In the news recently you may have heard that a man Jeffrey Bigham found inside his rental two small hidden cameras.
Airbnb has hosted millions of trips so something happening like this is rare, but it can happen so here are our top tips to keep you and your safe by locating hidden cameras that might be in your Airbnb.
Can Hosts Have Cameras?
Firstly, Airbnb DO allow cameras to be in the property, however, the host will need to fully disclose any surveillance devices in the property via the House Rules. These are considered to be anything that captures video, still images or audio. Eg. computer monitors, nanny cameras or Nest Cams.
Camera can only be placed in public spaces such as a front door or driveway or shared spaces, and these need to be explicitly disclosed prior to a reservation
Cameras in shared areas must be visible and disclosed in the listing description. Devices should never monitor private spaces like bedrooms, bathrooms, or common areas used for sleeping, such as a living room with a sofa bed.
Common Places to Find Hidden Cameras
Here is a list of common places that you might find a spy surveillance camera:
Stuffed teddy bears (Nanny Cams)
DVD & BluRay Cases
Desk and Floor standing Lamps
Power Outlets and Power Adapters
How to Detect Hidden Cameras
Here are a few ways in which you can help look for these hidden spy cameras.
1. Turn off all the lights
This method will help you locate night vision cameras that have infrared LED’s. During low light condition, the LED have a very faint glow.
Step 1. Turn off all the lights and draw the curtains in the room. Ensuring you have a pitch black room.
Step 2. Look around the room slowly the obvious location mentioned above to glowing red lights.
Step 3. Turn on the camera on your mobile phone, look through via this to detect flashing lights that you can’t see with the naked eye.
Step 4. Use a flashlight, to look over each item and look for unusual reflections. This will be the lenses of the camera creating a reflection.
2. How to scan the network for hidden cameras
This method will help you detect IP connected devices that connect to the home network.
Step 1. Turn off all electrical items that you can find in the Airbnb apart from the router/hub.
Step 2. Download a network scanner. My personal favourite is Fing.
Step 3. Run the Fing App this will help you look for items that are still transmitting Internet signals that are connected to the network. These can be doorbells and entry systems. If Fing has the MAC address of know surveillance companies it will also show up as such,
3. Use a Mobile Phone
This method will help you detect devices that use 3G or 4G mobile networks or RF signals.
Step 1. Make a phone call to someone you know, and explain what you’re doing. This should be someone who is not in the property.
Step 2. Move the phone around the room slowly, and listen out for a buzzing sound. This is the interference of the other network or RF signals. If the buzzing gets louder the closer you generally are getting to the concealed device.
What do I do if I find a Hidden Camera?
Step 1. Firstly move out of its viewing angle and your personal items.
Step 2.Contact Airbnb, to notify them of this, it may be that the owners have mentioned that they have surveillance equipment in their hosting terms.
Step 3. Contact the local authorities. Most countries forbid hidden sky cameras in bathrooms, changing rooms and toilets. Basically, anywhere that you may assume personal privacy.
One of the biggest concerns any traveler has is their health safety. Both companies are still open, accepting reservations, and have made alterations to their policies during this pandemic time.
The experts have agreed that using these vacation rental options is the safer method of seeing your dream location. Private rentals have less interaction between guests, staff, and local people than hotels do. Plus, you get the comforts of home during your stay.
Just so you know, HomeAway is now part of Vrbo and does not exist as a separate entity anymore. All reservations and searches are sent to the VRBO homepage.
Airbnb during Covid
Due to government restrictions and the possibility that hosts may contrct the disease Airbnb has made many changes to its policy. Those changes seem to be for this pandemic time period only. Here are those changes:
#1. Reservations booked on or before March 14, 2020, for dates between that day and July 31, 2020, can get their money back under the extenuating circumstance policy created by Airbnb. Or you can get travel credit but you may need to provide documentation to receive this benefit.
#2. Reservations made after March 14th are made under the regular cancellation policy and there are several options- flexible, moderate, and strict. Which one you will fall under depends on when you booked your stay and which one you qualify for.
#3. Airbnb has instituted a new cleaning program for all of its hosts. It is called the Enhanced Cleaning Initiative and it includes a 5 step set of guidelines to make sure all homes, apartments, etc. are clean, safe and healthy to rent.
This is not a mandatory program for hosts to follow but they can review the guidelines regardless and follow the plan. If they do participate, their profile gets updated to show that their rentals are practicing Covid safe protocols. You will be able to see this update very easily when you check the hosts out as you consider different places to stay. Remember if its your first time using Airbnb then you can save with our Airbnb coupon codes worth up to $50 on your first time usage of their platform.
