Holla! I know it's been a while since I wrote on this platform, but I've been contemplating for the longest time if people actually read blogs anymore, or have they all shifted to YouTube/Facebook to watch feeds filled with videos? After much thoughts, I realised that my passion still lies more in writing and sharing my written thoughts because I can better express myself. Hence, this is my attempt to be more constant with my sharing of travel and lifestyle content! I just came back from Bali, and I thought I'd share some thoughts I have on a Bed and Breakfast service that is probably familiar with most of you out there  Airbnb!


Ever since I've started using Airbnb to source for homes when I travel, I've always been doing so for my trips every now and then because of its affordable rates, genuine home experience, how it helps me connect with locals and the amazing photos that I can get from beautiful homes that you won't be able to get at many hotels. Although it may not be something new to many, I thought it'd be great if I listed some tips I thought would be helpful for first-timers or even existing Airbnb users, through my past years of using the Airbnb service. Of course, this is not a sponsored/paid post  just my genuine sharing of the platform.

Before The Stay

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1. Filter, do your research and read up reviews
First of all, decide on your next travel destination. You can also check out the locations of places you'd like to visit to get a rough idea of which area you'd most likely be staying during your trip. For me, I usually like going to different parts of the country if convenient to rent a car. Hence, I'll usually select a few Airbnbs from different cities depending on the activities I plan to partake in.

With the Airbnb map tool, you can hover over the location you wish to visit and they will show you many homes within that specific area. The platform has made is SO convenient for users to filter out according to the travel dates, no. of guests, home type, price range, accommodation preferences, etc. It'll save you loads of time!

I usually choose homes that already have good reviews, because I don't prefer to risk a bad home experience. Personally, I'll pick homes that are within my budget per night, along with positive reviews and decent sample photos — brownie points if they have an Instagram-worthy home! I will then add the shortlisted homes to my wishlist so that I can refer back easily. I also just found out that you can google wishlists by other users, too! e.g. "wishlist Bali Airbnb" and there will be many wishlists appearing on Google search. Try it!

2. Enquire before booking 

Airbnb has two options: either you enquire first, or book immediately. I usually contact the host to check on their response rate before booking, to establish a relationship beforehand and check on some simple details, such as their house rules, recommended places to eat/shop/visit, and additional tips. This is also a great way to check on your host's service and raise any concerns you have.


3. Take note of extra fees (cleaning/service fee)

Don't forget to check on any additional fees that might not have been included in the pricing. For example, service fee and cleaning fee. Before making any bookings, always check through the facilities carefully in the listing. Some of the basic things I look out for are wireless internet, air conditioning, parking on premises, kitchen, bathing essentials, and if possible, breakfast too! I love how you get to try a taste of each city's homemade cuisine when visiting different homes from different Airbnb experiences. Last, my boyfriend and I had delicious Balinese breakfast by our host, from Bali chicken rice with dragonfruit blended juice, to pancakes with their famous black coffee and fresh homegrown fruits. I miss it already!

4. Special discount 

Though you may want to skip the service fees, it's always recommended that you make payment through Airbnb's secure system to stay protected. And for first-timers using Airbnb, you can use my code to get additional travel credit on your first trip! Ever since I've started using Airbnb, I hardly ever stay in hotels anymore. There's so much more to experience staying at unique homes from all around the world, getting to know the Airbnb community and understanding cultures.

5. Make arrangements

Congrats, you've made your booking! Usually, I proceed with sharing my personal information a week before my arrival. I share my flight number and arrival time with the host, enquire on transportation services if needed, take down the host's contact number, and note on additional details such as whether breakfast is provided. Good hosts will usually recommend guide tips and check on you to ensure they make proper arrangements for your journey there.

Also wanted to add that I usually arrange my own transportation because my boyfriend and I prefer to venture around the city with our own transport. We usually check if our destination supports the idea of driving a rented car around ourselves, because some places like Bangkok have bad traffic, and Vietnam only allows car rentals with a hired local driver. During our trip to Bali, we compared daily rates of car rentals compared to flagging blue taxis and realised how much better it is to simply rent one instead!

Breakfast meals at our Bali Airbnb apartments - look at his cute attempt to smile for the camera!

During The Stay

6. Respect the rules as a guest

Always remember that you're staying at someone else's apartment and always try to keep the apartment clean while using the amenities with care whenever possible. From non-smoking to pet-friendly apartments, it's always better to make an effort respecting the rules. In fact, your host will also be giving you a review at the end of your stay!

7. Bring your own toiletries

If the listing doesn't include or specify what they provide in further detail, always check with your host before your stay. Also, don't be shy to contact your host directly should you face any questions. Sometimes, there might be tiny issues that might need fixing and I'm sure good hosts will be happy to assist whenever!

8. Facing issues? Contact Airbnb within 24 hours upon check-in

Usually, you wouldn't face issues booking an apartment that has been supported by good reviews. However, if your listing booked is misrepresented, generally unclean/unsafe, or if your host fails to provide reasonable access to the booked listing, you can actually contact Airbnb within 24 hours to submit a valid claim for a refund, along with evidential photos explaining your situation. This is why it's always better booking through the platform!

After The Stay

9. Be honest with your reviews 

I always make it a point to be honest sharing my experience with the fellow community when it comes to leaving reviews. Just ensure you leave it within 14 days so that your feedback will appear on the listing and help out the next traveller on choosing an apartment for their trip. So far, I'm lucky to have met the loveliest hosts from all over the world more than 95% of the time.

I hope this guide came useful to you guys! Can't wait for my next Airbnb trip already. :)

Sign up for SGD$45 off your first Airbnb Trip using my code!

Love,
Chelsea