The Best Airbnb’s for visiting US national parks

National Park

After the pandemic many people have been exploring a little closer to home, and it has shown us all that you do not have to travel halfway across the world to find unique places to visit!

If you are looking for a breath-taking holiday destination, with plenty of things to see and do… Have you considered one of the US’s national parks?

There are over 60 national parks across the US where you can hike, cycle, kayak and spot wildlife… as well as take in the fantastic scenery! There is definitely something for everyone, no matter which one you choose.

Here is a fun fact for you… did you know that national parks cover 84 million acres of space?

A nation Park is perfect for social distancing and adventure at the same time.  There are a number of self-guided tours that can be done in all of the national parks, that covers everything from plant species to archaeology.

To start off we recommend a visit to the main government national park website. Here you’ll find information regarding, staying safe, passes, visitor information, and rules.

If you’re looking for a vacation closer to home with a little bit of a difference, here are some of the best Airbnbs for visiting our favourite US National Parks!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

forest, view, landscape

The most visited park in the United States, this park not only includes The Appalachian Trail and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies but also Dollywood!

Here are two great Airbnbs near the Great Smoky Mountains to get you started:

A secluded cabin in the woods

Perfect for: a Romantic getaway

Cost: £979 a night

If you’re looking for a cosy retreat, this cabin is a gorgeous choice! Located in the heart of the mountains, this cabin comes with a cosy log fire, an outside swing built for two and a hot tub that is perfect for a soak under the stars!

The heart-shaped bath has to be seen to be believed!

Bryson City Walkabout

Perfect for: A quiet family retreat

Cost: £113 a night

This house sleeps six guests, making it an excellent choice for families. It has a stunning view of the Smoky Mountains. Reviewers love the cleanliness and the friendly accommodating host.

The next-door neighbour also has chickens and goats, making it an exciting place for children to stay!

Grand Canyon National Park

horseshoe bend, arizona, southwest

This iconic park is located in Arizona and is famous for its wildlife and stunning views. We recommend watching the sunrise and sunset here! The cannon is over a mile deep and up to 18 miles wide in some places. During the sunset, you can get beautiful views of the stunning layered bands of the rocks.

If you’re looking to plan a trip to see this fantastic park, here are two wonderful Airbnb ideas:

An apartment built for four

Perfect for: A family trip to the Grand Canyon

Cost: £119 a night

This hidden gem of an apartment is fully serviced, with gorgeous views of the Kaibab forest. It’s a fantastic starting point for those who want to check out the Grand Canyon, as well as local Flagstaff and Sedona.

Grand Canyon Resort Camper

Perfect for: Fans of glamping

Cost: £87 a night

Sleeping five guests, this RV is perfect for those who want to experience camping… with all of the mod cons!

The RV comes with a fully fitted kitchen, BBQ grill and a communal fire pit for relaxing with a drink at the end of a hard day’s exploring.

You can also bring along your pets for a small additional fee – with dog bags and treats supplied!

Rocky Mountain National Park

lake, landscape, mountains

The interesting thing about Rocky Mountain National Park is the change in environment. Some areas of the park are lush and green, while others are covered in snow. You can experience all of the seasons in a short weekend! This stunning park is over 415 square miles and projects spectacular mountains in all directions.

Want to visit the Rocky Mountains? Here are two great places to stay.

A peaceful forest retreat

Perfect for: A peaceful and relaxing holiday with loved ones

Cost: £75 a night

This wonderful woodland home is not only serene and calm but also is great for spotting wildlife… many reviewers commented on the friendly deers who like to poke their heads in the window to say hello!

Garden of the Gods home

Perfect for: Those wanting an active holiday full of walking and cycling

Cost: £94 a night

This cosy two-bedroom home is within walking distance of the trail, making it an excellent place for adventure-seekers! From deers walking around the streets to a fully stocked kitchen, this Airbnb has it all!

Yosemite National Park

yosemite, national park, california

The first national park that came into existence in the US, Yosemite National Park has a lot of breath-taking scenery including glaciers, waterfalls and cliffs.

If Yosemite sounds like the perfect choice, here are two amazing Airbnbs to stay in.

Snyder Ridge mountain getaway

Perfect for: Those looking for a rustic stay, with plenty of wildlife spotting

Cost: £67 a night

An hour’s drive away from Yosemite National Park, this private room in a cosy cabin guarantees you a fantastic night’s sleep!

Deers, raccoons and squirrels pass by the property regularly, and the owners also have a very friendly pet cat and dog.

