I have been using Airbnb since 2010 (wow - 7 years of constant travel) and I love it. I always recommend Airbnb to friends and colleagues. It's just a better way to travel. Airbnb rentals are usually cheaper than a hotel, have way more amenities and help you save money while you travel. I've become an expert at how to pick Airbnb rentals, so I hardly ever have issues now. However, certain cities (Lisbon - I am looking at you) have gotten quite expensive. So this year, I decided it would be worth it to look at other places for rentals. One of those places was Craigslist. This is where I encountered a scam that was quite sophisticated. It was pretty easy for me to recognize, but this will be a guide so that you too can recognize these types of Airbnb scams and not get tricked. Just to be clear, this is not an Airbnb scam, but a Craigslist scam that takes advantage of those who have not yet used Airbnb.
How to Recognize Craigslist Airbnb Scams
Most people have heard of Airbnb, but not everyone has used it. This is the tactic that scammers are now using on Craigslist to cheat people out of money. They steal images from Airbnb or actual hotels or bnb's, post the on Craigslist as listings and then ask people to pay on "Airbnb" which is actually a clone of the site. Avid Airbnb travelers can tell in seconds that the site is a clone, but a newbie may be fooled and end up losing money. Let's go through the process of recognizing one of these Craigslist Airbnb Scams.
The first thing you need to do to avoid Craigslist Airbnb Scams is to see what the average price is on Airbnb
Pricing is too Damn Good
The first tell that the listing we had found on Craigslist was a scam was that it was significantly cheaper than an average listing on Airbnb. Someone who often travels to a city will have a good idea of what an average monthly and daily price is. However, those who have not are at more risk to fall for a scam. They may have heard that the city was cheap, ridiculously cheap...and could fall for those amazing prices seen on Craigslist. Take a look at the two images above. The average price of an Airbnb monthly rental in Lisbon is $3631. The top three images on the Craigslist screenshot are most likely fakes. Let's look at the first. If you were to click thru, you'd see that the price is listed as €600 ($636 USD). The average nightly price for an Airbnb is $150. That would come out to $1,050 per week, so either at a weekly or monthly pricing, something is fishy here.
Craigslist scammers will ask you for your email so there's no proof on Craigslist
They Want to Take the Conversation off of Craigslist Immediately
Craigslist has encrypted emails that keep your info secure. If the listing asks you for your email immediately to communicate, they are most likely trying to get Craigslist out of the situation (no proof on Craigslist email servers). When we emailed the listing, we wanted to see what would happen, so we took the convo online. Here are the next tells on these Craigslist Airbnb scams.
Craigslist Airbnb Scams will make it so you have to vet yourself to make themselves seem more real
The poster will ask you to vet yourself
Note those tiny little lines "I want to know more about the person who will be living in my apartment". That turns the tables on you where you feel like you have to be good enough for them. It's a very smart move.
A craigslist scammer won't make the apartment available for viewing
Craigslist Airbnb Scams Will Tell You You can't see the apartment
Note that the Craigslist poster makes it clear that the apartment cannot be seen. This is suspect. If you can't see the apartment, how do you get the keys. Just another sign that something is definitely off
Craigslist scams will tell you to book their apartment via Airbnb
Look at the URL for Craiglist sites that claim to be Airbnb
Craigslist Airbnb Scams Will Ask You To Book on Airbnb
This is where things get interesting. This Craigslist vacation rental scammer uses the reputation and validity of Airbnb to jump on its prey. They tell you that you can book through Airbnb. Again, most people have heard of the dashboard, so they are used to this. They will send you a link to the "Airbnb" site with a listing. Again, if you use Airbnb, it's pretty easy to tell the site is fake, but a newbie could easily be fooled.
How to Prevent Being a Victim of a Craigslist Airbnb Scammer
Search the person's email on Facebook and Google to see if they are real and if their info pans out
Social Media Searches: In our case, I did a Google Plus, Facebook, and Google search for the scammer's email. Nothing came up. Someone who uses Airbnb as a host will most likely be active on Social Media, so...if you can't find profiles for that email on social, it is quite possibly a scam. Simply put their email on Facebook search & Google+. Then check to see if what the message says matches with the information that comes up (if anything does come up).
