Andrea, asked me if I had any tips to navigate Airbnb.com. & I do! Airbnb is a website/app that provides listings of home, apartments (& even boats!) to use as a vacation rental. We used Airbnb for the majority of our 3 month Europe trip & it proved to be VERY easy. Sometimes we would book our accommodations with only 2 days notice (or even the same day. Mistakes happen!). That is to say Airbnb is a great resource, but you need to know how to navigate it to find the best listings. Here are my tips:
Book where the sights are. Determine what exactly you are doing while visiting a city. Is there a specific museum that you know you want to visit? Knowing the city center or where the tourist attractions are will be very helpful. Figure out what part of the city you'll be in the most. More affordable listings can be found outside of the city center, but if you have to pay for transportation daily, it can add up. (But sometimes it won't be too bad. Getting a metro card for 3 or 7 days can be affordable.) So while searching for listings, use the map feature on Airbnb. (Even consider using Google Maps "street view" so you can see the neighborhood.) Another thing to consider is finding a listing near a metro stop.
Select the days. Always filter which days you want to stay because it'll list rentals that are not available on your specific days, if you don't. It's pretty irritating to find a great listing and realize it's not even available when you need it.
Entire place or private room. When filtering your search you can choose to book an entire place or just a private room. Entire places are so affordable. Sometimes when booking Airbnb vs. hostels, an Airbnb listing could be the same price. So instead of sleeping on a bunk bed, we could have a whole apartment to ourselves. When we knew that we'd only be in a city for one night we'd sometimes just get a private room. Save money where you can.
Select your price range. We always tried to book accommodations that were around $100 a night. Split between 3 people, it was very affordable. So feel free to adjust the price range to what you feel is best.
Use the "More Filters" feature. Depending on what country you are going to visit, making sure having certain accommodations can be important to you. For some places having a washer (& dryer, but they weren't very common on our trip) was important. But there would be cities where we wouldn't need a washer, so it wasn't important. For us having wifi/internet was important but it's not offered on all Airbnb listings, so be sure to select exactly what you want.
Read reviews and leave reviews. It may be a given, but read the reviews of the listings. But more importantly leave reviews! Not only is it helpful for the hosts to have reviews, but the hosts can review you as a guest. So when you book your next listing, the next host can determine if they want to accommodate you.
Make wish lists! Are there multiple listings you're interest in? You can create you own wish lists! (This feature is fun even when you're not traveling.) I typically make a wish list for a specific city.
Airbnb really does make traveling so much easier but finding the best accommodation can take some practice. Have you used Airbnb before? If you'd like to use Airbnb for your next vacation, click here to sign up for an account. If you sign up through that link, you will get a $25 credit when you book! I'll get a $25 credit, too. So it's a win win! If you could travel today, where would you go?