Stepping off the traditional path of staying at a hotel can be scary at first but well worth the stories and memories created when traveling. It’s actually the perfect time to venture off the beaten path and right into the heart of the community you’re visiting. Here are our best tips for finding the cheapest and most memorable Airbnbs
1. The Map Tool Is Your New Best Friend
Airbnb has a great map feature that lets you explore your destination before you even set foot in the city. Like with google maps, all you do is click and drag the map to move it around — wherever you stop, the available listings and prices will appear. If you’re traveling soon, look for listings with the lightning-bolt symbol, which means they’re available for instant booking so you won’t have to wait for your host to approve the request at the other end.
2. Know Your Price Range
You’re in control here. The map can get cluttered, especially in big cities that have tens of thousands of listings. Figure out what you’re willing to pay so you don’t have to sort through every listing by hand. If you have any other requirements, like a private room or multiple beds, now is the time to add those filters as well. All of these preferences can be easily plugged into the search bar on Airbnb
3. Figure out Which Part of the City You Want to Stay In
This is a great excuse to start planning the rest of your vacation. I like to first know what my activities will be during my trip and plan my accommodations accordingly. When visiting some place new I enjoy being within walking distance of all things that day to day locals utilize. Waking up in a neighborhood a block from a highly rated coffee shop, boutique food market, or yoga studio I can drop into is my favorite way to get immersed in a new location.
4. Read the Reviews and Rules Carefully
Reviews will give you a good foundation for what people thought about the place you are interested in booking. It is a credible source as these are people just like you. The more reviews a listing has the more experienced the homeowner is at hosting and thus the more likely you are to have a pleasurable stay.
Likewise, reading the rules and other information thoroughly is important. It will often spell out the imperfections of the property, perhaps you can hear the neighbors through your wall or the property is difficult to find. This happened to me recently while traveling to a luxury hideout in Banamichi, a small village in the middle of nowhere Mexico. If I would have read the instructions well, I would have known the detailed directions to reaching the property instead of following the not always so reliable google maps that missed a turn costing me an hour of back tracking.
5. Keep an Eye out for Unique Listings
It’s easy to pick the first room with a bed that meets your needs, but if you keep looking, you might find something really special. I always like returning to office Monday morning with a “you’re not going to believe where I stayed this weekend.”
Don’t shy away from the opportunity to integrate into the local community. The greatest benefit Airbnb offers over a hotel is that your hosts double as personal guides to a new city. Utilize their suggestions when you’re deciding what to eat, where to go and how to get around. They’ll clue you in to the hidden gems of their hometown that