Traveling can get expensive — especially when it comes to finding a place to stay for more than just a day or two. However there are some websites like Airbnb that help make taking a dream vacation (or quick, spontaneous trip) a little more affordable. The site offers a wide variety of accommodations all over the world and I've found that a lot of the time renting an Airbnb can be more affordable than getting a hotel — especially if you're staying somewhere for an extended amount of time.
I've personally booked houses through Airbnb at quite a few places both in the U.S. and abroad, including stays in Aruba, Grand Cayman, Tennessee, Kentucky and more. (You can read about the Aruba and Grand Cayman trips here and here.)
A look inside the Airbnb my family has booked two years in a row in Aruba.
On Airbnb you'll find all sorts of incredible places to stay. Options range from entire homes and studio apartments to a single room for rent. With so many choices it can seem a little daunting to try and pick just one place, but here are three tips to help you plan your next trip:
Tips for finding the perfect Airbnb rental
1. Know exactly what you're looking for — or at least have a good idea in mind before starting your search.
There are a lot of choices to choose from on Airbnb and it can be a bit overwhelming — not to mention time-consuming — to look through them all. But, Airbnb has plenty of filters to help narrow down all the options once you know what you're looking for. Think about factors like how many people will be on the trip? How many beds and bathrooms will you need for everyone to be comfortable? If you're staying at the beach do you want a place that's directly on the beach or a few blocks away? You'll also want to have an amount you're willing to spend on the rental in mind.
The view from the Airbnb my friends and I rented in Grand Cayman. Not bad right?
2. It's extremely important to pay attention to all the details on an Airbnb listing.
Every listing includes essential information regarding the rental like check-in and check-out times. You may not want to stay somewhere that has an 11 a.m. check-out time if your flight isn't until 8 p.m. Are items like linens included? Is there parking onsite or a security system? Does the rental have certain amenities that may be important to you like Wi-fi or a coffee machine? For example — in Aruba it's always important to me to have beach chairs and a cooler in my rental since I won't be bringing those bulky items on the plane. (Can you even imagine!) While it may seem high-mantience to some, it's an extra detail/perk that I look for in each Airbnb listing that helps make my vacation on the island even more enjoyable. If you don't see something listed and have a question about it send the owner a note through the website to ask.
3. ALWAYS read the reviews on every listing you consider.
I can't stress this enough! Reviews are extremely helpful and can provide useful insight on the rental's location, how easy it is to communicate with the host and if there were any problems, directly from people who have already stayed there. I typically read reviews first to avoid falling in love with a location only to find out it's horrendous from past renters. I've only ever booked places that have five star ratings and more than 30 reviews. It's a personal preference that helps me feel more confident in my booking.
If you're planning a trip use this Airbnb coupon code and you'll get $40 off your first Airbnb booking!
Do this to fly easier over the next five years.
Find out what to do in Bermuda beyond the beaches here.