Gorgeous deluxe apartment

Perfect for: Ski bunnies looking for a luxurious place to stay

Cost: £132 a night

Located in the Mammoth Lakes, this condo is not only near lots of stores, cafes and restaurants but has a bar, swimming pool, gym and locker for skiing!

Yosemite National Park is only a short drive away for when you want a change from the slopes and apres-ski.

Which Airbnb will you choose?

We are sure that this guide will give you lots of ideas as to which national park to cross off your bucket list next!

If you have your own RV or camping equipment, you can also hire premium camping space on Airbnb too. Imagine waking up to wildlife around you or going to sleep under the stars.

If you’d like to book into one of the fantastic venues on this list, why not join us on Airbnb? You can get up to £40 on a place to stay and £10 off an experience of your choice. You can put that money towards a sturdy pair of hiking boots or bike hire for a weekend.

Get saving on your very first Airbnb experience with our voucher codes.

Please note: All prices are based on one guest and are subject to change. Costs do not include cleaning, service fees and other charges.

Ultimate Airbnb Guests Booking Guide

Introduction

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. 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 Airbnb platform

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

  1. Enter your dates
  2. Enter the number of guests
  3. Select the location that you want to stay
  4. Select the property type you need.
  5. Observe the number of results, if you have a large choice then start to apply your additional filters, like gyms and hot tubs.
  6. 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

[sciba leftsrc=”https://hostsandhomes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/bad-made-bed-1.jpg” leftlabel=”Poorly Made Bed” rightsrc=”https://hostsandhomes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Well-made-bed.jpg” rightlabel=”Well Made Bed” mode=”horizontal” width=””]

  • 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.

Asking Questions

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.

Airbnb Guidebook

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.

Payment

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.

Spitting Payments

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.

Local Currency

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.

The green dates indicate availability

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.

Cancellation Policies

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.

Airbnb Customer Services

Important aurbnb numbers

For new Airbnb hosts, be sure to enter the appropriate customer services numbers for your region into your phone. Do this before you first guest arrives, just incase of any issue, you’ll have Airbnb only the line in minutes, instead of digging around looking for their numbers.

In case of emergencies: If you feel unsafe or are worried about your well-being or that of someone else, please reach out to local emergency services without delay.

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One can also try Twitter as well if it’s not an urgent request:
@AirbnbHelp

You can request a call back with the Airbnb neighbourhood feedback system. You have the option to submit a report for a party, noise complaint, or neighbourhood concern here.

Airbnb Reveals is Most Wishlisted Homes for Earth Day

happy new year greeting card

In celebration of Earth Day, Airbnb has revealed its most wishlisted properties worldwide, showcasing simple and minimalistic living for both hosts and guests. Bookings for these properties occur months in advance, so if you’re planning to stay, be sure to get organized and prepare for the release dates of these stunning homes. Here are 10 … Read more

The Party’s Over!

People drinking at a party

Airbnb parties are a thing of the past. As a result, parties and other gatherings are no longer permitted in any of the properties listed on Airbnb. When bars and clubs were forced to close or restrict entry owing to the pandemic of coronavirus, the accommodation-sharing company made the decision to temporarily prohibit partying behaviour … Read more

The Party’s Over – Airbnb Suspends 800 UK listings

Airbnb Suspend Party Listings

Airbnb has suspended more than 800 listings in the UK after they believed that they have been used as party houses. The suspension covers the listings that have defied policies or received complaints on events and parties which are banned by the company.

In the company’s commitment to crack down on the antisocial behaviour, they have blocked UK reservations attempts over 13,500 in a single month by introducing a pilot restriction that put a stop to some reservations from the people living nearby and under the age of 25 years.

Airbnb has introduced some ground rules to be followed to prevent certain behaviour at its listed rental properties. This included banning parties at their rental properties internationally, the introduction of the pilot booking restrictions, and launching of the neighbour tools, this is where neighbours can share their concerns about any of their listings to them directly for investigating.

It started as the organization stated they will be restricting reservations in England following the lockdown introduction by the government, to make sure that no one goes against the Covid restriction rules.  From Friday 6th November to Wednesday the 2nd of December during this time all the new reservations will be done with the new temporary restrictions.

Guests who are legally not subject to the restrictions will be allowed to have long-term reservations on Airbnb. But the company will be continuously reviewing measures and keeping an eye on the way forward by the government.

The director of public policy at the organization, Patrick Robinson, issued a “zero tolerance” warning to any guest using the platform.

With the plans of filing the necessary Initial Public Offering (IPO) documents before the end of November, just before the stock market launching in December. This company is completed to its pledge to find and remove guests and hosts may still want to hold the house parties and large gatherings and fail to follow the social distancing rule.  Airbnb is positive about attracting more investors as they pursue a new IPO deal exceeding $30 billion.

