What To Ask Your Airbnb Host Before Booking Your Stay

Eyeing that dreamy Airbnb for you and your fam? To ensure you have truly found the perfect stay, you'll probably be tempted to ask your host some questions. However, consider that most hosts want to curate their guests' experience just as carefully as you want to select your vacation home; they put a lot of effort into writing their listings, as Airbnb host u/picardoverkirk pointed out in a Reddit discussion. And according to Earnest, Airbnb hosts earned about $924 every month in 2021, "nearly three times as much as other [side-gig] workers," so they work hard to keep ratings high.

Before bombarding the host with questions, which can be off-putting, study the listed amenities, regulations, and cancellation policies to find answers, or any red flags in your rental. Don't merely glance over the photos or description; take out your magnifying glass and become an amateur detective! Zoom into the general area on the listing map — a little Google search can alleviate concerns without bugging the host. Furthermore, no one enjoys clickbait: Make sure to proceed to the final booking page to see how much you'll shell out for Airbnb cleaning fees and other charges.

Lastly, when in doubt, rely on public opinion. Most often, you'll be far from the first person to stay there; take advantage of this by reading a slew of reviews. There's no better way to anticipate how a stay will go than to see how stays have gone for others.

Consider crucial questions

If you still have questions after reviewing everything in detail, it's a great time to scroll to the end of the listing and click the "Contact Host" button. Here, you can dish out some carefully chosen questions to get the information you need while making a good impression. Reddit user u/valkaress also highlights that this is a great way to make an informed choice between multiple accommodations or avoid locking yourself into poor conditions if you're renting for an extended period.

First, ask about necessities. While you may have a number of quandaries in mind, remember to prioritize those vital to your safety, cleanliness, and workability. Be specific; even if a description was offered, it's perfectly acceptable to look into things further. Being in an unfamiliar place is an adventure, but you'll want to know whether there are smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or video cameras, or perhaps if the host modifies the door code before each new stay. If you're considering working during your visit, don't hesitate to inquire about laptop compatibility and wifi speed.

Finally, nobody wants to endure a dirty or smelly environment, especially on vacation. So, it's essential to ask about cleaning methods. Is there a dedicated cleaning staff that maintains the apartment or shared facilities regularly — daily, weekly, or monthly? And don't forget to inquire about their disinfection practices, especially in today's climate. Do they go the extra mile and sanitize everything, or stop at changing sheets and taking out the trash?

Think of personalized needs

You know best what you're searching for in your stay, so don't be afraid to ask your host more about your personalized needs. If you're disabled or a senior citizen, you may be searching for a single-level unit. So, inquire whether the Airbnb is at ground level, offers an elevator, or expects you to hike a million steps to the moon.

Thinking of bringing your furry friends and your car along or cooking late at night? Ask what's really in the kitchen, if there's (secure and free) parking, and what the host's pet policies are — or if there are pets already in the Airbnb — if it's not clear. If you're eager to explore the sights, gathering insider insights from your host is a smart move. Is your booking nestled in the heart of the city or far from civilization? Inquire about the distance from attractions, public transport details, and the costs involved. Your host can be your best guide to making the most of your stay!

Spot a not-so-great review? Or perhaps no reviews for the Airbnb at all? Time to fire up those follow-up questions. Are you about to be their first-ever guest, or have they taken care of that dreadful thing a previous occupant left a scathing one-star review for? Better to be curious now than surprised later. Remember, while asking questions may seem daunting, it's your trip; you deserve to know all the facts to make it the best one yet.