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Renting an AirBnb for the first time can be an overwhelming experience. With so many properties to choose from, along with rental fees to consider and policies to understand, it only makes sense to seek out first-timer AirBnb rental tips.

This article will uncover the top 10 AirBnb rental tips when renting for the first time!

From starting the search to booking a listing, and using proper etiquette while there, these tips will provide you with all you need to know.

By reading, reviewing, and acting on these AirBnb tips for renters, you will be well on your way to a successful AirBnb experience!

10 AirBnB Rental Tips for the First Time Renter

Top 10 AirBnb Rental Tips featured by top US family travel blog, Travel with a Plan
AirBnb considerations: Private or Shared room?

1. AirBnb Tips for Renters: Know what you’re looking for

One of the main AirBnb rental tips is to start by narrowing down the general itinerary of your vacation and know what you’re looking for.

In doing so, decide on a convenient city and/or part of the city that will be centrally located to the majority of things that you plan to see and do.

With over 6 million AirBnb listings worldwide, there is no lack of selection when it comes to locations, options, and amenities.

Likewise, an additional consideration is that AirBnb offers an entire home, private room, and shared room rentals unlike its vacation rental competitor VRBO that only offers entire home rentals.

In other words, start by determining if you are looking for the comfort and privacy of having an entire home to yourself?

Alternatively, would you settle for renting a private or shared room in someone else’s home for a significantly less nightly rate?

Here is an example of a private room in someone else’s home that can sleep up to 4 people.

Because you share the main amenities of the home with the homeowners (kitchen, living area, etc), the room is only $24 a night.

2. Shop for your AirBnB Carefully

As an online marketplace where you are booking based on photos and reviews only, another one of the most important AirBnb tips for renters is to shop carefully.

Do this by being sure to read through the entire listing, as well as read as many reviews as humanly possible. Yes, this can take awhile.

Being that you are not given the actual address of the property until after booking (and then not until 30 days before arrival), shop carefully. Be sure to review and consider these essential tips for selecting the best vacation rental.

Additional note: If possible, try to rent from an AirBnb Superhost.

Superhosts are experienced hosts who have consistently high ratings and reviews that show they are providing an extraordinary experience for their guests.

Once a host reaches Superhost status, a badge will automatically appear on their listing and profile to help you identify them. (A ‘Superhost’ badge is shown in previous listing/image.)

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3. AirBnb Tips for Renters: Ask Questions

AirBnb has a secure online messaging system for communicating with rental hosts.

One of the best AirBnb rental tips is to ask questions of the host before deciding to book.

Not only will asking questions provide you with more information about the listing but how quickly the host responds will show you how organized they are.

To contact an owner or a property manager prior to making a reservation, message the host directly via clicking on “Contact Host” from the respective property listing.

Once you have paid for and reserved the property, you will be given the direct contact information of the host. This information will be used to coordinate your arrival time and answer questions during your stay.

If it takes longer than 24 hours for a host to respond to a question, move on and book a different listing.

3. Think Twice Before Hitting “Reserve Now”

AirBnb property owners select their listing’s cancellation policy from a 3-tiered scale: either the Flexible, Moderate or Strict Cancellation Plan.

Because each listing’s cancellation policy will be different, remember to read all of the details and to think twice before hitting “Reserve Now”.

As you can see from the example below, this listing has a ‘strict’ cancellation policy.

AirBnb then graphs out cancellation specifics and reminder dates based on your arrival date. By clicking on “Get full details” you will find more information about the ‘strict’ cancellation policy.

Top 10 AirBnb Rental Tips featured by top US family travel blog, Travel with a Plan: AirBnB cancellation policy

Additional tip: The Airbnb service fee is only refundable three times a year when the cancellation takes place within 48 hours of booking and at least 14 days before the scheduled stay.

If you cancel too many times, or too late after booking, you will wind up not having your service fee refunded.

Be sure to ‘think twice’ before booking so that you do not get yourself into a bind!

Top U.S. family travel blog Travel With A Plan shares their best AirBnb rental tips!  Click here to answer your vacation rental questions!  #AirBnb #AirBnbrentaltips #AirBnbrental #vacationrentaltips #AirBnbrentaltips

5. Need an AirBnB Immediately? Look for ‘Instant Book’.

The two ways to secure an AirBnb reservation is via Instant Book or 24-hour Confirmation.

Instant Book listings require that you complete an AirBnb account before booking, however, do not require approval from the host before booking. Instead, guests can just choose their travel dates, book, and immediately begin discussing check-in plans with the host.

