Points and miles are a wonderful way to stay to stay in hotels for free or very cheap while traveling, but sometimes it won’t be feasible to use hotel points. If you have to pay for hotels out of pocket and find that rates are very expensive in the area you’re looking, there are no hotel chains that you can (or even want) to earn points with, you need to stay for an extended period of time, or you are traveling with a big group, I suggest checking the site airbnb.com. You can sign up using my link for $25 off your first rental.
Airbnb is a service that connects travelers with people looking to rent out their homes or apartments. It is currently in 192 countries around the world. Airbnb provides a secure payment platform and insurance for both renters and owners. Airbnb will let you pay with your credit card to pay for your lodging, so you can earn points for your spend. It even counts as a “travel” merchant for some credit cards that classify travel as a bonus spending category. We use our Chase Sapphire Preferred card to earn 2.14 points per $1 we spend through the site.
How to use Airbnb:
1. Complete your profile.
The more information you complete, the more likely hosts are to accept your reservation requests. It also helps if you add a photo and build your reputation by getting verified.
2. Search for listings.
Start your search at the Airbnb homepage by entering your destination and dates. Find a listing you like and read reviews.
3. Book it.
Submit a reservation request by clicking the ‘Book it’ button, and entering payment details. You won’t be charged unless the host confirms your reservation.
Our experience with Airbnb
I have spent quite a bit of time browsing Airbnb, but have never booked anything before. I have heard from several friends that have used the site that have had amazing experiences with it! It was a cold, snowy afternoon in Denver today so we had some time to look for a great place in Venice.
The Villain and I are headed to Europe this fall with his parents and brother and sister-in-law. We have already booked our nights in Munich, Salzburg and Paris with Club Carlson points, but still needed to book one night in Venice, Italy. We are looking for somewhere where all six of us can stay together, since we’ll be split up in separate rooms the rest of the trip. We needed somewhere that slept six, had multiple bathrooms and ideally a kitchen and living area.
We checked multiple sites, and the by far the best deal we could find was on Airbnb! We found an awesome apartment that slept up to eight, had two bathrooms, a full kitchen and was steps from the Rialto bridge, near the heart of Venice and San Marco Square. It had great reviews and was in our price range, so we pulled the trigger and submitted a reservation request. Unfortunately, we received a text and an email within a matter of minutes letting us know our request had been declined. The owner said that he only rented out his place for a minimum of two nights. We’ll keep trying other places and I’ll keep you posted!
There are a few fees that vary on each listing but that you should be aware of before booking. Airbnb will add a booking fee for each request that is accepted. Other potential fees include a cleaning fee, fees for additional guests and cancellation fees.
Airbnb is also a great way to make some extra income if you are interested in renting out your own residence!
Have you used Airbnb before? What has your experience been? I would love to hear your reviews!