Image Credits: Pixabay.
Airbnb made possible what it seemed to be, if not impossible, quite hard to achieve. That is, feeling at home while on holiday.
If this is the very first time you hear about them – in which case I should ask you where have you been so far, but I will desist 😉 – Airbnb is a hospitality service. It allows people to rent short-term accommodations of several kinds anywhere in the world. They are mostly apartments but, as the name itself suggests, you can also book rooms in B&B, as well as villas, yacht and even tree houses!
It is not the first website offering such a service. However, it is definitively the first one to reach an A-level status. They won the Glassdoor’s Employee Choice Awards in 2015 for the Best Place To Work – overtaking Google. In addition, in 2017 they began to offer fantastic Trip Experiences everywhere.
The best part? There is a place within everyone’s means!
Therefore, if you are wondering how to find the perfect accommodation with Airbnb, please keep reading.
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Airbnb’s website is rather intuitive, yet you may need a little bit of practice to get the best results. Let’s start by writing our desired destination in the search section. In my case, I write Paris.
Now I need to select the dates of my trip. I choose a whole week in February 2018: first the arrival date and then the departure date. A click on Apply and the selection of my dates is completed.
Next, I have to tell Airbnb how many people will be part of this trip. In my case, it’s just 2. I click on the + next to the Adults option until I see the number 2, and then I click again on Apply.
I can now choose what I am interested in. There are 3 options: Homes, Experiences and Places. I click on Homes because I am searching for an accommodation.
Choosing Homes enables me to make more selections. I check the Entire Home because is what I am seeking. The other 2 options here are Private room and Shared room. The latter is quite immediate. Private room is particularly useful if you are looking for a room in a B&B. It means that you will have your own room but you will share the rest of the house with other people.
If you don’t want to exceed your ideal budget, the chance to decide on the price range is really helpful. I set the range up to € 181,00. Please, don’t ask me why is € 181,00 and not € 180,00: for some reason, I can’t see € 180,00, no idea why!
My intention is to narrow down the search a little more by checking more options under the Filters menu. Many people skip this move, but I think is a primary step if you want to score the ideal home for your holidays and to avoid bad surprises. From the section Amenities, I decide to check Heating – my trip is in February, hence is necessary –WiFi – because I can’t live without it! – and Elevator.
Note: If you are wondering the reason for the Elevator, it’s quite simple. I am not the strongest person and dragging my – acknowledgedly heavy – luggage up to several stairs is not something I am looking forward to. It could not be the case in Paris, but I still remember my attempt to find an apartment in Amsterdam, where many houses are narrow and all stairs. Huge stairs. And I am not that young anymore. 😉
In my opinion, Neighbourhoods is one of the best Airbnb’s filters. If you want to make sure your home is in one of your favourite neighbourhoods, you just need to check them one by one.
And now, it’s finally the time to check the homes, yay! On the left, you will see the photos of each home hosted on Airbnb, according to the filters you already picked. On the right, a map of the city of Paris shows the same homes and where they are located. By clicking on the prices, a preview of the related home will show up.
On the map, you can either check Search as I move the map, if you’d rather find the homes this way, or leave it unchecked.
I did zoom in on the map and I found interesting homes close to Metro station on the Champs Elyseés.
I want to find out more about one particular home, so I click on it. However, because I don’t want to risk losing the research I made so far, I right click on the link to open it on a new page.
Now I can see an in-depth description of the house, I can learn a little bit more about the host and I can see a quick recap of the amenities and costs.
Under the recap, you can also save the apartment on a wish list, by simply clicking on the little heart. You can either choose to create a new wish list or saving the home in an existing one. You will find more information about Airbnb’s wish lists at the end of the tutorial.
Now it’s time to carefully read the cancellation terms and the reviews, if any. Please, never skip this step. I do really believe they’re both essential if we don’t want to end up disappointed in any way.
Note: Of course, if the house you are considering is new, it will not have any review. That’s when the images get into play. More on that later.
To make sure I like this home, I click on the gallery above and see each photo. Yes, I do this every. single. time. The reasons could be obvious, but I will explain them anyway. First of all, the images show the actual house, which is the first step to find out if I like it enough to proceed with the booking. Secondly, and this is even more important, they are in my opinion indispensable if it’s a new listing – thus, there are no reviews yet – or if I want to detect any flaw or particular that may persuade me to give up and search for another home. For example, I hate showers that do not have shower trays. And no, I am not talking about those modern, often elegant showers closed by chic glasses that you can now find in most hotels. I mean those showers with a simple hole in the ground and the water reaching consequentially every corner of the floor. In the past, checking the photos carefully is what helped me to avoid these bathrooms. So please, always check the gallery!
Ok, I am fine with this house and I want to proceed with the booking. I click on the Book red button and a new page will show up. This is where I can see the summary of my booking and where I will send the message to the host in order to formalise it. And… it’s done!
Ok… but why should I create a wish list in Airbnb?
There are multiple reasons why you should create wish lists. First, they will help you A LOT to track all the beautiful homes you find all around the world. Second, you can search for the availability of all the houses you saved, simultaneously. How? Go to your account dashboard and click on View Profile.
You will see a few of your wish lists. Click on See All and pick the wish list you are interested in. You will now see the saved houses on the left and a map on the right.
Now click on the little pencil on the top left and you will be able to choose your dates. By applying these settings, Airbnb will show you the availability of the homes you saved on your lists in the dates you selected.
And you? Have you ever used Airbnb? Do you have any good tip to share? Please add your comment in below section!