Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania. He prefers a slower pace to his travels to explore destinations more in-depth and to get a feel for what life is actually like there. When he’s not writing, he’s usually off exploring trails with his fiancée, Kaitlyn.
Airbnb is the best for finding great vacation rentals. And with these Airbnb hacks, you’ll get a huge stay discount and an amazing travel experience.
From discounts to tips, you can use many hacks with Airbnb to have a great stay.
And you’ve come to the right place to find the best Airbnb hacks for guests to guarantee they have the trip of a lifetime.
So, let’s not waste time and get straight into it.
17 top Airbnb hacks
- Book a longer stay
- Find a local Airbnb experience
- Document any issues
- Build a relationship with your host
- Be flexible with your dates
- Find a discounted gift card
- Book with a super host
- Check the listing’s amenities
- Calculate the distance to where you need to go
- Check your credit card rewards
- Find an early bird discount
- Book a large Airbnb with a group
- Ask the Airbnb host for a discount
- Have the option to cancel a booking close to your dates
- Find an instant booking
- Find a listing with Airbnb Plus
- Use Airbnb’s Plus/Minus Feature
You won’t see two hacks listed here: the first-time users discount for 55 dollars off your first stay and earning points for your Airbnb account through referring friends.
That’s because these methods aren’t valid anymore. So the only way to save money is by finding an online coupon or a discount on Airbnb with these top tips.
That’s also why you won’t find affiliate links in this post.
So, all my tips and those I’ve used to get myself some great deals. I hope you do the same!
1. Book a longer stay
The number one hack to save money for traveling.
You have two options to snag this discount:
- Book for a week or longer
- Book for a month or longer
I’ve covered the top ways to get a discount on Airbnb, and these are two of them.
When you book for a week, you’ll automatically see a weekly discount as soon as you check the price details. This method will slash your nightly price compared to what it was before.
Another great tip: it’s the same when you book for a month. Only 10x.
You can also search for a month or longer and find some excellent prices.
So, number one hack: save yourself money by finding longer stays and take advantage of some incredible savings.
2. Find a local Airbnb experience
Airbnb’s stays get all the shine and spotlight on Airbnb’s website.
But, the Experiences section of Airbnb may be one of the site’s hidden gems.
I’ve used Airbnb Experiences on multiple occasions and had a great experience. Sure, it’s an additional price, but you get the opportunity to meet a local and do something you potentially never would have otherwise!
For example, here are a few different Experiences I’ve done:
- Sunrise run by the Colosseum in Rome
- Authentic Peruvian cooking class
- Hiking to Capua Waterfall in Peru
- Visiting Palcoyo Mountain (an alternative Rainbow Mountain)
- Hiking through the Annapurna Mountains in Nepal
Sometimes you can negotiate with the Experience host for a better price, so it’s worth asking.
Whether you want arts and history, sports, or a bit of culture, Airbnb Experiences is the way to do it.
3. Document any issues
We like to think about our vacations going smoothly and everything’s terrific.
But it often isn’t that way. And that’s true with Airbnb, too.
So, documenting any issues you have as a precaution is always a good idea. Here are a few examples:
- Take pictures of the property on arrival. 99% of the time, this won’t be an issue. But take pictures of your Airbnb when you arrive and leave.
- Only communicate through Airbnb. Airbnb will only accept communications made within the app if there’s a dispute or issue. So, always communicate with the host through the app, so you have a written record.
- Let the host know of any issues during your stay. If something breaks or happens during your visit, inform your host immediately. Contact them promptly if you want to avoid being blamed for any damages.
Chances are you won’t have an issue with your stay.
But it’s always good to be prepared for anything unexpected.
4. Build a relationship with your host
I build relationships with every host I meet during my stay.
Often, these people are excited to show off their city. And they’re full of information about things to see, places to go (or not go), and more. And that’s perfect for your stay.
You’ll even get hosts who invite you along to do something with them. It’s like getting the best Experience for free!
Here are a few of the experiences I’ve had with hosts of mine (and you can, too!):
- Celebrating Holi with a bunch of Kathmandu locals
- Climbing Peña de Bernal near Queretaro, Mexico, with my host’s mom and step-dad
- Going to one of my host’s violin concerts (then later recording a podcast together)
- Cooked a local Nepali meal in my Airbnb with my host and his wife
- Went out for dinner and a night of drinks in Ha Long, Vietnam, with my host
I don’t say any of this to brag or sound like a “Traveler of the Year.” I’m telling you this because your hosts are often extraordinary people.
You just have to make the slightest effort to connect with them. And it can often lead to long-term friendships.
5. Be flexible with your dates
Back to the savings tips!
If you can be flexible with your dates, you’ll snag some serious savings on a MUCH cheaper Airbnb.
This same tip applies to getting a cheap flight anywhere, also. If you can adjust your dates by a few days, or even a week, you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference in the price you’ll see. And it dramatically increases your chances of landing a deal.
You can apply this by searching in different places off-season to find some fantastic Airbnb listings. I’ve stayed in places I had no business in simply because it was low season and prices had dropped.
So, be as flexible as Simone Biles with your trip dates.
6. Find a discounted gift card
Is it too obvious even to mention?
But you’d be surprised how many people overlook the power of a gift card for their travel accommodation.
