Airbnb is an online marketplace that connects people who want to rent out their homes with people who are looking for accommodations in that locale. Say you have got an empty house or a spare room. You can rent it out on AirBnb and any tourist visiting your city can stay in it by paying the amount on which you want to let out.
Similarly if you are a tourist, you can rent a house or a room for couple of days to months by booking the accommodation online through Airbnb.
It currently covers more than 81,000 cities and 191 countries worldwide. The company's name comes from "air mattress B&B.”
|Stay at a home away from home at an affordable price.|
|Live like a local.|
|Best option for vegans and vegetarian travelling to Europe or Americas.|
|Stay with no staff eyes on you or unnecessary rules of hotels|
Sign up and Sign In
Go to the site https://www.airbnb.com
It will typically take you to your local country website. For example if you are accessing the site from India, it will take you to http://www.airbnb.co.in. But you can search and book Airbnb houses anywhere in the world.
First you need to sign up. There are 3 options currently to sign up, using your facebook account, your google account or your email. Choose any one to sign up and once you are done login to the airbnb site.
There is a search box on the top (left if you are on web browser). Enter the city name for example Paris and select from the drop down the City name that appears. Press enter.
Just below the search box, three options will come, ‘stay’, ‘experiences’ and 'restaurants’.
Now there will be more search options available. First, enter the dates of travel. Then enter the number of guests travelling.
When ever you enter these details, the search result will automatically filter the output as per your requirement and will show the accommodations.
It is important that you know what you want to book on Airbnb.
There are currently 4 options.
1. Entire Place - You will get the entire house or apartment or bungalow. It is most ideal for a family.
2. Private Room - You will get one room in a house. Usually you will be staying with some one who is ready to share a spare room in his or her house or apartment. All other spaces in the house like the kitchen, living room are shared. This is ideal for a single traveller.
3. Hotel Room - Due to the wide adaptation of this app for accommodation booking by travellers, some hotels also post their rooms and you can book it from here as well just like you do it from http://Booking.com or http://hotels.com
4. Shared room - Here you will get a bed in a shared room. Its like staying in a hostel.
You need to select your choice and apply the filter.
Next important thing is the price. Select the range that falls in your budget.
Note that these are per night charges.
Select the range and apply it.
Work Tip - If you are travelling for work, use this filter. Usually this filter will give options for high rated house, knowing that your trip is getting financed and your spend capacity has increased.
Instant Book - Some hosts usually approve the travellers, usually by checking their profile and feedbacks from previous hosts. Some hosts are not bothers and you van instant book it. Enabling this filter will show accommodations with Instant book options only. Enable this filter only if you are in hurry and travelling the very next day.
Hosts usually approves the request within couple of hours and you might loose some very good accommodation if you apply this filter.
In order to choose the right home for your stay there are number of other filters and tips that can be used.
Superhost - Based on feedback from travellers and rating of the house, AirBnb has superhosts. These hosts have been recognized due to the hospitality given by the hosts. If you apply this filter, the number of houses available will reduce, but you will then be choosing from the best options. Superhosts are sometimes bit expensive. Afterall good things comes at a price.
Accessibility - If you are travelling with your grandma or grandpa or toddlers, this may be an option to look for. Accessibility will filter houses with ease of accessibility like long staircases, steep climb, uneven grounds etc.
Amenities - There are lot of options in amenities. The key one to look for are Kitchen, if you are planning to cook your own food. Other options are wifi which is basic need now a days. If you are going to a cold place or weather is chilling when you are going to visit, look for heater option.
Facilities - If you are planning to hire a car during your stay look for parking on premise. Gym and pool are also something that you can opt for.
After applying these filters you will get the list of accommodation that suits your requirement.
Next is to shortlist the accommodations and save it in a list. You can do this by clicking the ‘heart’ icon and creating a new list or add to an existing list.
Here are few tips on shortlisting Airbnb accommodation.
1. Price - Though the Airbnb accommodation are abundant in all major cities of the world, getting a good one at a reasonable price can be challenging. Best option is to be little flexible in pricing when applying the price filter as you might get a good accommodation which will save you travel time and cost.
2. Proximity to local transport - If you are planning a trip to cities like Paris, London, Singapore, Hong Kong with good public transport, look for a accommodation near to a Metro or Bus station. You will save lot of time.
3. Proximity to City Centre - If you are not planning to hire a car, stay near to city centre. This will save you lot of time and money on going around and staying away in city late at night.
4. Proximity to Restaurants and eating joints - If you are not planning to cook during travel, or have a restricted diet option like vegan or vegetarian diet, search for good restaurants as per your like and look for accommodation near by.
5. Pics and Description - Go through the pictures and description of the accommodation. It will give you enough information to judge if the accommodation suits your need and taste.
6. Reviews - Go through the reviews of the accommodations you are going to select. You will come to know the pros and cons which some honest reviewers puts clearly in words.
7. House Rules - Go through the house rule. House rule can be found when you go through the page with details about the accommodation.
8. Sudden Cancelation - Some hosts are known to cancel the booking often few days or weeks from arrival. You can know this by going through the reviews. Be ware of such hosts.
Once you have shortlisted the accommodations its time to finalize.
The best way to finalize is to talk to your hosts and understand how well they can accommodate you. You can start chatting using the Airbnb app or website. Contact your host and let them know about your plans. Most of the hosts are very welcoming and you will get positive response. Some hosts will also tell you if there are any issues and why you shouldn’t book with them.
For example when I was booking a house in the woods in Switzerland, the owner advised not to book as I was coming with a kid and the area was frequented by baggers at night.