Vrbo during Covid
Vrbo has been in business for over 25 years and knows a thing or two about renting vacation homes, apartments, and so on. Home Away seems to still exist in the UK but uses the Vrbo website, etc., to make bookings, other than that the two companies are all under the Expedia Group ownership.
This company has made some changes to its operation due to Covid and those changes are as follows:
#1. New search filters have been added to help their potential guests find rentals that align with their government’s travel and stay restrictions. One of those changes is their ‘staycation’ landing page which encourages travelers to find rentals closer to home.
#2. The company also instituted a new emergency cancellation policy for the period between March 13th and June 30th but has remained in force throughout July. You will have to check to see if it is still operating since this is November. But hosts are not forced to honor the new cancellation policy although they are rewarded if they do.
After March 13th and July 1st, the normal cancellation policy should apply and Vrbo has 5 categories your booking may fall into- relaxed, moderate, firm, strict, and no refund. It is up to you to check to see where your reservation falls.
#3. Vrbo has also instituted a new cleaning policy for its hosts to follow. These guidelines were constructed with the help of government, travel, and medical experts and are fairly extensive.
What this means is that your stay at a Vrbo supported vacation home should not be unsafe or threatening your health. Since Vrbo has millions of available rentals, the policies are not mandatory a sit is impossible to inspect all the available spaces for rent.
Hosts who comply will be given a badge indicating they are following the rules but if those hosts misrepresent their participation or cleanliness, they lose the badge. Vrbo first time user can now save with their coupon codes.
HomeAway during Covid
This used to be a sister company to Vrbo and was also owned by the Expedia Group corporation. As we said earlier, it is no longer in operation as a separate company but has been merged with Vrbo.
If you have seen this brand name in operation in different countries it is only because it was more famous than Vrbo was in those countries. other than that, the two brands are exactly the same and use the same websites, landing pages, and reservation system.
What to do when you want to book a reservation
Whether you book through Airbnb or Vrbo there are still several steps you must take to ensure that you can get away and enjoy your time off from work. here are those steps:
check with your local government- make sure that there are no travel restrictions to the state or country you want to visit
also, look for any self quarantining regulations that must be followed upon your arrival in those vacation locations
go to the Airbnb or Vrbo websites and review their policies- their websites are easy to navigate and you may find the right links under your trips web pages.
if all looks good, search the sites for your next vacation rental
make your reservation and plan for your stay- make sure to check out the cancellation policies before you book your stay
Some final words
Both Airbnb and Vrbo are doing what they can to make your next dream vacation be safe and healthy, even if you have to stay close to home. These two travel options are seen as the better options over staying at a motel or a hotel. They may even be cheaper.
Do your research to see if either company and their new policies work for you. Despite the pandemic, you can still enjoy a great vacation if you follow the right procedures and regulations. Double-check to make sure the hosts of those locations are doing the same. That way you will have a great time worry-free.
As hosts, we also use Airbnb a lot for personal and work travel. Like anyone else we are also looking for ways, we can save on our vacation and how we can get and discount on Airbnb. Below are some of our top-secret tips on how you can save on travel with Airbnb.
First-time users of Airbnb can use a voucher code
By far the simplest way to save on Airbnb is to use a voucher code. Our voucher codes can save your up to $60 on your first trip. The voucher code is directly added to your account when your book you register and book your first trip.
Airbnb help entice hosts by asking them to give early bird offer, if you book 30-days in advance you can some find hosts that will give you a discount. This is automatically applied and you’ll see this upfront. Easy!
Book A Longer Stay
This may seem to be counter-intuitive but bear with us. An automatic option for most hosts is to give discounts for a stay longer than 7-days. If your vacation is only for 6-days consider extending this to 7-days and the automatic discount will be automatically applied. Check the example below. 6-Nights at the cost of $253.33 a night. But the host has automatically applied a 21% discount of £386.40 for 7-nights, making it worth your while to book for longer, even if you’re not going to use the extra night. After you have booked and checked in etc… let you hosts know that you may be leaving a day soon than expected. Simple!
Book early and for month-long stays
It’s possible to obtain even larger discounts if you book early and for month-long stays. Even if you’re only wishing to book for 24-nights, it may advantageous to book for even longer, normally this is 30-nights. In the example below we book for 24-nights, we get the early bird discount and long stay discount. However, if we extend the number of days to 30 days, the total say of our trip is cheaper by $100! Bingo
Book Last Minute
Just like hotels no hosts wants an empty apartment. Empty apartments don’t early any money! If you book last minute it’s highly like the host has reduced the price to the minimum that they are willing to accept.