For example, if you check Walmart, Sam’s Club, or any store that sells gift cards, you can save some serious cash on an Airbnb gift card!
So, keep an eye out and grab an Airbnb gift card deal when you see it to make your stay more affordable.
7. Book with a super host
Super hosts got the title for a reason.
They go above and beyond to make your stay as perfect as possible.
Super hosts do everything from small things like greeting you with a bowl of fruit and a fridge with some drinks to larger things like picking you up from the airport. And that’s because Airbnb has verified these people, and they’ve received enough high quality reviews to earn the title.
I’ve had free rides from airports, entire Google documents of things to do categorized by city area, and handmade smoothies waiting for me with super hosts.
If you’re nervous about your Airbnb stay, remove your worries with a super host.
8. Check the listing’s amenities
Does the property have a washer and dryer? What about an easy way to get drinkable water?
Consider all of these things when you’re looking at listings. Your savings may be smaller if you pay to get your laundry done. Or if you need to buy bottled water, that could add up across your trip and eat into your hard-earned money!
This same rule applies to the cleaning fee, too. Different hosts charge different fees, so look at the property description with a good magnifying glass to catch anything. Simply avoiding excessive fees alone can save you a ton of cash.
It sounds like doing your homework (because it is), but it saves you in the long run.
9. Calculate the distance to where you need to go
Is your apartment, hotel, or stay nearby the places you’ll visit?
If not, your Uber and taxi costs will add up faster than Airbnb coupon codes on Google. And that means you spent more than you previously thought.
So, check the distance to the major attractions. Is there easy or public transportation there or within walking distance? These small details add significant savings.
10. Check your credit card rewards
Already using a credit card for daily purchases?
Then use the rewards it gives you toward renting your travel accommodation!
This isn’t for all credit cards, so you should check to see if your credit card provider offers an option. But if it does, that’s an easy reward for you! Keep doing what you’re doing (and pay it off), and you’ll stay in more Airbnb properties than Brian Chesky (the CEO).
11. Find an early bird discount
Know your trip dates way in advance?
Then start searching immediately, and you may find an Early Bird Discount.
It’s exactly what it sounds like. Hosts want to secure a renter early, and they’ll give you some money off if you book. If it’s not listed, try asking the host if they’d be willing to offer one. They’ll get a guaranteed stay, and you get some money off.
It works for both parties.
12. Book a large Airbnb with a group
Finding a multi-bedroom Airbnb is the way to go if you can get your friends to join you on vacation.
Instead of finding your own places to stay, make it easier and stay together in a large house or similar property.
Splitting the cost with a larger number of guests is a great way to add to your travel plans by saving yourself money on a reservation. Plus, all the extra fees hosts go on to add end up getting split.
Bit by bit, you’re putting more money back into your and your friends’ pockets and getting an AWESOME rental property.
13. Ask the Airbnb host for a discount
It’s no secret that many people who use Airbnb would love to get a discount on their stay.
After all, why not? Hosts can offer discounts and save guests a lot of money.
The key to getting a discount from an Airbnb host is asking. Many hosts are open to negotiation, especially if the guest is paying for a more extended stay.
But it’s important not to feel entitled. Be clear about what you’re asking for, and don’t expect to receive a discount.
If the host is receptive or doesn’t offer the desired amount, feel free to look elsewhere; there are plenty of fantastic Airbnb options!
14. Have the option to cancel a booking close to your dates
Some listings set the “no refund” date before your travel dates.
But what if you have an emergency or you simply change your mind? You want to have a way to have the lowest amount of fees.
And one way to do that is by paying attention to the final refund date during checkout when booking an Airbnb. For many hosts, it’ll usually be within a week of your vacation, which is ideal. But others may try to move it up to secure themselves money.
So, pay attention to the last day you can cancel your reservation.
15. Find an instant booking
An instant booking is exactly what it sounds like.
You book the Airbnb, and it automatically accepts the trip. But only some Airbnb hosts have this option.
This is especially great when you first start. People often want renters with reviews and one or two stays under their belt. So, it takes time to get started sometimes.
But, when you see the option to book instantly, you can secure your stay no matter what.
16. Find a listing with Airbnb Plus
When you’re searching through the listings, you have the option to add a filter.
One of those options is Airbnb Plus. And here’s the thing about Airbnb Plus, it’s free for you, and you get a guaranteed great stay.
Each home has been uniquely thought out, well-equipped with any amenities you may need, and vetted hosts who make sure your vacation is as close to perfect as possible.
So, if reserving some random Airbnb doesn’t tempt you, try checking out the options with Plus.
17. Use Airbnb’s Plus/Minus Feature
When choosing your travel dates, you’ll see an exciting feature at the bottom of the calendar.
This is Airbnb’s Plus/Minus feature. And this searches before and after your set dates to see if there are any great deals for you.
Let’s imagine you’re flexible with your dates, like in hack #5. Now, you set your dates and choose the ±7 days. This feature searches a week before and after your dates to find options not available during your dates.
This way, you see ALL the options you have available. Not just a few.
Whew! That’s a lot, right?
But that’s how useful doing your research on Airbnb can be! Huge savings, fun times — everything you need for a memorable stay.
I hope these hacks were helpful, and I’d love to hear from you. So, let me know which hack you think is best and any I may have missed! Comment below 👇