Airbnb’s Enhanced Cleaning Protocol Explained.

Cleaning Protocols

There has never been anything that has affected the travel industry in the same way that Covid-19 has. There are now standards laid out by Airbnb that vacation rental owners have to meet to ensure that their property is safe for people to stay in if they want to get more booking in the future. Property owners are now able to accept visitors and many are keen to do so to get their business back on track, but it is only natural that guests may still feel uneasy. Guests now need to be reassured about the cleanliness of the rental they will be staying in. To help with this Airbnb have launched their Advanced Cleaning Initiative which makes it clear to owners the steps they need to take when cleaning to provide peace of mind for guests.

Why Has The Airbnb Advanced Cleaning Initiative Been Introduced?

The initiative has been launched to ensure that there is a certain standard of cleaning which is being adhered to across all properties that are registered with Airbnb. Owners are given a five-point checkpoint that they need to follow. There is also a quiz that they can take to check they have understood everything that they need to do. If the quiz is completed and passed, then owners will be given a cleaning highlight named ‘Committed to Clean‘ which they are able to display on their listings.

Airbnb’s five-step to the cleaning plan is as follows:

  1. Prepare

If you want the cleaning to be effective and be approved by Airbnb, then you need to get the preparation right. You should make sure that you have everything you need in the right rooms before you start. This will ensure that you do not have to keep moving between rooms, or even leave the property to get the things that you need. Always wash your hands before you start cleaning and make sure you wear protective equipment such as gloves or aprons. The rooms should be well ventilated before and while you are cleaning.

  1. Clean

There is a difference between cleaning and sanitizing, and this is something you will need to understand this before you complete the Airbnb quiz. Cleaning is done to prepare for sanitization. As a minimum the cleaning process should make sure that all linens are washed, floors are mopped and vacuumed, counters are wiped, surfaces are dusted, the trash has been taken out and all the dishes have been washed. This will be part of the process that takes the longest, but it is also the most important stage. This is not really different from what you should have been doing before the Covid-19 crisis, but spending that little bit more time cleaning will ensure you always get 5-stars.

  1. Sanitize

Sanitizing helps to prevent the spread of germs. Surfaces that are used most frequently will benefit the most from sanitization, and this includes door handles, appliance, electronics, and light switches. Sanitizing will only be effective if the surfaces are clean to begin with. The instructions on the cleaning materials will tell you how long it needs to be left before being wiped down. For the best results, you should allow the sanitized surface to air dry.

  1. Check

The Airbnb Advanced Cleaning Initiative provides you with a checklist that you can work through once all the cleaning and sanitizing has been completed. There are different lists for different rooms, and you need to go through them all. An added advantage of doing this is that it can highlight any maintenance issues that you may have, these can then be put right before they become a problem for your guests. Most of all it will ensure that the property has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitised.

  1. Reset

Once the property has been cleaned and sanitized, and all the proper checks have been made, then there is one more thing to do to prevent cross-contamination. This step is vital because it stops germs from being spread from inside the house to outside. This means that all rubbish needs to be disposed of correctly and that any equipment you have used such as vacuums needs to be cleaned before they are used elsewhere. You should leave cleaning supplies in place so that they are able to be used by the next guest. If you follow all these steps, then your guests will be walking into a place where they feel clean and safe.

Airbnb Hosting Cleaning Commitment Quiz

There is more detailed information about all the steps discussed above on the Airbnb website. When you have read through all this information, you will be ready to take the Enhanced Cleaning Protocol Quiz. Once you have passed the quiz you will be given a cleaning icon that will appear on your listing page. You will also get a sticker confirming you are ‘committed to clean’ which can be displayed at the property.

If you have read through all the guides you have been provided, then you should have no problem in passing the quiz. It is an open book test and so you can have reading material to refer to if there are any questions you are not sure of. If you do get a question wrong, you are given an explanation of where you went wrong. You are also able to answer the question again to try and get it right this time.

Airbnb Enhanced Cleaning Highlight On Listing

The cleaning highlight will be ready to place on your listing as soon as you have passed the quiz. All you need to do is click on the button to say that you accept.

Once you press the button, then you will be given a recap of the main elements of the initiative. You will also be told that:

– The cleaning protocols need to be followed across all of your rental properties.

– Airbnb may remove your listing altogether if the cleaning protocols are not followed.

– You should also follow the cleaning procedures that are put in place by local and national authorities.

What if I cannot commit to the Enhanced cleaning Protocol?