Do a reverse image search to see if the images come up somewhere else then cross check information
Google Image Search: Take the images for the listing. Run them through Google Image search. If you see your image come up, click it and compare the information there. We ended up finding a Facebook page for an ACTUAL BNB in Lisboa. We took the liberty of messaging them there and letting them know someone had stolen their images and was using them for a scam.
Look for signs on the images of craigslist airbnb scams to help you figure out its legitimacy
Take a Close Look at the Pictures: A look at the pictures that the scammer provided included one with the name of the BnB the images belonged to. We had already found them through reverse image search, but this confirmed the entire scam.
Check the URL to make sure it matches the Airbnb website
Check URLS: Almost looks legit, right? The URL above is the URL that was sent to me by the scammer. The URL below is the actual Airbnb URL. Let's take a quick look at the sites now.
What does an Airbnb Clone Scam Website Look Like
The video above is a quick summary and shows what an Airbnb Scam website looks like compared to an actual Airbnb site. I hope you find this article helpful.
If you have not traveled with Airbnb yet, it's wonderful. If you have questions about how to travel on Airbnb, leave me a comment, and if you want a credit towards your first Airbnb trip, add me as a friend and use my code here.
I've been traveling on Airbnb for about 8 years, maybe longer. Airbnb Problems with my hosts haven't been so much of an issue. This is partly because I've gotten really good on how to choose an Airbnb rental, but also because I take certain precautions so that if Airbnb Problems do arise, I am covered. Today, I'll walk you through everything I do to prevent Airbnb Problems, and what you need to do in case something comes up. Before we discuss what to do if you have a Airbnb problems you need to know there are two cardinal rules you must always follow:
Always communicate via the Airbnb platform
NEVER (EVER EVER EVER) exchange money outside the platform
What to Do If you Have Airbnb Problems
Preventing Airbnb Problems Before Arrival
Ask your host questions before arriving so you know what to expect
Assuming you followed my guide on choosing an Airbnb rental, you're already miles ahead. The best way to not have to worry is to prevent issues, so we'll discuss that first. As soon as your booking is confirmed you'll need to contact the host. Not all hosts are created equal, so if he/she does not contact you immediately, you need to reach out to them and begin the process. These are the things you need to discuss with your Airbnb host:
How will check-in be handled. Will you meet the host or one of his/her agents
Are there any specific things you need to know (don't talk to neighbors, the doorknob to the kitchen falls down, etc)
What is the best way to reach them in case of emergency
What is the wifi code
On directions, are there landmarks that will help you locate the house? What does the facade look like?
How do you throw out the garbage/recycling
Once you get the answers, take a screenshot on your phone and add these to a favorites folder. This way, if something happens to your internet connection, you always have an easy way to access this information. This should prevent a good number of Airbnb Problems, but let's go through a few things that could happen that could be issues before your arrival:
1. Your Host Messages You Asking You to Cancel
You're so excited about your trip. All of the sudden, you get a note your host messages you asking you to handle. They give you a sob story about how they will get a fee from Airbnb if they cancel. First DO NOT CANCEL THE RESERVATION. If you cancel, you could lose some or all of the money you've already paid depending on which Airbnb cancellation policy the host chose. If they are pushing you to cancel but won't do it themselves, get Airbnb involved immediately. As I mentioned, you could lose all your money, so under no circumstances are you to cancel yourself.
2. Your Host Wants You to Change Dates
Same as above, if the host messages you asking to change dates and you're ok with it. Ask them to put in a request for date modification. If the date changes are not something you want, then you need to contact Airbnb and get them involved again. You booked the dates, they belong to you.
3. You Need to Change Your Dates
This one is easy, go to "Your Trips" then click "change or cancel" under the reservation that needs to be changed. There may be fees attached to this, so make sure to check these out before you go through with the reservation modification.