Avoid Busy Dates
If you pick certain dates, just like hotels, hosts can raise prices to maximize profits. Select less busy dates and you’re likely to get cheaper flights and accommodation. If you look at the example below the cost per each night has increased by over $100.
Look for New Hosts
New hosts on Airbnb will often have their prices slightly cheaper than established hosts as they need to attract guests to get their reviews up. This can be hit and miss as they might not know some of the things make it a five-star stay. But no risk no reward!
Asking the host for a discount
We often give discounts to guests by sending them a special price. However, this all depends on how you ask. If the first thing you ask for is a discount or special price. We would 99% of the time decline your request, even though it was in our power to grant this. If on the other hand, we gained some rapport with the new guests, then we likely gave a discount. On some hosts it might work if you ask upfront, other it might just alienate them, use this method with care. Hosts can send you this discount via a feature called Special Offer.
Airbnb, HomeAway and other home sharing platforms were founded on a very simple concept, to allow traveller find places they can stay for a fraction of a cheap hotel but with the convenience of a home away from home. While many people often love the housekeeping services that come from hotels, the apartment rental usually ends up being a win. If this isn’t enough motivation to stay in Airbnb, here are seven reasons you should stay at Airbnb or vacation rentals.
The convenience of travelling with Kids
Airbnb offers ample space and beds, something you may not get even from the most expensive hotel. Most hotels room, especially in Europe, doesn’t have space that allows one to travel with family. However, with an apartment rental from Airbnb, you can pick a place with enough bed, couch, and kitchen for the entire family; everyone gets to hang out, and you won’t have to beg for extra blankets.
Easy to get what you need
It is often hard to find your ideal hotel, but with Airbnb or HomeAway, you get to select a home of your liking regardless of where you came from, whether you need small space, large, one, saunas, fireplace, an apartment with a washing machine or just about everything you need. To many people, this flexibility is enough of a motivation to choose Airbnb over the most expensive hotel in town.
With Airbnb, you get to say in different places, it could be a cave house, or a home with a hot tub, or with fireplaces. This is entirely unlike hotels, where they may be secure, and nicer at a glance, but are in most cases boring. While some may consider the boredom of a hotel as a perk, some regards it as a con.
The little perks
In many places, hosts have been known to provide some perks that you may not see on hotels. While this is not a requirement, some host often provides breakfast food or even welcome snacks. Some can also give you a tip about the best places in town like restaurants, and some may even make recommendations to the best restaurant. Your host is often invested in the quality of your trip, something you cannot find even from your best restaurants.
It’s easier to check in and out
Airbnb and other booking sites have made it easier for guest to check in and out of rentals. People consider these platforms as a treasure hunt. You don’t need to know the addresses of the apartment until a couple of days before your stay, and there is no need of knowing all the details of the rental. You won’t spend 30 minutes line like in hotels, all you need to do is book a rental unit, and get the keys from lockboxes. Today you don’t even need to meet the host; there even smart door locks where all you need is the direction of the rental and a secret code to the door.
You get to learn about other cultures
Every place you get to travel is different, and the only way you can learn about their culture is through Airbnb rentals. If you choose a hotel, you won’t see any difference between the experience in Cleveland and Istanbul or Tallinn especially if it’s a chain hotel. Everything is all the same; it’s the same company same rule and the same designs even in the toilet. On the other hand, if you stay in an apartment rental, everything is different in different places. You get to experience new things, at a less low price. Of course, if you want to have an apartment that looks like the previous one, it is your choice, but, if you don’t, you get to know different cultures.
Everyone gets to rate the other
Of course, you may come across some poor Airbnb rentals, but there are also some crappy hotels. The difference is, with Airbnb, you get to rate review the host, and you are also rated. Some of those who have rented Airbnb have reported their share of horror stories, but at least the host or the quest has the satisfaction of giving a bad rating. Airbnb host often has to do their best for a better rating, so chances are, everyone will be satisfied by the end of the stay.
Watch This Video to understand more about Airbnb
Not all Airbnb hosts are made equal so some are better than others but there are a number of professional Airbnb hosts who can provide a hotel quality service. For first time users, follow our Airbnb guide for renters, this will give you the in and out of getting the most out of your Airbnb. If you’re after a luxury Airbnb then you should consider using Airbnb Plus, these properties have been verified by Airbnb so you’ll know what you’re getting each and every time.
