Obviously, our preferred type of travel accommodation has always been our camper trailer and more recently a caravan. But there are occasions when these options aren’t suitable.
I recently had to head up to the Sunshine Coast to drop Ben at a camp but of course it fell on a long weekend. There was no way I was going to pay the ridiculous prices that mainstream accommodation charge at these times nor was I going to be forced into a minimum stay. So I decided that I would check out Airbnb for the first time.
I had a fantastic first experience so I thought I would share some tips on how to find the right Airbnb for you.
CHOOSE YOUR AREA
The first thing you need to do when looking for an Airbnb is to choose the area you want to be in. You can type in a suburb or a town and it will give you suggestions for that suburb plus the surrounding area. A map will pop up with all the Airbnb’s in that area. It is completely interactive so if you move the map to a different area, more options will pop up.
Don’t discount regional areas as not having any Airbnb stays available. A quick search on our old home town of Cowra certainly dispelled that myth.
My stay on the Sunshine Coast was about a 300 metre walk to the beach and I could hear the waves at night.
CHOOSE YOUR PRICE RANGE
As listings on Airbnb are in private houses, prices can vary greatly from listing to listing. By checking through the listings you can get an idea of what the prices are like for an area and then decide how much you are prepared to pay. Most fees are for the room not the number of people in each room.
CHECK OUT THE ROOM DESCRIPTION
Each property listing should have a picture or pictures and a detailed description of what the room consists of. It should include things like whether there is a bathroom attached to the room or whether it is shared with other members of the household. It will also mention whether use of the kitchen or other household facilities are included. Sometimes a description will include that the property is close to shopping centres, public transport or tourist attractions.
CHECK YOUR HOSTS RATING
When someone stays at an Airbnb they get to leave a rating and review about their experience. (The hosts get to do the same about you too) The higher the number of reviews the more people that have stayed there. A quick read of these reviews will give you an idea of how well your potential host performs.
CHECK ADDITIONAL FEES
During my search I found a couple of rates that were very cheap but then one had a $60 cleaning fee attached to it. Some listings don’t include a cleaning fee but most of the ones that do it is very reasonable – around $10 to $15. There are also service fees attached to each listing and these vary too, depending on things like cancellation policies etc.
HOW TO BE A GOOD GUEST
For the Airbnb system to work as it is intended, hosts have to care about their guests but guests have a responsibility to care for the home they are staying in as well.
- Treat the home with respect
- Be respectful of other guests that may be in the home as well
- Abide by the house rules
- Don’t make to much noise
- Don’t come home drunk or bring guests that aren’t included in the booking
- Clean up after yourself, especially if you use the kitchen or make a mess in the bathroom
- Leave an honest review after your stay. Honesty can only help hosts improve the service they provide.
I will definitely try Airbnb again. I think it’s a fantastic way to be able to stay somewhere without having to pay a small fortune for accommodation. If you’ve never stayed in an Airbnb you can grab some credit towards your first stay by clicking HERE.