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.
Want to save money on your Airbnb stay? Learn how to negotiate Airbnb prices with your host for a lower rate. Find out how to ask an Airbnb host for a discount.
Airbnb is one of the top ways to book accommodation in the world.
And with tons of listings anywhere you can think of, it’s become a preferable option to hotels.
But it’s always nice to save some extra cash for your trip. And one of the ways to do that is by messaging the host to give you a discount.
Now, there are certain things to remember before contacting hosts for places to visit as a potential guest.
And we’ll dive into them right now.
- Can you contact a host to negotiate Airbnb prices?
- Things to consider with hosts’ pricing on Airbnb
- Tips for how to ask an Airbnb host for a discount
- Things to avoid when asking an Airbnb host to offer a lower price
- What to do if a host agrees to a discount
- Alternatives to negotiating for a discount
- So, will you ask your Airbnb host for a discount?
Can you contact a host to negotiate Airbnb prices?
Yes, you can contact a host to negotiate Airbnb prices.
However, that doesn’t mean they have to accept. Many Airbnb hosts already set their prices at competitive prices, especially in cities with many listings.
And with weekly and monthly discounts set by hosts, it makes most Airbnb’s even more affordable. So there are ways to get a discount on Airbnb without asking the host for one. But, depending on the situation, it may not be a bad idea to send a message to a place you want to stay simply asking.
Just be aware that some hosts consider it rude, and it can damage your relationship with the host. So you are taking a risk by asking.
But I’ll help with that.
First, let’s get an idea of how Airbnb hosts set their prices so we can understand when is an okay time to ask.
Things to consider with hosts’ pricing on Airbnb
When booking an Airbnb, it’s natural to want to get the best deal possible.
However, it’s essential to understand that hosts have their pricing strategies based on various factors:
Location, location, location. Hosts in popular tourist destinations or city centers will charge higher prices due to the high demand.
Is there a peak season and an off-season? Hosts charge higher rates during peak travel seasons and lower rates during slower travel periods.
Are you booking a shack or a world-class villa? A luxury villa or beachfront property will have higher rates than a small apartment, shared room…or a closet.
If hosts are booked through the next three months, they don’t have much reason to give a discount. But, if a host is more available, they may be more flexible on price.
The rates will drop if the host gives the bare necessities. But if they have an on-site gym, jacuzzi, and bumping speaker system — expect to pay more.
As a guest, remember that Airbnb hosts are running a business. They’re doing their best to make it a successful business for themselves and an excellent experience for you.
So, approach the situation respectfully and understand why a host may be pricing a particular way.
Now, let’s cover some things to do when asking for a discount.
Tips for how to ask an Airbnb host for a discount
1. Be respectful and polite
Whenever you’re approaching someone about money, it’s a fantastic idea to be ultra-polite.
It’s a touchy subject, and being polite, understanding, and respectful will only help your chances in a negotiation.
So, send a clear message to your host. Don’t be direct or demanding. Simply mention you found their place, loved it, and wanted to ask if they were flexible on the price. The worst they can do is tell you ‘no.’
Don’t be rude. Don’t be entitled. And don’t expect them to offer a discount.
I always approach it with an attitude that I’ll get told no.
Anything better than that is an excellent surprise!
2. Be clear about your reasons for a discount
Never lie to your host.
I’ve read about guests making up stories about sick family members, emergencies, and other situations that weren’t true. And it did nothing to help their case with the host.
So, don’t lie. Tell the host that you’re in a pinch and need a place quickly but don’t have the budget. If you’re visiting because an aunt is ill and the price is just out of your range, tell them that, too. Or, if you just want to haggle a bit and see if it works, you can do that! (Just don’t expect a good success rate.)
No one wants to be lied to. And a host is far more likely to accept if your reasoning is honest.
3. Don’t message many hosts at once
Choose 1-2 properties you’re seriously considering and message the hosts.
