The best way to get to know local people and their culture is to be accommodated directly at their home. Airbnb offers a great opportunity for every traveler who wants to save money and experience something new. Airbnb brings together hosts from around the world, who offer charged accommodation in their rooms, houses or apartments. If you have not seen this koncept yet, you should definitely try this option. We also fell in love with this possibility.
What is Airbnb?
Airbnb is an abbreviation for Air Bed and Breakfast. The whole project was created in 2008 when there was a large conference in San Francisco, and there was not enough accommodation capacity in classic hotels and hostels. Today, Airbnb is a huge company that provides accommodation in 191 countries. The company does not own any lodging, it is merely a broker who connects the owners of various real estate with those interested in accommodation. Nowadays, they have more than 2,000,000 properties.
Trust at Airbnb
Airbnb is built on trust, so it is necessary to complete your profile as fully as possible. The more information you provide about yourself, the more credible you will be for Airbnb and the hosts. Mutual references made by guests and hosts after completing accommodation, together with many automated systems, ensure the high credibility of the entire system. The web is set to reveal potential thieves or fraudsters. This is one of the reasons why there is no possibility of contact between a guest and a host other than through private messages on the Airbnb website. We also recommend installing a mobile app, as you can replay and look for hosts much faster. Check out other travel mobile apps that we use.
How Airbnb works
Once you complete your booking, you can start looking for accommodation. As with hotels, there are three types of rooms.
- Shared room– this option offers you sleeping on a sofa or a bed in a shared room
- Private room– you have the whole room to yourself, this way of accommodation is almost equal to the classic hotel
- Entire home/apartment – this option is more like renting a property than a hotel stay. You can use the whole apartment including its equipment
The search itself is very simple. Enter the destination, the number of nights and number of people. You can filter your offers by room type, price, location, size, equipment or language skills of the host. After clicking on a particular room you can see photo, a detailed description of the property, host information and reviews of previous guests.
The total cost of accommodation always consists of several parts: the room rate, the cleaning fee (host chooses it), the service fee (Airbnb fee) and taxes that are paid to the state or city. Right from the start, you can see the total cost of your accommodation. The host might also require some deposit in advance, but this will be stated in the property description.
After choosing a room, the host will automatically receive your request. The host will decide whether to approve this reservation according to your profile and its timing. After that, the total amount of your credit card will be deducted automatically. Your funds will be deposited in Airbnb accounts until you are accommodated. The filter also includes the “Instant Booking” option. This means that this booking is not subject to host approval and is automatically accepted.
How to get a discount Airbnb for your first booking
If you sign up with this link, you will automatically receive a travel credit of approximately USD 29. Your profile can be linked to an email, Facebook or Google account. When registering, you must verify your email address and phone number by using the code you will receive in the SMS message. You can use the credit for your first reservation as long as the condition is the minimum booking price. If you are already registered with the service, you can not obtain this discount, unfortunately.
When registering, it is very important to fill in a true and complete profile, including your photo, personality verification and especially a description. This description will assist the hosts to decide whether they will accommodate you, especially if it is a shared room. Don’t worry about collecting this information – Airbnb needs the protection of both guests and hosts.
Advantages of Airbnb
There are a good many reasons to use private accommodation, and the only Airbnb benefit may not just be the price.
- The need to accommodate more people – If you’ve ever booked accommodation for five, six or more people, you’ve certainly noticed that it might be a problem. Not only because of the limited choice but also the price. At Airbnb, it is easy to find a large apartment for twelve people where the cost can be shared and the stay will be very cheap. That is a big Airbnb advantage against hotels.
- Getting to know the local culture – Just choose a shared or private room and then find yourself in someone’s home. In most cases, the hosts are very nice and friendly. Accommodation at their home gives you the opportunity to experience their habits and culture. There is nothing easier than asking them about their recommendations – where to go for a trip or where to go to eat.
- You are going to a big event – and this is how the company was originally founded. Hotels usually know about big events which are held in a city and, Therefore, raise their prices. Airbnb hosts do not reflect this and prices remain the same.
- Possibility to cook – In a hotel room, you cannot cook dinner. You have to rely solely on restaurants. Airbnb expects that you will cook. Maybe, your host will even cook for you.
- Unique places – another Airbnb benefit is the ability to offer very unique accommodation. You can stay in a tree house, sleep in the castle, etc.
Disadvantages of Airbnb
- You are not going to a hotel – be aware that you are not going to the hotel and so don’t expect that various soaps and shampoos will always be available in the bathroom. The hosts also usually go to work so don’t expect a non-stop reception. On arrival, you may have to wait for a host until he/she comes home from work. All this information should be available in advance from photos or descriptions.
- Enough privacy – if you don’t want to be disturbed, Airbnb is not quite for you. You will be staying in a foreign apartment, and maybe the host will want to talk to you even if you aren’t in the mood for company.
- Brings overtourism – it’s been a big topic before COVID-crises. So we did research and now you can read if Airbnb really destroys city centres or not.
Tips and tricks on Airbnb
There is a lot of Airbnb offers in big cities. Here are some tips on how to navigate between them and what to be careful about:
- Bring a present for the host
Even a little thing like a can of beer makes a great first impression. Just read the host’s profile properly: for example, do not bring alcohol to the Muslims.
- Do not delete any emails
Until you are accommodated, never delete any emails and messages you have about your stay. If any problems arise, they may be very useful, and Airbnb support is usually on the side of the guest.
- How do Airbnb reviews work?
In order to avoid negative reviews as retaliatory tools, the reviews are displayed after 14 days or until they are filled by both the host and the guest.
- Reviews of previous guests
They are one of the best signals that tell you about the host. Of course, we have already experienced excellent hosts who have not had a single review before.
- More expensive doesn’t mean better
The hosts always determine the prices for accommodation and for most of them, it isn’t their primary income. When choosing, use your common sense because some offers can be ridiculously overpriced.
- Cancellation Policy
Each host determines the cancellation policy, which can be mild as well as severe. The main difference is when it is possible to cancel your stay free of charge.
- The host first approves and subsequently cancels the reservation
This happens from time to time. The host confirms the stay, and then he cancels the reservation. This means that you will get your money back and sometimes also a refund in the form of credits. Airbnb penalizes the host in some way for frequent cancellation.
- Follow the rules
Always follow the established host rules and clean up at least a bit.
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