I know this might be weird, but one of the things I was looking forward to most in Portland was staying in our Airbnb. This was the first time I had ever used the site and I had spent weeks scouring through listings. My trick was to find a space that not only had nice photos but looked like the host took the time to make the area look as hospitable as possible. For example – towels folded nicely on beds, little bottles of shampoo/conditioner in the bathroom, coffee or tea on the kitchen counter, etc. Those are the spots where you know the host is really trying and that they care.
After making a list of a couple of places and reviewing them with my fiance, we finally booked a place called The Urban Owl. This amazing couple took their basement and turned it into a mini getaway. It was so cute, in an amazing location, and cheaper than staying in a hotel.
After our stay, I’ve totally got the Airbnb bug. I freely admit that I spend way too much time looking at places to stay in the future. While I don’t call myself an expert, I do have a couple of tips and tricks that I follow. Hopefully these will help you find the perfect place for your next vacation!
- Utilize the search filters. For this trip, I knew that my fiance and I would want to rent an entire home (compared to a single room). To help cut down on the clutter I made sure to use the filter. Other ones you can use are for price, amount of guests, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, and a ton others. They’ll help you find the perfect place in no time.
- Read the reviews carefully. These will become your new best friend. If there is something even a little bit off, people will let you know. Likewise, they’ll also tell you if it’s an amazing spot. I usually like to make sure they have plenty of reviews as well. One or two is still a little too much into the unknown for me.
- Communicate with your host before booking. In order to help decide if this was the place for me, I sent a little note before booking that gave some background information on me, my trip, and I also asked a couple of questions. This was the perfect opportunity to open up a line of communication with the host, as well as see how quickly they respond.
- Pay attention to location. You find the perfect place and book it, only to find out it’s a 50-minute drive away from the airport and nowhere close to any of the places you wanted to visit. When you’re paying too much attention to the beautiful photos and the low price, it can be easy to fall into this trap. While these things are important, keeping an eye on the map is right there with them.
What’s your Airbnb experience?