We have rented AirBnB’s all around the world and with each rental, we learn a little more about what we should have asked in advance. Questions depend on what is important to you. We work from the road and travel slow – so we plan to spend time in the AirBnB and cook which influences our questions. Here are the process and questions we go through when identifying a place to stay.
First, identify the location by researching the city and looking for ‘hipster’ neighborhoods. We tend to read blogs about the location and pinpoint some of the attractions we want to see. Often times you can find a real estate office that has written about the neighborhoods.
Once we have located the neighborhood we zero in on potential accommodations. By using the ‘favorites’ we create a list by city of what looks good and is available for our planned trip.
Things we look for;
- Comfortable bed
- Comfortable couch/lounging area
- Good Kitchen – layout and well stocked for cooking
- Outdoor Seating
- Sunshine View (Sunrise or Sunset)
- Laundry Facilities – we pack light so always nice to be able to easily do our wash
- Heating/Cooling based on temperatures during your visit
- Internet Service
- Filtered Water Onsite (specific to areas where tap water is not potable)
Once we have narrowed down our search we read each and every review. Keeping in mind that everyone has issues and some people are big complainers. You want to look for a host who replies and corrects any issues that guests have complained about. I also zero in on anything about issues with excessive noise. Not something the host can control but can indicate an area that you might not be comfortable in. Staying next to a construction zone isn’t going to be fun for anyone.
We always reach out to the host via email and ask questions, even if all the answers are available in the listing. Questions we have learned to ask are;
What are your favorite coffee shops in the area and how far a walk? This identifies if the host even knows the neighborhood and how quick they are to answer your questions. You want an owner who knows the property, the area and is quick to respond. Someone who cares about their home is usually the best AirBnB host.
What is the average internet speed? Because we are still working remotely this is important for us.
If the owner is in another town or country inquire if there is a local contact to assist in the event of any issues? It is really important to have someone easily accessible.
Inquire if the kitchen is stocked for cooking aThanksgiving dinner or just for reheating a meal? We once rented a place with a kitchen that only had a set of chopsticks, a soup pot, and a microwave. We were not able to cook anything which is very important to us when traveling.
Does the main room or deck have morning, afternoon or evening sunshine? Not always important but really helps in warming up a place as well as creating a comfortable environment when on an extended visit. One place we stayed in Mexico was freezing only because it didn’t get any sunshine ever.
I hope these questions help you identify a property that is perfect for your stay. We know that each experience leads us to a few more ways to narrow down future searches.
If you have any other great tips for weeding through all the listing and finding the best places to stay, please pass them on!