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These top tips for booking a successful Airbnb stay will get you right on your way for your next vacation. I have always been a huge fan of Airbnb and often stay at them when we travel both domestically and internationally. Over the years, I’ve had some incredible stays and I wanted to share some Airbnb tips for your future stay.

*Pictured above is the dreamiest Joshua Tree stay…

Top Tips for Booking a Successful Airbnb Stay

What is Airbnb?

Let’s start with the most basic, what exactly is Airbnb? It’s essentially a site where you can book a stay in either a private or shared space! Airbnb is international and you can find rentals in cities across the world. The Airbnb homes range from apartment rentals, to a room in a house, to glamping sites, and even incredible bucket list villas.

How does Airbnb work?

When you head to Airbnb, you get to set the parameters for how you want to search for a rental. You can enter your dates, filter your preferences, and your location. From here a list or map view will come up for your search results and you can click through to review your choices.

How to narrow down the best Airbnb.

I find that often times choosing the best Airbnb comes down to a ton of research. Here’s what I always double check before booking:

  • # of rooms and what kind of beds are in each.
  • Private vs room in shared place. This is always good to double check!!
  • Exact location
  • Amenities in the Airbnb, like WiFi or hot tub.
  • Photos — can I accurately see the place?
  • Read rules, like check-in time and check-out time.
  • The host’s response time — this tells me how on it they are.
  • Reviews…. This may be the most important. I always opt for the Airbnb that has the most and well reviewed space.

Don’t be afraid to message the Airbnb host before booking.

I find that I frequently will send a note to the host before opting book. I love to introduce myself, share a bit of what I want to do in their destination and ask if there place is the right stay for what I am looking for. It’s also a great opportunity to ask any questions that may not be answered on their page.

Look for key words like Airbnb Superhost and Instant Book on Airbnb.

These two keywords tell me that the Airbnb is most likely to be well loved and easy to book. It often can take up to 24 hours to book a place if there is no Instant Book labeled on the listing, so when I do see it, I always make a note that I can book it instantly. For Superhosts, it means they go above and beyond for their guests.

Download the Airbnb App before arrival.

It is SO handy to have as Airbnb sends you a notification of your itinerary, how to check in and it’s easy to access. This is also the best to communicate with your host before you arrive.

Explore Airbnb Plus for elevated homes.

Airbnb recently rolled out a section of homes that have been verified for quality and comfort, and what better way to ensure a great stay than choosing from the selection.

Communicate your arrival and departure times.

I always let my host know in advance in case I need an early check in or possible can get a later check out. I’ve often found that many will let you store your bags in case you arrive early as well.

Other tips for booking a successful Airbnb stay

I’ve found that many times my best stays have been recommend through friends. If I head somewhere I know a friend went, I’ll always ask before booking. Many bloggers too stay in Airbnbs, so check out their guides and accommodations as well!

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Top Tips for Booking a Successful Airbnb Stay

PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.

1. Book Your Flights

Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

Use for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

Use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Car

Use Discover Cars or to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.

5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access

Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:


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