In this guide, we give our Airbnb tips for renters, these will help your learn Airbnb’s system and navigate it to help you pick out a bargain, high-end apartment or a room with an amazing view. First timers should follow this guide, it will only take 10 minutes to complete part 1 of this 2 part series. This may save you money and help you avoid a bad vacation rental experience.
How To Get Started As A Guest On Airbnb
Firstly, you will need to register an account on their site. Get started by claiming your free $35 towards your first stay. Click on this link. Then register your basic details on the site.
What Is Airbnb?
In a nutshell, Airbnb is a marketplace that allows homeowners to rent out their homes, spare rooms or even caravans. Basically, anywhere that people might want to stay. They handle the payments and communication between the guests (visitors) and the hosts (homeowners) They operate in 90 different counties, with over 900,000 properties listed on their website. Learn more about the history of Airbnb.
Is Airbnb Safe?
Since you are staying at the property of someone else, then you can consider this to be slightly less safe than a hotel. But it is rare to have a problem, but a little bit of research and verification will keep you and your possessions safe. We will teach you what to look out for in later chapters.
Airbnb also has a 24/7 customer support desk. If you run into any problems they are always available. unlike a hotel, where you may have to locate the hotel manager and hope that he/she is able to resolve your problem. Airbnb risks are limited by them holding any bookings fees until after you checkin. We have always found the customer service reps to be fair and well trained to deal with a whole host of issues immediately.
What Do Airbnb Charge?
As a guest you will get charged 6-12% on the cost of your stay as Airbnb’s fee, the rest will go to the host. The host also gets charged a minimum of 3% based on their cancellation policy.
Verifying Your Airbnb Account
If you are new to renting on Airbnb you should verify your account by uploading a form of government ID. This only takes a minute and it will give you creditability when you are attempting to make a booking for the first time. As a bonus verify you should verify social profiles as well, some hosts might ask for this, so, save yourself some time and verify as much as you can.
FIND THAT PERFECT PROPERTY
Before you set out looking for that perfect property, first consider what you want from your accommodation. Here are some details that you may want to consider before looking for accommodation.
What type of property do you want to stay in? A whole property, shared, private bathroom or even luxury vacation rental.
Are you booking last minute?
Do you need a late checkin?
How many bedrooms/beds do you need?
Do you have pets or require parking or have accessibility needs?
Let’s Get Searching
Enter your dates
Enter the number of guests
Select the location that you want to stay
Select the property type you need.
Observe the number of results, if you have a large choice then start to apply your additional filters, like gyms and hot tubs.
On the left you will see the average pricing, this will give you an indication of how much you’re likely to pay and how busy that time of year is.
First Time Searching On Airbnb
Look at a selection of homes and just click on a few, they’ll open up new tabs and you’ll be able to observe from there.
Things to look for:
1. Examine the photos. You’ve come across lots of pictures that you might love. But here are a few things to look out for.
The average number of pictures for a 1 bedroom apartment should have on average 5-8 pictures. Anything less than this might be that the host is hiding something.
Look for the details. Observe how cup and plates might be positioned. If they are aligned nicely then chances are they are quite tidy hosts.
Observe how the beds are made. If the sheets are tucked under this has probably been professionally cleaned by a management company
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Look for the “verified” tag on the pictures. This means that the pictures were taken by Airbnb photographers so can be trusted.
Check vertical lines, if they bend inwards, this means that a fisheye lens has been used, so the room might be smaller than it really is
2. Look at the home highlights. These will tell you what other guests have found great about the property.
3. Check the Amenities to ensure all the things that you might need are mentioned here.
4. Check the Airbnb reviews to see what’s important to you. There are 6 categories that hosts can be rated by: Accuracy (ie their description accuracy) Location, Communication, Check-in, Cleanliness and Value. We personally never book anything that has lower than 4-stars on location and cleanliness.
5. Read the reviews. The things to look for here are objective negative Airbnb reviews and really short reviews, kind of positive reviews. I’ve no idea what you are trying to say here. Try again! More often than not if they have a large number of really short reviews, then you can probably assume that the guests didn’t want to say anything, so left a short semi-positive review.
How to find an Airbnb bargain
It’s possible that a host has no reviews on this current property, however, they may have reviews on other properties, This means they are an established host and know what they are doing when it comes to vacation renting.
If you are in a gambling mood, it may be worth taking the chance on this new property. To promote the property Airbnb often asks the host to reduce their price by upto 20%. You may get a bargain.
