Tips for Choosing a Great AirBnB

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I've written about my love for AirBnB several times here and my search for more beautiful apartments continues, as I'm looking to book a place for a night in NYC and later this summer an apartment for my visiting in-laws in Vilnius. In searching for our past apartments J and I (he is the AirBnB apartment finding king!) we've learned a few tips and tricks for booking fabulous apartments that truly do make our vacation that much more special.

Before actually going onto AirBnB J and I think carefully about what we want from our accommodation. Do we want to be near restaurants or do we plan on cooking in the apartment? Do we want to be outside of the city or close to sites that we want to see? We also look for apartments that have WiFi and are close to public transportation. So, before checking out AirBnB think about what are are looking for.



Tip 1: Picking a location that suits your travel plans is essential to enjoying the apartment. We look for apartments that are near things we'd love to see, but we've also learned to pick apartments slightly away from popular locations as those can be loud. For example, we stayed in an apartment in Budapest at the famous Gozsdu Court, which ended up being so loud that we barely got any sleep during our entire trip. This was obviously a booking fail on our part - but can be avoided by carefully researching different locations. On the other hand, we stayed in a fabulous apartment in the Marais District in Paris. The subway was nearby to get us to other areas of Paris and the neighborhood was full of shops and delicious restaurants.





Tip 2: Photos are so important when choosing an AirBnB. We look to choose apartments that are comfortable, clean, and look secure. It is a deal-breaker when AirBnB hosts don't provide sufficient photos of an apartment. No way will I rent somewhere without being able to see a photo of the bathroom or bedroom!

A small but wonderful apartment in Copenhagen




Tip 3: Reviews are important when choosing an AirBnB that fits what you are looking for. Reviews can make or break the success of an apartment and we won't stay in apartments that have bad reviews. We also avoid staying in apartments without reviews; however, our favorite AirBnB yet didn't have any reviews, so this can't always be a deal-breaker. Also, we've found that AirBnB apartments that are owned by a company are less homey and are often missing essential items because no one has actually lived in the apartment before.



*The photos above are from actual AirBnB apartments that we've stayed in.

Do you have any other tips for finding apartments on AirBnB?

6 comments:

  1. Great tips! I've wanted to try airbnb but have been too nervous. Maybe we will give it a try this summer for our anniversary trip.

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    1. If you do give it a try let me know how it goes! I've only used it once in the US, but turned out wonderfully. I hope that you have a great experience!

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  2. We spent HOURS looking for the right apartment in SF. It didn't turn out to be the best decision we ever made, but I can totally agree with all you say here. We might not ever book with AirBnB again though. Maybe if we travel without the baby, or when he's older.

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    1. I remember reading your post about the apartment in SF. It can be really hard to find the right place and I think is partially based on luck. We are going to try it in the fall with the baby, but I think we will have to be much pickier than usual.

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  3. I'm impressed with your AirBnB finds! We've only done a few and they've been hit and miss for sure... particularly the one where we arrived into a freezing Boston to find the pipes had frozen and our toilet was blocked lol sometimes you just gotta laugh at these things!

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    1. We would have been so upset by a place like that in Boston! (Actually that sounds like so many of the problem my sister had with her own apartment in Boston...) Were you able to contact AirBnB and get your money back?

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