How to deal with a host that does not respond to your Airbnb questions
4. Your Host Has Not Responded
We get these unresponsive hosts from time to time. Usually, if they have a 4.5-5 star rating, it won't be an issue (you should not rent from a host with 4 stars or less - ever). However, if it is getting closer to your trip and you have yet to hear from the host, you need to take action. Send one more message to your host letting them know that you're getting closer to your stay and you want to coordinate everything. Then, contact Airbnb to let them know that you've not been able to reach your host and that you're getting concerned. It is so important to have Airbnb in the loop for anything like this. Ask Airbnb for advice on how you should proceed. They will then tell you exactly what you need to do and will most likely offer to contact your host and make sure your reservation is still on.
Airbnb Problems That Can Happen Upon Arrival
Take a Video of the Apartment:
The first thing you are going to do is grab your smart phone and make a video of the apartment you are renting. You want to have proof of the condition it was received in. Anything that looks odd, you need to document on film. As soon as you're done with the video, upload it to YouTube (as unlisted). This will guarantee that you have a time stamp in case Airbnb Problems arise at check out.
If you see anything weird upon arrival (say a scratch on an expensive looking marble table) note the host so that you have documentation that this was not caused by your stay.
If the Airbnb is not What You Expected
If you arrive and the apartment is not as advertised, you have 24 hours to tell Airbnb and ask for a refund and get help with finding a new flat. What is "not as advertised"? Say for example that you booked an entire place, but you get there and you get only a bedroom. Or, that you booked a two bedroom, but you get a one bedroom instead. Or maybe you are there and it promised air conditioning, but there is none. These are all not as advertised. Keep in mind, that since it is last minute, you may not get a place as large as the original or as cheap. Airbnb will usually cover the same amount you paid, but if you can't find anything at that cost, you may have to put money out of pocket. In this case you need to
take pictures & video to document the issue
check the refund policy
email your host to give them a chance to take care of things
immediately message Airbnb so that they're in the loop & can help
Airbnb Problems During Your Stay (24 hours after your arrival)
Something breaks or stops working
Airbnb's are not hotels (the good ones rarely look like hotels or Ikea specials). Because Airbnb rentals aren't hotels, but people's homes, sometimes issues will arise. These can be as tiny as the electricity going out for a few minutes, or the washing machine breaking, to something as catastrophic as a flood (rarely happens, but happened to me once). If anything weird happens during your stay, the first thing you need to do is contact your host via the Airbnb platform. You don't want to call them, you don't want to email them, you don't want to whatsapp them. If you do this, you will complicate your life. Keep all your communications on the Airbnb platform so that if a situation gets complicated, your Airbnb case worker will be able to follow the entire conversation all the way through. Then, contact Airbnb help so that they are in the loop.
You have a problem with someone
If you are having problems with the host or another guest (in the case of a shared listing), most of the time you're out of luck. The best recourse here is to calmly communicate with the person in question. However, if you feel threatened or at danger, the best thing to do is get local police involved, but always communicate with Airbnb so they have documentation of any issue going on. Communication is key here.
You think your Airbnb may be illegal
This is a very grey area. Many cities like NYC, Paris, and San Francisco have strict rules or have outlawed Airbnb. Sometimes the laws are murky. The good news is that Airbnb won't penalize you if you're at your Airbnb rental and you get kicked out by the city or building because your host was bending/breaking the rules. The bad news is that you may have to shell out a large amount of money to find a last minute replacement (either via Airbnb or Hotel). If you don't want to go through this at all, check Google before you pick an Airbnb in the city. If you still decide to book, feel free to be open and honest with your host. Ask them if there are any precautions you should take, for example not talk to neighbors, say you're a cousin/friend if someone asks. If something should happen, contact Airbnb immediately. Let them know the situation and ask them for help. They are very concerned about their reputation, so if worse comes to worse, they will help you to find a place to stay (and maybe even put in for the difference). It would not hurt to have money slated just in case.
Always be calm, keep profanities out of the conversation, and keep extras to a minimum (stick to the facts). You will make your case worker's life a lot easier and things will run smoothly.
You Lose Your Key
This one is a bit sneaky, but I ask my hosts for two pairs of keys (one for me and one for Antonio). If I do not get two sets, I usually make a copy, that way one of us always has a spare. Just make sure to give it to your host when you leave. So far, all hosts have been thankful for the spare set.
