If you’re an Air Bnb virgin you might get a little bit nervous at the idea of taking the leap to booking your first stay. It’s not always as comfortable as a 5 star chain hotel but there are definitely some perks too. I have put together a few recommendations and things you should take into consideration before you pop your Air Bnb cherry to ensure your first time is comfortable (in no particular order):
Having WIFI is the one thing we always look out for, especially if you are booking an Air Bnb in a foreign country. You can’t always count on reliable wifi in cafes and restaurants and it’s difficult navigating your way through a non-english speaking city without looking up directions first. It’s also good when you are away from home to always be able to contact your loved ones. Without a mobile sim card to count on, WIFI is your best bet.
2. Linen and Towels
When you’re galavanting across different countries chances are you won’t have a doona for two and a towel each stashed in your backpack. It’s rare, but do keep your eye out for places that say you need to bring your own linen and towels. There would be nothing worse than arriving to your Air Bnb and realise it’s just you and the mattress to sleep on and a curtain to use as a towel.
3. Tick the Entire Home box
We’ve been burnt by this one. It wasn’t so bad in the end, but let’s just say when you are staying in someone else’s home it’s much more comfortable if they aren’t staying there with you. Yes, it’s a good way to meet people if you decide to tick the ‘private room’ option instead of the ‘entire home’ option. But when you’re tired and don’t speak any French it’s just easier if it’s just you and your travel companion in the house. Side note: when we accidentally booked ‘private room’, our room neighbour was the loudest snorer ever… so always have ear plugs on hand. Chances are your room won’t be soundproofed like a hotel.
4. Close to Public Transport
This one isn’t an issue if you are doing a road trip and have your car with you, but again if you are in a foreign city with nothing but your feet to get you around, making sure your Air Bnb stay is close to public transport is a must. If not, either your legs will hurt from all the walking or your wallet will hurt from having to catch taxis. Make sure you check out google maps and public transport information to make sure your host is being honest too. You can’t always trust them. What’s ‘close’ to some people isn’t always accurate for others.
5. Previous positive reviews
This one is so important. Seriously, the amount of times we have been saved from a fellow Air Bnber’s honesty. Read the reviews. The photos only show you want the host wants you to see. Take it from others who have walked the line before you. If there are no reviews, let someone else be the guinea pig. Don’t be the first one, just don’t.
6. Private Bathroom
This one probably seems a bit strange, but some sneaky hosts pitch an ‘entire home’ and then slyly include in the fine print that there are shared bathroom facilities. Half the reason you want an ‘entire home’ is so you can run to the bathroom in the middle of the night in your undies and not have to worry about who you will bump into. For this one, what some hosts do is they own a big place and turn bedrooms into ‘studio apartments’ (basically just big bedrooms with an added kitchenette) and claim it to be a studio. There will be several ‘studios’ in one house and you all have to share the one toilet and bathroom. Less than ideal, so watch out for this.
These are just my suggestions and recommendations from things I’ve either experienced or figured out just in time. There are of course more things to probably include but this will do for now. Overall staying in Air Bnb homes are generally a lot cheaper, more authentic and give you those extra at home luxuries you’re after on long haul holidays (like kitchens and washing machines). I’d love to hear any suggestions you may have?