Toilet Paper & Towels: What It’s Really Like To Stay In An AirBnb
AirBnb is a beautiful gift to travelers who prefer to explore a city like a local. It’s a mixed bag of tricks that can lead to an experience unlike any other.
When you stay in a hotel you already have an idea of what you will receive in return for the amount you pay per night. Hostels sit at the other end of the spectrum and are for the traveler who loves the social aspect of travel.
AirBnb sits somewhere in the middle and the experiences can vary depending on the nightly price you pay and the reason a host lists their place on the website.
After twenty stays seventeen cities and towns over the last three years in eight countries, here are my three best tips for staying at an AirBnb.
BE PREPARED FOR THE LITTLE THINGS
The first thing you need to realize is that you are going to stay in a person’s home or property. Some places will be well-equipped with every little kitchen gadget you could imagine and others will have the pot handle break because it is old. If you cannot roll with this kind of unknown aspect of travel, then this type of accommodation might not be for you.
After a long flight to Spain and rushing to make the last commuter train, I needed to use the water closet. The host’s friend picked me up and drove me to the apartment. He zipped around turns and went over bumps that made my bladder push against my pants. He showed me around the apartment and gave me the keys. As soon as I shut the door, I dashed to the water closet. It was only after I sat down that I looked around for toilet paper, but there was not a square or empty roll to be found.
You are not arriving at a hotel. Check the little things that you may need on arrival like toilet paper, towels, toothpaste, shampoo, and soap. These items are known as “essentials” on the AirBnb summary, but this could also mean the host will only leave behind their shampoo. Send a pleasant note to the host and verify which particular items they provide or where you can conveniently purchase them on arrival.
I’ve stayed in places that vary on their level of cleanliness. Nothing makes a place more welcoming than a professionally cleaned rental. A recent study by Uber Clean House in Australia found that nearly 42% of people seek a hotel-like experience.
The best experiences are the AirBnbs serviced by a professional cleaning company. There is the extra little touch that only professional services provide that makes the stay feel like a 5-star experience.
If a host mentions professional cleaners in their description, put it at the top of your list. These are the hosts who are putting in the extra effort for your comfort. The sheets and towels will be clean, the kitchen will be prepared for your first meal, and there will be toilet paper in the water closet.
If you have any hesitation about an accommodation or have a question, contact the host. Many people are not great at selling their accommodation. Sometimes they do not share enough information or they share too much information about a random thing.
I’ve found that I am much more likely to contact a host now before I rent than I was during my first ten stays. I like to know more about the host, why they rent on AirBnb, as well as the neighborhood from their perspective.
I’ve asked hosts to upload more pictures and inquired about specifics because the listing was not clear. It is better to understand what you are renting than be surprised upon your arrival.
TRAVEL FOR THE EXPERIENCE
Travel opens your mind to the world and staying in an AirBnb brings that experience to your doorstep. Seek accommodations that have several bookings and five-star reviews. You can also search by the Super Host level, these are hosts who treat AirBnb like a business. If you want to feel like you are staying at a hotel with a local experience, seek out Super Hosts because they most likely use a professional cleaning service that will turn your local experience into a once in a lifetime experience… Every time you travel.