How to Use Airbnb and Find your Accommodation

Traveler that I am, it’s amazing how I have never use Airbnb before. Yet today, it has certainly became one of my favourite ways find an accommodation for traveling.

We had a family trip with my in-laws recently and had preferred to stay together in a whole house instead of hotel rooms. I knew my MIL would have love to have a kitchen even while traveling and my FIL can’t do without his routine of reading newspaper in a living room. What’s best place to find a holiday rental than in Airbnb? Hence I took my first jump.

What is Airbnb?

Airbnb is an online market site created for people who are looking for place to stay and people who have extra place to rent out. It has over 1,500,000 listings in 34,000 cities and 191 countries. And these does not limit to just rooms, but any available space – apartments, cottage, bungalows, just to name a few.

Why I like it?

I am an interior design and architecture geek and I find pleasure in sifting through the tastefully designed homes of somebody and I get to stay at these places for a reasonable price. Even if you are not a geek like me, you will still appreciate the chance to stay and try on the local experience. For example, we rented a condominium that faces the sea in Penang and we started our day like a local – jogging along the seaside, exploring the local shops and making our own breakfast.

Safety Measure at Airbnb

Airbnb is no foolproof. In fact, none of the booking website is but it indeed have some safety measures. Host and guest are required to sign up and both will receive reviews for their stays. Any vigilant traveler will have read through the reviews before deciding to stay. Likewise a host can read what other hosts commented on a certain traveler before deciding to open their doors to them.

All payments are are handled through Airbnb, so there is no cash transaction between you and the host. You will only be charged after the host accepted your booking within  24 hours. If no acceptance were done within the time, your booking is rejected and it will be time to look for another potential place.

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The Beginner’s Guide to using Airbnb

Sign up and login to www.airbnb.com. It will prompt you to search for a location, the dates, and the number of guests. The site will then present the available places for you to choose. You can refine your search to the accommodation type and the price range, or even specify the area by zooming the map on the right.

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Click on the photo for listing that interests you for more details.

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It is important to understand the house rules; are visitors not allowed? Are cooking allowed? What you should not touch in the house? Be an ethical guest. The Cancellation part will indicate will tell you how your booking charges will be handled when you cancel:

Flexible : Full refund 1 day prior to arrival, except fees.
Moderate : Full refund 5 days prior to arrival, except fees.
Strict : 50% refund up until 1 week prior to arrival, except fees

You can add a listing to your wish list if you like it but is still unsure if you want to rent it. You can contact the host for more questions. Don’t be shy, just ask.

Once you have confirm, click on Request to Book and you will be taken to the payment page on which you put down your payment information.

So did I enjoyed my stay?

Why not? Take a look at the pictures I took at our rented condominium at Maritime Seafront Penang.

Horizon Apt (16)

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Leave a Review

After your stay, you will be prompted to leave a review for your host and properties. Leave a fair feedback as this is an important credentials for your host.

How to Book and Get Discounts

Head over to www.airbnb.com to sign up to claim free travel credit to be used on your first stay.

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