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President Director at PT Bintan Lagoon Resort

Your First AirBNB: How to Plan & What to Expect

The Sharing Economy, also called the Gig Economy, has popularized services like Uber, Airtasker, and AirBNB for ordinary citizens to offer a good or service outside of the “formal” marketplace. Young people have overwhelmingly jumped on board on both the supply and demand side of this economy, particularly with AirBNB. For AirBNB hosts, it’s an easy side-hustle to make some extra cash on the side. Young guests, who prefer to spend money on experience than on “stuff” including houses and cars, are eager to pay less money for more personal accommodations that give them an “authentic” perspective on their destination.

If you’re trying AirBNB for the first time, there’s some must-dos to ensure that you have a pleasant experience and keep on using the service for years to come.

Firstly, before you even book a stay via AirBNB, the host will have posted rules regarding the use of the rental space. Some guests have house rules that might be deal-breakers for you, and rather than risk a potentially uncomfortable confrontation, it’s best to know going in what the expectations are. For example, AirBNB allows hosts to note when the neighborhood or apartment’s “quiet time” is, and especially if there are infant or elderly neighbors, this is an important rule not to break. Before you book a bachelorette party at an AirBNB, check on the rules.

Once you book your stay, AirBNB gives you the ability to directly contact your host via the app, and many hosts list their email addresses or personal phone numbers. If you have any questions about the rules, parking, accommodations, things to do in the area, anything of the sort, contact your host before you get there to establish a good relationship and properly prepare for your trip. You can also get a sense of what kind of host they’ll be. Some hosts leave the state while they’re renting out their space, but others stay at a friend’s house locally and would be happy to invite you to local parties or events. It all depends on the host, and it’s all a part of the adventure!

Most hosts don’t supply food, but will leave a refrigerator and some kitchen appliances at your use. If you’ll be staying at this location for upwards of a weekend, you may want to consider bringing some foodstuffs so you can save money by cooking. Basics like bagels, cereal, snack foods, and personal favorites will really make this space your home away from home during your stay.

Do your research about where you’re going to make sure you’ll be close to establishments, attractions, or business that are important to you. Do you need to be in walking distance to a grocery store? Is it important that there’s somewhere to grab diapers in a pinch? You don’t need a hard-and-fast itinerary, but ensuring that you’ll have access to all the places important to you will make the trip a success.