Airbnb? What's that? I know that was my first reaction when hearing about the website. For those of you interested in travelling, but always find hotels are ridiculously expensive, you may find that Airbnb is your way to go for an inexpensive yet pleasurable experience at your next go to travel destination. Airbnb's are homeowner's property listings that appear on a specific website, awaiting the stay from a fellow wanderer. Home owners (hosts) offer up their home at a certain price, that usually beats out prices that hotels amplify. Usually, the price point is easy on the budget, again it is all about siftering through and finding a place that suits you.
Website excerpt; "A marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 65,000 cities and 191 countries."
Seeing as I was a new time home (borrower), I was both skeptical and nervous while searching for a place that would suit my needs. Below is my firsthand experience and a few tips and tricks I learned along the way. I was so happy with our homeowner and will definitely be returning to this hideaway in the heart of Venice Beach, Los Angeles. If you are new to the website, a little unsure or in need of some guidance, read the list of helpful hints below. I always find it beneficial to ask a friend of their experiences before finalizing my own, had I known of these tricks, I could have avoided some miniscule stress! Hopefully, these tips will help you with your next Airbnb travel finds.
Try and book your Airbnb a little in advance. I looked into our placeonly a week before hand (cue in the stress and anxiety). When you look for a place ahead of time, you can focus all your attention on other aspects of your trip.
When setting up your Airbnb profile, you MUST provide the site with a valid passport and/or drivers licence. Since you are staying at a person’s home, they need to be cautious just as much as you need to be. For safety purposes, a government official ID is required.
INPUT YOUR SPECIFIC DATES IN THE SEARCH BAR. Your prices vary depending on stay, night and other minor changes will alter a price point. You could get excited on a specific place and stay but they will be unavailable, or at an unexpected price. Put in all the details you have/know to be as accurate as possible.
Ensure your location. Having never been to LA before, we decided on a location nearby Santa Monica, only 10 minutes walking distance from Venice Beach. You must first and foremost decide on what is your prime and ideal location is. Do you prefer being in the city more for night life, or to be a boardwalk beach babe? Choose a varying location and hit it up in your search bar.
Read up on the person who's house you are staying at. Learn about them and their requirements. What do they ask of you, find out about them, if they are presently living there, if you are sharing the space...etc.
Allergens and specifications. Most home owners respond very quickly to your questions. I lucked out with Emily who made our journey easier. Olivia is severely allergic to cats; our home owner did have cats in her portion of the house. Thankfully, Olivia only felt the minor repercussions on our VERY last night. Be sure to ask questions like these before hand... a few examples are - are pets allowed? - are towels provided or any toiletries? - do you own pets? - do you provide guests with wifi? etc...also reading the bio’s amenities can help clear up a few Q's your may have before hand.
Be sure to read carefully, by lines, deposits, cleaning fees, what the owner prefers in terms of shoes in the house, etc. The home may have parking, heating, AC or they may not. See what comes with the home and if anything doesn’t meet your requirement, send out a message to owner, perhaps accommodations can be made, or perhaps a heating lamp IS provided. Send out a message and if the owner cannot meet your needs, move onto the next home entirely. For those party animals, house parties are usually prohibited. Thankfully, we just wanted a cozy place to crash, I loved the aesthetics in particular. You either stay for the location, amenities, or aesthetics...we lucked out with all three.
Our trip was one for the books, and hopefully these hints will help you prepare for your future trips. If any of you have any travel or Airbnb questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. You will be seeing a lot more of my travel escapades from blogs to come. Below are a few snapshots of our Airbnb from my Cannon Rebel T3i! I was very happy with our choice in stay and loved every part of our vacation...including the eye patch (a story for another time).
Happy house hunting friends! I love you all! Ps. I also adore blogging on rainy weather days.