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Travel: 8 Smart Things to Do Before Renting Airbnb

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Don’t let surprises or disappointments affect your trip. Booking accommodations for a holiday could be a tedious experience; however, it’s worth looking into to prevent encountering future problems such as having to look for a new place to stay halfway through your holiday!

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1. Keep an eye on the reviews, additional cleaning fees, and taxes to pay. Reviews are important to know if a particular place is worth staying at. They keep you updated on the conditions of your accommodation, and also let you know know more about the host. There could be a price hike due to the extra cleaning fees.

2. Don’t waste your day. Schedule your activities around the check-in time, and do take note of things such as where you can pick up or retrieve your keys from, to avoid wasting time.

3. Enquire about ground rules. You don’t want it to affect your holiday. Also, do take note on how the host replies to your enquiries, it might provide a hint on what you’re getting into based on communications you have with the host.

4. Read up on the return and cancellation policies. Know your rights and what Airbnb can do for you in the events of a cancellation by the host. You should also plan ahead for contingencies as well.

5. Pay through Airbnb. You’ve got one less thing to worry about when paying through Airbnb. Payment will only be released to the host 24 hours after check in. For more information, http://bit.ly/2xabKGg

Check your e-mails on a daily basis in case of cancellation. You may also give a heads up or a friendly reminder to the host, of your upcoming stay.

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6. Is it worth the price in the long run? Do you have access to different modes of transportation? Is your accommodation close to the places you want to visit? This helps to significantly reduce the amount of money spent on transportation. If you don’t have access to cheaper transportation, you might want to consider booking a stay at a more expensive hotel if you’re on a long holiday.

7. Do not underestimate the importance of photographs and the list of amenities. Look through all the photos and the list of amenities carefully. Try looking beyond the aesthetic and take note of the practicalities such as the number of powerpoints provided, or whether the space is childproof. Don’t forget to look out for things that aren't necessary that you could be charged extra for. If there are three to five things that you don’t deem necessary, consider looking out for other accommodation.

8. Understand how Airbnb works both ways for guests and hosts before booking your stay. Check out both the host through reviews, but also read up on Airbnb in general. E.g. what are the ways you can contact Airbnb? What are the reviews given? What are the hours which you can get through Airbnb, quickly? How quickly will you hear back for a response? Aside from that, do take note of emergency numbers ranging from embassies to tourist information centres.

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* Plan ahead and do your homework beforehand. By doing so, you could lower the cost spent on accommodation. Also don’t forget to take note of the availability of other airbnbs nearby in case of contingencies. Questions to ask includes: Would the host be around throughout your stay? Does your host speak English, if you’re in a foreign country speaking a different language?