17 Airbnb Tricks Essential To Get The Most Out of it

We have been using Airbnb for many years and alternating accommodations in apartments or private rooms with hotel reservations. At this point, I have decided to write these 17 tips that I hope will help you and dispel all the doubts you may have about Airbnb.

Airbnb is a platform that offers accommodation for almost any traveler…from something very cheap to share to group or luxury reservations in spectacular houses. But every advantage comes with its risk and below I explain my tricks to avoid disappointment. Some tricks may seem very simple to you, but knowing them will prevent you from ending up with an unpleasant experience. Come on!

1. If you are New to Airbnb, Look for a Discount!

The first tip is aimed at users who do not yet have an Airbnb account. The friend referral program of this platform is well known in which if you register with the invitation of another user you receive a discount for your first reservation. You can register here to get your discount of up to €40 on accommodation and €10 on experiences.

2. “Verified” is not just any word:

When we look for accommodation we must keep this in mind: what is Airbnb? It is not a hotel chain, they do not have properties. They are a platform that connects individuals or companies with travelers. That is, they act as intermediaries but anyone can place an “ad.” That is why we must look for users who are verified. Airbnb is responsible for verifying members of the platform, requesting a scanned copy of your ID, checking your social networks, and verifying with a call or sending an SMS to your phone number. If you want extra quality, look for places with the Plus or Superhost label. Superhosts are experienced hosts with excellent ratings. Airbnb Plus Verifications are properties that have better than average ratings (over 4.8) and are verified through an in-person quality inspection to ensure they offer great quality and design.

  • Extra Tip: Analyze the host’s page (by clicking on their image). In their file, we will see their registration date, if their identity is verified if they have “Superhost” medals and the description they make of themselves along with the languages ​​they speak. We can also see if they have other properties for rent and the reviews of other travelers on their profiles. Finally, we will see their “Response Rate”, if it is 100% it means that they respond to all messages quickly (which is ideal). All this information is gold to analyze if they are good hosts.

3. Don’t get obsessed with the Center / Bet on someone Local:

When booking accommodation in a city, consider peripheral or alternative neighborhoods. Everyone knows that vacation rentals contribute to the gentrification of city centers. I suggest you book in other neighborhoods to avoid that and they are also cheaper!! This way we know areas that we would not otherwise know. For example, when I went to Berlin I stayed in a very local neighborhood outside the center but with a tram next to it. It was a great experience. Additionally, it is always advisable to choose a local host, if possible, not a company with dozens of apartments but rather someone local who will give you lots of advice about the destination city…restaurants, bars, etc…

4. Read the worst Opinion before the best:

The key to making Airbnb work is trust. They achieve this with the reviews of the accommodations. Every comment a traveler leaves after a stay has a lot of value for the next guest. In the early days of Airbnb, there were many properties without reviews, and it was riskier to book. Now almost all of them have reviews so it’s easier. We must read several comments and to save time start with the negative comments…once you know the worst about the property you know what to expect from the rest… Sometimes the negative comments are unimportant details and other times they are not. There is the key.

5. New Hosts with 0 Comments: a risk to consider

This point is somewhat controversial because it can go very well or very badly. Both things have happened to me. New hosts usually have better prices to encourage bookings and start getting good traveler reviews. On the other hand, it is not advisable to book accommodation without any rating. At this point, you must see if the risk is worth it or not. The move worked out very well for me in Rio de Janeiro, a host with no reviews offered a very cheap apartment for the area, it was next to the legendary Copacabana Palace Hotel! and with views of the beach, a true Low-cost luxury! The negative side? an accommodation in Venice…I ended up staying only one night and booking another place…

6. Haggle the Price (Especially for long stays)

“He who does not cry does not suck” is the typical phrase that we can apply here perfectly… it never hurts to ask our host for a discount. Didn’t you know it’s possible? Remember that the price of each apartment is set by the host at will…that is, they can also change it. They are not fixed prices! Important: you must do this before making the reservation. Airbnb gives us the option to talk to the host before booking. The success rate is relative…it will all depend on luck and the number of messages we send. It is clear that if we make a long stay of 2 or more weeks it is more likely that the price will be reduced than if we stay only one night, keep that in mind! In this post, I explain in detail the entire process of doing it:

7. Take a good look at the Cancellation Policies

Before booking we must know the accommodation’s cancellation policies. This is especially important on trips that you plan well in advance. If it is a trip for now, it is unlikely that you will have to cancel it… Airbnb has a Flexible, Moderate, or Strict cancellation policy (and for long stays). The idea is to always get an accommodation with a flexible policy since if we cancel up to 24 hours before arrival we will have a refund of the entire amount. You can see all Airbnb cancellation policies here

8. One more day can give you a good Discount:

If you do not have to travel on a specific date, keep in mind that in many cases there is a good price difference if you rent for 6 days or 7 days. Airbnb gives hosts the option to give discounts for long stays, from a week or more. This is why sometimes if we select 7 days we get an automatic discount when booking (also if you put 15 instead of 14…etc) Keep this in mind!

