If right now you're feeling how I did before my first Airbnb stay, you might feel anxious, nervous, and have a lot of questions. You might be thinking: What do I do if the Airbnb is nothing like the listing describe? What if I have to find another place to stay last minute? What if the place gets broken into? What if the Airbnb owner is crazy? What if the key doesn't work?
First: calm down. We're here to give you all of the tips and advice you need before you book to make sure you have an awesome experience.
I, Gabby, am a digital nomad, which means I travel the world full-time and work from my laptop. In 2021 alone I stayed in more than 30+ Airbnbs as a solo female traveler. I can't even guess how many I've stayed in total in my life. But the point is, I have the tips you need to rock your Airbnb stay.
Before your Airbnb stay: ask the right questions
Read past Airbnb stay reviews.
Read the reviews on Airbnb, usually at the bottom page of the listing. They're usually pretty accurate to what you can expect your experience to be like, and will help you make sure you know exactly what you're getting yourself into.
If it's your first time staying at an Airbnb make sure you'll be comfortable—whether that means choosing an Airbnb where the host still lives there, where you'll be alone, or one that's in a busy part of the city.
Get in contact with the host
Before any Airbnb stay there are some essential questions to ask your Airbnb host. By doing this you can see how responsive they are/will be, establish a little bit of a relationship before your stay, and sus out any red flag
And remember, they're humans too—they're probably just as cautious as you are!
So this is also a great time to ask any clarifying questions you had about your stay. Is there a microwave? A laundry room? Laundry room as in machine washers, or handwashing station? These little details are definitely the things you should find out before you arrive.Those horror stories are few and far between… but just in case. Click To Tweet
Always have an Airbnb Plan B
Things happen. And particularly ridiculous things happen when you travel. Natural disasters, family emergencies, power outages, etc. It's always good to have the contact of a friend in the area or have another accommodation ready in case things go left.
💡 It's always a good idea to have travel insurance in case you need it–for travel health insurance, we recommend Safety Wing.
What to bring with you to an Airbnb:
By reading the Airbnb description and asking Airbnb owner, you should know this pretty quick. I've never been required to bring anything to my Airbnb, but the Airbnb description, it will tell you if the host provides anything you may need.
If it doesn't explicitly say so, or if the listing says they absolutely do not provide toiletries, I would expect to buy: shampoo, conditioner, soaps, toilet paper, food, etc.
When you arrive at the Airbnb:
Scope it out.
This is easy because the place will either be a cesspool that looks absolutely nothing like the pictures and you'll run, or it'll be even better than you imagined and you'll heave a huge sigh of relief. Check for any deal breakers like bed bugs, stray dogs, or oddly big teddy bears with camera-eyes. The usual. I'm just joking, all of those things are extremely rare.
But damaged locks or windows, internet or power outages, or an inaccurate Airbnb listing are much more possible, so do a thorough walkthrough.
If all is well:
Greet your host warmly if they're there. You're a guest in their home/rental property. If they aren't there, send them a message anyway to keep them updated.
If all is… not well.
If you're unsatisfied and can talk to your host, do so. If it's already past the point of no return, contact your Plan B, and don't be afraid to contact Airbnb. Get your money back, and save the next traveler the hassle by leaving a specific review.
If you're at this point you've chosen the scenario where all is well. Fantastic! With an estimated 500,000 AirBnb stays every night of the year, you can rest assured that yours is likely to go very smoothly.
Tips during your Airbnb stay
Keep communication up
If the Wi-Fi stops working, message your Airbnb host. If you have a safety concern or question about amenities, message your Airbnb host. If you simply want recommendations of things to do around the city or ask which part of town is safe at night to walk alone, message your Airbnb host.
Whether or not you actually need them face-to-face, they are still your host! And to ensure a good experience on your part in a higher rating for themselves, I guarantee 99% of hosts will excitedly exist to you no matter the request.
Always keep your keys on you
Always keep your keys in a zipped travel pouch, your wallet, etc. somewhere they won't get lost or fall out. You do not want to be waking your AirBnb host up ringing the doorbell after a night of drinking because you couldn't find them at Senor Frogs.
Also, cha-ching—$100 or more to replace their locks!
Keep travel locks on your bags.
I'm not a distrustful person, I just know Murphey's Law way too well. I always keep suitcase locks on any bags I leave in an AirBnb—my backpacks, my suitcase, my travel journal (no peeking!) just to deter wandering hands.
💡 Read up on some more travel safety tips every vacationer needs to know.
Aw, your trip is over. You've spent way too much money, you're tired, and you've got the text saying your dog has torn up your mom's couch pillow one too many times. It's time to go! So…
When you leave your Airbnb:
Come on, don't be that guy. I don't care if you paid a cleaning fee, at least collect all your beer cans and snack bags into the trash and make it look relatively clean. Always be respectful.
Leave an honest review on Airbnb
Help the next traveler, again, we're all one family. Was it exactly as it was described? Was it is even better? Get yourself some good karma and leave a quick review. Did you really have an exceptional stay? I've heard of gracious guests leaving a nice card or even a bottle of wine for their hosts.
Do you hear Airbnb horror stories? Of course.
Do you hear surfing horror stories? Of course Do people still surf? Of course.
Should you still give AirBnB a try? You tell me!
Here are a few contact types to try:
+ 1(844) 234-2500 – Airbnb Customer Service
+1 (855) 424-7262 – Airbnb Customer Service
+1 (855) 635-7754 – Airbnb Neighborhood Support Team.
Request that Airbnb call you
How was your first Airbnb experience? Was it a home run, or a hit and run? And if you haven't stayed at an Airbnb yet, what reservations do you have? Let's get talking in the comments.