So you’ve found what seems to be the perfect Airbnb that fits exactly what you’re after - the price is right, the photos look great, the amenities, bed and wifi situation are fab... now what? You should just book it, right? Not so fast...
Have you read through most, if not all the reviews?
This seems like a no-brainer, but you really need to be reading the reviews, rather than skimming past the general star-rating and looking for the words you want to find to validate your quick decision. Read every single review, whether it has 1, 10, or 100. Would you rather spend a few hours making sure it’s right, rather than regretting it later? Doing this properly will help you suss out whether the images live up to reality, the safety/convenience of the neighbourhood and what the hosts are like. Sometimes previous guests will also include travel advice or local recommendations! My general rule is the more reviews the place has, the better and more consistent the information will be. If it has little to no reviews - I suggest keeping the property as a back-up and then making your own judgement, there is a first for everything after all.
Checked out the host’s profile and his or her reviews?
There are two types of reviews - ones for the rental property, and the other for the host him or herself. Even if you're booking an entire place and never have to see them, this is important. I'd rather book with someone who is flexible, understanding and easy to contact (especially should something be unclear or go wrong), than someone who never answers your messages and refuses to help. I can’t stress the importance of checking this especially if you’re only booking a shared or private room and will be dealing with the host IRL on a daily basis.
Checked how close it really is to your destinations?
Sure, it’s easy to say that the property is like, totally close to that one landmark everyone is booking the city out for... but keep in mind, sometimes people have differing views on what close means (or maybe they just want your dollar bills). Airbnb will show you properties from neighbouring suburbs (unless you filter everything out), so make sure that when you’re searching for a place in the CBD, it’s not taking you a few suburbs north. While there are always hire cars, Uber, and trains (unless you’re staying in Tasmania, Australia)... if convenience of location is on your check-list - check that twice!
Only once it’s passed all these boxes do I book!