How to Contact Airbnb About Airbnb Problems
You can use the resolution center to request money from an Airbnb host whose listing was not accurate, dates were changed, etc.
The Airbnb resolution center: this is your place to go if something has happened and it is after 24 hours of your check in. This is where you would request money from your host. When would you use this? Say your host is out of the country and the bathroom breaks. You pay for it out of pocket and need to be reimbursed by your host. This would be an appropriate situation for this usage.
One of the fastest ways to get support on Airbn is to go to Twitter
Twitter: If for some reason, Airbnb does not get back to you in a speedy manner, Twitter is your next best bet. You need to reach out to @Airbnbhelp, not the regular @airbnb account. They've always gotten back to me within 30 minutes max.
Airbnb Support Phone Numbers
(Last updated 2/1/17)
When you call Airbnb, you need to have the phone number that is associated with your account ready.
AirBnB 24/7 US Phones
US toll free: +1-855-424-7262
US local: +1-415-800-5959
International Airbnb Support Phones
Argentina +54 11 53 52 78 88
Australia +61 2 8520 3333
Austria +43 (0) 72 08 83 800
Brazil +55 21 3958-5800
China +86 10 5904 5310 / 400 889 7054
Denmark +45 89 88 20 00
France +33 (0)1 84 88 40 00
Germany +49 030 30 80 83 80
Greece +30 211 1989888
Hong Kong +852 5808 8888
India +000 800 440 5103
Ireland +353 16 97 1831
Israel +972 3 939 9977
Japan +81 800 100 1008
Malaysia +603 7724 0164 / + 1800 889 814
Mexico +52 55 41 70 43 33
Netherlands +31 (0) 20 52 22 333
New Zealand +64 4 4880 888
Norway +47 21 61 16 88
Poland +48 22 30 72 000
Portugal +351 30 880 3888
Puerto Rico: + 17879190880
Russia +7 495 4658090
Singapore +65 6622 7306 / + 1800 723 1238
South Korea +82 808 220 230
Spain +34 91 123 45 67
Sweden +46 844 68 12 34
Switzerland +41 (0) 43 50 84 900
UK +44 203 318 1111
I hope you find this list on what to do if you have Airbnb Problems helpful. If you have questions about Airbnb, leave a comment. If you haven't yet used airbnb, feel free to use my Airbnb discount code. I'm looking forward to meeting you. Happy Travels.
We started using Airbnb out of sheer desperation. We were in Paris. It was Antonio's second time in the City of Lights and my first. Parisian hotels are notoriously shitty and we picked the best our budget would afford us. It was a small room, with a "kitchenette". It just so happened to be Eid. This would not normally be an issue, except that a Muslim family had rented out the entire hotel (except for our room) and they celebrated - the entire - freakin' - night. There was not a wink of sleep to be had. We were jetlagged, underslept, and desperate. Antonio had heard of Airbnb and we decided to test it out. We ended up in a lovely Parisian apartment and had a wonderful time. We were hooked on the service.
Before you get started on AirBnB you need to understand that you are not staying in a hotel. Your home will not be staffed 24-7-365. For the most part, you will be staying at someone's home...but that brings up a great point that I will touch upon now. There are various types of AirBnB hosts:
***I ended up not picking up either of these listings...you'll have to wait until August to find out which listing I chose.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF AIRBNB HOSTS
1. The Homeowner: The homeowner (renter) opens up their home when they are on vacation. They may also go stay with relatives while you are at their house. You need to understand that their homes will be filled with their stuff. This also means that you will be staying at a fully equipped house and that your host will know their city/neighborhood. These are my favorite hosts to stay with. I usually look for homes with family pictures, an aesthetic similar to mine, and people who like the same things that I like (more on this later).
2. The Investor: They've figured out they can make money from AirBnB. They have more than two apartments. The apartments are furnished head to toe with items from Ikea. These are my second choice. If you like a hotel, these may be perfect for you. For me, they lack a little bit of soul, but still beat out any hotel. With these hosts, you will need to look at reviews carefully.
3. The Realtor: I try to steer clear of these. Realtors have multiple listings and don't have a personal connection to their place. Some are great, others are horrible. You need to do extra research and really scrutinize their reviews before staying with this type of host.