Airbnb then recommends you enable the booking buffer service, this will leave a buffer of between 24 and 72 hours between guests to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

I use a professional cleaner; can I still commit to the Cleaning Initiative?

Many Airbnb hosts don’t do their own cleaning, you should train your cleaners to the standards and you will need to take responsibility for the professional cleaning company following the cleaning protocol. Our cleaning checklist will help you ensure that the cleaners follow your guidelines

This additional cleaning will cost me more!

Indeed, if you are using professional service it’s likely to cost you more money, you can help recoup some of this additional cost by adding a cleaning fee to your listing. How much you charge is up to you, however, be aware that additional cleaning fees, can result in a reduction in booking requests. If you do charge a fee, ensure your property has been thoroughly cleaned throughout, otherwise expect a 2-star review.

Give Peace Of Mind To Your Guests

Guests may be feeling nervous about staying in your property because of these uncertain times. The best thing you can do is be honest about the steps you have taken to ensure their safety. You may want to let them know about the actions you have taken as a matter of course, even if they do not specifically ask.

If they see the highlight on your listing, and the ‘committed to clean’ sign at your property, then this can provide reassurance. If your guests do have any concerns, then you will be able to talk them through the protocols that this initiative has put in place.

Conclusion

It has never been important for you to keep your rental property clean and sanitized. The five-step process can help you ensure the property is as clean as possible for your guests, and this in turn will give them confidence that they are safe, which in turn will lead to more booking in this uncertain time.

Our own personal Airbnb tips for cleaning is to perform a deep clean of the property at least every 3-months, this will ensure that your property never falls shorty of obtaining 5-stars

Our final recommendation is to read all safety labels before using any new chemicals and avoid touching your face when cleaning.

Adapting your Airbnb Business During Covid-19

NYC Covid 19

The COVID-19 crisis has hit the short-term rental market hard and Airbnb’s revenues look like they have been cut in half. Airbnb’s business looks like it will never fully recover which they have acknowledged by cutting their workforce by 25% worldwide.

For some of the hardest-hit hosts, Airbnb has provided a Superhost relief fund, which has given grants to over 8700 hosts awarding them over $16-million which doesn’t need to be paid back.

What does this massive disruption mean for your business? You are likely going to need to work harder to gain those ever so important guests. The demographic of guests have started to change during this pandemic, so you should alter your business accordingly.

The biggest change to the Airbnb ecosystem is that guests are booking stays that are closer to home. The number of local stays has increased from 13% to 30% and this is likely to rise until more flights start to resume and people feel safer on planes.

Not only are guests booking stays closer to home, but the amount they are willing to spend has dropped massively, under $50 a night is becoming the new normal.

To adapt to this new future of travel guests are require more private spaces, whereas before many guests were happy to share, now they want to be alone and stats seem to show that they feel happier staying in an Airbnb rather than a hotel. Due to the uncertainty in the world, these guests are booking more trips closer to their travel dates, so be prepared to accept the guest’s last-minute bookings. Enable Instant Booking to give you a good catch to get those last-minute travellers.

Offer to your guests self-checkins, if this isn’t something you do already you should highly consider it, as future guests may not want to meet people to do a key exchange. If you do offer keyless entry of a self checkin, then ensure you highlight this.

Update your discount rates for longer-term stays, this will be better for you as this will reduce your amount of time you need to cleaning and reduce your own exposure.

More than ever before cleanliness will be the most important part of your business. Airbnb has introduced the enhanced cleaning protocol, which will help your guests be safe. The protocol is not mandatory and no penalties if you decide not to enrol. However, enrolling into their enhanced cleaning programme will help boost your rankings and will give you a little next extra icon in your listing.

if you don’t wish to enroll in the enhanced cleaning programme, you can set a booking buffer which basically means you will agree to leave your property empty for 72-hours, this will be automatically administered by Airbnb’s by blocking your calender, this time scale may change as we learn more about Covid-19. We recommend that you update your listing to mention your cleaning regime and truly commit to it, otherwise be prepared for a negative review.

Some tips on cleaning:

  • Ensure you disinfect surfaces that are high touch areas, likely handles, desks, toilets, remote controls, and handrails for example
  • Protect yourself by using gloves and avoid touching your face
  • Ventilate the property as soon as you arrive by opening all window
  • Use a checklist to ensure you and your cleaners don’t forget anything

Help your guests be safe by providing hand sanitizer and hand wash. Leave in the property extra tissues and travel packs to help them be safe. Some countries require face covering, if you’re able to provide these free of charge to the guests, then mention this as one of your selling points on your listing.

