Why It's Better To Book Your Airbnb In Advance

Travel planning can sometimes feel like a science. Much like a researcher, you sit at your computer, comparing prices, dates, and locations, and weighing all of your options against your budget. While booking air travel is usually the main reason for number-induced headaches, booking an Airbnb might be a close second.

As much as we love to bag on it sometimes, Airbnb continues to be a pretty great way to experience destinations like a local while saving a bit of cash. But what's the best way to unlock amazing deals and snag that dreamy loft in Madrid or an incredible treehouse experience in Panama?

Well, Nerdwallet searched for prices of Airbnb accommodations three days in advance, four weeks in advance, and 47 weeks in advance. The outlet concluded that travelers should consider booking their stays about four weeks in advance. The mid-range time frame offered travelers the best pricing since hosts are likely to lower their rates around this time to get people to book. While this seems pretty cut-and-dried, there are some caveats. Let's explore them.

What kind of travel are you doing?

The finding from Nerdwallet's report is great news for travelers using Airbnb like a hotel. By that, we mean if you're looking for a place to stay between three to seven nights, then follow that suggested timeline and take a look about a month out from when you'll arrive. If you like to plan things way in advance, yes, this might give you the heebie-jeebies. Asking you to wait until a month before your trip to Nice or Bangkok might seem impossible, but the proof is in the pudding. Give it a try and see what happens.

However, digital nomads typically need to book weeks- or months-long stays. If you look at an Airbnb a month out, it might be a great deal for a week-long stay but you probably won't find the entire month available. So, if you're planning to stay somewhere for a longer period of time, definitely consider booking much further in advance. By booking in advance you can secure the best stay for your needs and you may even be able to negotiate a better deal depending on the season. Speaking of seasons ...

Other things to keep in mind

While the research plainly shows that booking four weeks out is best, this doesn't take into account the fact that most Airbnb hosts don't use static pricing. Instead, they utilize what's called dynamic pricing, where the rates change with the seasons; supply and demand; improved amenities; and great reviews.

So, let's say you're gearing up for a girls' trip to the Côte d'Azur during the peak season from May to September, and you and the gals want to rent a little house near Cannes. As you can probably imagine, there are a lot of other people who are considering doing the same thing. Trying to find the perfect place for you and four other people will be hard enough as it is, so don't worry too much about the timing and start looking a few months ahead of time. Additionally, even if you're considering traveling somewhere during the off-season, check for local holidays, events, and festivals that might increase rates, reduce availability, and drive up the demand for stays.