Instant Book listings are the most helpful for those looking to make last-minute or immediate accommodations. You can filter your search to only view listings that are available through Instant Book.

Take note that there is no additional fee when using Instant Book, however, AirBnb charges your credit card for the entire amount of the stay immediately upon booking.

Additional note: When Instant Booking is not available, hosts have 24 hours to review your application and to accept or deny your request.

Only after you are officially accepted is your credit card charged and then email confirmation sent. In the instance of 24-Hour Confirmation bookings, you may cancel a pending request at any time before the host accepts.

Top 10 AirBnb Rental Tips featured by top US family travel blog, Travel with a Plan
Only use AirBnb’s secure website for AirBnb transactions

7. Only Pay and Talk on AirBnb

Some of the best AirBnb rental tips come down to protecting your safety.

AirBnb has many safeguards to keep both guests and hosts safe, as well as to keep transactions secure. In fact, they have an entire Trust and Safety policy that protects the entire process.

“Always pay and communicate directly through the Airbnb website or app. As long as you stay on Airbnb throughout the entire process—from communication to booking, to payment—you’re protected by our multi-layer defense strategy.”

AirBnb Trust and Safety guarantee

Don’t ever rent an AirBnb property through a 3rd party vendor such as Craigslist, Ebay, classified ads, or via email. Likewise, do not ever submit payment to a host via anything other than the AirBnb official website.

If a host uses terms such as Western Union, MoneyGram, cashier’s check, money order, or Liberty Reserve, report them to AirBnb and do not pay them.

Unfortunately, if you pay for your reservation outside of Airbnb (for example, a wire or bank transfer), you will have paid for a fraudulent reservation.

8. Watch Out for Extra Fees

Even though an AirBnb rental will be advertised as a specific price per night, every listing has additional fees that will be added into the final cost.

For instance, even though you may be excited to have found a property for $150/night, it may actually average out to $250/night once the additional fees are added in.

Fees vary per listing and will not be shown until you create an AirBnb account and proceed as if you are checking out.

Here are a list of potential AirBnb fees that may present with an example shown below:

  • Cleaning fee
  • AirBnb service fee
  • Extra Guest fee
  • VAT tax (value-added tax)
  • Local tax

9. Pay Attention to What’s Provided

An important AirBnb rental tip to remember as a first-timer is that vacation rentals are not hotels.

What this means is that the listings are not overseen by a brand that guarantees consistency, uniformity, or a guaranteed standard of cleanliness.

Quite simply, every AirBnb experience will be different, and not all hosts are created equal.

Also, certain amenities and toiletries are not necessarily available or provided as they often are in a hotel. Carefully read the property listing to see what is provided. If something is not mentioned, assume that it is not available.

Likewise, read the reviews to see what others comment on having been available during their stay.

What do previous guests mention having been included in the kitchen and bathrooms? Does the listing say that a hairdryer is provided? If not, assume that you will need to bring your own.

Here is a list of handy miscellaneous items that we often take for granted during their everyday use in our own homes.

Assume that these items are not available in your AirBnb unless otherwise noted or asked about ahead of time.


  • Dish soap
  • Paper towels
  • Garbage bags
  • Saran wrap/baggies
  • Coffee/coffee filters
  • Condiments
  • Baking ingredients
  • Specialty appliances


  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Body soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Lotion
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry detergent

10. Be a Good Houseguest

Though most AirBnb rental tips have to do with how to prepare for your AirBnb experience, this last tip involves you and your good manners.

Along with following the ‘House Rules’ that are noted in the property listing, here are some ways in which you can leave a good impression on your host:

  • Communicate in a timely and responsive manner, especially if your arrival time changes.
  • Be considerate of talking too loud or taking too long in the bathroom if you are utilizing a shared space.
  • Don’t leave your things in common areas if you are utilizing a shared space.
  • Leave your accommodations in the same condition (or better) than you found it in.
  • Write a complimentary review on the AirBnb website if your stay either met or exceeded your expectations.
  • Consider leaving the host a small gift if you had an exceptionally nice stay.

Hopefully, these AirBnb rental tips will ensure that your first time renting is a huge success!

Have any of these Airbnb tips for renters resonated with you? What most intrigues you about staying in a vacation rental versus a standard hotel or resort?


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Top AirBnb tips for renters as highlighted by Top U.S. family travel blog, Travel With A Plan

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