Lastly, don’t forget about Aribnb’s Extenuating Circumstances Policy that covers guests who have booked their trip before March-1th 2020, they are allowed to cancel their stay and will be entitled to a full refund. Reservations booked after 14th of March will not be covered under the Extenuating Circumstances Policy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Air Beds to Exclusive Villas and Private Islands

Airbnb has been scaling to greater heights as time goes by, just to ensure that the company’s clients receive the best of services. As a customer, you no longer have to put up with the “good old days” when the best you could get was an air mattress on the floor.
The mega-wealthy now have a better chance to use their cash to get them the luxury they crave, with the availability of a luxury rental property. Those who have been opting for luxury hotels can now relax and enjoy their stay in what should be considered as some of the most extravagant homes in the entire world.
Airbnb Luxe is the new rental tier that has made it possible for clients to enjoy the new high-end services. We are talking options ranging from entire islands to medieval castles, archery ranges, dinosaur skulls, mansions decked out with water slides, and more.
Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s chief executive and co-founder says that the motivation behind the introduction of the Luxe tier is their strategy of providing a suitable product for every traveler. As such, they introduced the tier to cater for those seeking luxury.
The tier’s portfolio of 2,000 homes is comprised of ski lodges in New Zealand, Villas in Tuscany, as well as castles in France. These homes were picked from the various properties listed on the high-end vacation rental company that was acquired by Airbnb in 2017.
Chesky reveals that the customers opting for the properties are the ones who rented sofas with the company before the grew to the level they are at currently. Now that these customers are earning more and prefer better services, they seek upscale accommodation. That’s why Airbnb has, in the past year, had a 60% increase in bookings that would set you back $1,000 or more a night, according to Chesky.

Before selecting the different property for consideration to the Luxe tier, different factors such as the home’s design, view, and location had to be considered. The activities at the property also go a long way in helping the guest have an idea of the area’s culture and way of life as well. At Castello di Vicarello in the Tuscan countryside, visitors can enjoy activities like hiking through 100 acres of land as well as helping local farmers with harvests.
To book for Luxe’s entry-level listings in the Caribbean, one has to part with $600 each night for the low season. The most expensive listing, on the other hand, would set you back $1M every week. At such an expensive price, however, you have four pools, 21 bedrooms, and a staff of 50 at your disposal.

The average listing, as quoted by Chesky is $2,000 a night for the Luxe tier, compared to the normal listings where one can find a listing as cheap as less than $20 each night. For customers who would wish to have the upmarket though not luxury home, $150 per night is what one would have to part with on an average basis.

The Luxe package also offers a trip designer, who helps the clients during their stay with things such as airport transfers, local tours, and more.
Rummy Pandit, of Lloyd D. Institute of gaming, however, thinks that it will still be a challenge for Airbnb to get credibility in the luxury travel sector even after offering such a package. He says that Airbnb has had a reputation of offering affordable packages, so the company should concentrate on building a track record in a new area.

Besides, Airbnb has to face competition from companies such as Oliver’s Travels and others. However, the increasing demand for vacation home rentals might favour Airbnb. Research by Skift shows that 2018 had rentals that included home rentals generating roughly $22.7 billion as revenue. Skift only expects the revenue to expand by 30% to approximately $30 billion this year.

 

Airbnb to Hand Over Data to NYC and Other Cities Could Be Next

The feud between Airbnb and New York is not new. For the past decade, they have embroiled in a high profile rivalry. On the one hand, this hospitality service brokerage wants to be legitimized in its biggest market. But on the other, New York City’s strict short term rental laws make Airbnb’s rentals illegal. This ongoing enmity has also affected New Yorkers as finding affordable housing is difficult.

In February, New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio subpoenaed the company for records of more than 17,000 listings that weren’t anonymized. The mayor explained that this was a measure to force this enterprise to provide transparency about their rentals. But after years of lawsuits, countersuits and lobbying campaigns, New Yorkers can now be relieved since the company has found a way to share that information with the government without privacy being compromised.

The Lost Battle

The data dump involved listings from January 2018 through February and was given to the city on April 5th. The agreement came to be as a response to a subpoena from the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement (OSE) in Manhattan Supreme Court on May 15th.

Now, OSE can request listing information containing user records from this hospitality service enterprise but only if they can prove that the info will be helpful to an investigation. They were given one year to make that request. The city will be using the data to determine operators who disrupt the city’s housing stock and damage New Yorker’s neighbourhood, placing residents and visitors in danger.

Liz De Fusco spoke on behalf of Airbnb and said that this deal is the first step towards finding a lasting solution to this problem. With this agreement, the company hopes that they can work with the city to find a consistent solution that’s within its lawful rights and obligations.

