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A Guide To Airbnb - How To Find The Best Places To Stay

Even though I only used Airbnb for the first time back in March, I like to think that I've become very good at finding the best places to stay in, for the best prices and it'd be rude of me not to share some tips on how to do that, right? While I absolutely love staying in hotels, there's nothing quite like having your own apartment to stay in when travelling to a new city. It gives you the option for cook, and just generally gives you a lot more space than a regular hotel room would. Even better, if you're on a budget but still love travelling, you can pick to rent  a private room in a house or an apartment rather than an "entire place" like they call it on Airbnb and sometimes this can be up to a third cheaper than a hotel would be. You can read my first post about Airbnb and what we thought of our first experience here, and if you want some tips on how to find Airbnb gold, then just keep on reading. I must also preface this post by stating that nope, I'm not working with Airbnb to promote them (although I'd definitely love to do that), I just genuinely really love this way of finding accommodation for travelling.

1. Make Use Of The Filters

When you first use Airbnb it may be a little confusing as it just throws a big old list of places to stay at you. I always filter first, and then start to look through the list so that I'm not looking into apartments or rooms that don't have what I'm looking for. For example, if you're looking for a place to stay for 4 people, make sure you put that option into the bar of filters on the top of the screen. Or if you are on a budget, use the price filter to set how much you're willing to spend on a place to stay.  I will often go into the "More Filters" option and check options like "hairdryer" because no matter how light travel hairdryers are, I need that extra space in my suitcase, or "wifi" for obvious reasons. This helps to cut down on the list of places that are available for your trip and should help the decision process be a lot easier.

2. Use The Map To Your Advantage

As well as the list of accommodation, Airbnb also has a handy map on the right hand side of the screen that I always use to find the best places to stay. If you're looking to stay right in the middle of the city, make sure you zoom in on that area so that only the central places to stay are shown, or if there are a few sights that you want to see all in a particular area, you can use the map to choose an Airbnb that's closest to this area. The map can also be used in places like Croatia (which I'm currently researching for a possible trip) to find Airbnbs with amazing views of the sea, so it's definitely a good tool to use.

3. Superhosts Are Where It's At

We've only recently come across this tip but it's one that I would say is an essential if you want to have the best Airbnb experience. Superhosts are hosts that are highly rated, very responsive to messages, and a very reliable, so just all around good eggs. On the "More Filters" section there's a toggle you can click to only show Airbnbs from Superhosts so if it's your first time using Airbnb and you're a little sceptical as there are some horror stories out there, then I'd definitely click it just to have peace of mind. 

4. Always Read The Reviews

I'm sure this tip is a bit obvious but every time you stay in an Airbnb you have to leave a review afterwards and when I am looking up places to stay, I will always read a few of the reviews to get a good idea of what the Airbnb is actually like to stay in. Reviews are great for letting you know if the Airbnb is in a busy area, if there are any good cafes near by, how well the Airbnb actually fits the description given on the website etc. The apartment that we stayed in on our trip to Prague was chosen purely because of the reviews as lots of the people recommended the area for it being so close to public transport and also recommended the host as she provided a local travel guide which came in handy.

5. Self Check-In Makes Everything Easier

Another new discovery for us with Airbnb is self check-in which we had on our most recent trip to Gdańsk. Self check-in means that the Airbnb either has a key lockbox, smartlock, keypad, or that you can pick up a key from the building staff (which is what we did). I love this option because having to organise a specific time to pick up the keys with your Airbnb host can be a little stressful especially if you're trying to navigate a new city or if there are flight delays. Self check-in means you can arrive anytime you want (as long as it's after the designated check-in time) and you don't have to worry about keeping in contact with your host.

Those are the main tips I'd have that have helped me to find the Airbnbs that we've stayed in and so far we've stayed in some gorgeous apartments so my track record is pretty good! I know I probably sound like a broken record but honestly Airbnb is one of the best things I've ever discovered as it's allowed myself and Dara to travel to new cities without breaking the bank. For any of you who have never used Airbnb before, you can get €30 off your first trip if you sign up through this link and for every person who completes a trip using my link, I'll get €15 travel credit so it's a win win for all!

I hope this post was helpful to anyone who hasn't used Airbnb much before and of course if you have any more questions about it, just pop me a message. Thanks for reading!


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