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Many tourists prefer to book holiday rentals because of the “home away from home” vibe it evokes. Instead of a cold, impersonal hotel room, you will be staying in a large accommodation surrounded by a relaxed and cosy atmosphere. You can’t get homesick because you feel like you are in your own home, which will only help you relax and enjoy while on your holiday.

There is also comfort in having the added privacy in holiday rentals as it lets you unwind without worries. Having all the amenities that you will need right at your fingertips and the freedom to choose to cook your own food or eat out of the many highly recommended restaurants in town will eliminate the stress and awkwardness from having to share spade in guesthouses or hostels. Having Wi-fi, DVD player, music systems, private telephone and other home comforts further adds to your level of comfortability.

There are many booking platforms online, with Airbnb being one of the most popular, with over 4 million listings in 191 countries. Whether you have booked your stays a few times at Airbnb, or are considering using it for the first-time for your next family travel, here are some helpful tips to ensure you make the most out of your Airbnb experience.

  1. Begin your search early

Good deals are hard to come by if you try to book a holiday rental, especially during peak season on short notice. Start your research and planning at least six months in advance. This may seem over the top, but remember that holiday apartments, at least those with high star ratings, are snatched up fast.

  1. Make a Wish List

Browsing through Airbnb’s millions of listings can leave you stressed and discouraged. Organise your search process by using Airbnb’s “Wish List” feature. Your Wish List includes a visual list of homes (marked by clicking the heart icon) that have your eye. With this list, you can narrow down your picks and research each property more carefully later.

With the map feature of the Wish List you can see where the property is located and decide whether it is the right location for you.

What is your idea of great accommodation?

Here is a list of criteria you may want to consider when searching for your next Airbnb rental:

  • Neighbourhood – do you prefer to stay in a quiet area or do you like to be near where the action is, like bars and restaurants?
  • Price – check what fees are included and for additional costs
  • Entire apartment or villa to yourself or shared private rooms within the host’s home
  • Number of rooms and bathrooms you need
  • Flexibility of check-in and check-out times
  • Availability of free and fast Internet
  • Access to free or paid parking within the property or nearby
  • Availability of air-conditioning and heating in the property

Using the criteria above, you can narrow down your choices and pick from the few that are left in your list.

  1. Read the reviews carefully

The reviews and star-rating (five being the highest) will help you weed out the good from the bad. Read the reviews carefully to find information relevant to your search. Is the property suitable for children? Does the layout fit a group of travellers’ needs? Does the host provide bath towels or toiletries? Does it have Wi-fi or Netflix? Better skip properties with one or two reviews. Focus on listings with many reviews, mostly with 4 or up star rating, to ensure you have a pleasant stay.

Air-rive manages centrally located and beautifully designed lux apartments all over Brisbane, including in Spring Hill and Fortitude. Check out these top-rated properties if ever you are in Brisbane for a holiday.

  1. Take Safety Seriously

Even though more and more travellers are using platforms like Airbnb, these platforms have gained a reputation for providing superb lodging experience, it is still important to take precautions and find out the ins and outs of the property you are considering.

Check the following:

  • Research the location of your listing beforehand to find out if it is in a good area, whether there are parks nearby, whether it is near to a few local attractions, etc.
  • Find out what type of property you are booking. Is it a unit in a high-rise condo, are there locks in the windows, is there a balcony? Are there stairs inside the property? Are the stairs steep and unsafe for babies?
  • Build a rapport with your host from the start to give you the peace of mind that they will help you if any issue comes up during your stay.
  • If you are going with a baby or toddler, ask if the property has furniture with sharp edges, whether it has a pool and whether it is gated. Is the property equipped with baby-friendly items like a crib or high-chair?
  1. Get in touch with the host

Don’t just book yet, contact the host first. If you require certain amenities because you are travelling with a toddler or a person with disability or someone with special medical needs, contacting the host is essential. Notice what is not mentioned in the listing description. If the bed layout is not mentioned, ask for photos. If a sofa bed is stated in the description, but no photos, ask for them.

When talking to your host, say something about yourself and the party you’re travelling with, the reason for your visit and ask specific questions relating to your needs that are not included in the listing. This is also a way for you to gauge the responsiveness of your host. An informative and quick response will tell you that your host will be attentive when an issue arises.

Once you have reserved a property, your responsibility doesn’t end there. Start your holiday on the right foot, by following the rules and etiquette on how to be a good guest in an Airbnb accommodation.

These tips will guide you and ease your apprehension in booking at Airbnb for your next holiday adventure. A stay in an Airbnb luxe apartment or home provides the large space and the amenities of home you need to make sure your stay is pleasant and stay free.