Airbnb for the Budget Traveler

Airbnb for the Budget Traveler


If you are a budget traveler, you're likely subscribed to blogs that help you score the cheapest flight deals, well in advance of your departure date. Or, you might find a better price through the bus or train, depending on the distance and availability you can dedicate to transportation. While inside the city, you might consider public transportation, using the "pool" option on your ride-sharing application, and even renting a bike by the hour. All of these are helpful for saving your hard-earned dollars, but how can you ensure you're also saving on your accommodation?

Many resort to using hostels, which are great for various reasons - they provide a shared kitchen, access to tours, and a networking opportunity with other travelers. This may also enhance your vacation if you were looking for travel buddies. However, one of the drawbacks of hostels is they can often be expensive for a private room, and even their bunkbeds can cost more than options on Airbnb and other platforms. You also risk having bunkmates with lousy etiquette and depending on your sleep schedules and need for privacy, could end up costing you the much-needed rest during your adventures.

In this case, an Airbnb private room can be the key to saving the most money and providing you with important rest. Here are some helpful tips in finding an accommodation that fits your budget using the Airbnb filter tool:


1. Set your price.

The Airbnb filter is the most important tool. The first thing they prompt you to do is pick the destination and dates, which shows numerous (or little) options in or around your destination. If you are looking to spend around $40/night, you can set the maximum to this price. This will only reveal the listings for your price point. However, it's important to keep in mind that the final price is only shown after you click the listing, then "price breakdown." This will reveal the cleaning costs and any associated fees.


2. Choose These Money-Saving Options from the Filter.

Think about your needs during your vacation, will you need Wi-Fi? Access to a kitchen? Laundry? Hair Dryer? Desk to do some work? Not all private or shared rooms allow access to a kitchen, so it is important to check this option. Are you staying for multiple days in the same city or area, or going for a longer trip? Airbnb's often provide access to a laundry, included or coin operated. This can help you pack less, save money on bags, and also on laundry services. Access to internet is provided in two options, either "Wi-Fi" or "ethernet." In other words, you won't feel compelled to spend money at a cafe just to get Wi-Fi.


3. Customize your Search Results with the Map Tool.

In order to reap the benefits of the map tool, you'll have to do your research beforehand. Map out neighborhoods and other places you plan to spend time in and compare that to your Airbnb results. You may find some results are much further than you anticipated. In that case, use the map tool to zoom into a particular area and choose to "show results in map." This allows to only see availability in your desired location.


4. Pay Attention to the Check-out Time.

If checkout time is not flexible, you may find yourself in a rut. Think about a situation where the check-out is 9 AM, but your flight leaves at 2 PM. This might mean public transportation is unavailable or running on a slow schedule, or ride-sharing apps are limited, or you simply having to arrive at the airport much earlier than expected. Little opportunity to make breakfast or get some extra hours of sleep. Usually, hosts are flexible, but if they have a guest arriving the next day, they may not be able to accommodate you beyond the original checkout time. It never hurts to ask, but it’s also convenient to find other options with later check-out times.


5. Contact the Host.

Someone may be hosting on Airbnb for multiple reasons – maybe a recent investment property, maybe to earn extra income from a room, or some other goal. As a result, many are open to negotiation. If you are traveling outside of busy season, encounter a new listing without a discounted rate, or staying for multiple nights, it never hurts to ask for a discount. Many hosts, especially new ones, feel confident that they’ll receive a better review having provided you with a deal, and they may go beyond to ensure your experience is amazing.


The Airbnb filtering and map tools are perfect for budget travelers. If you’re traveling by bus or train, many stations are located close to the city-center, allowing you to hop on a public transit line immediately. This provides you with more ways to save money and time. Besides that, imagine only having to share the kitchen and internet with a few people instead of everybody in the hostel – fewer waiting times, and less traffic. Enjoy traveling and worry less about overspending!