We have been avid users and fans of Airbnb since 2011. It’s no surprise that travelers across the globe share the same sentiment about the travel site. Over twenty stays later across ten different countries, we have become somewhat “specialists” at finding the best places. However, even with our experience and stellar reviews, we’ve had our fair share of less than great accommodations – from less than welcoming hosts to dirty rooms. Here are 5 tips to increase your chances of a pleasant experience with Airbnb rentals.
1) Stay with a Superhost
Like the rest of us, we get better through practice, and hosting Airbnb is no different. There are superhosts who have the reputation of being great at this. They host, not only for the additional source of revenue, but for the pleasure of meeting people from all over the world. Superhosts go above and beyond to make your experience memorable, and have been vetted by Airbnb as “extraordinary hosts with more than 80% 5-star reviews with responsive communication and low cancel rate.” Although you might find cheaper options on rentals with little or no reviews, it’s a risk that might impact your vacation.
2) Avoid Places with 4-Star Ratings or Less
Getting less than 4 stars on a rating is equivalent to an “F” grade. Keep in mind that standards are subjective and not everyone shares the same opinion. However, from personal experience, people are more likely to leave no review than a negative one on Airbnb. So, you tend to get the best and the worst experiences from guests. The most important review should note no less than 5-star for Accuracy and Cleanliness, also Location if that is a priority to you.
3) Read All of the Reviews, Especially the Negative Ones
Read them all within reason. Pay close attention to the negative and helpful feedback, especially if complaints are corroborated from other guests. Does the host take the time to address it publicly? Sometimes the complaint is due to miscommunication or unclear expectations. It’s a positive sign if hosts are willing to address the concerns and correct them for future guests.
4) Browse Wish Lists for Inspiration
Sometimes the accommodation itself is worth the getaway. The exciting and unique part of staying with Airbnb is a true local and one-of-a-kind experience. Have you ever stayed in a rustic farm where you get to enjoy farm fresh eggs and seasonal fruits for breakfast? How about a weekend in a restored 1974 Airstream outside of Bozeman, Montana? A treehouse in Northern California with ocean views sounds like the perfect getaway. If you need to be inspired to take a vacation, make sure you check out popular wish lists on Airbnb.
5) Send a Note When Requesting to Book
We always preface our booking with a message to inform hosts of we are as travelers and the reason for visit. I’ve been told it’s appreciated. Most importantly, let them know about your arrival/check-in time to ensure schedule aligns. It’s better to find an alternative option if hosts can’t accommodate your check-in time. You don’t want to arrive in a new city, after a long flight, only to be stranded for 6 hours while waiting around to check-in. Most of the time, hosts are willing to be flexible or provide alternative options to store bags if you arrive early. It has never hurt us to send a quick message when requesting to book. Just a friendly reminder that listings are private homes and not hotels with dedicated staff 😉
Last but not least, for guests …
It goes without saying that it’s equally important to be great hosts as it is to be courteous guests. Be respectful of the house rules and leave the place as you found it. There is nothing worst than guests who ruin it all for everyone. We have an obligation even as paying guests to treat their space as it was your own. More positive reviews on your profile lead to a greater chance accepted requests.