4. Professional Hotels & Bed & Breakfasts: Hotels and bnbs got smart and started listing on Airbnb. This is not a bad thing. Many aparthotels can be found this way, AND you can cross reference them on sites like TripAdvisor. I still book via AirBnB, but it makes me feel better about staying in a hotel.
Seven years later, we're still huge fans of Airbnb. We've had mostly good experiences, some amazing ones, and very few negative ones. Over the years, we've learned what makes a good host. If you're new to Airbnb, there's no need to worry. I'll give you my tips to selecting the perfect apartment for your needs. If you have more questions or want advice, leave it in the comments and I'll get back to you ASAP.
Things to look for in a host profile include good reviews, ID verification, and a full profile
BLANCA & ANTONIO'S TIPS TO FINDING THE PERFECT AIRBNB RENTAL
1. Start with Amenities: There are certain things you need. For me, it's four things: fast internet, a washing machine, a kitchen, and temperature control. I do not even bother to look at apartments that do not have these amenities. These items may be different for you. Don't budge. I find that those times I've sacrificed these needs for either cheaper cost or neighborhood, I've been disappointed (and I can blame no-one but myself).
2. Read Reviews: It was not until recently that Airbnb hid reviews from host and guest until both had reviewed. This means that older reviews usually skew towards the positive. If you see a listing with anything less than a 3 star rating - skip it. Heck, I skip anything that has less than four. This is a bad apartment/bad host. You also need to read between the lines. Issues tend to sneak into reviews, so pay heed to certain wording (cozy - means small). Reviews will tell you if the host is attentive, if they go above and beyond, and if their home is secretly noisy.
3. Check out Host Profiles: This is HUGE. First, make sure your host is verified. The more verifications, the better. Then check their write ups. See if your host has similar interests to you. Check out their reviews from hosts to find out where they have traveled. If your host has traveled to locations you've traveled to, they will probably fit your travel style. Check out their write up for interests. If they love cooking - and you do too - chances are their kitchen will fit your needs.
4. Photos: I will not stay at a listing that has no photos/bad photos. I am of the belief that details matter, and if you have not taken the time to put TLC into your listing, you probably won't do the same with your home. You also don't want any surprises. If the apartment looks cluttered, there may not be a place for your stuff. Is their closet full of clothes? Then you need to ask this host if you will have space for your items. Put the photos into context. Check out the photos to see if there is enough counter space, if the kitchen is good, if there is a shower curtain...you get the gist.
5. Verified Photos: These are great, but keep in mind these Airbnb taken photos make the apartments look much bigger (fish-eye lenses) and gorgeous. After checking out the photos, read reviews and look for people saying "looks just like the pictures".
6. House Rules: Read these. You don't want surprises when you get to your host's home. Some homes don't allow alcohol. I'm a wino - this would never work for me. Other hosts will charge you a cleaning fee (I am totally ok with this - you may not be), or a late check in fee. Make sure you read these thoroughly.
7. Ask for a Discount: Don't do this if you're just staying for a week or two, but if you're staying for more than 15 days, it is totally ok to ask for a discount. They can decline the discount, and you can still take the place at full price if you really love it.
8. Ask questions: I work online. Internet speed is very important to me. I always ask my hosts how fast the internet is before booking. A few other helpful questions:
Is the bed a true bed? Sometimes hosts will put two twins together. This can be incredibly uncomfortable.
Is the hot water stable? A lot of European/Latin American listings don't have hot water or have unreliable heaters. There are few pleasures to life like a hot shower and I'm big about making sure I have one daily.
How's the water pressure? Water pressure is an issue in many countries. Even if you see a gorgeous bathroom, ask about the water pressure. I once stayed in a place with a shower that looked like it was from outer space. I was tired and weary and so freakin' disappointed when I jumped in to have a dribble of water land on my head. Turned out the owners were very much into water conservation...trust me, ask.
How many sets of keys do we get? Antonio and I travel together, having only one set of keys can be quite inconvenient.
How does check in/check out work? Are the hours rigid? Will someone be there to meet me, is there a lock box, what happens if your flight is delayed...