Location, Location, Location
Finding a place with a great location can be difficult as a tourist as it can be hard to tell what is good and what is not good. Airbnb by default doesn’t show you the exact location of the property. This is only shown to you after you book.
Tips: On the map itself check the public transit button as this will help you see if you have a station nearby.
Also, go to Booking.com to search to see if there are any hotels nearby. If there are lots of hotels in the same area as the AirBnB that you are looking at then it is highly likely that it is a good area for you to base yourself as a tourist.
Read the House Rules
The House Rules will describe what is not allowed inside that property as well as checkin a check out times. If you are unable to make these check in or check out times then check with the host to see if they will make an exception for you.
Before booking feel free to drop the host a message. You will need to use the message system to contact the hosts. Most hosts will be happy to answer your questions. Click on the “Contact Host” button next to the hosts profile.
You will not be able to send telephone numbers or websites via the Airbnb message system until you have made a booking. Stay safe and keep all communications inside the message system. Once you have messaged the hosts, they will have 24-hours to respond, otherwise, they face a reduction in their response rate.
The Host Has Pre-Approved Me, What Does This Mean?
If the host sent you a pre-approval this means that the host has checked your profile and is happy for you to book their place. It doesn’t mean you have booked yet. You will then have 24 hours to accept the pre-approval by click on the book button. After the 24 hours expires you will need to rebook the property.
Looking Out For Trustworthy Hosts
Airbnb runs a peer-to-peer review system, so leaving reviews to help other visitors out and ensure that hosts stay on their toes. Check for their account verifications, look for the green tick on their profile picture. This tick informs you that they have a verified form of Government ID i.e. passport, drivers licence etc.
Look at the Joined date, this will tell you if they are new. New hosts may not be totally up to speed with the ins-and-outs of Airbnb, so you may need to give them a little leeway.
Check if the host has a superhost badge on their profile picture. This indicates that the host has hosted at least 10 visitors and has, at a minimum, 80% five-star reviews.
The guidebook allows hosts to mark on a map their favourite, bars, clubs, museums, parks and attractions. These can sometimes be combined with the city guide books that Airbnb supply, helping you find things to do in the city or near to your rental.
How to Make An Airbnb Booking
Once you have found the perfect vacation rental, click on the booking button. If the host is using the instant booking feature then you can book immediately.
If you haven’t verified your account, then the host will need to accept or reject your booking manually. Every host has a maximum of 24 hours to approve your booking,
What is Airbnb Instant Book?
Airbnb Instant bookings are listing that do not require the hosts to accept or reject your request. If you are making a booking at the last minute you should look for properties that have this option. On the search filter, select Instant Book and this will show you only properties that have this option. To book using this option you must first ensure that you have completed your profile.
What Is Airbnb Plus?
Airbnb Plus is Airbnb’s attempt to compete with the hotel market. All these homes have been verified for quality by a quality control representative. They inspect over a 100+ quality point to ensure quality and comfort. Airbnb Plus properties have a Plus Badge attached to them. Booking these rentals may cost a little bit more but, if you want to know exactly what your getting, then this is a good option.
Airbnb Plus hosts are some of the most highly rated with over 4.8 in the overall rating and 0 cancellations.
NEVER transfer money outside of Airbnb! They accept all major credit cards and pre-pay cards. They also accept various major debit cards.
Payment should be placed on your card, this is held by Airbnb and charged directly by them. Payment is held in escrow until the day after you check-in and only then is the payment released to the host.
What Does Awaiting Payment Mean?
Awaiting payments means that the host has accepted your booking but your payment has yet to be completed. This could be due to lack of funds or a blocked card. You will have 24 hours to update your payment details. If you don’t, your booking will be cancelled without penalty but you will have to rebook.
Airbnb now allows you to pay for your reservation in multiple parts, Select the payless function and you will not have to pay all the money upfront. They will contact you 3 days before the second payment is required.
What Should I Write To The Host When Booking?
Make the host feel at ease by informing them of the following information as your introduction. Remember they can cancel your booking if they feel uneasy with your booking.
Who is staying with you in the property e.g. friends or family?
What time you are likely to arrive
Let them know your flight details as they might be able to share their locally held information on the easiest / cheapest / most efficient way to get to their property.
Understanding the Pricing
Once you select your dates and number of guests the system will automatically calculate the right pricing for you based on those parameters. You may find that the pricing is now higher than what you were initially quoted per night.
