Why you should check out where you’re staying before you arrive.
Finding an affordable hotel room can be a challenge in many cities and in small towns. If you’re traveling as a family or with a pet, locating an acceptable hotel room is even trickier. One solution is to choose an AirBnB. The last thing you need when traveling is a place that wasn’t what you expected. Here are six reasons to research your AirBnB before you travel.
1. Use the Map Tool
Use Air BnB’s map tool to locate an area where you want to stay. For example, if you want to visit New York City’s galleries, you may want to narrow your AirBnB search to one square mile of Harlem or Midtown Manhattan. This would allow you to walk to each place. You might want to contrast the available accommodations with a separate map that shows the area’s safety statistics or public transit options.
2. Know Your Price Limit
Do not forget about fees and taxes when searching for an AirBnB. The hosts are not supposed to upcharge you for anything, but you do need to plan for the transaction fees when booking your room. If you cancel, AirBnB also charges a fee for that. Once you know your price limit, put it into the site’s filter. You won’t have to spend as much time sorting through listings that are too expensive if you filter them out from the start.
3. Read the Reviews
Read the reviews, but do so with a grain of salt. Other people who have stayed at the property might have some pertinent information to share. If the cell phone service is sketchy or the gates lock at midnight, you’ll want to know. Perhaps the water pressure in the shower is poor, or the bedroom window to the room is just a few feet away from the neighbor’s bedroom window. Look for honest reviews with details that could help you make an informed decision. You might even inquire about the age and brand of the mattress, so you can be sure you will be comfortable regardless of your preferred sleeping position.
4. Examine the Fine Print
AirBnB has a lot of rules, and most of them benefit the host. If there’s a problem with the accommodations, there are strict parameters on what you have to do in order to request a refund. If dogs are not allowed, or no parking is available, the rules and fine print are where you will find those details. For your protection, take a screenshot of the listing description at the time of your booking.
5. Contact the Hosts
It’s wise to contact the hosts before leaving home. Ask any pertinent questions, such as whether they’ll stock the fridge or if there’s a washing machine you can use. If you’re staying in the city, ask about out-of-the-way places to explore or restaurants that are off of the beaten path. The hosts can give you insight that a website can’t.
6. Look for Unique Listings
Not all AirBnB listings are bedrooms in a standard house. You might find some unique options that could turn your trip into a memorable experience. Look for unusual lodging options, such as a tree house or a property with extensive gardens. On the other hand, you might prefer a simple room if you’re only going to sleep and shower there.
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