More To Come

But, this enterprise and OSE still have other four separate cases awaiting in the same court against each other on whether Airbnb should be compelled to share user information with the city. The company was however ordered to respond to the OSE subpoenas for records from listings in three cities: Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens which the city suspects they are illegally used. The information in these files, however, is to remain confidential as per court orders.

Airbnb Remove Profile Pictures

You may have noticed that you can no longer see the pictures of your potential guests. Airbnb has done this in a measure to attempt to reduce discrimination of potential guests. Now you’ll only see the first let of the customers first name.

Will I get to see the guest profile picture?

The profile picture is now only shown when a booking has been confirmed. Airbnb attempt to ask all guests for them to upload a picture when they signup for the first time, but this still isn’t mandatory.

The guest doesn’t have a profile picture

After the guest has booked the might have a profile picture available. You can force guests to have a profile picture before booking with you by altering you’re booking setting.

Enforcing profile pictures

To insist on guests having a profile picture you can do this your booking settings
1. Click on Booking Settings
2. Next, to the Guests Requirements click edit
3. Check the required profile picture button
4. Click save
Even if you have this option checked you will not be able to see the profile picture until they have confirmed their booking.

After booking my guests do not have a profile picture

You can kindly remind your guests to please complete their profile picture and to upload a form a government ID.  You can mention to your guests that they are not staying in a hotel.
“Thank you for booking with us and we can’t wait to host you. To help just verify you when you arrive, please can you upload a profile picture for us. If there is any other information that you need to know. Then please do let us know.”

I feel uncomfortable with the guest after they have uploaded their photo

After you’ve seen the guests photo you may feel uncomfortable with this. You can’t cancel just because you don’t like their face/colour/race or posture. However, if they have uploaded a picture of the Mountain, you should ask them to change it.
If they don’t comply you can ask Airbnb to cancel the reservation penalty free. (Always call Airbnb before cancelling a booking to make sure you are within your rights to cancel)

New Regulations Crack Down On Airbnb’s in Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Airbnb and Los Angeles have been battling for more than three years over the rental unit regulations and home sharing. The tide now seems to turn in Los Angles. On Tuesday, December 11, Los Angeles city council unanimously voted to approve an ordinance that puts more restriction on the rental hosts.

The new ordinance in LA is set to go into effect in July 2019 and applies to the entire city of Los Angeles including Venice, Hollywood and other hot spot areas. This law particularly limits the number of days property owners can rent their residence through Airbnb and other short-term housing platforms, such as HomeAway and Booking.com.

This is the first attempt of the city to legalize as well as crack down short-term rental in Los Angeles and critics believes that this will create conflict in the neighbourhood and will worsen the housing crisis.

When the new bill is made law, hosts will only be allowed to rent out their primary residence in which they will need to have been living there for a minimum of six months of the year.

The new short-term rental rules

  • Rent controlled properties will not be eligible for short-term letting
  • Licenses to rent under the new short-term letting rules will cost $89
  • Each host will have a maximum of 120 days per calendar year to rent their property
  • The 120 days can be extend using the “Extended Home-Sharing” option. This will allow hosts to rent their property for 365 days, at a cost of $850 for the license.
  • Any hosts who obtain more than 3 citations will have the license revoked.
  • Only one home may be used for short-term rentals at a time.
  • Additionally, a temporary structure such as RVs and trailers are banned from renting.

One of the city council members Mike Bonin says that the new ordinance is a means of striking a balance between host accommodation sharing their home to earn extra income and punishing irresponsible hosts running “rogue hotels”.

Experts believe that the recent action by the LA city council is the best way of addressing the current housing crisis. Most believe that Airbnb is taking homes away from permanent resident and putting these restrictions are the best way of addressing this issue. Besides, the new regulation has not entirely banned sharing of homes for those “who want to make their ends meet” Bonin said. The law only restricts bad rentals and those running “rogue hotels”.

Most people believe that Airbnb has helped them pay off their mortgage and the recent action preventing owners from renting out will not put the units back into the market.

Although this new law is seen as a setback for Airbnb hosts, Airbnb is advocating for the city official to have a similar ordinance that regulates vocational rentals and units that are not host’s principal residence. This motion has been introduced by council members Herb Wesson and Harris-Dawson.

The outcome could have been worse, this might have been eased by Airbnb’s announcement last month that they had collected over $100 Million in Taxes for the City of Los Angeles since August 2016.

