Frequently I am asked about what I look for in an Airbnb. I don’t just rely on the description give by the host though. You must look at the comments left by other guests. Reading between the lines is also important to do. Many people want to leave a good review because the host was nice but the place may not have been as nice.
Here are some things about Airbnbs I look for in the description and the reviews and how to pick the best Airbnb in the city you are taking a vacation in.
I have arthritis and back pain so I need a comfortable bed, otherwise there will be no sleeping. Obviously, this information will have to be found by combing through the comment section. If the bed is truly horrid, most people mention it right away.
If the bed is comfortable, they may not mention it at all. Look at the pictures to. Is it a real bed or a sofa bed or futon? You know what you can handle and what you cannot.
I have stayed in Airbnbs were I am sharing the apartment and usually that means you are getting the guest bedroom. Usually this means the bed is good and comfortable. However, I found that pillows are not always great.
This isn’t just how quickly they respond to your initial contact about a reservation, but how they respond if there are any issues during your stay. Personally, I haven’t had any issues, but you want to know that they will fix issues. Many people state if they have had issues and if they have been resolved.
I once was looking at a place in Istanbul and all the reviewers said the host changed the apartment to a different one once they arrived. This was a huge red flag for me. I didn’t consider any of his listings.
Recently, I was looking at a place and had a question about a table since I work while I travel. The host responded quickly and said he could add a table. So look for solutions and ask questions to the Airbnb host.
This may sound silly, but showers in Europe are tiny. The Rome apartment I stayed had a small shower and people had commented on it. I thought well, I am small it won’t be a big deal. It was even a tight squeeze for me to get in and I had to step in sideways!
If you are tall, look and see where the showerhead is located. Nothing worse than bending over to wash your hair.
Not as simple as it seems. Being near the tourist attractions can be more expensive in some cities. In Rome, I opted to be in Rome but further out from tourist things, but close to public transportation. I really enjoyed this as it felt like I actually lived in Rome.
Being near good public transportation is key for me, but you may want to be close to the action and walk. You should keep in mind how much transportation from your location will cost, as it doesn’t make sense to spend a fortune on transportation and save money on the accommodation. If you are unsure about the location, contact the host and look at what the reviewers are saying too.
A great Airbnb host will provide information after booking or at check-in with transportation options or maps.
Remember you are staying in an apartment with neighbors that if they are loud there is probably nothing you can do about it. Not that this doesn’t happen in hotels too. Sometimes street noise is also a factor and not much you can do about it. I have seen several listings for lovely places, but everyone has complained about the noise. Now when I travel, I always bring earplugs! One Airbnb host gave me earplugs even though they were not needed.
Sometimes you will see recent negative reviews and I always consider those a warning sign to stay away. However, sometimes the negative reviews are quite old. Look to see if the host has responded and see what more recent people have to say. In the beginning of some being new to Airbnb, they may have made some mistakes and have learned from them. Also, remember you get a rating as a guest too so keep the place tidy and follow the rules!
Airbnb is giving out $25 credits for everyone that signs up through my link. I do get a $25 credit if you stay and $75 if you host, but nothing else and this was not given to me as incentive to write this up.