Reasons for this pricing change:
The dates you have chosen may be highly sought. Airbnb has a dynamic pricing option that lowers and raises pricing for the host automatically based on availability, type of property and various other factors. Hosts and Airbnb smart pricing can change the pricing for each day, e.g. New Year’s Eve may have a high premium versus a lower price on the 30th of December.
An Airbnb cleaning fee may have been added. This is normally a small fee ranging from $10-$50. This is a one-off fee charged to help hosts cover the costs of preparing the apartment after you depart.
Service fee, this is the cost to you for using their platform and can range from 6-12%.
Extra Guests fee, can be included by the guests for any number of extra people above 1 person. This helps the hosts get the pricing right based on the number of rooms / linen that you might use. For example, you are unlikely to use all the room in a 6 bedroom house if there is only one person stay. So they can reduce the price based on the number of people staying.
Security Deposits. All security deposits are held by Airbnb. Hosts can request all or some of your security deposit to repair damages. They will have 14 days to place a request for this or until the next guests check-in.
NB: Don’t exchange monies outside of the Airbnb system.
Ensure you get your free $35 free credit by click on this link.
Pro Tip: Don’t ask the host for the total price. Whatever price you see in Airbnb will be the price you pay. The host will only see what they get in terms of payout. They would need to calculate exchange rates and other fees (Airbnb service charges etc.) to get you an accurate price.
To help with calculations, ensure you’ve setup the right local currency. This can be changed by visiting your Profile and then Settings. Airbnb will handle the exchange rates.
How to Haggle the right way
If the first thing you send to our team is to ask for a reduction in price, 90% of the time we’ll respond with “Sorry but no”.
Here is what we suggest to get a discount.
First, create a small relationship with the host by telling them about yourself and how you are going to be zero trouble etc. Then ask for a possibility of a discount, especially if it is low season. (Low season in the UK is generally January through to March.)
You can check the hosts calendar to see how busy they are. If they are already fully booked then your chances of a discount are already reduced. If you are booking last minute your chances of getting a discount improve greatly. If they have a cleaning fee, maybe ask for this to be waived.
If they accept your request then the host will respond with Special Offer Pricing in the Airbnb system. You will have 24 hours to accept the “special offer”. Having a special offer doesn’t automatically block the dates for you and the host can send multiple special offers to other guests for the same dates.
If you are staying more than 7 days and the host has not automatically applied a long-term stay discount, then also check to see if they will do anything on the pricing for you.
Hosts generally have 3 types of cancellation policy that they can choose from: Flexible, Moderate and Strict. Check which one your host has before you attempt to cancel your booking.
Flexible: Full refund available up until 24 hours before your booking is due to start. After which the first night will not be refunded.
Moderate: Guests cancel up to 5 days in advance to obtain a full refund. If you are within the 5 day period then you will be eligible for a 50% refund.
Strict: A full refund is available if you cancel your booking within 48 hours of making your booking. 14 days prior to check-in you are eligible for a 50% refund. 7 Days-prior to your check-in you will not be refunded.
Airbnb Cleaning fees are always refunded. You can cancel a booking last minute if you have extenuating circumstances.
When renting for a month or longer, a high-end property can turn a great stay into an unforgettable one. High-end properties are becoming more popular every year in top cities like London, New York, and beyond. This guide will show you exactly what to look for when searching for luxury rentals in your desired area. With these top tips, you’ll be able to indulge in the experience of a lifetime today!
Finding Your Version of Luxury
Luxury means something different to everyone, and before renting, it’s important to think about what luxury means to you. When you imagine yourself staying in a luxurious London property, are you thinking of a historic Victorian home with a fireplace and scenic balcony, or are you thinking about a downtown penthouse with marble flooring? Luxury may mean cosy and warm, or it may mean a sparkling interior inside of an ultra-modern suite with elevator access. Take note of what comes to mind when you imagine luxury so you can instantly spot it when you find the perfect listing.
You should also account for how many people you plan to live with during your stay. Larger parties may opt for a luxury loft with two or more levels plus multiple bathrooms. For couples, a two-bedroom apartment with a full kitchen will often provide more than enough space.
Choosing Between Cosmopolitan or Secluded Luxury
If your ideal vacation involves frequent shopping, visits to a spa, and exploring the best that a city has to offer, then you may wish to stay at a high-end property in or very near to the city center. A city like London has numerous offerings for those wishing to stay in the center of the action, and you can choose from modern penthouses with sweeping views to more classical offerings in historic buildings downtown.
