Top 5 Things to Check Before Using Airbnb
It’s no secret that in recent times, the likes of Airbnb has been revolutionising the way we experience places. No longer are campsites or hotels your only option when travelling. Offering the chance to live like a local, in your own home – away from home. Like anything, Airbnb has it’s flaws, and you do need to have your wits about you. I’ve both read and heard horror stories online and from friends alike about bad experiences with Airbnb hosts. So naturally I was a little sceptical when I decided to travel exclusively using Airbnb’s around Northern Ireland for a week. Here are the top five things I’ve learnt for staying safe, and making the most from your Airbnb.
Is The Location Right For You?
All hosts on Airbnb are there to do one thing – sell. So of course they’re going to say things like ‘city centre location’ as a selling point. But that isn’t always the case. You might find that affordable property in the centre of town is actually 10 miles out, and not at all what you had in mind. All properties are shown on a map location as part of the search function; be sure to have a browse of the local area yourself before making a decision.
Does It Offer Everything You Need?
You might be travelling with hand luggage only and can’t possibly squeeze in extras like a towel or cookware. If you’re planning on using your Airbnb for cooking to save on cost from dining out, make sure it’s an equipped kitchen offered with the property. It’s easy to think an Airbnb is like a hotel, providing things like towels and toiletries. However, always maintain the mindset that this is your own home and you’ll need to make sure you’ve got everything you need. If the host is offering things like towels and cookware, you’ll find this noted on the property listing.
Is The Price Reasonable?
There’s no harm in shopping around to find the best deal. Often Airbnb’s are more affordable than a hotel, as well as offering you access to areas like a kitchen. Decide if you’re happy enough just to have a room in the house or apartment, or if you’re looking for a whole house to yourself. This can effect the price dramatically, but for us – we wanted our own space entirely. Be sure to browse other properties and surrounding local areas to get a better idea of if the price is right for you.
Does the Host Have Good Reviews?
Regardless of if you might find the most Pinterest worthy apartment out there, if the host has bad reviews – it’s not worth it. One of the first things I did when browsing for properties for our stay was check out the reviews. You wouldn’t buy something from Amazon if everyone said their experience was terrible, so why settle on Airbnb? Always be sure to read the fine print and look at other guests reviews before making your booking.
Is The Area Safe?
This goes hand in hand with location – before deciding on an Airbnb it’s worth scoping out the local area and doing some research into good and bad parts of the city. It doesn’t matter where you go, all cities will generally have an area deemed less desirable. It’s in your best interest to know where that is before booking. You wouldn’t want to stay somewhere that could potentially be dangerous, just to save money.
What are your top tips for travelling using Airbnb? Have your experiences been good or bad?
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