By the end of this year we will have stayed in six AirBnB’s and after a little Twitter Poll, we’ve decided to share a few tips on how we get great value for money.
The first thing we do before we book a place to stay is do some research into the area we want to stay in; we want to be near to all of the main sights but we don’t want it to be overly noisy. We also want to be in a nice neighbourhood so we feel safe walking back there at night.
Once we’ve found an area we want to stay in we begin our search for our home away from home…
When it comes to booking AirBnB’s we always go for entire home/flat as we like to have our privacy, and even with doing this it has still worked out cheaper than staying in a hotel. So we filter our searched by this so we’re not wasting time looking at just rooms to rent. Also, make sure the number of guests you’re going with is correct as some of the prices can change depending on how many of you there are.
We always set a price range when looking; for us this is around £80 a night. Although AirBnB does have a helpful tool that shows you the average price for the date you have chosen so this can help you sent you limits.
Looking for homes with ‘Instant Book’ also makes it a little easier for you, as there is no waiting around for the homeowner to approve you. This will limit the amount of places you can stay in but it does take a weight off your shoulders as you know it’s booked.
If you’re not using ‘Instant Book’ you will have to send the homeowner a little message as to why you want to stay in their home, and what you’re travelling for. This is a huge make or break as this is what you’re being judged on. We tend to usually send something along the lines of… ‘Heya! It will be myself (26) and my boyfriend (29) travelling to Lyon to take in the sights and eat lots of food, as rumour has it, it’s meant to be very good! Your apartment is so quirky and we can’t wait to see it in person!’ We compliment the area they live in and the home itself so they warm to us! We have had places declined when travelling in larger groups when we were younger so we feel by putting our ages in it may help a little.
We would suggest at looking at all photographs the homeowner has uploaded so you really get a feel for the place, and, of course, read all of the information they put on their booking page. We recently stayed in a home where no shoes were allowed but we were prepared for this on arrival as it was noted in the house rules.
We tend to make a shortlist of three places we really like (if there is more than one) and then check the distance from the airport and the public transport links nearby. There’s no point renting a real cheap place that’s going to be a cab ride into town each day as it will work out more expensive than buying a train or bus pass in a closer area.
Always read the reviews from other users too as these will give you real life information on the home; if there were any issues, problems that weren’t stated on the information pages and you can usually get a feel of the person you’re renting from too.
Once we’ve booked in, we always send a message to the homeowner saying we can’t wait to get there and what time our flight lands/time we will be checking in.
Hope this few guidelines help you out. If you have any other questions, leave them in the comments!