Things I Wish I had Known
These are 12 things I wish I had known when we first started booking with Airbnb:
- Reading the reviews gives you a good idea of what you might expect. If a few people say it’s noisy and suggest you bring some earplugs and you are planning on sleeping…find a different place.
- If you see that the host has canceled last-minute on multiple people and there is no explanation from the host in those reviews and you don’t like surprises, you might want to re-think booking that place.
- The words “luxury” , “amazing” , “fantastic”, and “gorgeous” have many meanings and could mean anything from state-of-the-art to a mattress and sheets are provided. So, when you see those words in the description and especially if it seems like a really good deal, read between the lines and ask lots of questions.
- A hot tub could mean yes, there is an actual hot tub for you to use or the “hot tub” is actually a bathtub.
- As far as pools go; if you are specifically looking to book a place with a pool, and especially if it is between the months of October through April, be sure to ask if it is open. We have found that a lot of places close their pools for the winter, but will still advertise that they have a pool.
- If you do not like to stay in places that allow smoking, make sure you check to make sure that the description specifies in the rules that there is NO smoking allowed in the unit.
- Location: If you plan on only using public transportation, make sure the place you book is near public transportation
- Hosts review you as well, so if you plan on renting through Airbnb again, make sure you leave the home or flat in good shape and communicate well with your host.
- Some hosts charge more if there are more people in your group, which can add up pretty quickly. When this happens, I message the host and ask if they charge extra for children. Sometimes they don’t, which is nice, but when they do, depending on what the extra charge is, I will ask if they will allow me to book us for 1 or 2 less children than we have to cut down on the extra person charges. I have found that, at least with children, the hosts are generally very understanding with cutting back with these charges. I have only had one host that wouldn’t allow us to do this–they were wanting to charge us an extra $32 per night per person over 4 people. Multiply that by 7 nights and that adds another $448 for the week for just 2 more children…so we found a different place, which was smaller, but much cheaper and worked just fine.
- Different hosts have different cancelation policies. If you like flexibility, make sure you pay attention to what those are before you book.
- Bedrooms are sometimes relative. One host may advertise a place as a two bedroom flat, when it really is just a one bedroom with the living room being used as the second bedroom. Same thing for three and four bedroom places. If you are really needing the separate bedrooms, make sure you check the pictures, read the reviews, and if you are still unsure, ask the host. Also, keep in mind that when the listing says one of the beds is a couch or futon and there are no other beds in the room–they might be counting the living room as a bedroom.
- When Wifi is included in the listing, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be any good. If you are dependent on a good Wifi signal and need to have it during your stay, always ask if it a good strong connection and what the download speed is.