When choosing a property within the city center, you want to gauge the neighborhood to see if it fits with your dream vacation. Look online at the nearby restaurants to see who they cater to and how long they stay open. Also check what the general nightlife or entertainment scene is and whether it’s right for you. An abundance of clubs and pubs may mean that the area is a bit more rowdy at night with a younger crowd, while nearby museums and galleries would show that it’s a more serene neighborhood.
You should also check how close you are to the metro system along with other forms of public transportation. While you can always rent a car, it’s important to know whether there’s a nearby bus stop or metro station if needed. If you plan to rent a car, find out whether you’ll have access to your own garage or parking space. You may also wish to avoid staying near major terminals or train stations since they are often busy and loud.
For those looking for more relaxation and tranquillity during their stay, there’s always the option for a more secluded form of luxury in the suburbs. In a suburban high-end property, you’ll generally have more private space and separation from your neighbors which can change your trip dramatically. While you may need a rental car to access the city center, the extra travel time is a small price to pay for the added benefits of your own home.
Make a List of Important Amenities
While all high-end properties will feature different layouts and perks, there are a few common amenities to take note of before booking. The items in this section are often featured in top luxury properties, but it’s important to double-check the listing before booking so you’re not surprised upon arrival. Decide which amenities are the most important to you, and rank them in order so you can narrow down your options before booking.
Most high-end rentals will feature a large bathtub or deluxe shower so you can pamper yourself during your stay. If you’re staying in a mansion or home, there may be a pool or hot-tub option as well. In luxury apartments, you may be given access to a community pool or gym. A luxury property will also come complete with high-end cutlery and glassware. You can expect to find fine silverware and other kitchen appliances so you can effortlessly host and prepare a meal. The dining room table will often be large enough for guests as well.
What really sets a luxury property apart from the rest is its attention to detail. Pay attention to the art and decorations found throughout the property. There may be a theme, color-scheme, plus other details that tie the whole place together. Each room should blend and flow into the next while still being distinct. This helps to create a unified property as opposed to a standard one-size-fits-all hotel room. When you pay for luxury, it’s often the little things that make the greatest difference, and a property’s decorations are no exception.
Another thing to keep in mind is the view from the windows and front door. In a central property, you want a view of the skyline or of the beautiful buildings across from yours. In a more secluded property, you may be able to open your front door to find trees, gardens, or pleasant buildings in a quiet area. If a property is billed as being secluded and tranquil, but there’s a major roadway right outside the front door, you may wish to consider if the noise and traffic would be a problem during your stay.
Finally, it’s important to note whether there are daily or weekly cleaning services during your trip. Sometimes high-end properties come complete with your own cleaner or maid, but other times you’re left on your own until you checkout. Think about how often you’d want a cleaning crew to service the property or if you’d rather enjoy your stay without any additional help. You can always request or cancel cleaning services, but some properties may not offer it at all which is why it’s important to find out before you book.
A Unique Experience
Sometimes properties are listed as luxurious because they provide a unique experience that can’t be replicated anywhere else. This may include staying inside of an old monk’s castle, in the tower of an old Gothic church, or on the grounds of a historic garden. In these cases, you’re paying a premium price more for the experience rather than the amenities. These properties may be listed as high-end since they offer a once in a lifetime view or experience, but don’t expect the same amenities that you’d find in a newly built penthouse suite. However, if you’re a history buff or wish to have an experience unlike anything else, it may be worth sacrificing high-end silverware for the chance to sleep in an ancient building.
By utilizing all of these Airbnb tips, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect high-end rental anywhere in the world. Make a checklist about what you expect to find in your dream property, and spend the time to find the listing that matches your criteria. Once you find the perfect place, you’ll be able to indulge in the world’s greatest luxuries while exploring the best that your destination has to offer!
Whether you’re a frequent traveler or a first-timer, staying in a new city can be both exciting and a bit intimidating. With the rise of Airbnb, you can get a more personal and friendly introduction to a city while feeling like a true local. However, staying at an Airbnb property is a bit different than checking into a major hotel, and it’s worthwhile to go over some basics before you arrive. To ease your worries and enhance your vacation, this top tips guide will go over the best things you can do to be a stellar guest at any Airbnb property today!
Why Is It Important?
If the host thinks you weren’t a good guest they can review you accordingly. If you continue to get low Airbnb reviews then you’ll have restricted use of the instant booking facility. If a host sees a number of bad reviews, your ability to book can be limited. Airbnb can also remove you from their system and you’ll that will be the end of your account.
