How I Saved Hundreds By Booking an Airbnb Rental Last-Minute
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Eeeek… so excited about my recent Airbnb experience! 💃
My kids had a whole week off for fall break at the beginning of October, so we decided to head back to Boise to see friends and family for several days.
Because it’s a little strange to head back and NOT stay in our old house, I looked into renting an Airbnb for a homier feel. In addition, we’re a family of five so things get a bit pricey when you’re having to rent two hotel rooms. I’m also such a fan of renting a home versus a hotel room because of the kitchen – it’s nice to know that you can save some money by not going out to eat every night!
I found lots of awesome listings that would sleep my whole family, which was surprising since I was booking last-minute. I also noticed a special offer for 20% off my stay — sweet! This made we wonder how else I could save even more on my Airbnb reservation? You guys know I love a good deal. 😁
Here are 5 easy ways to make your money go further when booking on Airbnb (I experienced these first hand!)…
1. Look for newer listings.
I was really curious about why the particular listing I was interested in was priced really low compared to similar rentals in the area. After checking out the listing page, I realized this AirBnB property had zero reviews, so it was likely the homeowner was offering a low-priced stay to entice renters to book (and review). Luckily for me, I’m familiar with the Boise area, so I feel comfortable already knowing the best locations and what’s available around those areas.
That said, if you don’t already know much about your destination city, enlist the help of a friend who lives there or check your destination city’s subreddit (like this one for /Boise/) for more information. Sure, it can be kind of intimidating to not know what to expect given the lack of personal reviews, but I think of it as helping that homeowner launch their AirBnB rental with me as their first PR person in exchange for a deal! Just look for the blue “NEW” box tagged on the listing to find the no-review homes.
2. Extend the length of your stay.
Many listings offer a full week discount where you get a discount off your stay (Airbnb users have seen percentages up to 30% off!) if you book for seven days or longer. If you can swing it, try to extend your 5- or 6-night stay to a full week to take advantage of the discount. My family really only needed the rental for six days, but the extra discount actually made it cheaper to book for seven days instead of six! Don’t mind me while I add an extra day to our vacation. 🙌
3. Refer someone to use AirBnB.
If you like Airbnb and you also like your friends, refer a friend to use the home rental service. In exchange, you’ll receive $20 in AirBnB credits when they make a reservation and $75 if they list their own property on the site! They also get a piece of the action by getting a $40 credit to use themselves.
Note, this is my referral link. Thanks in advance if you choose to sign up with it.🙌
4. Be loyal to your host.
Since I’m sure this won’t be our last trip back to Boise, if our stay goes well, I plan to build a relationship with the folks who own the Airbnb we’re staying in. Hosts are known to offer incentives, discounts, and be more flexible when they know you’re a repeat customer. It’s a mutual benefit, as my family and I will be taken extra care of during our stay, and I’ll gladly refer other friends to this listing should they need to rent a place for their family and friends!
5. Book last minute (or super far in advance).
In my case, I booked our trip less than a week away when prices were lower. Airbnb hosts drop the nightly cost when it comes down to the last minute to help their listing stand out from others. This is also a good time to practice your negotiation skills if you notice the listing you’ve had your eye on still hasn’t come down in price. Sure, the host could ignore or deny your offer, but many are willing to barter, especially if it means that their space will be occupied rather than sit empty.
Booking far in advance can also have its advantages. If you know an event near an Airbnb location will cause booking prices to jump, make your reservation early to lock in the low price.
I know that Airbnb rental costs are going to vary so much depending on where you’re going, how much space you need etc. However, to give you an idea of how much we saved, our week-long 3 bedroom/2 bath rental cost just a bit over $50 per night! Yes, really. We were so stoked, especially because similar rentals in the same area were going for TRIPLE that or more! 🙌
All in all, our little getaway to our recent stomping grounds was a blast, and I loved that we were able to keep our budget in check!
Do you use Airbnb when you travel?
Let me know in the comments!