 

New Zealand’s Kaikoura tops Airbnb travelers’ list for 2019

Dolphins playing in a crystal-blue bay ringed with snow-covered peaks and January temperatures in the sunbathing range, it’s no wonder Airbnb travelers have dubbed Kaikoura, New Zealand as the top destination for 2019. In 2016 the small town on the east coast of the South Island was hit by a massive earthquake, but it has recovered with typical Kiwi spirit. This is the place to go in the southern hemisphere if you’re into whale watching, swimming with dolphins and gorging on fresh, fresh seafood. In fact “kai” means “food” in the native Maori language, and “koura” means “crayfish,” so there you go. Sperm whales, dolphins and seals are residents of the bay, unlike others parts of the world where they may be just passing through, so you are guaranteed to see majestic whales breaching, dolphins encircling your boat and seals barking in raucous union.

The town of just over 2,000 and its gorgeous surroundings also boasts plenty of entertainment for landlubbers, from coastal walks and opportunities to meet with local Maori people to shopping and visiting the iconic Fyffe House, the last remnant of the whaling station established here in 1842. If escaping the winter blues tops your travel wish list, you’re not alone.

Puebla Mexico
Other warm-in-winter destinations that made the list are Puebla, Mexico (number three); Buenos Aires Province, Argentina (number six); Mozambique (number eight); and Santa Catarina State, Brazil (Number 12). Puebla is just two hours by car from Mexico City and its historic center is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With beautiful colonial architecture, winter temperatures in the 70s and plenty of lively nightlife, it’s easy to see why it made the list.

Photo by Deensel

Buenos Aires, the province not the city, encompasses nearly 11 percent of the area in Argentina, which means there’s a whole lot to see and do there. The province borders the Atlantic so pack your snorkelling gear. And don’t forget your hiking boots — there are also plenty of forest trails to explore. Maybe you’ll stumble upon a long-lost ancient city. On a more practical note, the strength of the dollar relative to the peso adds to the attraction.
Mozambique proves there is more to Africa than safaris. This east coast country boasts miles of white sand beaches, an archipelago of coral islands, marine national parks and more than 2,000 species of colorful fish. Don’t forget your underwater camera!


The popularity of Santa Catarina State, Brazil may reflect the intrepid spirit of Airbnb travelers. Stretching along the Atlantic Coast, Santa Catarina also features beautiful beaches and mountain adventures. The capital, Florianópolis, which spills over onto Santa Catarina Island, features a huge and colourful public market and a history museum in the 19th-century governor’s palace. And did we mention the beaches?

 

Best of the Rest

Calabria, Italy

Airbnb’s list of the 19 top trending destinations for 2019 is based on data from bookings, searches and wish lists.
Other locales on the list that would be pretty great to visit anytime are Xiamen, China (number two); Normandy, France (number four); Great Smoky Mountains (number five); Accra, Ghana (number seven); Outer Hebrides, Scotland (number nine); Wakayama Prefecture, Japan (number 10); Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley, US (number 11); Batumi, Georgia (number 13); Winnipeg, Canada (number 14); ); Pondicherry, India (Number 15); Uzbekistan (number 16); Calabria, Italy (number 17); Andalusia, Spain (number 18); and Taiwan (number 19).

Airbnb is ready to disrupt home-builders

Airbnb is shifting to a whole different level with the thrilling announcement of its latest project, Backyard. This will be the initiative to get into the home building business. The plan is to create modular “affordable” homes that will have interchangeable roofs and the ability to adjust the floor plan based on the needs to the occupant. If occupant needs a bedroom home the robotics walls would change the layout based on this requirement.

After disrupting hotels, the home-sharing company wants to do more to help with the houses and rent crisis.

Right now, there are more questions than answers for this new intriguing project but, the start-up affirms that will be possible to have some test units as soon as autumn 2019.

With a talented team that includes designers, engineers, specialists and experts, the $31 billion company wants to create homes to be shared from the ground up.

For the more curious, unfortunately, there is no prototype yet. In the Samara website, you can see pictures that show a little more about the project.

Airbnb is challenging the conventional thinking and revolutionizing the industry, so Backyard is expected to be humanistic, futuristic and environmentally friendly. In a fast-paced and diversified world, this start-up is keeping everyone on their toes and surprising the public.

 

 

 

Were you affected by California wildfires?

