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The Beginner’s Guide to Airbnb

The Beginner's Guide To Airbnb | How To Use Airbnb | Airbnb Coupon | How to Use Airbnb Like A Pro | Airbnb do's and don'ts | Finding cheap accomodations when traveling | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

Airbnb is pretty much the best thing to hit the travel industry. While it has been around for a while, so many people don’t know the first thing about it, or have heard of it but still don’t completely understand the concept. If you are one of those people, prepare to get your mind blown! Okay, not really..but it’s pretty nifty!

Receive $35 off your first Airbnb booking when you reserve using our code!

So, what is Airbnb exactly?

Okay so let’s discuss a traditional Bed and Breakfast. A B&B is generally a giant Victorian era house that some (supposedly) rich person owns. Said person rents out rooms in their giant home for a pretty penny and also provides breakfast for travelers.

The Beginner's Guide To Airbnb | How To Use Airbnb | Airbnb Coupon | How to Use Airbnb Like A Pro | Airbnb do's and don'ts | Finding cheap accomodations when traveling | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

Well, Airbnb puts that power in the hands of everyday people like yourself. With Airbnb, normal people with normal homes or apartments (or even house boats/tree houses/campers) can rent out a bedroom in their home, or even the entire house itself. Airbnb makes the Bed and Breakfast concept accessible to the every day person.

How does Airbnb benefit travelers?

Airbnb allows travelers to customize their lodging much more (and much cheaper!) than traditional hotels do! Airbnb puts you in the center of all of the action and you have the opportunity to experience life just like a local.

Examples are fun…let’s use an example! Paris is a popular travel destination. We ran a quick search for “cheap hotels in Paris” and this is what we came up with. In a “good” location, you can find a “budget” hotel for $99. Included in that price, you get a room, wifi, *gasp* a private bathroom and that’s about it.

The Beginner's Guide To Airbnb | How To Use Airbnb | Airbnb Coupon | How to Use Airbnb Like A Pro | Airbnb do's and don'ts | Finding cheap accomodations when traveling | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

For the same dates/location/amount of people, we ran a simple Airbnb search and came up with the listing below. For one night, you can get an ENTIRE HOME for $60 per night. Included in the Airbnb price, you get an entire flat to yourself [not just a room], a kitchen, bathroom, WiFi, essentials such as shampoo/lotion/towels, and a better location. For $40 cheaper, you get a better location, a kitchen, AND your very own Parisian apartment!

The Beginner's Guide To Airbnb | How To Use Airbnb | Airbnb Coupon | How to Use Airbnb Like A Pro | Airbnb do's and don'ts | Finding cheap accomodations when traveling | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

Want to travel on a budget even more? Let’s do another example! If sharing a room with 5 other women is your thing, sure, pay $31 for a bed in a 6 woman dorm with shared bathroom facilities.

The Beginner's Guide To Airbnb | How To Use Airbnb | Airbnb Coupon | How to Use Airbnb Like A Pro | Airbnb do's and don'ts | Finding cheap accomodations when traveling | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

Or….you can pay the same price and get a private room, your own bathroom, a kitchen, and an overall more peaceful experience with Airbnb. Traveling with a buddy? The bed is big enough for two, leaving you with paying just $15 each!

The Beginner's Guide To Airbnb | How To Use Airbnb | Airbnb Coupon | How to Use Airbnb Like A Pro | Airbnb do's and don'ts | Finding cheap accomodations when traveling | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

So, how does it work?

Airbnb is super easy to use! Just head to Airbnb.com and type in your destination, dates, and people.You are going to have to have a log in, so you may as well do that now. Airbnb makes it easy by allowing you to use Facebook if you want. Once you click search, you are presented with a lovely list of all the places that fit your dates. From here, you can drag the slider to represent your max budget. It is a good idea to low-ball and see what comes up! You could find a super great discount!

You also have the option to click on “more filters” and filter by anything from “entire home” to “family friendly” to “washer and dryer.”

