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  • 10 Things to Consider When Booking an Airbnb

    Vacation home rental services have become increasingly popular over the course of the past decade, and for good reason. Staying in a vacation rental allows travelers to have more freedom and space than they would in a hotel, and more times than not, vacation rental homes are a better bang for your buck. Possibly the best part about opting to stay at a vacation rental? There are many websites out there that allow you to search through thousands of homes online and book your dream rental within mere minutes, with VRBO and Airbnb being two of the most popular. 

    Before you begin looking for your perfect vacation rental, there are a few things that you’ll want to make sure that you consider, that you may not have previously thought of. 

    From reading past reviews to staying within your budget – read on to see what made our top 10:

    1. Take Advantage of Filters: When looking to book your vacation rental on Airbnb, take advantage of the filter feature. This feature allows you to weed out certain properties that may not meet up to your standards or homes that aren’t within your budget. You can use filters to search for properties by price, by the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, property type, included amenities, neighborhoods, and more.
    1. Read Past Reviews: As you’re looking at potential vacation rental properties, be sure to look at the number of reviews, the average rating of all of the reviews, and actually read through most or all of the reviews. This will help you get a better sense of what previous travelers liked and disliked about the property, which can help you make the right decision. 
    1. Look Closely at the Quality of the Photos: Take a close look at each of the listing’s photos before deciding to book. Keep an eye out for things such as blurry photos that may be hiding key details/features of the property, photos that are zoomed in really close or ones that are taken really far away, and most importantly, make sure that the photos match up with the description of the property.
    1. Keep in Mind Your Desired Amenities: Vacation rentals all come with different types of amenities. If you have specific amenities in mind that you’d like to see in your ideal property, the filter feature will come in handy. You can select your desired amenities from a large list (this may include items such as wifi, air conditioning, a beachfront property, etc.), and Airbnb will show you all of the properties that contain most or all of the amenities that you’ve selected.
    1. Stay Within Your Budget: One of our favorite things about staying at a rental property is that it’s typically more economical than staying at a hotel or resort. But many times when you begin to search through the properties on Airbnb, it’s easy to start looking at homes that are out of your budget. To ensure that you’re looking at properties that are within your budget, use the property pricing tool to set your desired price range. 
    1. Be Wary of Extra Cleaning Fees: Be wary of some properties adding in pricy cleaning fees during checkout. Though it’s always great to stay somewhere that is in pristine condition, you may forget to account for these extra cleaning costs and could potentially end up going over your allotted vacation spending budget. Just be sure to double check the total cost before hitting that “reserve property” button.
    1. Research the Neighborhood: You’ve done a fair amount of research on a home, made sure that it has all of your desired amenities, and it’s even within your budget, but once you arrive at your property, you come to find that it’s not in the best of neighborhoods. Now what? Luckily, this can all be avoided simply by doing your research on the neighborhood that a property is in. You’ll want to make sure that the crime rate isn’t high and that the property is at least within driving distance to nearby stores and attractions.
    1. Consider a Superhost: If it’s your first time booking a vacation rental on a website like Airbnb, you may want to consider staying at a “superhost property”. These properties are run by hosts who are verified by Airbnb as superhosts, which means that they must have a 4.8 rating or higher on their listing, they have completed at least 10 stays in the past year, they have cancelled less than 1% of their reservations, and they respond to 90% of new messages within 24 hours. Basically, you’re almost guaranteed to have a positive experience while staying at a superhost property.  
    1. Check Any Cancellation Policies: The cancellation policies on Airbnb typically vary from property to property. Some have only non-refundable pricing that you can select, while others may have fully refundable pricing. It’s important to look into what your desired property’s cancellation property is before booking, in order to make sure that you don’t end up losing any money. 
    2. Voice Any Questions or Concerns: While looking through potential listings, if you have any questions or concerns about a property, just ask! Contact the host of the property, and more than likely, they’ll be happy to ease your mind by answering your questions and/or concerns. At the end of the day, you’re better off knowing exactly what you’re getting yourself into ahead of time, rather than being caught off guard once you arrive.

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