The beautful island of Zakynthos in between Greece and Italy. Beds starting from US$10 per night.











Top 5 Ways Travelers Fail When Using AirBnB


 HIDDEN FEES
Something I really don't like about Airbnb are the hidden fees that come in the form of "cleaning fees". 

This means that if you are a budget traveler like me and do a search by price for a private room,
the results that come up will show you the cheapest price per night. But just because it came up as the cheapest doesn't mean that it actually is the cheapest because that price doesn't list the cleaning fee which can be very high.



For example the cheapest results on the first page may come up as US$10 per night for a private room, however the cleaning fee may be US$40. A total of $50 if you are only staying one night.

Whilst much further down you may have a result that is US$15 per night with a $5 cleaning fee.

So the search results are not exactly accurate and this is a good thing to keep an eye out for.


How would it feel to swim in this beautiful water every morning? This is Phuket in Thailand, where beds start from just US$5 per night! That's 1 coffee at Starbucks!




AIM FOR FEMALE HOSTS
I'm not talking about sex (but that can also be a possibility).

I've used Airbnb for about 2 years now, and one hard lesson I've had to learn several times over, but which I've finally accepted - we men are usually dirty.

I've stayed at maybe 10 or more apartments rented out by guys and nearly every time I've been disgusted.



The reason? Used, sometimes smelly bed sheets nearly every time and a general brain dead attitude towards customer service (I once had to convince a guy I needed him to give me more than 2 pieces of toilet paper for the toilet).

I've never had that problem with girls. Bed sheets always fresh and clean, fresh towels, nice smiles and even free dinner sometimes!


Imagine standing next to this! Majestic Buddhist temples throughout Bangkok. Beds starting from just US$5 per night. That's 1 coffee at Starbucks!




REVIEWS AREN'T COMPLETELY HONEST

I can't tell you the amount of times I've read great, perfect reviews about a host and their place and it hasn't turned out that way. 

Whether it be the window right above your bed pillow that doesn't close properly and means you get a full blast of cold winter in your face all night, or the bedroom door that doesn't close because you should have paid double for the "deluxe" room opposite which has a door that closes when you want to get dressed, or maybe it's the bathroom door that never was.

Either way, these are some of the adventures you can expect to have on Airbnb if you don't look closely at the star ratings and only read the reviews.

What's the reason for this? 

I think it's because when you go into someone's home, you form a friendship and connection with them and then to write something that is not nice about them is kind of hard, even if you are doing the next person a disservice. 

The only way to tell is to look at the stars - what people are too polite to say in writing, they often reveal in the star ratings. 

If cleanliness has anything less than 5 stars I would avoid it. Even if something is worth 2 stars for cleanliness it will probably get 4 depending on how close the guest felt to the host.

This seems to differ greatly to the feedback on sites like hostelbookers where people feel more anonymous and leave more accurate, genuine reviews.

Also, I wanted to mention  that occasionally I send out a unique newsletter with my secret and unique money saving tips, great deals on flights, and special locations unknown to the average tourist (at bargain prices). You really can travel on a super small budget to exotic locations if you have all the information the travel companies don't want you to know about!
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Delicious Thai Laksa soup for just US$1-2. Beds in Bangkok starting from just US$5 per night. Is this a budget destination or what?




BOOK DIRECT
This is a nice trick I first used in New Orleans.

The girl we rented from ran her apartment kind of like an informal B&B business.

This means her apartment had a name and a separate website.

By googling the name of her apartment I found she had a separate website and I used that to book direct. It was a saving of over $US40 in Airbnb booking fees. 



Doesn't work every time, but worth a try.



STAY FOR FREE

Use this link and get US$20 off your next booking worth more than US$75. Once you sign up, you can also get free credits to stay anywhere in the world for free by referring your friends. Note that this is my personal invite and if you make a booking using it I will also benefit (at no extra cost to you!).

Enjoy and happy traveling!

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