How to get a great Airbnb
There’s so much to love about renting an Airbnb.
We've just returned from our first taste of luxurious hotel life in Mykonos (our Airbnb was cancelled at the last-minute) which was absolutely lovely and a complete novelty for us, but it allowed me to see clearly why an Airbnb will always be our first choice.
Firstly renting an Airbnb is a whole lot cheaper than a Hotel, affording us more spending money and more opportunities for future trips (which is always a good thing).
You also get a lot more space - often a whole apartment instead of a cramped room. Sometimes there are even free perks thrown in; like an airport pick-up, a stocked fridge or bikes to use.
But the real reason I love an Airbnb is the richer travel experience that you ultimately have when you stay in a local's apartment over an anonymous hotel room.
Renting an Airbnb gives you the opportunity to live like a local, or at least a glimpse of what It might be like.
Experiencing the pace and rhythm of life, eating the local food and getting around like the locals do, all make for a more authentic experience of a place. Which is really what travel is all about.
We've stayed in countless Airbnbs around Europe, and I like to think we've picked up a thing or two along the way.
So here is my super short + sweet guide to choosing a great Airbnb!
Start your search early.
This is really important - the best Airbnbs will be snapped up quickly. So as soon as you have dates firmly in the diary, start looking!
Use the filters.
This will help narrow down your search. Start with selecting 'whole property' under 'home type' which makes sure you get a place to yourselves (if that's what you're after). Then put in your budget, and select any must-haves (like a garden or parking). This cuts down the thousands of listings to a more manageable selection.
Choose a Superhost.
This is an Airbnb host who goes over and above to make sure their guests have the best possible experience. We always try to rent with a superhost where possible.
Location, location, location.
Check where the property is on the map. Even better, research the neighbourhood. This will ensure you don't choose a place that's miles away from everything.
Never go below 4.5 stars.
A tip we received from an Airbnb insider. Seems harsh, but ensures you get a great property.
Read the reviews and look at the pictures.
Each property is reviewed by previous guests and I always read the reviews thoroughly before booking. Even if they just confirm how great the place is it's never a waste of time - we have found some great local recommendations lurking in the comments!
Check the cancellation policy and general house rules.
Some properties have stricter rules than others, and you may end up paying the full amount if you cancel last-minute. So if you're plans aren't firmed up then go with a relaxed cancellation policy. Also check the rules - some properties don't allow noise after certain times, pets or have other restrictions.
Check the check-in and check-out times.
Phew that's a mouthful! Make sure they will work with your other travel plans and/or flight times. You don't want to arrive at 11pm to find that you can't check in to a property. Similarly if you have a 10am check-out time, but your flight's not until the evening you may find yourselves lugging your suitcases around all day.
I hope you find these tips useful and help you get a 10/10 Airbnb!