For those of you who are following my blog since last year, you might remember the post about how to plan a trip on your own, where I mentioned that I am using Airbnb on occasions. when booking accommodation. For those that are new to my blog, you can revisit the post by clicking link above.
Since Airbnb lately gets a lot of attention globally, and really is an effective way to travel – I would like to show you benefits of using Airbnb when planning next trip by yourself and booking your accommodation…
Furthermore, I wanted to offer you a chance to get FREE AIRBNB TRAVEL CREDIT for your next planned trip. This time it is 22 euros, but from my experience it can vary from 18-36 euros. Condition is that you need to book a stay of minimum value of 70 euros, excluding guest fees and any taxes.
HOW TO GET TRAVEL CREDIT?
- Click the photo above this on “Sign up to claim your credit” and a new page will appear
- Register for Airbnb account – via Google, Facebook or just your email (if you already have Airbnb account this will not work, so then open a new account with some different email and telephone number – which you will need to provide later)
- Once you registered, you will then get an email from Airbnb to confirm your email address
- Now, once you find a property you like, and proceed further – a step before the payment, this is when you can apply your Airbnb travel credit – it will be shown as a deduction to the total value of your booking.
Now in order to use this great opportunity that I am offering you, let’s me tell you more about Airbnb, and how it works.
WHAT IS AIRBNB?
Airbnb can be described as a community site of hundreds of thousands of available spaces, from apartments and houses to castles, tree houses and boats – which could be available anywhere, from a couple of days to a month – for people to rent them out.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
ADVICE : when you fill out the profile, provide it with detailed and true data, plus add a photo of yourself – hosts need some security for themselves, so they are checking the profile carefully before accepting you to rent their apartment. They will rent preferably to you, having such professional profile, in case they have more interested people in the same period.
Once you login, you can search for a location, a beginning and end date of your stay, and the number of guests arriving. There are filters which can narrow down your search – whether your search for an entire apartment or just a room, the part of the city you wish to be at, amenities like Wifi, parking, type of bed etc.
When you find the listing you like the most, put it into you Wishlist, and/or if any questions you can contact the host (who rents it out) if any additional questions and to check if really these dates are available. Some additional questions can be like – how the Wifi works, how to get to the location in the fastest way, any recommendations of good places around the town etc.
- Good thing is to read the guest’s reviews people left after their stay at a particular accommodation, to see if really the descriptions match the reality, as naturally hosts will describe their properties the best they can. For me, bad reviews are for example if guests say that hosts cancelled the reservations in the last minute since they could not rent it out on those days. It rarely happens, but it may happen – and reviews might show you this, so to avoid that particular host if it is a trend for him/her
- Also see how the hosts are responsive to the reviews and if they seem like trustworthy
- Check carefully the photos and if any doubts, contact the host. For example, I had a doubt about the bed size from the photo provided on the website, – if the two of us would fit in it, and so I contacted the host to tell me the actual bed size
- Important is also to check the cancellation policy, which can range from “flexible” to “super-strict” . If flexible for instance you can get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance, but on strict, you can only get 50% refunded up to seven nights in advance and mid-stay get refunded 50% for nights seven days after you cancel
After all this taken into consideration and decided, then you proceed with booking. A host has 24h to accept it, and after that reservation expires. You may then contact that host to check as it might happen they didn’t see notification at their end. If approved, you credit card will be deposited, including security deposit and cleaning fee if need to be paid as well (it always says in the profile). A security deposit will be refunded at the discretion of the host; a cleaning fee usually cannot be refunded. Once it is all done, you can arrange with the host the way you communicate further (mobiles, emails…), and time/place of meet to get the keys once there.
BENEFITS OF AIRBNB?
- Perfect if you want to stay central or in a particular neighborhood and have a central or neighborhood experience. I used it in Madrid to to stay around the two main squares Gran Via and Sol, which was great for orientation and moving everywhere on foot
- It provides the greatest value in expensive cities – For example, when I was traveling to NY, hotel prices on Manhattan were sky high, so using Airbnb I got a flat 5 minutes from Times Square, which was perfect
- If it is a few of you, meaning larger group travelling and you want all to be in one place, then Airbnb is the right place to provide you such properties
WHEN NOT USE AIRBNB?
- It can happen that hosts cancel on you in the last minute, if they suddenly can not rent out the property at your desired dates – but it brings high penalties to them and bad reviews. It becomes stressful for you since you need to find new property in a very short time
- Prices of properties around or during holidays or festival times may be higher than usual
- Sometimes properties may not be as clean as you would expect, like looking on the photos. It happened to me in an accommodation in Seville… but as I was staying for 2 nights only I was thinking not to make a big fuss about it since the flat was in perfect location and all the rest was ok
- Airbnb is not the best choice if you want every day to have housekeeping, 24-hour customer service, anonymity etc.
- Airbnb does not conduct background checks on anyone who uses the service. However, there are millions of people who have successfully used the site as both guests and hosts
QUESTION IS IF AIRBNB SAFE OR NOT?
Sure, nothing in this life can be treated as 100% safe. So neither can Airbnb. But still… it is one of the safest platforms out there in the World. Bad experiences can happen, as can happen when you stay in hotels, hostels or from travel agencies, but that is all normal. Here are some things that Airbnb does to ensure safety:
- Airbnb made sure that you stay safe, with lots of safety and security measures. Guests and hosts need to provide identification to Airbnb, usually in the form of a scanned ID. They also verify your phone number which you provide when you create profile
- Reviews are important as I mentioned, to see the history of Airbnb users
- All payments are handled through Airbnb itself ( so not handled only by hosts)
- Airbnb has customer service open 24/7
- For hosts, Airbnb will cover up to $1,000,000 in damage, though there are some exceptions to this
I hope this was a helpful post from my side, and that I gave all the relevant information needed. If you liked it, start thinking now about the next destination and how to save some money from the booking. 🙂
Your Classy Explorer