9. If your reservation is canceled, it is not the end of the world!:

If the host cancels our reservation, it puts us in a difficult situation (especially if there are only a few days left before the trip). Cancellations are something that happens even in the hotel world… it has also happened to me with a hotel on Booking and you can see my experience in this post. According to Airbnb policy: If the host cancels within 24 hours of your arrival, they will help you reserve accommodation of equal or higher quality, or they will refund 100% of the amount you paid if you prefer. If they cancel within more than 24 hours, they will still refund your money and may offer you some compensation as happened to me (see next post). Here I explain my experience in a reservation cancellation situation in which I was offered a discount voucher for a new reservation. Over time Airbnb may have changed its policies and right now I don’t know if they offer bonuses with money as compensation but it doesn’t hurt to know how to act if this happens to you. You can read more here:

10. Use Filters and “Immediate Booking” to save time:

Airbnb has different types of properties. It can be an entire accommodation, a room, or a shared room. Use the filters to select only what you are looking for, as well as the number of people. Use the “Immediate booking” selection if you want to save time and your profile allows it. Airbnb generally works in a way that we send a request to the owner and we have to wait for them to accept our stay. The “Immediate reservation” selection skips this process and the accommodation is reserved at the same time, you have to meet certain requirements to access it.

11. Airbnb is not just Accommodation, it is also Experiences!

For some time now, Airbnb is no longer just an accommodation platform but we also find the most curious activities and experiences, some of which are very affordable. These activities can help you get to know more about the local people in the city you visit or to rediscover your city. On this map, you can see some of the experiences we find in Spain, expand the map to see all the activities or access the map here

12. Be precise with your arrival time, communicate!

This point is important. Airbnb accommodations are not hotels, they do not have a 24-hour reception. It is important to contact the host a couple of days before arriving and follow their “house rules” that indicate arrival times. On the same day of the trip, send another message to the host as a reminder. In my experience, there may be misunderstandings about the arrival time at a property, which can lead to having to wait a long time to get into the apartment. Be sure to message the host if you are delayed both through Airbnb and WhatsApp.

13. Taking Photos never hurts:

This is a tip that has a certain logic but that I always forget to follow… it doesn’t hurt to take photos of the accommodation when arriving and leaving. If there is a problem you will always have some type of graphical test. If there is something wrong upon arrival, such as excessive dirt, they will ask you to take photos to send to Airbnb in case of a complaint.

14. What if a Reservation with Airbnb is not what was expected?

It must be admitted that booking with Airbnb can go wrong… It is something that I believe happens less and less but it can happen… If any of the setbacks included in the general conditions arise during your stay, always contact Airbnb and they will issue a partial refund or find you another accommodation, depending on what the problem is. (Some examples are: The host is not responding, the accommodation is not safe or clean, essential services are missing or the description was not correct and rooms are missing…).

15. If you have any problem Complaint:

Airbnb customer service has improved overnight over the years. In the beginning, there were problems but with time they improved surprisingly. I have had to complain at times and I have noticed the difference, which does not mean that they are perfect by any means… each case is different and you have to follow their “protocols” for claiming. In my case I had to claim in 2013 and 2019, and the second time everything was much faster and more efficient.

16. Having Good Reviews is important not only for hosts!

It goes without saying but if you rent an Airbnb you must comply with the host’s rules and above all respect both the property and the neighbors. If we are looking for a party there are dozens of bars to go to. Let’s maintain silence at any time of the day and leave the apartment as clean as we found it. Having a good review history is very important for travelers too! If you have a problem with a property but you have 500 positive reviews in your history Airbnb will assist you the same as if you have no reviews but in my experience, their answers or solutions may be different, I repeat that it is my personal experience but I do not know the internal workings of Airbnb.

17. Flexible Dates, the New Feature on Airbnb

Airbnb is increasingly improving its search engine. Luckily for us, they have added a very interesting feature: Flexible Dates. This means that we can select a week, a weekend, or a month and frame it in the months we want. Once done, the search engine will show us only the results for those dates. That is, if we want any weekend in July or August, we only have to select “weekend” and the months of July and August. The search engine will automatically show us the best offers for the weekends of those months. Isn’t it great? We can do the same if we want to go away for a week or a month. The only extra function that is missing is that it is not possible to sort the results by price, although we can select a price range.

As an additional tip, I would say that you have to be alert to the rules of certain Countries. You have to be informed of the rules of each country since each one is different and has different policies regarding rentals between individuals. There are more countries with special rules but as an example and based on my experience I am going to talk to you about China. Travelers in China must register with the Police. This is something that few people know since hotels are in charge of registering. So what about rentals between individuals? Well, it is the traveler who must go to the Police office to register, but be warned, you have to present the owner’s papers and not all Airbnb hosts are willing to cooperate…Here I explained my experience reserving an Airbnb in China:

Scroll to Top