Will a cleaning person come in weekly? I think all hosts should add a weekly cleaning service to the cost of the listing. It just helps you to not have to work extra (and their cleaning person can make sure you as a host are not messing up the house or breaking things - benefits both parties).
Storage: Will there be a spot in the closet for me, and will there be a good number of hangers? I travel for months at a time...so this one is important to me. I absolutely hate to get to a place to find there are only 5 hangers for my 15 days worth of clothing.
How does garbage work? Trust me, many hosts forget to tell you about garbage and recycling. Ask!
How should I deal with neighbors/their questions? As an Airbnb traveler, it is your responsibility to care for your host and keep the system going. This simple question will get you into your hosts' good graces.
9. Check them out on Social: You'd be surprised how easy it is to find people's profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and even Google+. I like to stalk really get to know my hosts before staying with them.
10. Cancellation Policy: This year while we were in Portugal, we got two pieces of bad news. This meant that we had to fly back to the US in just a few days. We ate the cost of the rest of our rental since we were already there. Things like this can happen. They can even happen before you get to your host home. Pay heed to your host's cancellation policy. There are various types which you can see in more detail at this link. I tend to stick with flexible and moderate, just to be on the safe side.
Flexible: Full refund 1 day prior to arrival, except fees Full refund 1 day prior to arrival, except fees
Moderate: Full refund 5 days prior to arrival, except fees
Strict: 50% refund up until 1 week prior to arrival, except fees
Super Strict: 50% refund up until 30 days prior to arrival, except fees
11. The Spreadsheet: yeah...it's 11 because I promised a template of my spreadsheet for you. You'll have to edit this to fit your needs (if you're a smoker, for example). I'd be thrilled if you had suggestions too, so let me know in the comments.
12. Do a Walkaround: Airbnb will only give you an estimate of where the apartments are. Grab the "address" and copy paste it onto google maps. Do a walk-around. This will give you a nice idea of what the area is like. What do you want to look for? See if there is a bar downstairs from your rental (this could mean it will be loud at night). "Walk" a few blocks, see if there are delis/supermarkets/stores. This will tell you how convenient your area is. Is there a lot of trash on the street. You will be surprised how useful a walk-around will be when choosing your Airbnb rental.
13. Never Exchange Cash off Airbnb: If your desired host is asking you for contact information or suggests that payment be made off the platform, DO NOT CHOOSE THIS AIRBNB RENTAL. This is a scam and you won't have any Airbnb protection.
Sabina's AirBnB in Florence was not only a fairy tale, she was an amazing host.
MY FAVORITE AIRBNB HOSTS SO FAR
These are hosts that went above and beyond and have amazing apartments. You will not regret staying at any of these lovely homes. Happy Airbnb hunting.
Troy's Scandinavian Airbnb in Hyde Park NY: Troy is the best host we've ever stayed with. We broke our only rent an entire house rule because his reviews were so amazing. I can see why he is a superhost. We titled him the 3 Star Michelin of Airbnb. I won't say more, click through and check out his reviews. Troy is amazing.
Matthiew's Airbnb in Paris: We borrowed a lot of his sense of style. He had an HD projector, we have one in our apartment now. He had a floor bookshelf, we have one now. When we arrived at his place, he greeted us in his silk bathrobe, then sat us down and explained the neighborhood, where to buy the best baguette, what restaurants were worth it and where to go. Staying with him taught us a lot.
Sabina's Airbnb in Florence: I am thrilled to say that we were Sabina's first Airbnb hosts. She is an amazing host and her home is like no other. I'd tell you to go to Florence just to stay at her house. Little hint...there's plenty of Medici history to it. Seriously - go - it's gorgeous. We've stayed with her 3 times now.
Emile's Airbnb in Beaune: There is a reason Emile is a super host. His flat is spectacular, comfortable, the shower has consistent hot water and great water pressure, and there is an amazing garden where you can enjoy a bottle of Burgundy Chardonnay on sunny days. But besides the fantastic apartment, we left knowing we made a friend for life. Meeting Emile made the trip so special for us. Emile, if you read this...we're coming back 😉
Nuno's Airbnb in Lisbon: We became friends with Nuno. He's kinda awesome. He took us to parties, was super attentive, and outside of him being a super host...the apartment was close to perfection and had the most incredible views of Lisboa.
