If you’re totally against Airbnb and still find the whole a bit notion weird then this post isn’t for you, but, if you’re on the fence and dubious to take the plunge (which is why you’re reading a guide to finding the perfect airbnb I guess?), I’m hoping to smooth over the cracks, share how I find exactly what I’m looking for and fingers crossed convert you to what I think is the best type of accommodation when it comes to travel – most of the time atleast!
I’ve been using Airbnb for about 4 years now, of-course if you’re thinking of booking an all inclusive resort style holiday it’s not going to compare, but if you fancy a break in the UK or you’re going to a city abroad, I really do think it’s worth atleast considering. Quick disclaimer, I’ve never had a negative experience with Airbnb and I’ve stayed in over 10 both abroad and in the UK but I always make sure to check reviews and avoid people who have just signed up to be on the safe side).
The perks of using Airbnb
Honestly, I got a little bored of generic hotels. I wanted to stay somewhere with more excitement but not pay the £££ price tag of the flashy hotel options. With Airbnb it has given me the chance to stay in the most unique places which has just made travelling a a better experience. We’ve stayed in the cutest Shepherds Huts and the most amazing barns that you just wouldn’t find for the price else where. Another massive factor is space (when you book an apartment/ home) when you book an entire place you have everything you need including cooking facilities under one roof. Lastly, the one that’s swayed my positive opinion most, so many hosts leave out welcome packages with treats – the last place I stayed at had mini rolls and crumpets, winning.
Before I even start looking on the website I have dates, a budget and either a place or the type of place I would like to stay in mind. There’s so much choice and in the early days I would spend a good hour just trawling through places which isn’t ideal. Using the filters will become your best friend! There’s a couple of things I always set as standard to match my preferences. I always opt for an entire place (not quite sure how I feel just sharing a house with a stranger), how many guests and I’ll put dates in too if I know them. Then, depending on the kind of stay I’m looking for I’ll either select the area I want to stay in and/ or the type of accommodation I want. I’ve stayed in a Yurt, Shepherds Huts and Apartments and they all served a completely different purpose.
The mobile app for Airbnb is pretty good, and I would definitely recommend creating an account so if you do see somewhere you quite like the look of you can save it and review it in more detail later. With Airbnb all that you get is the stay, when I go abroad I always book the flights first and then find accommodation and if I’m staying in the UK I always check for parking and make sure the check-in/ checkout times suit me. If you are going abroad check the distance from the airport to the Airbnb and then research online the best transport to get there. We’ve used Uber, local trains and online transfers in the past and never had any issues.
links to some of the trips I’ve done this year and stayed in Airbnb’s
Things I consider while I’m browsing…
Ahhh, the one thing that annoys me with Airbnb, don’t be fooled by the price you see when browsing. They’re a little sneaky and add on cleaning charges when you go to check out. I just try to remember this while I’m browsing, there might be a place that’s at the top of my budget but really worth the little extra to stay there.
Once I’ve narrowed it down I go back into my saved section so I can jog my memory of all the places I’ve just seen. I know this is a given, but I always make sure to read the reviews and all the details provided by the host about the trip. If you’re staying abroad there may be an additional charge (we had this in Prague, only a couple of pounds extra but still). Or there may be certain conditions that rule out staying somewhere all together. Little things I always check for are a hair dryer (if we’re travelling abroad we usually take hand luggage, I need all the space I can get for everything BUT a hairdryer!), and a fridge (got to be able to have a cup of tea).
Honestly, I wouldn’t have booked with Airbnb 4 years ago if my husband hadn’t have persuaded me to, but I can say I’m so glad he did and since that first experience I’ve used it ever since. If you’ve got any more questions please ask and I’ll get back to you.
If you’ve used Airbnb before, what’s the best place you’ve found?