Before You Book
It’s important to research your host’s property before you arrive to ensure it’s right for you. Take note of their location and the property’s atmosphere so you’re not surprised upon arrival. Some common things to check include:
Additional Guest Policies
Planning Your Arrival
Traveling is often spontaneous, and your host understands that you may arrive a bit late or early. However, it’s still important to let them know about your estimated arrival time so they can plan accordingly. You don’t have to text them every moment about your whereabouts, but you should alert them to any major changes like being 15 minutes late or more. They have lives too, and a quick message can ensure everyone stays in a great mood from the moment you arrive!
Common Questions to Ask Your Host
There are some common questions you can ask your host that will streamline your experience. The first thing to ask about is the check-in process. While the check-in process is often similar across the board, you want to know exactly what to expect so you can effortlessly arrive, relax, and explore your destination.
Depending on the length of your stay, ask where you should put any used garbage bags. You may be asked to put trash bags outside on the street, or your host may simply pick them up for you when needed. Ask about locking the doors as some hosts may not have an extra key for a deadbolt or inside-only lock. While this is uncommon, it’s worth asking so you can avoid complications. Plus, you can also ask about where to put your keys once you checkout.
While you should always call the local authorities for health emergencies, ask your host about whom to call for minor problems or inconveniences. Your host may give you their own personal number, and they may also provide a second back-up number in case they’re unavailable. Get this information in advance so you never have to panic if there’s a water leak, broken item, or other unlikely inconvenience.
If Something Breaks…
If something breaks in your host’s home, whether it’s your fault or not, it’s important to let them know right away so they have time to prepare before the next guests arrive. Of course, some damages are more severe than others, but your host will want to fix anything quickly no matter if it’s a broken toilet or cracked portrait frame. Simply give them a quick call or text and calmly explain what happened. If the damage occurred on a more personal item like a figurine or portrait, try to save any remaining pieces so they have the option to fix it themselves. Avoid throwing anything away without their permission since your host may have a personal attachment to it. Of course, broken glass or other dangerous items should be swept up and safely moved away.
If the toilet overflows or the sinks clog up, try to refrain from using them until your host has a chance to fix the problem. These types of occurrences are rare, but they can often be quickly fixed so you can get back to enjoying your stay. For more severe damages, your host may call a plumber while you’re out enjoying the city so you never feel inconvenienced.
Don’t be afraid about asking questions or honestly communicating with your host throughout your stay. If there’s something wrong, or if you have a question or recommendation, it’s always better to ask than to let the problem linger in your mind. Your host wants you to have a great time, and they understand that your happiness is the key to their future business. Feel free to politely speak your mind, ask for something more, or alert them about a problem you have no matter how minor it seems. You’ll have a better stay, and since a better stay equals a better review, your host will be happier as well!
Leaving a Great Impression
Now it’s time to leave a wonderful impression on your host with just a few extra steps! For starters, you can strip the bed and leave the sheets in a neat pile at the edge of the frame on the floor when you leave. Take out any trash and toss any unused items in the fridge to prevent mould or spills. Of course, clean any dishes and either leave them out to dry or put them in the cabinets if ready.
To conserve energy, make sure to turn off any lights or electronics before leaving. Finally, you can leave a nice handwritten note thanking your host for everything they’ve done. It doesn’t have to be long, and you’ll leave a more comprehensive review later on, but a quick acknowledgement can go a long way in brightening someone’s day!
Becoming a Critic: Airbnb Reviews
Your online review should be honest, thoughtful, and fair to give your host and their future guests an accurate portrayal of your stay. Remember, your review could make or break their future rental prospects, so it’s best to save minor problems for private messages unless something truly awful occurred. Try to cover some important points like:
Host Responsiveness and Friendliness
If the toilet broke but your host fixed it right away, you can mention how your host quickly fixed a common problem in a professional manner. Some reviewers may only touch upon the problem and not the solution, and this can greatly hurt your host’s rating. Of course, if a host neglected to care about your problems, then it’s perfectly fine to mention that a property isn’t maintained. Try to keep it fair, and see the situation from all sides instead of writing an overly negative and emotional review.
You have 48 hours to alter your review unless the host leave a review for you
Reviews are blind, you’ll not see what the host has written about you until you complete your review and visa-versa.
Somethings are best mentioned in the private section of the reviews, only the host will see this.
By following these tips, you can be a 5-Star guest anywhere you wish to travel! Being a great guest will make your experience that much better, and it will inspire your host to help you more along the way. So whether you’re traveling to the bustling center of London or elsewhere around the world, use these tips to make your Airbnb experience the best it can be today!