Airbnb is the best platform if you are booking last minute or seeking a unique property. In the extensive collection of homes, there are over 2,200 treehouses and nearly 3,000 castles. Features include:
- 24/7 customer service
- 5,000,000+ properties and 191 countries with available properties
- Easy last-minute bookings
If you’re familiar with vacation home rentals, you’ve probably heard of Airbnb. Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where people can belong through healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable. Airbnb uniquely leverages technology to economically empower millions of people around the world to unlock and monetize their spaces, passions and talents to become hospitality entrepreneurs. Read our full Airbnb review to see if this is the best vacation home option for you.
Airbnb’s accommodation marketplace provides access to 5+ million unique places to stay in more than 81,000 cities and 191 countries. Airbnb offers the best vacation home rentals if you are booking last minute or seeking a unique property. In their extensive collection of homes, there are over 2,200 treehouses and nearly 3,000 castles.
Home Sharing Advocacy Groups
As a global leader in vacation home rentals, Airbnb is paving the path between non-hotel accommodations and local governments. At the present time regulations tax, monitor and outlaw personal residences being offered for short-term renting. Jurisdictions were quick to put those regulations in place on behalf of the hotel industry.
Airbnb facilitates more than 250 home sharing advocacy groups. The mission of home sharing advocacy groups is to help communities better understand the benefits of social home sharing.
Celebrating 10 years in business also brought its 400 millionth guest checking in to an Airbnb. With over two million people sleeping in an Airbnb property every night, it’s undeniably clear that the trust economy is booming. Travelers seeking more flexibility than the hotel industry offers have been flocking to Airbnb.
While media outlets may have you believe Airbnb horror stories are common, they are in fact an incredibly rare phenomenon. Every night success stories of home sharing go untold. Read any SuperHost’s Airbnb reviews to see that happy guests are the norm.
Airbnb has some great pros that have helped it get such a great reputation. Here are some of the top things that Airbnb reviews talk about:
- 24/7 customer service offered in 11 languages: Airbnb keeps its customer service available, which comes in handy if you need quick help on vacation.
- Largest vacation rental inventory: Because of Airbnb’s reputation and longer time in the market, it has more properties listed on it than other vacation home rental websites.
- Millions of Airbnb reviews: If you like to read individual reviews about the place you’re thinking about booking, you’re in luck. With millions of reviews from past guests, you can usually find information for the specific listing you’re looking at.
- Mobile app: When you’re on-the-go, you want to easily see all the information you need. You can use the convenient mobile app for booking homes or communicating with hosts.
- Traveler-focused policies: Airbnb is designed with the traveler in mind, so many of its policies help travelers have better vacations than ever.
Unfortunately, Airbnb isn’t for everyone. Here are some cons to keep in mind as you read Airbnb reviews:
- Guest fees can be up to 20% of subtotal: Fees for cleaning, occupancy and so on can add up quickly.
- Largest number of non-professional hosts: Because Airbnb has the largest number of properties and has a lot of publicity, some Airbnb hosts join just to try to make quick money and don’t care about quality or professionalism. If you’re worried, read reviews or select Superhosts to find the top quality hosts.
Here are some quick stats to keep in mind as you read Airbnb reviews:
- Year founded: 2007
- Founders: Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia
- Countries with properties: 191
- Number of properties: 5,000,000+
- Headquarters location: San Francisco, CA
- Number of Employees: 3,100
Airbnb has several features that help make it a great place to find a place to stay. Here are few highlights to keep in mind:
Search functionality on Airbnb allows you to filter for family-friendly, work collection and Superhost properties.
To become a premium family-friendly listing a home must meet minimum safety and review criteria. Work collection locations have appropriate amenities and more flexible cancelation policies for business travelers. Superhost properties have superior reviews and communication practices that identify them as a more professional host.
Anti-Discrimination and Safety Policies
Airbnb has a $1 million dollar Host Guarantee policy in place to protect both travelers and hosts in the event of unexpected disasters. Safety is a priority at Airbnb. Currently, the platform is giving away free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to any hosts who request them. Professional hosts are constantly providing amazing experiences to ensure their Airbnb review quality stays high.
Airbnb has taken a proactive approach to eliminate discrimination on its platform. Its stated policy prohibits discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, disability or serious diseases. Airbnb has some rules to help make sure these policies are followed. Non-owner occupied homes, for instance, must allow service animals. Searching for handicap accessible listings, on the whole, is easy. Airbnb does not reveal a guests profile photo until after a reservation is confirmed by the host, thus eliminating racial discrimination.
A global customer service team is standing by 24/7 in 11 different languages to help make things right with rebooking assistance, refunds and customer service.
Customer Price, Host Income and Fees
Your payment information is collected when you submit a reservation request. Once the host accepts your request, or if you book a reservation with Instant Book, your payment method will be charged for the entire amount at that time. When you book or as you read Airbnb reviews, you may see some fees or wonder what certain things mean. While pricing depends on the exact location and property, you can have some knowledge of what prices are, when hosts make money and what fees to expect.
Hosts determine some of the costs, including:
- Cleaning fee: A one-time fee charged by some hosts to cover the cost of cleaning their space.
