A First-Timer’s Guide to Airbnb


A friend asked me today since she knows I travel a lot if I ever used Airbnb and what was my experience with them. I told her it is an awesome service that allows me to save a ton of money on lodging and have had a great experience so far with the owners. I’m sure she’s not the only one who had questions so I was then inspired to write this quick guide.

Use my link here www.airbnb.com/c/geffh1 when you sign up to get 40$ in travel credit with Airbnb!!

So What is Airbnb Anyway?

Airbnb is an online community marketplace that allows people who want to rent out their space (a spare room, apartment, a bed, entire homes, a tree house, garage, a castle, whatever) to connect with people who need lodging.

There are some Airbnb listings that offer amenities and experiences that you can’t get from hotels.

You can really find some great lodging at awesome locations with prices sometimes much cheaper than hotels. In addition, there are some Airbnb listings that offer amenities and experiences that you can’t get from hotels.


How Does it Work?

airbnb1The host (people who want to rent their space) makes a listing of their space for guests (people renting) to browse through on the Airbnb website. The hosts provide a description, amenities available, posts pictures, announce house rules if any, and sets the daily price and minimum length of stay. When guests make reservations, Airbnb handles the transactions and the company takes a small cut.

Once a reservation is established, it is up to the host and guest to contact each other and work out any details – such as time of arrival, parking, how to enter the property, check out time, special considerations, and any other questions. You can even ask advice on places to check out or dining recommendations from a local.

Trust is built up in the Airbnb community via reviews of hosts and guests established after each stay.

After your stay, the host will leave you a review on Airbnb which you can only see if you leave the host a review back. Trust is built up in the Airbnb community via reviews of hosts and guests established after each stay.

The Experience


So far my experience as a guest has been very positive. The hosts of lodging I’ve fortunately been with were friendly, accommodating of our concerns, and very quick and easy to respond and communicate with.

Each host is different. Some hosts you don’t even get to meet in person for the entire stay. They might just give you a code to electronically open the door or a key lock box and that is it. Others you’ll meet only when you get there and leave. There are other hosts, especially those whose listings are for an extra room, you will be with the entire time you’re inside their property. Some hosts will even cook and share a meal with you! Pick the listing depending on your comfort level.

Some properties have extra amenities for you to enjoy. For example, I stayed at a place that had beach chairs and a boogie board free for us to use (we were right on the beach). Another place didn’t have cable but had free use of their Netflix account!

The “check-out” process also depends on the hosts. Some places ask you to just leave the key inside of the property and lock the door behind you. Others ask for you to drop off the key to them. They will definitely tell you about the process when you meet or in your communications.


Tips and Things to Consider

Remember, this is not a hotel room!

Each host and property vary in terms of what rules and amenities they offer. Read the description on their listing carefully. More experienced hosts will have a very detailed description of what is available, special considerations, and house rules. I have once stayed at a place that limited the hot water I used, which wasn’t a big deal but something to consider. Also, renting an extra room may come with more stricter rules, such as a quiet time or restricting visitors. Remember that these are people’s homes and they are not on vacation!

Some places do not offer towels or typical bathroom amenities, like shampoo and soap. Remember that this is not a hotel room. Usually, what is available would be in the description, but if it’s not, ask and I’m sure they’ll be happy to answer. This will save you the trouble by bringing your own towels, etc. or planning to buy when you get there.

This also goes for WiFi!!

If you’re renting an extra room, consider if the host has any animals that you may be allergic to.

Parking space is something worth checking if you’re renting a car.

living room

Consider the location of your Airbnb in terms of neighborhood and distance to attractions. There are some really cheap listings on the site but they might be in sketchy, less desirable locations. If you’re okay with the risks at least you’ll be ready. Also, check how far the Airbnb is to the attractions you’ll be visiting. It may be cheap but if it takes an hour one way to get to places then it won’t be worth it. Do you your HW.

Finally, the cleaning fee for each Airbnb varies and can drive up the cost of the lodging. I noticed that some places are listed for super cheap on the phone app, like 50$ a night for an entire loft, but the cleaning fee is 60$ a night, which will be totaled right before booking. You can check this under the “Prices” section on the Airbnb website listing, however, the phone app is a tad more hidden. The “Additional prices” tab on the phone app will show you any additional fees set by the owners.


So there you have it, my first-timer’s guide to Airbnb! With these tips in mind, you too can take advantage of the many benefits staying at an Airbnb has to offer. It is definitely an awesome alternative to hotels and worth looking into when planning for adventures!

Use my link here www.airbnb.com/c/geffh1 when you sign up to get 40$ in travel credit with Airbnb!!



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