3 Tips for Using AirBnB – Overview
AirBnB has grown to become one of the largest travel accommodation providers on the internet. With many choices from budget to luxury, and apartments that offer a glimpse inside the local life of the city you are visiting, it’s no wonder this is a common choice for many traveler’s today. AirBnB is a great tool to use for accommodation, whether it be short or long-term, and below are 5 tips for using AirBnB to keep in mind for your next booking:
1. Always negotiate the price
As you’ve probably already figured out, AirBnB has helped to cause an inflation in general rent prices throughout the world. The majority of listings on AirBnB are priced very high to take advantage of incoming tourists, with many hosts often times doubling the cost of rent with their monthly earnings amount.
You should never Instant Book a listing, but rather first contact the host and try to negotiate. Normally I will write a small introduction, let the host know how many people and what dates I will be visiting, and then simply ask for a lower price.
Below is an example template I use to negotiate price.
It’s helpful to mention the reduction you want on the nightly price, since hosts see a different amount (their earnings) versus what you see paying as a guest (including AirBnB’s fees). If there’s a high cleaning fee, you can ask for them to cut that in half as well, or to remove it to lower the price.
I look at listings on a case by case basis, but generally I ask for at least a 20% discount at the minimum. I would say roughly 40% of the time, the host will accept my offer without counter-negotiating.
When you are looking to negotiate, keep in mind if the host’s calendar is quite empty for the coming weeks, as they might then be more desperate to get a booking.
Also – always look for discounts for longer stays. Most hosts will be offering a 7-12% discount for weekly rentals, and somewhere in the range of 20-35% off the monthly price for longer-term rentals. If there is no discount being shown and you’re renting for a week, month or longer, you definitely should be negotiating to get a better deal.
Something to keep in mind from my personal experience, is that “Super hosts” are less likely to negotiate. These are normally rental agencies or someone who owns multiple properties, so they have a plethora of bookings and generally don’t seem to care to negotiate. Copy and paste the message, and change the name/price – it’s worth a shot for 10 seconds of your time. Connected with that, are the next tips for using AirBnB:
2. Book 2+ months in advance to have a selection of the best listings
Booking in advance has one advantage: you have a much better selection of properties versus the longer you wait to book. This might seem like common sense, but the sweet spot for this seems to be around the 2 month mark. Once it gets within 7-8 weeks from your arrival date, a lot of the premium places at a good price will already be booked up (especially in high season). If you’re going on a trip, book way ahead of time to avoid having to deal with minuscule listings and bad logistics.
Keep in mind the cancellation policy the host has setup. Some hosts will leave theirs flexible, so if your plans change often, you might want to find an option where you stand to lose the least amount of money. You can’t filter on this yet from search results, so you’ll have to go in to each listing and check this individually.
One disadvantage is that it is harder to negotiate the further away from the arrival date you are. If you are on a budget, and want to save some money, it might be worth it for you to not have the pick of the crop and to wait until a few days before arrival so that you can swoop a better deal.
3. Always share your AirBnB referral link with friends
The AirBnB “Invite Your Friends” program is a win-win. Using this program, if you send a link to a friend/family member and they sign-up and make a booking of $70 or more with AirBnB, you get $35 off your next booking (after their stay has concluded). The individual that has signed up for a new account also will receive $35 off a booking. If they also end up becoming a host, you can get another $70 off one of your future bookings. It’s easy to send this around to family and friends, ask them to sign-up and do you a favor. Before you know it, you’ll have enough saved up for a weekly stay in a nice spot during your next trip.
If you want to get started now, and save $30 on your next trip, click here.
These were a few tips for using AirBnB. Stay tuned for future articles where we will outline additional tips for other relevant accommodation platforms. If you prefer hotels, check out our constantly updated Guest-Friendly Hotels in International Cities guide.