We love to stay at Airbnbs.
So before you book, read these insider tips first!
The KEY is in the reservation.
Oh yeah, and we'll tell you about Airbnb experiences too!
So here's the your Airbnb guide....
Why We Love To Stay At An Airbnb
Okay, they are not ALL cheap, castles, views, extravagance will cost more, but overall for the unique experience, it is soooo worth it. Here's a few other reasons.
BONUS: If you decide on staying in a yurt, check out my Yurt guide AND more information on this yurt in Colorado. Click: YURT
Here is another "out of the city" experience! We recently stayed just outside Otavalo Ecuador. The lovely cabin was surrounded by mountains, farms and it was a special treat to meet their dogs and llamas.
Below is the link to this Airbnb just outside Otavalo Ecuador. You will enjoy hiking, biking and shopping in town of Otavalo and Cotacachi. AirbnbInfoHere
About That Airbnb Profile
The hosts DO look at you. Use a picture that is natural and clear.
Smile, or just grin if you have bad teeth.
They need to decide whether they want you in their house.
If you travel as a couple ( or at least most of the time ), make sure the photo is fairly recent.
No Glamour Shots from the 80s!
If you need an example of Glamour Shots, check this out: Scary Hair
Reserving Your Palace-"The Basics"
This is the MOST important Airbnb feature--and they finally moved this section to the forefront of the site. Here's where you pick the "type" of accommodation you want.
Do this first.
Entire place. Pretty clear, what you get is privacy.
Private room tripped us up a bit. You might have a private bathroom or you may be sharing one. If this is not clear on the listing, definitely contact the host and ask.
**We have decided to only select Airbnb's with private bathrooms, only because of scheduling. If you are catching a plane or heading to a tour, you might have to wait for the bathroom.**
Hotel room/Shared room. Just make sure it's crystal clear what will be shared and how large the area is. If you have any questions, always contact the host.
Okay, below are the rest of the basics for reserving your Airbnb "palace", then go to my "Q&A section-for everyone" for the nitty-gritty low down of making that stay memorable- in a good way!
Q & A's For Everyone, Here's The Dirt !
Below are some questions you might not know to ask! There are no two Airbnbs alike, so look at the listing carefully, and consider these questions and answers below.
Q: Any problems with getting a the key or meeting my host?
A: Sometimes. The very best scenario is a lock box or key pad. We had a problem with "I am leaving it with a friend". Twice. "Friends" need to be home and not in an area where you can't find parking.
If it is a lock box, make sure it is clearly identified. We arrived at one location and there were 10 lock boxes and no identification.
Q: What should I look for in the host's pictures?
Most of these photos have been taken by Airbnb's pro photographers, giving you the very best angles.
A: For example, look at the bed. Does it have a headboard or are you laying up against a brick wall?
If the bed is slammed up against the corner, it makes it damn hard for one person to get out. I wouldn't advise moving furniture around too much, just say-in.
Whatever works for you. Check out the reviews, beds are "hot" topics.
The kitchen will almost always looks pretty, head to the amenity section of the listing to see what you actually get during your stay.
Q: Will there always be a clock in the house or room.
A: Nope! Always bring a travel clock or use your phone.
Q: Do we get breakfast?
A: As mentioned above, you may get a few goodies, but never assume a breakfast unless it's listed. We always inquire about a coffee maker, we bring our own coffee, but don't hesitate to ask if there will be sugar or creamer available.
Q: Can we do laundry?
A: This is rare unless it is an extended stay. Washer and dryers may be available, but keep in mind the dryer may be wooden racks outside your window. Best to find a laundromat if you really need to do laundry.
Q: What if something goes H-o-r-r-i-b-l-y wrong?
A: Call your host first unless your safety is being jeopardized. Airbnb wants you to do this also.
If you need to contact Airbnb, here is the link. Airbnb Contact
They are available 24/7. Document and capture photos with your phone.
You have 24 hours to file a formal complaint.
They will try to solve a problem promptly, but for reimbursements, you need that documentation.
Here is the information about refund policies: Get My Money
We have not had a bad experience, and hopefully you won't either. Most hosts are absolutely wonderful!
Q: Who is holding my money $ ?
A: Once you book, your credit card will be charged and held by Airbnb.
They will not release it to the host until 24 hours after you check in.
Q: After I book, what is the best way to find the property?
A: Google Maps and the hosts directions. I suggest that if you are coming in at night ask a few more questions.
Will there be a light on the address? Can I see the lock box in the dark? Review the instructions, make sure they make sense to you before you go.
Q: What else should I ask about after I book?
✷ Location of the WiFi password. Does wifi work in all areas of the house?
✷ If you are not renting a car, what is the best transportation mode to get to their place from the airport? Taxi, bus, maybe Uber?
✷ Can we drink the water in the kitchen? We are not into bottled water
($+eco reasons) or do they recycle? If so, is it clearly marked?
✷ Best restaurants, bars, points of interest near the property?
✷ How far is it to walk to public transportation?
This has not happened to us, but it happens....
If you are booking at a destination where there is a popular event coming up, make sure you book with a SuperHost. Hosts can cancel at the last minute. They might not tell you why, but it could be that they can get more money because of the demand.
It won't matter how far in advance you book-they can cancel.
To avoid being "left out in the cold" -literally, book with a Superhost or find a hotel.
We love these too! These are activities and tours lead by locals! You can book the tours as easy as the homes. They may include walking tours, street art, bike tours, food tours, hands on crafting and much more!
Organized and easy. Located on the main page. Select "experiences" then plug in your destination.