Airbnb is an online marketplace where you can list or book unique accommodations around the world. It’s an excellent alternative to a hotel.
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Table of contents
- What’s Airbnb and how does it work?
- Airbnb vs. hotels
- How to book a stay
- Tips for booking an Airbnb
- How to cancel a reservation
- Frequently asked questions
What’s Airbnb and how does it work?
Airbnb is an online marketplace company based in San Francisco, California. It has millions of users that trust the accommodation-sharing company.
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You’ll find places to stay all around the world, as it’s available in more than 191 countries. There are small cabins in the woods, and large houses for an entire family.
The listings aren’t owned by Airbnb. Instead, there are millions of hosts that list their unique spaces for free, and Airbnb charges a host service fee, which ranges from 3% to 5%.
As a guest, you’ll be able to book a stay with peace of mind. There’s global support available 24 hours a day, every day. There’s also a guest refund policy, in case you run into any issues.
According to Airbnb, there are 2 million people that stay in homes on Airbnb across 100,000 cities all around the world.
Airbnb vs. hotels
If you’re looking for an alternative to a hotel, Airbnb is an excellent option because it’s a trusted company, and a great way to make the most of travel, while spending less.
It’s also better for larger groups because you can rent an entire home and have your own space. The cost of renting an entire home and splitting it among a group is lower than each person booking a room at a hotel.
Another instance where it’s a better choice is if you prefer to prepare your own meals instead of eating out at a restaurant. Most places will have a refrigerator and a kitchen.
However, there are times where a hotel is a better option. Hotels offer amenities and services that Airbnb doesn’t. It’s also a better choice if you want a luxury stay, or to be in a better location.
How to book a stay
Took book a stay, you’ll enter a location, check-in and check-out dates, and the number of guests.
Then, it’ll show you all of the listings and a map. From there, you can filter the listings by the type of place, price, amenities, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and other features that you’re looking for.
Once you’ve found the right place, it’ll break down the cost and allow you to make your reservation. In most cases, the host will need to approve your reservation to finalize the stay.
Use the following tool from Airbnb to book your next stay:
When you’re booking a stay, the host will have a preferred way of booking. Some offer Instant Book, which means the host doesn’t need to approve each reservation.
Others prefer the request to book method, which gives the host 24 hours to accept your request. Once approved, you’ll be charged in full for the reservation.
If you contact the host before you try to book a reservation, they may invite you with a pre-approval or special offer. This can include special pricing, dates, or other features.
Tips for booking an Airbnb
Use the following tips for booking the best accommodation possible:
- Define what matters to you. Figure out what you’re looking for in a place, so you can narrow your search by using the filters.
- Book early. If you find a place that you like, book it as early. Unlike hotels, there aren’t many rooms that are available in the same building.
- Read the positive and negative reviews. Make sure you read reviews from both sides. This is a great way to learn from the experience of others.
- Message the host. Reach out to the host to answer a couple of your questions. It’s also a great way to see how professional the host is, and how they treat potential guests.
- Understand the cancellation policy. If you need to cancel, understand what the policy is, and how you’ll go about it.
How to cancel a reservation
If you need to cancel your reservation, take the following steps:
- Login to your Airbnb account.
- Go to Trips and click on the trip that you want to cancel.
- Click Show Details.
- Click Change or Cancel.
- Click Cancel Reservation.
- Check your email for the confirmation of cancellation from Airbnb.
Before you finalize the cancellation, you’ll see how much money you’ll get back and the reason. It also takes into consideration the cancellation policy.
Frequently asked questions
Overall, Airbnb is safe. Guests and hosts must provide identification and verify their phone number ahead of time. However, it’s important to do a safety check, keep communication on Airbnb, and read reviews from others.
You can pay with a debit card, credit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, or by using Airbnb credits.
Yes, if you want to make a reservation that’s longer than 28 nights, you’ll pay monthly.
Yes, VRBO, Booking.com, HomeAway, Homestay, Vacasa, and TripAdvisor Rentals are competitors.
Airbnb is an excellent way to save money on lodging and dining when you travel. With many options across the globe, you’ll be able to spend less and explore more.
Featured image by David Em/Nola and Luna Travel.