Airbnb is surely known to most of you, but for those who are not yet, I will quickly summarize it:

It is a platform that connects people looking for accommodation and people who offer it , simple, right?

Airbnb is a trust-based community marketplace where people post, discover and book unique accommodations around the world, whether it's from their computer, tablet or mobile phone.

Airbnb offers its users unique experiences for all budgets in more than 34,000 cities and 191 countries.

It is probably one of the most important revolutions in the world of travel and accommodation since Couchsurfing and you can stay in a capital or in the next town, how many possibilities, right?

You can live for a while in a lonely house in the forest, on a mountain, on the beachfront, in a castle, a ship in the middle of a bay, in a big city, the possibilities are endless. Close to your home or on the other side of the world, on vacation, to rest or to surprise. Surely you are already seeing yourself in one of them!

Why do we use Airbnb?

  • A more genuine and authentic experience
  • Accommodations for all tastes
  • Cheaper than a hotel, you can also cook
  • Confidence when booking
  • Bargaining power
  • You can see the opinions about the place and its owner

You ask yourself, and what are the disadvantages?

  • It is not always easy to know whether or not an apartment is free
  • The left luggage service does not exist.
  • It is not mandatory to meet standards
  • Arrival time restrictions
  • You have to pay in advance, at the time of booking.

Alternatives to Airbnb

  • Hotels: The main difference is that on Airbnb you stay with a person or family, much more personal and authentic than a hotel. And also a little cheaper.
  • Camping : We love camping, it is one of our favorite activities but not everyone likes it or sometimes the weather makes it almost a risky activity.
  • Couchsurfing : This platform has become very fashionable in recent years, but it has its limitations and bad experiences are more common.

Now if you are reading this it is because you have not been convinced by the alternatives and you want to know more about Airbnb.

I will summarize step by step how to register on Airbnb, book your first accommodation and also get a discount of 50 AUD.

How to find cheaper accommodation step by step on Airbnb

Discount of 55AUD if you register through this link and make your first reservation of more than 110 AUD

  1. CREATE A PROFILE

Click on this link for the discount and this page will appear (the image is in English but I explain everything in detail).

The next step: click on the central button that says Sign up to request your discount .

© Sun Tours and Fun 2017

This second screen offers you options to register (Facebook, Google or email), for us the most comfortable thing is to do it through email.

© Sun Tours and Fun 2017

Now complete the boxes with your personal information and on the following pages it will ask you for more details, a photo (which you can take at the moment), telephone number, email confirmation and finally complete the profile. You already have your Airbnb account.

One of the things I like the most is that you have to provide, like everyone else, a document that identifies you, making Airbnb a safer place for all of us who enjoy the best accommodations at the cheapest prices.

And now that?

  1. HOW TO RESERVE A PROPERTY

Now that you have your profile and you are logged in, it is time to start looking for the perfect accommodation .

  • Find the place, dates and number of guests.

As an example to illustrate this guide, I will be looking for accommodation in Cairns (Queensland, Australia) for two people between April 13 and 18, 2017.

© Sun Tours and Fun 2017

  1. Filter the information

On the page that appears below, further define your search.

© Sun Tours and Fun 2017

For example define or filter by:

  • Date and Guests
  • Type of room
  1. Complete property : List where you have all the property to yourself.
  2. Private room : List of properties where you have your own room but share common areas.
  3. Shared room : List of properties where you share a room or your room can be a common space.
  • Price range
  • Properties that have immediate reservation
  • Size (number of rooms, beds and bathrooms)
  • Facilities
  • House Rules
  • Mod cons
  • And even the language

© Sun Tours and Fun 2017

On the right side there is a map to locate you in the city or area you have chosen, in this case it is Cairns (Queensland, Australia).

By enlarging the area covered by the map, more properties appear near the city you have chosen, which may be cheaper as they are on the outskirts.

Also by zooming in on the map, properties may appear that were not visible because they were hidden.

© Sun Tours and Fun 2017

Each red square is a property with the price already calculated for the period of days you have requested.

The lightning bolt that appears after the price in some properties means that it can be reserved immediately (immediate reservation), I will explain later what exactly it means.

If you do not see any property, you can change the search criteria to less strict ones.

When you click on one of the properties, more information about it appears:

  • Photos
  • Number of beds
  • Price
  • Evaluations
  • Ratings
  • Kind of property
  • Capacity

© Sun Tours and Fun 2017

3. Choose an accommodation and read the information

Once you find the property you like, click on the link and read all the information carefully.

The most important is:

    • Total amount : Amount of the property, cleaning fees if any, and Airbnb administration fees.
    • Map : The location is approximate. You will get the address once you decide on a property.
    • Calendar.
    • Description and services : This is where the host tells you all the necessary information. For example: if there are towels, blankets or sheets, very important in case you have to take them from home.
    • Minimum stay and long stays : Some properties have a minimum stay or discounts for long stays.
    • Security deposit : It is an amount of money that Airbnb can charge you in the event that the owner makes you a claim for damage to the apartment.
    • Additional people : Price for each additional person.
    • Cleaning costs: It is optional, not all properties have.

