Airbnb sounds almost too good to be true. It’s a service that connects travelers with people renting out their homes in different cities—and a more affordable alternative to booking a hotel. It’s a great way to go on a trip without breaking the bank, plus you get to mix with some locals who can give you amazing insider tips on where to eat and what to do. For those who have never tried it before, Airbnb might be a little intimidating. Never fear, we’re here to guide you along the process with these six tips for renting the ultimate Airbnb.
1. Make sure it’s in a good location
Because these are homes or rooms in homes, they could be located anywhere in the city, not just close to the downtown core and attractions. Map out some of the sights you’d like to see first, and pick an Airbnb based on proximity. You’ll thank yourself later.
2. Read the reviews
Airbnb works on a review system for both hosts and guests. Make sure that your host is reputable by reading the reviews that previous guests have left. Former guests can often be brutally honest about the cleanliness and location of the place, so you’ll get a good sense of how accurate the listing is based on the comments.
3. Use the filters
Because Airbnb is so popular, there are thousands of listing in any given place. Use the filters so you can better find what you’re looking for. Are you looking for just a room or an entire house? Would you like to use the kitchen during your stay? What’s the maximum price you’re willing to pay? There are filters for each of these.
4. Price compare
One of the main attractions about Airbnb is that you can get more bang for your buck. Compare hotel prices in the area to see what you can get in an Airbnb (spoiler alert: probably a lot) and then go down on the price until you find a place that’s inviting and within your budget.
5. Beware of extra fees
Only book the Airbnb if you’re sure of your travel dates, as many renters have a 50% cancellation policy. Also note that rentals cost extra if you have more than one guest, so make sure you’ve got that filter accounted for. Some renters also charge a cleaning fee, which can add a lump sum to the cost of the Airbnb.
6. Be polite
Once you’re there, you’re staying in someone’s home so follow the ground rules you would if you were a guest anywhere else. Be quiet, keep the room clean, and under no circumstances should you hold a coke-fueled orgy, as one Montreal Airbnb couple recently experienced.
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