Since beginning my travels in 2013, I have almost exclusively used Airbnb.com for housing.  I prefer Airbnb because of their great selection, fair prices, and close community.  When I book an apartment through Airbnb, I get a true taste of foreign culture.  Here’s my definitive list of Airbnb tips.

If you are a first-time guest, use this Airbnb coupon to save $40 on your first trip!  I’d like to share with you today a list of 27 Airbnb tips & tricks for guests to consider when booking an apartment.  My checklist will help you avoid some of the problems I have encountered in my travels abroad.

Ultimate Airbnb Tips & Tricks

Please note, my Airbnb list is not in order of importance.  By using my list, I guarantee you will have the best Airbnb experience possible!

  1. Permanent Water – Especially important in Third World countries.  I have experienced places in the Southern Philippines that don’t have running water for a large portion of the day.  This can get rough.
  2. Power Generator – Also, especially important in Third World countries.  I have dealt with power outages that can last for long stretches.  If you’re traveling to a hot climate, this can get brutal.  You will also lose WiFi.  Having a power backup is important during outages, especially, if you work online.
  3. Clean Water Bottle – These come in 5-gallon size and can be traded out cheaply for a new bottle.  I’ve seen foreigners waste a lot of money purchasing small water bottles.  Instead, invest in the large bottle and fill smaller bottles to store in the refrigerator.  Ask the owner if he or she provides the large 5-gallon bottle before renting a place on Airbnb.  Or you can try this.
  4. Supermarket Within Walking Distance – Very important for saving money and if you like to cook.  It’s inconvenient to need a taxi to buy groceries.  If I am not within walking distance, I usually end up eating out a lot.
  5. Washer & Dryer – I had a nightmare experience with dermatitis from cheap laundry detergent.  It was a brand the laundromat used in the Dominican Republic.  I make sure to use free and clear now.  You don’t want to make normal trips to the laundromat.  You can also pick up a bag of these soap nuts or use this stopper, which allows you to hand wash laundry in the sink while traveling.  It’s come in handy for me for over a year now.
  6. Quality Non-Stick Pans & Knives & Spatula – The best apartment I ever rented had a large non-stick wok and a big pot for steaming vegetables.  Only one quality knife is needed and one quality spatula.  Using old rusty knives is something I refuse to do.  Here is the knife I travel with in my checked baggage.  It’s served me well for years.
  7. Hot Water with Good Pressure – If you are American like me, you value your nice, relaxing hot showers.  A lot of tropical destinations don’t have hot water.
  8. Balcony – This is important for fresh air and relaxation or if you or your friends smoke.
  9. Quality Bed – No one wants to sleep on a lumpy or rock-hard bed and wake up with a sore back.
  10. Place to Hang Your Clothes with Hangers – This may sound simple, but not every place has a spot to hang clothes to dry.  Check to see if there is an iron or a drying rack if no dryer is included.  Most places only supply a washer.  You will rarely find a dryer.
  11. Flat-Screen TV with Cable – This is important for some and not for others.  I use an HDMI cord to connect my computer to the TV (I’ve since updated to Chromecast but still carry the HDMI cord just in case).  With the cord, I can watch movies, sports, and TV shows.  Sometimes it’s nice to have local cable to watch sporting events or movies.
  12. Local Telephone Line – This is important for ordering food, small items from a market or a taxi.
  13. Reliable WiFi – There is nothing worse than spotty or slow WiFi.  Especially, for someone who needs reliable WiFi abroad.  You can try to use this lightweight WiFi booster.
  14. A Doorman – Having someone who can call you a taxi, make local recommendations and provide you security is priceless.  Make sure to tip the doorman, and he will take care of you.
  15. Parking Spot – This is always a luxury if you decide to rent a car or motorcycle and don’t want to worry about finding secure parking.  You can also provide your guests a spot to park.
  16. Safe – A safe gives you a secure place to store your valuables.  I still use tricky hiding spots, but a safe is good for some items.
  17. Restaurants – Nearby quality restaurants is an important factor.  Most travelers want to get a genuine taste of the local cuisine.  If you have to walk more than 10-15 minutes to eat, it will become a hassle unless you’re trying to lose weight.
  18. Bars & Nightclubs – Make sure to have a handful of bars & nightclubs nearby.  This will save you time & money.  Ideally, you want to be within walking distance, but not so close that you can’t sleep at 3 a.m. because of loud music.
  19. Insects – Some places have insect problems even if the place appears tidy in photos.  Ask before arriving, or you may find mosquitoes waiting to greet you.  I’ve dealt with mosquitoes, and it’s disturbing.  Dengue Fever is no joke; I’ve experienced it.  Places near the coast will have mosquitoes.  Bring a quality net along to certain destinations.
  20. Universities – Proximity to a University is important for having fun and meeting locals.  Find a spot where you will see people passing by your door all day.  This cuts down on cost and allows you to meet people from your front door.
  21. 24-hour store – You never know when you may have a late night and need something in a pinch.  Find a 7-Eleven nearby or something similar.
  22. Find a Negotiable Owner – Look elsewhere if the owner is trying to charge you for a bunch of little services.  These owners are not negotiable and will try to dig deep into your pockets.  I will try to write an article on how to build a healthy reputation on Airbnb and negotiate with Airbnb hosts.
  23. Malls – If you’re like me, and you like to date, there is no better place to meet a date than the mall.  It is safe and offers a lot of options.  Whenever I book an apartment, I make sure it is within walking distance of a popular mall.  If you aren’t dating, it’s good to have lots of services nearby regardless.
  24. Extra Linens – It becomes bothersome to wash sheets and towels without having a backup set for long-term stays.  Make sure to ask if there are extra pillowcases, towels, and sheets.
  25. Air Conditioner or Heater – Depending on the environment, these two items are essential.  I need air conditioning where it’s hot and heat where it’s cold.  Even on a budget, it’s pertinent to work and live in comfort.
  26. Airports & Bus Stations – Proximity to airports and bus stations is always a luxury.  Whether you are taking a day trip or going somewhere new, being close to a major hub of transportation is convenient.
  27. Cleaning Supplies – Ensure the owner provides cleaning supplies.  You will lose money if you leave behind full bottles of cleaning products.

That’s it!  I hope to add more tips and videos down the line.  Take advantage of this Airbnb discount code to get $40 off your trip!

Please add anything you think I missed in the comments section.

Thank you for reading!  Make sure to keep my list on hand for your next trip.  Hit the bookmark button.