Don’t spam send messages to all the hosts hoping they offer a discount when you’re not considering staying there. As I mentioned, Airbnb hosts are business owners, and it’s a waste of their time to respond to offers that aren’t serious.
And the hosts are active parts of the Airbnb community. They talk, and they will find out the guests that actively spam send messages and block them.
Not to mention it’s just rude. So, stop it.
4. Make a reasonable offer
You wouldn’t try to buy a Tesla by offering Elon Musk a paper clip, three peanuts, and some lint.
That’s because there’s value in a Tesla, and we understand what it is. And the same goes for your Airbnb listing.
Sure, guests and hosts may disagree on the value (which is why we’re asking for a discount), but it’s crucial to consider many factors in choosing a deal. As a rule of thumb, 10-20% is a good max to consider. Anything above that, and your host could view it as an insult.
Remember, hosts already offer built-in discounts.
So try to find those first, as they are often better than the percentage you may get through asking.
5. Contact the host months in advance or last-minute
Some hosts are more willing to negotiate a discount for rentals that get booked months in advance.
It gives them a guaranteed booking, so they’re more negotiable on the price, especially if you have a solid Airbnb profile.
Conversely, seeking out last-minute deals bookings is another way to get a better price on Airbnb rentals.
If hosts haven’t locked down a booking yet, they may be willing to drop that final price to secure some cash instead of having the rental sit empty.
But just because an Airbnb is unfilled doesn’t mean hosts will honor your request for a discount.
It’s all in their hands.
6. Avoid popular properties during peak seasons
Look, it’s simple.
If a property is one of the best in a city on the Airbnb platform, they have no reason to give a discounted price.
Their property is likely to get booked without a reduced rate. But that doesn’t mean you can’t check in the off-peak season! Several hosts have mentioned they will likely accept a lower offer when it’s not as busy.
For example, if you visit Phuket, Thailand, during the high season (November-April), you’ll find every host doesn’t want to negotiate. But, if you head there during low season, you’ll find a new price, and sometimes the hosts offer more money off!
So, remember that seasonality affects pricing, and you’ll find a much better bargain off the listed price.
7. Build up a good profile first
Asking a host for a discount when you have good reviews raises your chances of getting the best price.
Hosts can see you’re a great guest, and they know you won’t trash their Airbnbs. Plus, they know they’re more likely to get a good review!
Don’t assume that hosts are suddenly happy to give a discount just because you have good ratings. Hosts are people, and they need to make money on Airbnb. So, it’s entirely up to the host whether they lower their prices.
But it’s worth a shot to always ask.
Best case scenario, the answer is yes.
8. Focus on stays where you’re just missing the weekly or monthly discount
As I mentioned, many hosts already offer weekly or monthly stay discounts.
But, occasionally, you’ll just miss out on those discounts. Whether you’re booking for six or 29 days, a host would be more willing to offer a lower price if you’re close to their built-in discounts already.
The best thing to do is enter your dates in the future, then check out different properties. Next, extend the trip so it would be a week or month long, and see if the host offers a discount. Make sure you know the final price (service fees included), so you can negotiate with actual pricing.
Once you do, send them a message and see if the host is ready to negotiate.
If they say no, consider another option or book it at the regular price.
Things to avoid when asking an Airbnb host to offer a lower price
1. Don’t be pushy
Hosts find pushy guests to be the worst.
If they say no to a discount, it’s final. And you should respect that.
Don’t still try to get a discount, offer your services in exchange for a discount, or threaten the host (which is against Airbnb’s terms and conditions). There are plenty of properties and dates to see if prices are better.
There’s no need to hassle a host simply trying to earn a living.
2. Spam sending messages
As I researched this post, I discovered there’s a technique guests use with Airbnb’s messaging service …and it’s not a good one.
Guests will spam send messages to multiple hosts using a template where they’re seeking a discount. Then, they wait for hosts to message back, choose the one that fits them best, and leave the others hanging.