In these pasts few weeks, California is being devastated by massive wildfires destroying communities and causing many deaths. The fire is not only leaving people in a fragile emotional state but also without a home. Airbnb decided not to be indifferent face to this tragedy and activate its “Open Homes” programs offering free accommodation for … Read more

12 Things we learnt from hosting on Airbnb

Being an Airbnb host presents one with a wider scope of things that happen when you let out your home for rentals. Some of the lessons that we learn are beneficial to we the homeowners and also serves to instruct the guests on how to conduct themselves once in the homes. The lessons include:-

A home situated in the right area generates more profit

For people living in the popular London instead of letting your home stay empty, you can charge up to £200 for a night.  If you have a clean spacious spare room you can make over £60 per night. This is enough money to help you strategize on the plan and make Airbnb your main income whilst following things like a 4-Hour Work Week.

Expect complains

Sometimes, some guest gets irrational and complain about some unnecessary needs. If the complaints are not realistic, you can easily ignore the situation. However, if you have more than one guest complaining about the situation, it is good to address the situation right away.

Preparing a Lived-in home is not an easy task

Even though preparing your home for renting can be a daunting experience. You should get a cleaner to help. Make sure that you fix little problems, ones where you find a workaround for them but someone new to your property would need to know the workaround.   For personal documents, ensure that they are in safe which is locked.

Some lived-in house surfaces are too old. Even though we get positive reviews from the guests, some surfaces are impossible to make look clean even though they have been scrubbed top to bottom. Don’t worry too much, as long as the rest of the property is clean you’ll be okay.

Notify the guests about the potential problems at your home

Sometimes, it is easy for one to ignore some challenges in a home since you are the owner and knows how to deal with it. However, for some guest, the challenges may get unbearable. Thus, notifying the guests about the issue at hand is crucial. For this, you prevent getting some bad reviews for the home.

Notify your neighbours about renting your home

You can tell your neighbors to keep watch on your property once the guests are in. The neighbors serve as security to your home and property in case the guests behave inappropriately. Be sure to let them know what you are up to!

Little things get broken

Even though people may never have the intention of damaging your home, some things such as door handles may accidentally get broken. By this, you should not feel depressed since you are out to do business, there are risks you should expect. It’s rare large object get damaged. Most people are honest and will inform you of the fact.

The people are polite and honest

We might call it luck but, we may also say that the guests are polite and respectful to your home. It is rare to find your home damaged. For a good experience, we ensure that on the return of the homeowners, the property professional cleaned after the last guests that stay. This will make you feel alot better the experience.

The guest always leaving things behind

This is a common incidence whereby people leave behind somethings in your house. Sometimes, one leaves them unaware, and it is professional to reach out to the people to give them back their belonging. Do I as soon as possible to avoid inconveniencing them.

For a large family, beds may be a limiting factor

For large families renting a lodging, they opt for a spacious home. This normally is Mum & Dad, Children and Grand Parents. Beds might, however, be a challenge in the room. Thus, you can incorporate bunk beds for the room to suit the family. 6 people is the ideal number.

Some things may get displaced

It is rare that things get stolen from your home. However, the guests may transfer some of your things to a different location within the house. Even though this may be unsettling for you, it does not cause any harm.

Leave clear instructions for the guest

Its okay leave an invite note for the guests. Sometimes, you have food in the house, and you may want the guests to partake in the meal. Please state it in the welcome note that they can eat the food. Failure to this, you may be back to your pace to find that the food went bad. Also, put the house rules in the clear. By this, the guest will have an easier time running thing in the house.

Airbnb serves a wide scope of people more than just holidaymakers

You may be thinking that Airbnb serves people going for a vacation only. The truth is, it serves a variety of clients such as people transitioning to a new home. Also, business people and people attending seminars also seek Airbnb services.

 

What to learn to host like a professional, visit our free course today and get started Airbnb hosting the right way.

Hosting Like A Professional

 

 

 

Airbnb Launches Travel Stories Feature

Airbnb has announced that they are launching a new feature to their website called Travel Stories. This will allow guests to upload videos of the highlights of their trip so that they can be viewed by others who are interested in that accommodation.

There is a new Travel Stories section in the Airbnb app which contains some frequently asked questions and where you can find all the information that you may need. There is also advice on the kinds of things that you may want to include in your video and tips on how to make your videos look as good as possible.

Your videos should also be uploaded to the Travel Stories section. The app will be able to access your camera roll so that you can choose which videos you want to include. You will also be prompted to add tags of the location so that it is easy for people to search for videos that relate to the destination they are interested in.

You will be able to preview the story that you have created before it can be viewed by other users. The stories that you create can be viewed by other users of the app. This new feature will enable Airbnb to become more social and to interact with its customers more, as well as giving them the chance to interact with each other.

At the moment Travel Stories is only available on the iOS version of the app. The app must also be completely up to date for these features to work. No indication has yet been given about when the feature will be available on Android.