoy staying at the home of a host with similar interests. For example, if you both like cooking, the host’s kitchen might be better equipped for a nice, home-cooked meal.

2. View Airbnb verified photos with a grain of salt.

Airbnb offers its hosts the option to have their homes professionally photographed, which are listed as Airbnb verified photos. From our experience, these homes sometimes didn’t look the same in person. Professional lighting brightens up a place, and the use of a wide angle lens helps make apartments look larger. If you are viewing a listing with Airbnb verified photos, just keep your expectations in check.

3. Look out for house rules.

If cleanliness is your top priority, you might prefer a host who has more house rules. Alternatively, too many house rules might keep you from fully relaxing and enjoying yourself. Your call.

4. Check for reduced rates on extended stays.

Sometimes hosts offer reduced weekly and monthly rates. If available, Airbnb publishes these discounted rates in two ways: (1) on the Description tab of a listing and (2) on your search results for stays longer than one month.

5. Negotiate for special rates.

Hosts can offer their homes at a special rate to prospective guests. If the host is willing to be flexible, you can negotiate a price that works for both parties.

6. Contact hosts for specifics.

We learned this the hard way when we booked a place that listed wifi/internet as an amenity and found ourselves stuck with a slow and intermittent connection for a month. Since we work for ourselves and often from home, we always make sure to check with our hosts before booking. Getting in touch with hosts is also a great way to get to know and eventually trust them.

7. Be respectful — it helps for future bookings.

It goes without saying that during your stay, you should be respectful of people’s homes, and treat them as your own. Hosts are appreciative of this and will leave you positive guest reviews. Our reputation on Airbnb is squeaky clean, which makes booking other places easier. We even reply to Craigslist sublet ads with a link to our Airbnb profile to show renters that their homes will be in good hands.

Our home for the month.

Have any good Airbnb or minimalist lifestyle tips to share? Send me a tweet! @TeamBonjournal

Travel on,