Travel teaches tolerance! And travelling to foreign lands magnifies all human emotions. Staying at AirBnbs experiencing the unknown on your own certainly add to this solo adventurous experience. Doubts, insecurities and questions about whether you are making the right choices or not. The call to believe in your own compass and gut feelings. All these decisions that need to be made before a trip can very much be of a pressure especially when travelling solo. Because once you clicked on the pay button, you have to take heart to whatever awaits you next. Travelling is a form of self education.
I opted to experience an AirBnb over a hotel stay for my first solo trip to London last December. It is exciting and terrifying both at the same time. However I was lucky (maybe) enough to have had very welcoming and supportive hosts. Since Airbnb’s introduced itself back in 2008 , many more travellers now choose this means of accommodation to live the foreign land life from a local perspective. Airbnb’s help you to blend better into the authentic life of a different city by meeting with locals and sometimes by sharing their everyday life. And sometimes along this beautiful journey you find yourself coming back home with new friends made and who knows they can even become family later on.
Allow me to guide you from my recent travel experiences. Remember don’t let fear stops you from travelling! The process of booking your own Airbnb stay is quite simple even if at first it does look tricky. The best approach before anything would be to read, browse and understand the website first. You can also start by taking a look at the Help Section where most of your questions in mind can be answered. It covers everything you need to know from payments to how to book your trip.
If you haven’t yet register yourself to Airbnb, I would suggest you to do so in oder to understand better how the platform works. Kindly use this link to register yourself through to benefit from a discount on your first booking at checkout.
5 practical guides to booking your way to a beautiful AirBnb encounter :
- Always check whether the listings are from Verified / SuperHosts
You are required to verify yourself on the platform before beginning with any process. Because this helps even out a relationship of trust and security from both parties. Some personal details will be required from your end, such as phone number , email address and a government ID ( passport ID ) to secure your account.From thereon, it should be pretty easy to get your booking though as guest from any host you wish to book at.
Superhosts are experienced hosts who provide a shining example for other hosts, and extraordinary experiences for their guests in terms of services/amenities. Superhosts’ activities/presence are checked four times a year, to ensure that the program highlights the people who are most dedicated to providing outstanding hospitality. Hosts can only gain Superhost status by receiving a 5 star review at least 80% of the time, maintained a 90% or more response rate. So you can feel safe knowing that everything is always under correct terms and regulations.
- Browse through the photos and try the filters if you are on a certain Budget
Photos are everything nowadays I guess. I mean that is the very first thing that anyone would actually look up into before diving into anything lately. So always look at the images aligned with the hosts proposals. I always spend hours and hours browsing through the images and most importantly going by how it feels while scrolling through.You must have the confidence really to make the bold jump! One peculiar habit of mine every time I am searching new listings is to head straight the bathroom and toilets place. I really based myself on this very first impression before booking any place. The advantage with Airbnb’s is most of these places can provide better comfort at a lower price compared to hotels.Even if you are constricted to a certain budget, there is something for everyone really. By making use of the filters bar provided, you can adjust and choose the preferences you would like to experience at your stay. To be honest, my top most requirement has always been an open kitchen space so that I can cook home food from time to time. It helps feel at home away from home especially after a long day walking the streets. There are further options to choose from that are available really , for example price range , private rooms , shared rooms , patio , parking space etc.
- Read Reviews – recommended
Reviews are the ultimate guide to understanding more about your desired place of stay and should not be ignored. That should be the next to consider after the pictures to be honest. And if you can read through everything, it is even better. I normally spend a lot of weeks scanning reviews, pictures and listings on AirBnb months before I book my trip anywhere.Normally each guests is being asked to leave a review at the end of their stay so that it helps others to have a better idea of the place. They are usually unsolicited reviews but it is always nice to show appreciation and gratitude towards the person who shared their home with you. So always check the reviews and ratings also to make sure you know where you are going.
- Message the Host – Get Familiar and Ask Questions about Neighbourhood
Prior to booking any listing, you have an option where you can contact the host to clear out any doubt or question you might have. It is advised to always keep all the conversations to the host via AirBnb only. Even for payment transactions because if anything misfortunate happens, the matter can always be regulated or take care by the AirBnb Inc itself.
Everything is pretty standard and guided on the website to be honest. I love how you get to understand more about the neighbourhood listed by hosts. Some provide detailed guidance to the facilities & shops around and how to get to certain places from your current location of stay. It is of great insights because it helps you to calculate the amount of time that you are going to spend on travelling around daily.
- Cancellation Policy
One of the key factors that play a variable role prior to your booking is the Cancellation Policy . A thorough understanding of the implications it has upon your booking is very much needed. Because it helps you understand the flexibility that is being provided from the hosts when it comes to cancellation and refunds. Airbnb allows you to choose among three cancellation policies , i.e Flexible, Moderate, and Strict prior to a booking.As much as you can, limit yourself from cancelling unless something unforeseen came up. Plan everything properly and understand of how things work on the platform before deciding such action. Just trust that you made the right choice in booking that desired place.
I hope that you are now more confident when it comes to choosing AirBnb’s versus a hotel stay. If you have a dream, you have responsibility to yourself to make it come true. Because if not, you are just a Dreamer! So go confidently towards the desires of your heart and dare the odds. Brace the uncertainty and allow life to surprise you! Do not hesitate to write to me if ever you need more insights on the above.