11 helpful tips for successful AirBnB stay
In 10 years of solo travels in Austalia I have been exploring different types of budget accommodation to suit my needs as a solo traveller. My first Airbnb stay was in Rome in 2012 and I simply loved it. Since then, I have used Airbnb five more times in Paris and in Australia and always had a great experience.
I love to stay with Airbnb hosts, because I stay with locals, who treat me like a friend and make me feel at home.
If you are new with Airbnb and would like to give it a try, you shall pay attention to a few things that I have learnt over the years and are very important to make a successful Airbnb experience.
How to start with Airbnb – First steps
At the beginning it took me lots of time to figure out how to find suitable places with Airbnb. Now I can quickly identify the right Airbnb hosts that match my needs. These 11 tips will help you go through the entire procedure, from creating a killer Airbnb profile to searching on the Airbnb platform to contacting potential Airbnb hosts and making a successful booking.
Create a verified AirBnB profile
When you first set up your profile make sure you add a compelling text for your bio and a good photo of you. Next to email address and phone number, let Airbnb verify your profile, online and offline. This is very imporant because many Airbnb hosts prefer renting a room to guests with verified profiles, seconldy a profile with random information about yourself does not make a good impression. When a host review your stay and your person, it will appear on your profile too and the higher reviews you get the better chances to rent a room on Airbnb.
Get an Airbnb Coupon Code
You can get an Airbnb Coupon Code to get 30 AUD or for the equivalent amount in a different currency, off your first Airbnb booking. Get it by clicking here.
How to start a search for Airbnb Stay
I tend to look for Airbnb stay in rural areas of Australia. While in most Australian cities there are various budget accommodation options, in the outskirts it’s almost impossible to find good value accommodation. Hotels are way too expensive and B&B are almost as expensive as hotels in Australia. So AirBnB in Australia is ideal when travelling alone, road tripping along coastal areas, and in Outback areas. When you have mapped out the places in Australia for your AirBnB sta, then follow these simple steps.
On the Airbnb website preset language and currency you wish to make the booking.
Enter the location and the dates you are looking for. Select private room on the room type and click on the “more filters” box.
A window opens up with a list of features. Set the price range to narrow down the results listings. I usually set between 25-90 Australina dollars. So, that everything outside this price range will not be delivered in the results.
On the amenities check box, pick the most relevant for your stay. I tick on “wireless internet” and “kitchen” as these are my priorities. If you look for more click on the right hand icon to open a further window and pick whatever it’s important to you.
For the “property type” I usually pick apartment and house. I don’t tick B&B, as I want the host to live in the house. I once rented out a small apartment but the Airbnb owner lived on first floor, and that was fine with me.
Host language, English. If you prefer having in your native language, choose it and a translation will be provided.
Keywords. I never use them, as they might narrow down the search results to very few places.
Click on “show listings” and go through the search results.
Important things for succesfull Airbnb bookings
Now that you have got your list of Airbnb hosts, there are three things that you should soon check. First and foremost quickly check
The photos of the place. Your first 10 seconds impression is what counts.
The reviews. Check if the place has good reviews, with 4-5 stars.
The Airbnb host. Quickly check photo and profile.
If these three things are okay you can then go ahead. Here below a comprehensive step-by-step guide to successful booking.
My Airbnb Stay in Cairns
Why Airbnb reviews are key for choosing your place
Reviews bear 80% weight on my final decision, when booking my Airbnb stay. Reviews by fellow guests tell you about their Airbnb experience. I only read reviews that have 4-5 stars. I wouldn’t recommend booking with someone who has got reviews with 2-3 stars, as these are not good reviews. At the same time don’t be intimidated by negative reviews with 1 star if only one or two among 20-30 reviews. Everywhere there are picky people that love to complain about anything. If an Airbnb host has got 80-90% good to very good reviews, don’t care about one or two reviews with 1 stars.
Check the location – where is your place
While Airbnb doesn’t show the exact location of your place, you can click on the view location and get a rough idea of where the place is. You will know the exact address only when you pay.
Check the availability – View Calendar
You need to know straight away if your place is available but most of times Airbnb hosts don’t keep their calendar updated. And if they do, someone else might have booked that place while you are browsing through. It takes 24-48 hours to have an updated calendar, so never rely on what you see in there.
Contact the host before booking your place
I often skip the view calendar step and prefer contacting the owner to ask about the availability of my desired dates. Without their go-ahead there is no certainty about the availability of the place. Secondly I never book my Airbnb stay, without having contacted the host first. I always have a few questions to ask, sometimes I also want to handle the price and get a discount on the rate. It’s a good thing to pitch the owner and get a special rate for single use and for long stay too. If the host is willing to accept your request, they will send you an offer for you to accept and book.
Things you shall aks to Airbnb hosts
Before sending off your contact message to your potential hosts, check carefully what extra fees are mentioned, the cancellation policy and the house rules. I don’t feel comfortable to book when cancellation is set on “strict” which means no refund is given when a booking is cancelled a week before the arrival date. Flexible and moderate is what I prefer. On top of this, some hosts charge you with cleaning fees and late arrival fee. Read the house rules and if you sind something not be clear ask about it. Make sure you have all your imporant points in the first contact message!
Choose wisely your Airbnb Host
I only book with hosts that are living in the place or next door. I think this is what Airbnb is all about: Stayin with a local and Making a great experience. So what’s the point of booking your Airbnb stay and be on your own all the time? I also prefer staying with a female host. Chances to engage in good conversations and activities are higher than staying with a couple. However my fist booking with Airbnb was with a male host in Rome. He was a very friendly, helpful guy. If you are in doubt, I would suggest having a live chat, after making the booking, so as to break barriers. This is what I did with my Airbnb Rome host. I called him and this helped me immensly gain confidence and made me feel good about my choice.
Wait for go-ahead from host before booking your place
Never click on “request to book” and pay for your booking without being 100% sure the room is available. So, wait for the go-ahead from your potential host. When you have the green light, go ahead and make the booking. You will then receive an immediate confirmation from Airbnb via email and via sms. Airbnb will send you a reminder a few days prior to your arrival with a full itinerary details, inlcuding phone number and email address of your airbnb host. At this stage I send an email to my host with any final questions I have about the best way to get there and about my arrival time.
Have fun with your Airbnb stay
I think the main reason for staying with an Airbnb host is to meet a local, have a great interaction, enjoy the place like your home and have fun. It’s also a less expensive way of staying rather than using a hostel where you don’t have much privacy, there are great benefits for choosing private accomodation in Australia.
Leave your Airbnb Reviews
It’s very important to leave a review whenever you use Airbnb. Bear in mind that the new Airbnb rules have introduced the mutual reviewing procedure, which means you will not be able to read your review unless an Airbnb host has reviewed you too and viceversa. Reviews are in 95% of cases trushworthy and tell you about the host, the place and the overall experience. If you leave a review you re helping other guests making their choices as well as hosts choosing guests to stay in their homes. So always leave Airbnb reviews after your stay! You have 14 days to write an Airbnb review, you can do it from your profile.
You can read about my latest Airbnb stay experiences on these posts:
M Airbnb Stay in Cairns
My Airbnb Stay in Jervis Bay
My Airbnb Stay in Perth
Now over to you.
Have you used Airbnb in Australia before? How was your experience?
Please leave your comment here below.
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