Written by: Brenda Pomponio
It’s no secret we love to use Airbnb when travelling. I find it allows us to create a home away from home and gives us the added benefits families need that hotels don’t offer. If you are planning a trip that doesn’t require you to consider a resort then I highly recommend trying Airbnb. I know that there has been bad press at times with Airbnb coping the brunt of the blame, however, I believe that there would be no more complaints than mainstream accommodation providers, we are just hearing these more because AirBnB is still “new” to the travel game and is really shaking up the industry. So how do you navigate all the listings, and now that you are going to get a place and experience that will be positive?
Well here are my tips to ensure you get the best Airbnb accommodation for your family.
- Have a list of non-negotiable requirements. Think about what type of accommodation you and your family need.
- Enter in details using the search filters. These have really improvided and are so advanced you can really detail what type of accommodation you want. For example, as a basic rule, I always start a search looking for an entire home (ie, not shared) and with 3 beds. If I don’t specify how many beds I want then they will offer up one bedroom options as they may have a sofa bed in the lounge room. Other requirements that are ideal are family friendly, wifi and washing machine. Make your own list and stick to it!
- Read the reviews. I cannot stress this one enough! Once I’ve started narrowing down my search, I read the reviews of those I’m considering. The honest truth will be portrayed right there…take your time and read through at least ten random reviews, especially the most recent reviews. You might find that the host wasn’t contactable, or there are 5 flights of stairs, or it’s really noisy on the weekend. Then again, you might read that the location was walking distance to all the sights you want to see and that the home was exactly as pictured and even came with a coffee machine.
- If it is new – don’t book it! As a personal rule, I don’t book a home that hasn’t been reviewed. Call me crazy but even if the home looked perfect, I’m not in the mindset to be the family that tests this out. The only way I would consider breaking this rule is if the host managing this listing had multiple listings and was a Superhost.
- Look for Superhosts! Which brings me to my next point. Look for Superhosts. They are hosts that will go above and beyond and really treat their Airbnb listing like the proper business that it is. Airbnb now rewards hosts and the listing with a Super host status that gives travellers like us peace of mind that they are fabulous at what they do.
- Check the map – you can search by town, and use the map filter as well. This is really handy, as if you have some idea of where you want to be situated in a particular town, finding accommodation close by or near public transport is ideal
- Have questions? email the host. Airbnb is a great community and your host is most likely just like you….so why not email your host and use the Airbnb message platform to get the information you need to ensure you are making the right decision. Don’t be afraid to also make this relationship work for you. Once we were arriving at our Airbnb very late and our host offered to buy us some bread, milk and cereal so we could make some toast and tea when we got in and have a quick breakfast the following morning. It was a nice touch.
- Do all your booking, messaging and payments within Airbnb – this will protect you should anything go wrong. If a host asks you to pay outside of the Airbnb booking format, it’s most likely a scam and you should report it and then book something else
I hope these tips give you the confidence to use Airbnb on your next adventure.