5 Tips to Book Effectively on AirBnB

Airbnb is the new thing in budget travel. So what is this Airbnb ?
Its a portal where you can book rooms,apartments , houses while travelling. People put up their residences on rent which can be booked by guests travelling to a city. You will get unique staying options at best and interesting location on a budget.

You need to know how to book on Airbnb effectively or else you might end up paying a fortune for a bad apartment and completely ruin your perfect holiday. 

No brainer here !!! First of all create an account with Airbnb

I have a special giveaway for you , CLICK HERE and register yourself to get $17 worth of free travel credit , yes its $17.

Now once you have registered yourself read 5 tips to book effectively on Airbnb to have the perfect holiday on a budget : 

1. Decide on the Area You Want to Stay in Advance : 

When searching for a staying option on Airbnb you might get confused as you will get options from various places and its all randomly arranged.You are bound to get confused as there in no way you can arrange the search results i.e. either through ratings or locations or price range.
Remember that since you will be staying in an apartment/house you have to cook yourself or arrange for food and arrange for other necessities.Hence before searching for a place find out the locations where you want to stay.
Generally apartments/houses near the touristy areas are the best as you might get an amazing view and restaurants/departmental stores and other amenities will be nearby.Staying in a great and cheap house in a far off location is not advisable as you might end up paying a lot while travelling.

In Airbnb you can search for staying options by finding the locality on the map.Its a very handy tool as you will very easily get to see how far in the nearest tourist spot or the nearest department store or restaurant.While searching click on the Map option to open the map view. It makes searching on Airbnb lot easier.

2. Read between the Review Lines 

On Airbnb you are booking someone's house for staying, hence it will be not easy to find feedback or review easily on internet or on Tripadvisor. While booking on Airbnb first try to find out the place with maximum reviews. Good amount of reviews show that people have stayed here.
Don't assume that since there are many reviews the place will be good. The place might be so bad that whoever stayed there wanted to know the rest of the world how bad it is through their reviews. Read the reviews thoroughly before starting to book the place. 
You should read at least 10-15 well written reviews to understand how the place will be and if there are less number of reviews less than 30 then just go ahead and read all the reviews properly. Don't take anything for granted.
If some host ask you to pay via Paypal or some other method don't accept such request as your money might be at risk.


3. Not Every Host is Right for You

Once you have decided on shortlisted on a place its important to know your hosts.Few hosts might not like someone staying with their girlfriends or someone might not like to much sound. On Airbnb sometimes its hilarious to read the rules hosts have laid out. While searching for a staying option in Greece I saw a listing where hosts said couple staying there are are not allowed to have sex. I mean why on earth you will have such a ridiculous rule. , just say couples are not allowed.
Its always good to check the rules laid out by the hosts rather than repenting later on.Once you open a staying option you will see a link which says "House Rules" just click on that and read on.
Check the below listing of house rules if you plan to sleep late or travel with your pet or throw a small party to your local friends and you book Maria's House by mistake you should be ready for trouble to the extent on ruining your lovely holiday.

4. Know your Hosts

You are dealing in a virtual world and its one of the most difficult task to know a person virtually.However still you can understand a little bit how a person is the way they write or the way they speak. Before booking ensure that you clear all your doubts and ask as many questions as possible to your host. If you don't get a prompt reply in 24 hours or the host chooses to ignore few questions and doesn't answer properly immediately you should drop your plan to book the apartment.
If possible ask for the contact number of the person and call them to understand how the person speaks and judge how good or bad host the person can be.
Remember no questions are stupid and ask whatever you want to ask to understand about the person and the property you will be booking.

5. Airbnb is Not Always Cheap

Don't think booking an apartment on Airbnb is cheap. Sometimes you might end up paying more than a good hotel with all amenities. My suggestion once you start looking for apartments on Airbnb also simultaneously search for hotels in the same locality within the same budget. Compare yourself and decide on whether you want to book on Airbnb or the Hotel. 

Airbnb or the Hosts typically levy the following additional charges which might increase the cost of staying substantially:

a) 3% currency conversion charge : Airbnb will typically charge 3% as currency conversion charges if you are paying in a different currency other than the local currency.

b) Cleaning Fee : The hosts charges the fee to you as a one time compulsory charge. It varies from $5 to sometimes ridiculous amount of $200 also. In few cases the hosts try to earn extra money but showing a place at lower rate per night and earning the rest from the cleaning fee.

c) Security Deposit : Few hosts will ask you to pay refundable security deposit. Remember that if you break something or the host thinks that you have damaged something they can claim the amount from the security deposit.

d) Service Fee : Airbnb charges the around 6% - 12% as service fee which is huge.You will see this service fee added to your account when you are booking a place.

e) Value Added Tax or Local Taxes : Depending on the country you are travelling to you might have to pay additional value added tax or the local taxes. Airbnb on its site specifically mentions "Tax charged to guests who live in the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, South Africa, and Japan (charged as JCT)."

Share your personal tips with Shoestringtravel on how you book on Airbnb and get featured here and also don't forget to share your travel stories with Shoestringtravel.

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