Which, besides being a shady tactic, is just rude to do to another person.
So, choose 1-2 places where you’re seriously considering staying. And focus on haggling with them if you’re going to.
Otherwise, don’t waste the host’s time.
3. Not responding to hosts when they message back
Continuing with the previous step, don’t leave your hosts hanging without a message if you decide to book a different place to stay.
Hosts have limited time, just like we do. And taking the time to respond to you, offer a discount, and make sure everything is good to go for a guest is time-consuming. And if you just leave them hanging, they’re unsure what to do or how to go about it.
So, a simple message thanking them for their time and letting them know you chose a different option is all it takes.
4. Disregarding cultural norms
In some parts of the world, negotiating a price is a big no-no.
In other parts, you’re considered a fool if you don’t haggle.
So, know the cultural norms of the place you’re staying. If it’s okay to negotiate prices, then go for it! But if it’s not accepted in that area, avoid it or risk damaging relationships.
A simple Google Search will give you all the information you need.
5. Asking for an unreasonable discount
Asking for a discount of 50-60% is unrealistic, not to mention disrespectful.
Either you’re telling the host their place isn’t worth it, or you’re lowballing them and causing them to lose money.
It’s best just to avoid it.
A better tip is to check their weekly or monthly discount percentage, then base it on that. If they’re offering 15% off, it may not be a bad idea to offer 20% off. Compare prices with other dates and see if their percentage varies.
This will give you a much better understanding of what the host is willing to offer.
What to do if a host agrees to a discount
1. Leave a good review
You shouldn’t leave the host a lousy review unless something goes seriously wrong.
The host went out of their way to save you money on travel so you could enjoy your trip. Now it’s time to repay the favor.
There are way too many Airbnb guests who ask for a discount, then are the most demanding guests the host has ever dealt with, even complaining about small things like sheets and towels.
Ultimately, hosts rely on these reviews. And if they’re offering you a discount on their price, they’ve already done half the work of a good review.
So, be a good guest and reward them.
2. Clean up the place and fix any damages
Again, many guests accept the lower rate and then trash the Airbnb they stay in.
So, not only is the host losing money by giving a discount, but they must also repair any damages or cleaning fees.
So what reason would they have for giving a discount to anyone in the future? They don’t.
And that’s the case for most of the hosts I had conversations with. They were happy to offer discounts until a few guests burned them, and they didn’t see the value in it anymore.
So, don’t be one of those guests that ruin it for everyone.
Respect their property like it’s your own….then treat it even better.
3. Be as kind as possible
In the same way guests don’t like rude hosts; they don’t like rude guests.
And there are forums filled with people acting less-than-kind to their hosts after a discount. Guests saying, “If you don’t compensate us, we’ll leave a bad review,” or other threats.
Again, hosts are people, too. And you should treat them (and their property) with the utmost respect and kindness — the same as they aim to do with you. So, give them the satisfaction of not being a headache.
They made your life easier. Now repay the favor.
Alternatives to negotiating for a discount
There are MANY ways to get a discount on Airbnb besides negotiating.
Here are some of the best ways to get a discount on Airbnb:
- Book a short stay or longer stay discount
- Look for an early bird discount
- Use Airbnb’s plus/minus feature
- Find a discounted Airbnb gift card
- Use a credit card with bonus points
- Find one of Airbnb’s special offers
While negotiating may be the first thing you turn to, exploring some of these other options may be best.
You avoid potentially angering a host and still snag a great deal.
So, will you ask your Airbnb host for a discount?
As you can see, there are many ways to get a discount on Airbnb.
You just have to use each of them wisely and at the right time. And asking for a discount is one of the top ways many succeed.
So, I want to hear from you. Have you had success with asking for a discount on Airbnb? Let me know in the comments!
And, if you’re looking for more, check out these top Airbnb hacks to get you started!