Your Guide to Airbnb
How to find weekend getaway places and save big time
First off, here are a few reasons why we LOVE Airbnb:
It's Affordable. Because you can search and filter by your budget, Airbnb makes finding an affordable place to stay easy. Also, it's not like a hostel because I always feel really crammed in those. You can have the advantage of staying in an affordable place without feeling like a sardine.
The Connections. You get to meet locals and other travels in a much more comfortable way. Seriously, I can't describe the number of interesting and helpful conversations we had with locals when we stayed at their homes.
It helps out the locals. Another added bonus is that the money is going straight to the local economy so you're helping individuals and families just like you! Rather than contributing to a giant, insatiable hotel firm ;)
Cozy, comfortable insight to the culture > Characterless Hotel. Staying at a local residence rather than a hotel really does help you feel at home in the country. You're not just a passing-by tourist who scratches the surface by staying in a room with a bed and questionable sheets. Staying at a local's place gives you a cozy, at-home feel that's hard to find elsewhere. Plus, the people around you, the neighborhoods you walk through -- they're all real. Not some calculated real estate.
Save Money. You can save money by eating some meals at home. 'Nuff said. (Don't get me wrong, I am ALL for trying delicious local foods. But every single meal can add up and it's nice to have some pasta at home a night or two.)
That being said, using Airbnb is easy and awesome. Here are the basic steps to starting:
Create an account. Go to Airbnb.com (using our link gets you $40 credit!)
You can sign in with Facebook, Google, or email account
Be sure to verify your government ID, add personal info and a picture, and let your personality come through!
Once all your information is confirmed, search for a city and click Homes (our example is "Anywhere").
Add more filters to find listings that match your dates and number of guests.
4. Next, filter the home type and price. If things are looking expensive, a great way to go is by booking a private room rather than an entire place. These private rooms usually have a lock (check the listing) and it's also a great way to meet more people staying in the place.
5. Additionally, you can also filter by other factors such as number of beds/bathrooms. Like the other filter choices, these are optional.
6. Your results will show as a list. One helpful way to find results is to click the map icon at the bottom right. This shows you the area where the listings are located. (Are they close to the train station or one of the sights you want to see?)
7. From the map view, you can also look at the photos of a listing, or pull up the full listing in a new tab. If the listing is listed in another language, you can click "Translate" and you'll get the description in English.
8. You can also see details of the amenities, sleeping arrangements, and read more about the neighborhood.
9. Click book and you're done! You'll get a chance to review the details and message your host. If you're traveling with others, Airbnb gives you an option to split the cost right away (it sends invoices via email to your travel pals). For some bookings, you may need to wait to be approved. Either way, you'll get an email confirmation once it's officially booked. Happy travels!