Nicole's Airbnb in Williamsburg: They were super sweet hosts and accept dogs (a plus when Petey was with us). Gorgeous apartment and it made for many nice "vacations" from our daily grind.Petey was with us).
Ismael's Airbnb in Montreal: I was shocked that we were Ismael's first guests. He thought of everything. The flat had a great gym, a pool and was just a few steps from the arts area. He even treated us to breakfast (not necessary, but so appreciated). He is going to be an incredible host.
Sara's Airbnb in Brussels: We never met Sara, but the guy that did the key exchange with her was super patient (our flight was seriously delayed) and very helpful. I think I could have moved into this flat in seconds. The apartment was huge, had three exposures, and super fast internet. This is still one of our favorite homes.
Gergely's Airbnn in Budapest: This is not a huge apartment, but it has absolutely everything you could need in a great location. Gergely and his dad were ridiculously nice and accommodating in every way. I've suggested this apartment to many friends who have visited Budapest. You can't go wrong here.
Dorothee's Airbnb in Jersey City: What a gorgeous apartment! It makes complete sense since Dorothee is an antiques dealer and designers. Her home is an escape from the daily grind. If given a choice, I'd stay here for any future Jersey City stays.
Stefania's Airbnb in Montepulciano: Stefania's place is gorgeous. She bought a run down palazio and renovated the entire place. There are hand painted ceilings, a stunning view of the Tuscan hills, and a great kitchen. Her place is also right in the middle of the hill, so you're centrally located. Love her & her place.
Paolo & Franziska's Airbnb in Rome: On the outskirts of Trastevere with any modern amenity you could want. This meant it was quiet at night, just just a few blocks from a bustling night life. We had a HUGE deck with a grill. The internet worked wonderfully, and the shower had consistent hot water. Loved their place and will absolutely stay there again.
Gabriele's Airbnb in Venice: Thrilled to add this one to the list. While Venice is not my favorite city in the world (too many tourists, too hard to get around, and so expensive...this flat made our stay so much more pleasant. The apartment was outfitted with gorgeous (and comfortable) furniture. It was next to a canal so we could feel like real Venetians, and it was about 3 blocks away from tons of restaurants and stores. We were able to have a home away from the hustle and bustle, yet get anything we needed when we wanted.
Anne's Airbnb in Paris: Another amazing Paris apartment. Anne's place was a 2 bedroom with a HUGE deck. It was across the street from a large Casino supermarket and a few blocks from my favorite French market - Picard. I was able to walk to Invalides, the Rodin Museum and much more. She was a bit more sparse as a host, but her apartment gave us everything we needed - and an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower.
Bojan's Airbnb in Pula: Bojan is an artist (make sure to check out his gallery if you go to the city and his apartment fully reflects his amazing aesthetic. Everything worked perfectly (shower, internet), and the kitchen was a pleasure to cook in. Location was great as we were a short walk from the historic center and it was right across from a park which meant it was super quiet at night.
As Promised, the followup on Venice.
What to do if you have a problem with your Airbnb rental
Once you picked your Airbnb rental, you'll most likely have a great time. We've only had about 3 negative experiences, and each time Airbnb has taken great care of us. These are the things you should do if you end up running into an issue when you arrive at your Airbnb.
Message Airbnb: Just to let them know that there is an issue and that you will be messaging your host to allow them a chance to rectify the situation. You want Airbnb involved during the entire process.
How to Message Airbnb: Log on and tweet @AirbnbHelp. Do not air your grievances publicly. Ask them to follow you so you can get assistance with an issue on your trip. I find this is the easiest and quickest way to get in touch with them.
Take Pictures: You want to have proof of everything. I do a video on my iPhone on arrival to document what the flat looks like and then I immediately upload it to YouTube (as unlisted) so that I have a date stamp on it. I do this on the date I leave as well so I have proof in case the host ever says something was broken. In this case, if say your flat is dirty when you arrive, do the video and take pictures.
Stay Professional: Airbnb will be so helpful if you just state the facts. Don't get overly emotional.