Tips and Guides

3 Must-Read Tips When Using Airbnb for the First Time

Ensure a memorable vacation with the help of these reminders

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You've probably heard it once, twice, or maybe a couple of times. Many backpackers and frequent travelers choose to book rooms via Airbnb instead of looking for the most affordable hotel rates. You might be wondering why and we have a few hunches. If you're visiting a place for the first time—whether it's a province or another country, nothing compares to sharing a home with locals. You get to learn more about the place and how life is like on a daily basis. More often than not, these homes are also cozier and styled just like home so you won't feel homesick.

If you have a trip coming up soon and you're planning to get a place via Airbnb, keep in mind that there are a few guidelines that you need to follow. We asked Airbnb host Andrea for tips and here are some reminders that will surely come in handy:

Do your research and review the house guidelines

Every Airbnb listing has a detailed catalog on the features of the space so you get to review if it offers free Wi-Fi, how far it is from tourist spots, and if it has extra amenities like a jacuzzi or a pool. While reviewing the advantages of each, you also need to consider the house rules.

“The fact that you’re going to book the place, means you’ve read the dos and don’ts of the home,” says Andrea. Since it's your temporary home, you need to treat the place as if it's your own space. Check if you can bring pets or invite friends over prior to your trip.

Build a relationship with your host

The good thing about Airbnbs is you get to meet people and make new friends. The website has a private chat box where you can discuss trip details and other concerns with different hosts. You can mention that you are a first-time so they can best help you with the processess and state the purpose of your trip. They may even have suggestions on how to maximize your stay. 

Keep communication lines open

The homes and units listed on Airbnb are shared spaces that you are borrowing for a couple of days. You need to treat it like your own and remember not to move things around without permission from the hosts. "You shouldn’t think of it as a hotel. Always keep in mind that you’re staying in someone’s home,” says Andrea. Be transparent with your dealings and if you need anything in advance like extra chairs or other necessities, don't be afraid to tell your host so that he or she can make arrangements for you. 

Curious already? Feel free to visit the Airbnb website to get a feel of how things work. They have a Help section for frequently asked questions, getting started, and pricing.

Do you have an Airbnb story that you would love to share? If you have recommendations and other memorable stays, e-mail us at reallivingonline[at]gmail.com with the subject: RL Airbnb.

All photos are from Airbnb.com.

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