We’ve used AirBnB a few times over the last years, for our family holidays. At first it was a bit of a minefield but the application has improved greatly. I share my tips, based on our booking experiences. Hopefully, these tips will help AirBnB first-timers or those who have used the platform before.
1. Read the reviews of the place you’re looking at but also the reviews about the “host” or property owner. Sometimes, bad reviews can be tainted by bad experiences arising out of misunderstanding or language barriers. Worth keeping mind when scrolling through.
Also if the original description is in another language, it gets translated by Google. The translation is sometimes weird or slightly off. Do bear this in mind.
2. When searching use the filters and search for entire place i.e. Have the whole place to your family. Even when you’ve done that, sometimes properties which are not suitable come up. Do read the descriptions carefully.
3. Make your own list of what you want in the property. Like TV or close to shops etc. That way you’re more likely to book something that fits your requirements not just fall in love from the pictures. Also, if Wifi is important to you, do check the reviews about Wifi. Just because somewhere has Wifi, it doesn’t mean that it is the super-fast broadband you’re used to at home.
Furthermore, keep in mind that an Airbnb stay is unlikely to come with the daily cleaning you’d get staying at a hotel. Some “hosts” property owners can arrange this for you at an extra fee. Some can also arrange for meals to be prepared as well. We had this arranged when we stayed at Riad Soufia.
4. Book with your credit card so any problems you may have financial protection to claim back. This only applies to purchases over £100 and may not be applicable in certain cases.
5. Check the house rules carefully. Some places are quite strict on check in times and allowing guests onto the property. Some places have added security in place.
Some places will not allow late check- ins, so do check your flight timings first before making a booking. Also check the cancellation policy carefully.
6. Always keep the discussion through the AirBnB platform. If you decide to go off the platform, you will have no recourse if things go wrong.
7. Use the save facility to select some properties you like and review & compare them later. You can create folders to organise your choices, by time of the year or destination. It’s up to you.
8. Watch out for properties that have no reviews. Sometimes, they have a clever visual listing which shows 5 stars but in fact has no reviews at all. Only go for somewhere with reviews, particularly if you have young kids with you.
9. To ask a question on AirBnB, you may have to select dates & “request to book”. The property owner might chose to accept your request & answer your questions or not. This does not mean you’re actually making a booking though. Only once the property owner “host” & you both are content, you’ll have the option to confirm the booking if you want to proceed.
10. Finally, this link will get you £25 credit off your first stay. It only works if you’re signing up for the first time. www.airbnb.co.uk/c/sharmeens6