1. BOOK FOR A WEEK: Okay, this might not be achievable for everyone… but who wouldn’t love to go on vacation for a week? Most AirBNB’s charge a nightly rate that tends to be a bit spendy, but if you book for at least a week, the price often drops dramatically. **Additional tip: If they don’t automatically offer a discount, message the host and ask! AirBNB doesn’t make the prices, the owner does, and you never know.
2. BRING EAR PLUGS: This one should be pretty self explanatory right? We always seem to forget these, and end up searching them out our second day after a shitty nights sleep! Especially if you plan on staying in the city center, ear plugs are a must. **Additional tip: In Spain, ear plugs are sold at pharmacy’s, not grocery stores.
3. RENT OUT YOUR HOUSE OR APARTMENT BACK HOME: Obviously this doesn’t make sense if your vacation is going to be short, but if you are going to be doing a long term travel (2 months or more), it can be very beneficial to rent out your house back home. In Tacoma, Washington where we live, there are contract-nurses and military people who are looking to rent semi-furnished homes for just a few months! Even if you don’t have a base near you, there is probably a hospital close by. List on AirBNB as a long term and make sure you take beautiful pictures. We moved our personal belongings into a family members basement (a storage unit would still save money), and then left the bigger items such as couches, tables, dressers etc. as well as some non-personal decorations. We had our tenant sign a lease agreement for the 3 months we were gone and instead of paying someone to house-sit, we made income! Definitely a plus when traveling on a budget.
4. ASK IF THERE’S A SWITCH FOR THE WATER HEATER: Ok, so this one definitely doesn’t apply to every AirBNB, but in Spain we couldn’t figure out why our hot water wasn’t working (annnnd also what that random light switch was for…). Turns out some apartments in Europe have a switch for the water heater, and isn’t even necessarily going to be near the water heater, and also might be next to a bunch of other light switches that you are trying to figure out what they go to. Needless to say, no one likes cold showers, so double check! **Additional tip: for your first shower in a new apartment, wait outside the shower and make sure it warms up before you get in… or learn this lesson the cold way.
5. ASK FOR EXTRA TOWELS: As a chick with hair I like to have a towel for myself, and one for my hair… as well as one to hang in the bathroom to dry my hands with and one in the kitchen to use when cooking. I found that most AirBNB’s have no problem giving you extra things that you might need, including different kitchen utensils etc. Once again, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need! I think one of the main differences between a hotel and AirBNB is that you can make it feel like home. Enjoy your stays!