With over half a million places to choose from around the world, Airbnb is a great option for travelers looking to save money or find an alternative option for accommodations. Their slogan, “Why visit a city when you can live there?” the website allows homeowners or property owners to list their properties for renters from around the world.
Properties for rent include tree houses, luxurious lofts in Hong Kong and open-air camps in Africa. Rentals may be nightly, weekly or monthly, allowing those that travel for lengthy times a more cost effective way to stay in a new city.
The website is fairly easy to use when setting out to rent a place for the first time, but use this guide to walk you through it.
Set up your profile.
Before you can rent from anyone, you must set up a profile through the website. Try to complete this as much as possible including a photo of yourself. You can link your Facebook account to simplify your log in down the road. Airbnb asks some accounts at random to provide a verified ID which can easily be done directly through the app.
Looking for a place.
The home screen of the website makes searching listing very simple. You can search by neighborhood, attraction, city, state or just country. Once into your search you can narrow down listings by price, dates, property types, and amenities. Useful fact: properties can be shared rooms, private rooms, whole apartments/houses or even rooms in inns or bed and breakfasts, make sure to choose what you are comfortable with.
Use the search results to choose a place for you.
Each listing has the option of uploading photos, detailed descriptions, house rules, and reviews of the host and property. Through the property page you can send any questions you may have to the host and skim through reviews of the property to make an informed decision about whether the property is right for you.
Payment and fees.
When you are ready to make a reservation you can do so directly through the property page. Most properties give you a “request to book” option which requires the host to approve your request before it is confirmed. Some properties have an instant book which skips this requirement.
The price for a property includes a few fees. First, a security deposit will be collected as part of your rent to cover incidentals or damage. Next a service fee is accessed by Airbnb for using their website. Finally, some properties charge a cleaning fee to cover costs of maintaining the property.
Use this information to pick your next vacation property to make your trip memorable.