We love Airbnb. Over the last 3 years we’ve stayed in more than 30 apartments, villas and houses using Airbnb.
It’s the first place we look when we’re booking accommodation. We’ve had some amazing “homes” all throughout Europe and met some fantastic hosts who we are still in touch with today. But it doesn’t always go to plan.
We’ve had hosts switch our apartment on arrival, a broken boiler, ants in the kitchen and even one place that had no cooker, no dishwasher and no washing machine despite them being on the listing!
But don’t let that put you off. Most of our stays have been problem free.
When you’re travelling with kids problems with your accommodation can be inconvenient, frustrating and sometimes even scary.
So what do you do when your Airbnb isn’t right? It’s a question asked frequently in my Facebook travel group Travel The World With Your Kids.
Here’s what I’d recommend…
#1 – Contact Your Host Immediately
In most of our experiences our hosts have been very sorry to hear we have had problems and have done their best to fix them as soon as possible. We’ve had plumbers sent to us within the hour and gift baskets given to us an apology for any inconvenience. So don’t suffer in silence. Give your host the opportunity to rectify the problem and make your stay a positive one.
#2 – Keep ALL communication through the Airbnb App
Only communicate with your host through the Airbnb app or website itself so Airbnb can see everything that is said between you. Your host may prefer to speak on the phone or use Whatsapp or Viber but I don’t recommend this. Airbnb will be more willing to help you if they can see all communication between you.
#3 – If You Don’t Get A Swift Resolution Then Contact Airbnb
If your host is not replying then Airbnb will try to contact them directly on your behalf. If they’re refusing the fix the problem then Airbnb can insist that they do or issue you with a full refund so you can book somewhere else. Don’t wait too long to let Airbnb know that there is a problem. The sooner they get on board and start helping then the sooner you’ll get a resolution.
#4 – Ask For Help Finding An Alternative
On one occasion we turned up to our house in Portugal to find that it did not match it’s listing at all. It was dirty and smelly. The tiles on the walls were cracked, the beds were like rock and none of the kitchen appliances worked except for a teeny tiny microwave. Not ideal for a family of 4! We contacted Airbnb and they agreed to refund us in full and help us find alternative accommodation. It took a few hours to find what we needed but eventually they got it sorted and we settled into a much nicer house.
#5 – Don’t Wait Until You Leave To Report Problems
There have been some cases where people have had issues with the accommodation but not reported it to Airbnb until they’ve left. In Airbnb’s eyes it seems to be that if you don’t report it at the time then it’s not bad enough to need compensation or a partial refund. So don’t delay. Tell them as soon as you notice there is a problem that isn’t getting resolved to a satisfactory standard.
#6 – Pay With A Credit Card
In the UK Section 75 of the Consumer Rights Act gives you extra protection when purchases made on a card go wrong. If you experienced serious problems and Airbnb refuse to help you then you might be able to claim your money back through your credit card provider. I’m not sure if this is the same in the USA but it’s worth checking! It’s a lesson I learnt after a horrible bug infested hotel experience in Amsterdam many years ago.
#7 – Always Check Reviews Before You Book
Sometimes things go wrong and it can’t be helped. But a good host can make all the difference. When you check reviews don’t just look at the star rating, read what everyone has been saying too. Look for comments about the host specifically. You want the reviewers to be saying how helpful and friendly the host was, not just how clean/nice the accommodation was. If you’ve got a host with a good attitude then you’re much more likely to have a good stay.
So that’s it. I hope you don’t have any problems with your stays but if you do then at least you know what action to take.
If you’re new to Airbnb then don’t be put off – Overall we’ve had a brilliant experience and will continue to use them for most of our travels.
Some Of Our Amazig Airbnb Hosts…
Our wonderful host Jelena made our stay in Dubrovnik comfortable and hassle-free.
Our friendly host in Montenegro chauvered us around and gave us a guided tour of Bar Old Town free of charge.
Our host Boris gave us a tour of Omis and showed us everything we needed to enjoy our stay.
Remeber you can use this recommendation link here when you sign up and you’ll get 10% off your first stay