6 Airbnb Hacks For Seasoned Travelers
This article (written by me) originally appeared on The Huffington Post.
These Airbnb hacks are going to blow your socks off. If you haven’t already used Airbnb, my question to you would be: Why? Hotels are cool and all, don’t get me wrong, but there’s something to be said for staying in a place that feels a little more homey.
Most Airbnb’s have a kitchen. Can your hotel do that? Some Airbnb’s have dogs and interesting people to talk to and vast assortments of DVD’s next to the television.
The hotel has a coffee maker if you’re lucky.
So, if you’ve never used Airbnb before, I’m here to show you a few hacks that will make sense to seasoned users while also giving newbies an inside look on the wonderful platform that saved my road trip last summer. Let’s get to it.
1. Weekly/Monthly Discounts
I’m not saving the best for last. I’m putting the best Airbnb hack right here because I don’t want to waste your time! If you’re a regular traveler jumping from place to place pretty quickly, you might want to think about extending your stay.
That’s because most Airbnb sites have a weekly or monthly discount running anywhere from 5 percent to 40 percent off. It may go even higher, however I haven’t seen anything more in my experience.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but if you want to save a little bit of money, consider a longer stay!
2. Select “Search As I Move The Map”
Never was a more helpful check box created by web developers. Yeah, you can query Chicago, IL in the search bar, but Airbnb will only show you listings within a certain radius. If you allow the system to “search as you move the map,” you’ll get a much broader range. Look for this little guy in the top left:
With that little box checked, you could theoretically zoom out and look for listings in Iceland if you wanted to (we wouldn’t blame you). Keep that Airbnb hack in mind in case you’re flexible with location requirements.
3. Use The “Instant Book” Button
If you’re looking to book a room without the hassle of contacting hosts directly, just click the “Instant Book” button at the top of the directory. Located here:
Instant Book just means that when you click the button to purchase, you immediately reserve that room. Sometimes with certain Airbnb listings, the hosts would prefer if guests contacted them first.
You might be able to imagine why, considering all it takes is Jason from Halloween to “Instant Book” a place before hosts are in deep trouble.
For us, however, Instant Book is safe because we’re the guests!
4. Choose To Stay With “Superhosts”
Continuing the Jason-from-Halloween thread, we as guests are all one Kathy-Bates-from-Misery away from our doom, too. That’s why Airbnb made “Superhosts” a thing. They’re kind of like well-known and trusted brands like Wal-Mart, or Silly Putty. If Airbnb considers them a Superhost, you can be sure you’ll be safe.
First, navigate to the “More filters” tab at the top of the search results page.
Near the bottom of the pop-up menu you’ll see “Superhost.” Click on that and you’re golden. No “number one fans” will be bothering you. (That’s a Misery reference)
5. Negotiate The Price
This one’s a bit sketch to me, but you might be able to negotiate the price with owners. I can see the logic of this if you’re staying for a long time. Hosts may not know how full their availability will be, so in a way you’re doing them a favor by keeping their room occupied and providing them a steady stream of revenue.
Emir Dino Gunel gives some good insights into how you can do this on Quora.
Do this one at your own free will.
6. Get Free Credit From Other Airbnb Users (And Receive It, Too!)
If you’re already an Airbnb user, navigate to your profile image in the top right of your home page. After clicking on it, you’ll see a tab called “travel credit.” Click on that and it will take you here:
You can then share this link with friends and begin earning travel credit after they sign up! It’s a great deal because both parties get something out of it. There’s literally nothing more to it.
There’s a link to a free $40 on the side bar at my blog if you’re interested.
It’s easy as pie, and one of my favorite Airbnb hacks that nobody seems to know about! If you want more travel advice like this, download my free ebook!