The Beginner's Guide To Airbnb | How To Use Airbnb | Airbnb Coupon | How to Use Airbnb Like A Pro | Airbnb do's and don'ts | Finding cheap accomodations when traveling | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

The map feature on the right is the absolute best. If you click and drag the map, it will repopulate with the prices and listings in the new area. Zoom in to one specific area and the same thing happens! Downtown looks too pricey? Just move the map a little bit outside of town and see what the listings are like there!

How do you make reservations?

First, fill out your profile so people know who they are hosting! Some places have a little lighting bolt next to their listing, which means you can instant book. Other than that, you can fill out your dates and “request to book’ and send your host a little message that discusses why you are coming to town and why you like their listing and are excited to stay. This allows you to connect with your host and makes them more likely to approve your request to stay.

The Beginner's Guide To Airbnb | How To Use Airbnb | Airbnb Coupon | How to Use Airbnb Like A Pro | Airbnb do's and don'ts | Finding cheap accomodations when traveling | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

What if something goes wrong?

Airbnb is FANTASTIC about taking care of travelers if something goes wrong! If you arrive at a listing and it has been misrepresented or is dirty or you just don’t feel right about it, call Airbnb and they will do everything in their power to move you to a comparable listing immediately and you may even get a refund. For our stay in Berlin, we had two hosts cancel on us and, after contacting the company, Airbnb was kind enough to help us find another listing in a better area and comp’d the difference since the new place was more expensive. Stellar customer service so you have nothing to worry about.

The Beginner's Guide To Airbnb | How To Use Airbnb | Airbnb Coupon | How to Use Airbnb Like A Pro | Airbnb do's and don'ts | Finding cheap accomodations when traveling | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

So in recap..

Airbnb offers alternative lodging options for every budget in hundreds of countries! It is super easy to use and you can get lost for hours looking up all of your different options. [It can become a serious time waster!] So don’t forget to adjust your filters, fill out your profile, and have fun planning your next trip!

Don’t forget that you can RECEIVE $35 OFF YOUR FIRST AIRBNB BOOKING when you reserve using our coupon code!

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The Beginner's Guide To Airbnb | How To Use Airbnb | Airbnb Coupon | How to Use Airbnb Like A Pro | Airbnb do's and don'ts | Finding cheap accomodations when traveling | Follow Me Away Travel Blog

5 thoughts on “The Beginner’s Guide to Airbnb

  1. Pingback: Best Summer Travel Tips - 8 Ways to Plan | Comelite IT Solutions

  2. Notwhatitseems

    You forgot to include “cleaning fees”, often upwards to $100 or more added to your rental fee—which you don’t get back. The cleaning fee is a killer, one of the reasons why I don’t use Airbnb. Any tips for how you deal with cleaning fees?

    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      UGH!!! YES!!! Are you from the USA/Canada? This is where the cleaning fees are the worst! When we wrote this article it was after using Airbnb a lot in Europe and there weren’t any cleaning fees or not many. Now we went back and used it again and they have appeared and cost a lot of money! We have actually been able to tell Airbnb owners we would do all of the cleaning for a reduction in the cleaning fee. This worked on our last trip in Paris but may not work every time. Sadly the fees are SOOOOOOOO high that we feel you and may pass on booking strictly because the fee is more expensive than the stay!

      1. Notwhatitseems

        Yes, I’m in Vancouver, and have been shocked by how high the cleaning fees are. A relative booked Airbnb in pricey Yaletown and was charged about a $100 cleaning fee for a not very clean apartment (I loaned them cleaning supplies!). I urged him to complain, but he didn’t and probably won’t use the service again.

        That’s a good tip: try negotiating the fee down. Thanks!

        1. Follow Me Away Post author

          Just a tip: Contact Airbnb IMMEDIATELY if something seems amiss and they will fix it. Perhaps they will move you to another location or they will refund your money but you have to do it while you are still in the location not after you leave! We have done this many many times and it is very helpful and Aribnb responds quickly!

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