A First Timer’s Guide to AirBnb

Updated 2017

My first attempt at AirBnb was an interesting one. I signed up and attempted to try a local Atlanta property for a staycation. Most responses included something along the lines of “not available” for one night or people without reviews (history). I was a little turned off by the responses.

It was not until my recent trip to Italy that I looked AirBnB again to save serious money in Rome. Rome hotel prices were $250+a night for a decent and well located room.

I found one property close to a Colosseum that was within my price range and I also received a discount for my first stay by using a referral promotion of $25 off (current promotion is now $40 off) of $75+stays. Total for 2 nights $251

Guide to Airbnb
Our street in Rome

The host Valenita was very friendly and very patient. I enjoyed my stay and the set up was a perfect base for us to explore Rome.  Here’s what I learned during my first stay that you can use to help you book an Airbnb.


Tips For Airbnb

  1.  Read all of the reviews, past the first page. Some don’t have reviews but I took the time to read all of the reviews so I knew what to expect.
  2. Check the amenity list and even confirm again with the host to be sure. The property I stayed in has washer listed but the washer did not work.
  3. Understand the check in/check out time. Ask questions if you need to divert from those time before you book. Some hosts may not allow late check out/early check in or some may charge a fee. Work it out before booking because it’s not like a hotel where you can change the day of.
  4. Pay attention to the payment and cancellation policy. When you book an AirBnb you pay instantly. Cancellation varies per host. Read up on the different levels from flexible to super strict.
  5. Download the AirBnb app so that you can communicate with your host as you travel. This is especially key when travelling international and need to communicate. You can also look at other ways to communicate while abroad with your host. Most have whats app but the AirBnb app should be sufficient.
  6. Look up the best route and mode of transportation before arrival. Especially important for international travel. Check to see if the host has suggestions or transportation options. Our host in Havana arranged a taxi.
  7. Check out the guidebooks for travel tips for different cities. It will be listed in the drop down when you click on your Avi in the right hand corner
  8. Completely fill out your profile and verified tasks. This will help hosts get to know you better and increase chances of acceptance.
  9. Review the response time and rate of the host to get a good since of their communication. When you’re traveling or have questions before booking it is always nice to have someone that will be responsive.


Here are a few photos from the property I stayed at in Rome. It was perfect for our needs (2 people) and right across from the Colosseum. Some of the photos are directly from AirBnb as I can verify the condition matches the photos. I arrived late night and it rained the whole time so I was not able to capture great pics.



Rome Airbnb
One full bed

I am definitely more open to AirBnb now. It saved us a ton of money in Rome and Cuba and I felt right at home. Check out more tips of Rome and Cuba!

What are some tips you would give to AirBnb first timers? Comment below!


Pin The Knowledge!

A quick guide to how to use Airbnb for the first time!



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Kim H.

Kim H. is the creator and chief editor for Work Hard Travel Well. Born and raised in College Park, Ga. She is a true "FILA" :) and UGA Alumna. Go Dawgs!

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