Airbnb is a website that has seen a significant growth in popularity since it was founded. The idea of being able to find apartment rentals or room rentals online is one that is very attractive and provides a different way to stay in a new destination. Because it is quite new, the website’s interface may not be familiar to everyone, so here is a simple guide on how to use Airbnb and how the different features work. Whether you are looking for an inexpensive room for a few days, or a luxurious apartment on a longer term basis, this website has some great options that will help you to find your vacation or business trip accommodation.
What Does Airbnb Do?
Having started off as a relatively small website, Airbnb has grown to become one of the biggest accommodation websites in the world, and operates on the simple principle of connecting people who want to rent a room or apartment in another city with those that have these spaces to offer. The search function allows you to start with quite a broad search, and then there are a variety of search filters that allow you to narrow the search to make it easier to find the type of accommodation you are looking for. There is also a system of reviews that allow others who have stayed at the apartment or room to provide their feedback on how they enjoyed their stay, and what the facilities were like.
Searching For Accommodation In Your Destination
The first screen that you will encounter when you log on to www.airbnb.com is the search screen, and once you know how to book an apartment rental from this section it is quite straightforward. You will need to enter the destination where you are looking for the rental, along with your check in and check out dates before searching for the range of apartments and rooms. The website will then show a listing for each of the possible apartments or rooms that meet your criteria, or the first 18 if there are many options available. You can then filter the results by price, the type of rental and even the neighborhood or facilities that are available, meaning you can find the perfect option for you.
Connecting With Your Host
Whether you have a specific request about your stay or you want to say hello beforehand, one of the useful tools that you can use once you have registered with Airbnb is the Contact Host button, which will allow you to exchange messages with the host. This is particularly useful if you are renting a room in a family home, as you will want to be confident that you will get on with the person you will be meeting. One of the best apartment rental booking tips is to make sure you arrange a suitable time and place to meet the host in order to collect the keys, as this will help to avoid any confusion and make sure that you and your host get off on the right foot.
Booking Your Stay
In order to confirm a booking through Airbnb you will need to sign up to the website, which is a straightforward process where you are asked for a few basic details about yourself, and a password to help protect your account. The majority of bookings will be paid for by credit card, and all of the usual options including Mastercard, Visa and American Express are available. You can also choose to use Paypal if you prefer not to divulge your card details. If you are arranging a booking for a period of over four weeks, the booking will need to be paid for in monthly installments.
Safety And Refund Advice
Airbnb recommends that users communicate within the website’s channels, and only agree to pay through the website, as this is then backed up by the guarantees of the website itself. It is also best to ensure that your host is fully verified with offline identification presented to Airbnb, and to read the reviews to see what other guests have had to say. Airbnb also operates a three tiered refund system which is by the choice of the host, so it is worth checking to see which cancellation policy is in place, and what you will get back if you need to cancel.
Using The AirBnB App
One of the most useful developments that has been made by Airbnb over recent years is the introduction of their smart phone app, which means that even if you are already traveling and don’t have access to a computer, you can still make bookings through the site. The interface has been simplified and each screen has less information than you would find on the full website, but you can still click through to access this information, and communicate with your host by sending messages. This is a great option for keeping in touch with your booking, and can be downloaded for Apple and Android smart phones.
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