We know you’re already scouring the site for the perfect listing for your family vacay. Do it right with these tips.

By Katie Mest

Read the Positive AND Negative Reviews

It should go without saying that the best way to learn about a place is by reading the reviews. Not only are you getting a thorough, insider look at the listing before stepping foot on the property, but you’re also learning about the little details that make or break a stay. Noisy neighbors? Pet smell that lingers in all the furniture? Make sure you know all the cons to the place before considering it.

Bonus tip: On the note of reviews, be a good guest because your host can review you, too! And that can help future hosts decide if they want to accept your booking request.

Work Smarter NOT Harder With Wish Lists

Save your contenders in a wish list to come back to before making your final decision. It will keep them all in one place, and if you ever decide to visit that location again, you can visit your handy dandy list of potential places. If you don’t feel like putting in the effort to make your own list, you can take advantage of the thousands that have already been made by other users. A simple Google search will give you dozens of leads.

Check out popular lists here: airbnb.com/wishlists/popular

Use Instant Book

Instant Book assures that you book your Airbnb in the most efficient and streamlined way possible with no additional fees. You don’t need to wait for the host to confirm your booking. You just pick your place, pick your dates, and book. The site will filter your search to include only listings from hosts using Instant Book. It’s a win-win for you and your host. If you’re a frequent Airbnb user, this feature was made for you.

Look for the Host with the Most (Quality Pics)

If your host is willing to go through the effort to take pictures of each room from multiple angles, plus the backyard and outside amenities, there’s a good chance they will also put that effort into your stay. Hosts that are dedicated to their crafts will go above and beyond to keep their guests happy, which can be in the form of quick response times, complimentary toiletries, and sometimes even snacks.

Haggle

Especially if you plan to stay in one Airbnb for a week or more, the cost is going to add up. Check in with your host to see if they offer discounts on longer stays. If they don’t, ask them if they would accept a smaller but still reasonable rate. When doing so, make sure your friendliness shines through, and assure your host that you will be the cleanest, most respectful guest they’ve ever had.

Take caution when haggling, however, because it can be off-putting to the host when their first encounter with a potential guest is trying to scheme them out of money. Only ask for special offers in cases of longer visits or last-minute bookings when there’s a slim chance of them getting another interested guest. Either way, ask politely and only once. In this case, take “no” for an answer if it’s given to you.

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