- Extra guest fees: One-time fees charged by some hosts to cover other costs related to using their space.
- Nightly price: The nightly rate is decided by the host.
Some things are determined by Airbnb, not the hosts.
- Airbnb service fee: This is a guest service fee that is charged for all reservations to help Airbnb run smoothly and offer 24/7 customer support.
Potential Other Costs
Some places charge additional taxes and fees, including:
- Currency exchange fee: If you’re paying with one currency but the host uses another currency, you’ll likely have a currency exchange fee.
- Local taxes: These are any taxes charged based on the location of the host’s listing.
- Value Added Tax (VAT): This is tax charged to guests who live in the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, South Africa and Japan (charged as JCT).
Host Payout and Fees
The payment doesn’t go to the host right away. Airbnb typically releases your payout about 24 hours after a guest’s scheduled check-in time. The time it takes for the funds to arrive in the account depends on the host’s payout method. If a guest is staying for 28 or more nights, payouts for that reservation are released monthly.
New hosts may not get payouts for 30 days after the first reservation is confirmed. If that reservation is more than 30 days away, the host will get the payout 24 hours after the guest’s scheduled check-in.
The host service fee for homes is generally 3% but may be higher for hosts in Italy or hosts who have a Super Strict cancellation policy.
How to Pick the Best Airbnb
Choose Your Ideal Vacation Type
As a traveler, there are numerous types of vacations you could be looking for. You might be looking to stay in a prime location within walking distance to your desired attractions. Maybe you’re looking for a remote secluded location to unplug from society. For you, a pool might be a necessity. Your group could consist of 18 people who all want to stay together.
Whatever your vacation goals are, Airbnb will have the perfect home for you. Knowing what you want is important when selecting the best Airbnb for your vacation. Utilize filters to narrow down rentals that fit your criteria. Remember, you’re not trying to find tons of properties to stay in; you only need one to tick all your boxes.
If you have specific requirements, planning in advance will make all the difference. Airbnb allows hosts the option to open their calendar up to two years in advance. Some homes, such as premium homes next to iconic events like the Kentucky Derby only rent themselves out one week per year. Those homes depend on one high-cost booking per year to create an additional income stream. Advance planning will help you book the properties you’re most interested in.
Remember Price Isn’t Everything
You might assume that renting short-term accommodation is going to be an amazing deal compared to staying in a hotel. While you may find some incredible deals, by far the cheapest properties on Airbnb are home sharing situations (when someone has a spare room they let travelers stay in). However, Airbnb now has a variety of properties, including properties that don’t have any occupants.
With full-time Airbnb properties, your cost-savings might not be an obvious per-head rate that is cheaper than a hotel. Sometimes a hotel may be cheaper, but your cost savings could come in the form of fewer meals eaten in restaurants or less money spent on activities because your group is able to enjoy each others company at the rental. Or, you might not have any cost savings at all. Your benefit may come in the form of enhancing your experience.
Cost savings or not, your options on Airbnb are truly limitless. Enjoy your vacation on your terms.
Read Airbnb Reviews
Basing your reservation on the star rating alone is a mistake. Read the Airbnb reviews carefully to determine if a particular property is right for you.
The psychology of providing and receiving reviews is extremely tricky in the sharing economy. Reviews for large companies like Delta Airlines or Marriott Hotels tend to be negative. In the sharing economy, though, reviews are heavily weighted toward positive. The personal connection between hosts and guests makes is easier to give people the benefit of the doubt or let things slide because bringing it up would be awkward.
Read each property’s reviews to pick up on subtle clues. For example, the host may describe the location as private, but you could find out there is a separate guest cottage the host rents out simultaneously. Many travelers will still leave that home a five-star review and just mention casually how they were surprised there was another group staying so close, even though the listing advertised the property as private.
Simply put, read between the lines of your top choices. You could avoid a multitude of uncomfortable, awkward, or vacation-destroying situations.
To have a good experience with Airbnb, you have to be the type of person who looks for the good in the world. The number one trait of a great Airbnb guest is the ability to go with the flow. Negative things don’t always need to mean a negative experience. Guests that will enjoy Airbnb properties are not the type of people who assign blame when the weather knocks out power or berates staff when a customer causes issues that affect other customers.
Travelers who treat others how they would want to be treated will be the happiest Airbnb guests and get good guest Airbnb reviews.
Airbnb Review Conclusion
Airbnb has the largest inventory of short-term rentals by more than double its closest competitor. With a large corporate staff and traveler friendly policies, you are can trust this platform with your booking. Getting 24/7 support in 11 languages requires a huge staff that only Airbnb is able to provide. Although you may pay higher fees, they help maintain an expansive network of staff, systems and service.
Last-minute bookings are easiest on Airbnb. Hosts get immediate notification of your arrival through a phone app. Your chances of securing a last-minute booking are additionally increased because you have more than 5 million properties to choose from. Not only will you likely find a property even on short notice, but you can book a home shaped like a dog, covered in mirrors or themed to replicate a gingerbread house.
The advantages you get with Airbnb outweigh the cost. Peace of mind and ease of use are essential components for reserving or offering accommodations. Airbnb is our choice for vacation rental bookings.
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