If you love to travel but hate to spend a lot of money on accommodations, Airbnb must seem like a deal made in heaven. Rent out a room or even a whole home direct from the owners, at a fraction of hotel costs. But if you are a first time Airbnb user who has never tried the shared-economy style it offers, you may find it a bit off putting. Here are a few tips to help you adjust to the wild and wooly world of Airbnb and other types of shared-economy travel accommodations.
Read the Fine Print
Renting from someone’s home is not like staying at a hotel. Don’t expect the type of service you get at one. It is important to read the listing thoroughly to understand exactly what you are signing up for here. That said, many love the comfortable homey feel of these kinds of stays and feel it is a good trade-off for the luxury of a hotel stay.
Be Honest About Yourself
When filling out the profile, tell the truth about your needs and wants. Places like Airbnb are all about community, so it pays to be honest. In addition, if you lie on the application it will all come out when you show up at the address and don’t deliver. Honesty really is the best policy here.
Ask Your Host Questions
One of the nice features is the ability to email the host ahead with any questions you may have. This makes it easier to establish a comfortable relationship and be sure you understand just what kind of accommodations you have signed up for.
While the horror stories of the past have pretty much been dealt with through new filters – it still pays to act on the side of safety. This goes both ways, whether you are a host or a traveler. Just to be sure, Airbnb has created a page that outlines the FAQ’s about trust and safety for all its users.
Bottom line for First Time Airbnb Users
At the end of it all it mostly comes down to common sense. You want your stay to be enjoyable and you want your host to be comfortable with your stay in their home. If you take the time to define exactly what you want out of this stay, and follow guidelines in the site, you will find it a great experience. Travel is filled with unexpected pleasures, with any luck and the right homework first, your first stay at an Airbnb can be amongst those treasured memories.