A Beginners Guide to Airbnb

Airbnb is rapidly growing in popularity amongst travelers. As their advertisements say, “Why visit a new city when you can live there?” The app allows users around the world to list their homes or properties or extra rooms or even treehouses in some instances.

Born in 2007, the idea came from two roommates in San Francisco that couldn’t afford their rent. Today, you can rent everything from a room on a boat to hip NYC loft. The site allows for users to rent for one night or months at a time, making it a great option for those who travel extensively.

With over half a million places to choose from around the world, it can seem challenging to navigate the site for beginner. Here are some tips to get you started with Airbnb.

Setting up

First, to get started, you must make an account. It’s free to join and can either be done by entering your email and information or through linking your Facebook account. Airbnb randomly samples users and some times will ask for a verified ID. The process is easy and can be done through the app.

Looking for a place

Once you have you’re profile you’re set to begin searching. The home screen allows you to search for city, neighborhood or near an attraction. Enter the dates you’re looking for and the number of guests you will have and your search is on its way!

You can use the site’s list or map view to search for properties that suit your needs. A variety of filters allows you to specify down to the price, type of property, amenities needed and so much more.

Each listing can have photos, reviews, detailed information about the property, the host and rules for the establishment.

Things to look for when choosing a place

Look at the reviews. Airbnb allows both renters and hosts to leave reviews of the other. Check out both the property reviews and the host reviews to make an informed decision about your stay.

Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few properties, within the search results page you can save places to your wishlist to go through later. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions if something isn’t clear on the listing; use the function in the listing to contact the host.

Payment and fees

Once you’re ready to book you can either choose, “Request to book” or if the option is available, “Instant Book”. A typical request to book requires the host’s permission for you to complete your booking while an instant booking bypasses that step.

The price includes a few fees. First, a security deposit is often required to cover incidentals or damages. A service fee is assessed by Airbnb for using their service. Finally, a cleaning fee may be charged by the host to cover costs of cleaning the space.

Use this information to help you save money and find an interesting place to stay for your next trip! As always, make an informed decision and don’t stay anywhere you feel unsafe.

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