Complementary information:

    • Cancellation : The cancellation policy is divided into three modalities: Flexible, Moderate and Strict : The biggest difference is the time you have to cancel the reservation without having to pay the property costs. In this link you can see all the details of the Airbnbcancellation policy .
    • Photos: Examine carefully. If you don't have a lot of pictures or not all the rooms, they may not be well taken care of. In that case, read the reviews of the previous tenants and you may find some important additional information.
    • Reviews : Here you can read the comments of former guests about their experience at this property. You can also leave a comment when your stay is over, just like the owner can leave one about you. Reputation for both owners and guests is very important, it can make the difference between accessing a property or not, as well as for the owner getting guests. The evaluations must be done freely, fairly and are not mandatory.
    • Information about the host : At the bottom of the page is the information about the owner and a button where you can ask your questions, dates or times of entry, etc. Feel free to introduce yourself and ask, it's the best way to connect with your host before booking.

All this information is very useful, use it.

4. Time to reserve the property

If you like a property and it meets all the requirements you are looking for, there are two types of reservation and each property is subject to one of them.

  • Immediate reservation : In these properties the lightning symbol appears and the reservation is confirmed instantly if there is availability for the dates you have chosen.
  • Reservation Request : In this mode, your reservation must be accepted by the host in less than 24 hours .

© Time To Explore 2017 Airbnb

I recommend that you write to the host to ask about availability before making the reservation, the information may not be updated at that time.

Once you have requested the reservation, the money is frozen in your bank account.

If you have followed the link that we provide, the discount of $ 55 or its equivalent will appear in the currency in which your account works.

You can cancel the reservation without penalty before they answer you .

If the owner does not confirm your reservation in 24 hours or rejects it, the money is thawed in your account.

If the owner accepts your reservation, your money will be withdrawn from your account, but Airbnb will hold it until 24 hours after you arrive at the property to confirm that there are no problems.

To reserve you need to register on the web. Remember that if you do it through this link you will have a discount of 55 Australian Dollars (AUD) on Airbnb if your reservation is more than 110 AUD.

Any cash payments off the platform are illegal, so if a host asks for more money, notify Airbnb immediately.

5. Contact the host

The host will contact you when the date approaches to provide you with more information about the apartment and about handing over the keys.

The most normal thing is that they send you a document telling you how to get to the property, phone numbers and even information about the area.

The best thing is that you get in touch with the owner and answer any questions you have.

6. Ways to deliver the keys

Once you have contacted and the reservation is confirmed, the most important thing is to agree on the delivery of the keys. There are different options here I name a few:

  • The host waits at the door
  • Pick up the keys at a nearby store
  • Agree on an entry time
  • Leave the apartment door open

RELIABILITY

Airbnb requires the identification of both guests and hosts through emails, telephone, identification documents, etc. This makes it a very safe and trustworthy platform.

Still you can run into bad experiences. Properties that are not well maintained or that the photos did not show certain areas, dirt, etc. That is why it is essential to read the evaluations before booking a property. If the property has no reviews, it is probably a new property on Airbnb.

All of our experiences thus far have been positive. We will update this information if this changes, although I hope I don't have to.

Please tell us about your experiences on Airbnb. Good, bad? What's the best place you've been to? And the strangest?

You are now ready for your first Airbnb experience!

Do you want to be a Host?

As you may have already deduced, you can also host an Airbnb property. First you must make sure that your property allows you this type of agreement.

If you want to be a host, you must register with Airbnb. In the following link, as I mentioned before, make your first reservation greater than 100 Australian dollars and receive 55 AUD from Airbnb. You can also start offering your property, following the steps indicated by Airbnb.

Sign up for Airbnb and enjoy a different accommodation or start making money with your property.

Advantages of being a host on Airbnb :

  • Income
  • 0% risk of default. Airbnb collects the stay before the guest arrives and transfers it to the host 24 hours after the guest's arrival.
  • Very low property deterioration. Most of your guests want to do tourism, the evaluation system works very well and you can also ask for a deposit that will be returned in full if the apartment is in perfect condition.
  • Meet people and learn languages.
  • Availability of your choice. It depends on you which dates you want to block for your use and enjoyment.

Disadvantages of being a host:

  • Not being able to receive guests when they arrive
  • Respond late to inquiries
  • Not having enough towels, sheets, blankets
  • Not coordinating cleaning well

If you want to know the opinion of other travelers about Airbnb you can take a look at this article by Maria on Gananci.com: My opinion about Airbnb after 4 years of experience.

This Airbnb Mega Tutorial ends here, I hope it has been useful to you and you start looking at what your next destination will be .