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AirBnB – How it Works and How to Book

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I’ve never used AirBnB before and I have now made my first ever booking. Lots of my friends have talked about using AirBnB before but I’ve used hotels all my life. Recently a chum of mine told me that AirBnB allow you to rent out whole properties. This I did not know!

What is AirBnB?


If you are visiting a new place/city then usually you would have to book yourself into a hotel somewhere. The other option would be to find a YMCA or something like that nearby. Hotels are great! Clean bedding, a clean room, and usually there is a bar/restaurant onsite you can enjoy. The trouble with hotels is that they can be a little impersonal. You know every room is going to be similarly decorated and furnished.

Instead of booking into a hotel, you can now find rooms in houses. Like a huge online list of Bed & Breakfast locations (just without the ‘breakfast’), AirBnB makes it easy to find a property you like, chat to the ‘host’ and arrange to book yourself in, all without calling someone up.

So Is It Just For Finding Rooms?

this is what I thought. Like bed & breakfast places, you get a room, a shared bathroom and that’s it. What I’ve since discovered is that you can rent entire properties from AirBnB so you don’t have to share a bathroom or anything with anyone else! The added bonus of having a whole property is that you can use the kitchen and buy food to eat in rather than eat out everyday. Even just having a breakfast before you leave for the day can help save money on a city visit or holiday.

Where are the Properties Located?

Everywhere! The interface is easy to understand. You enter a location, the number of people it is for, and the dates and it then shows you a map of all the available properties.

Air BnB Map Example Image

When you click on one of the markers it will bring up a property.

Air BnB Map with Property Example Image

You can move around the map and it will update with properties in the new area automatically. It will only show you properties that meet your criteria so you are never shown places that aren’t currently available. I find this is the best way to search for a property if you know where you want to be. In my London example above it helps you to make sure the property is close to where you want to explore. London is massive and where you are staying can make your life much easier if you are staying closer to where you want to be.

Alternatively you can view the properties in a ‘list’ which shows you a picture of every property and you can filter on the left to help you make the decision is the exact location isn’t your priority.

Air BnB List Example Image

How Much Is AirBnB?

All the hosts of the properties set their own prices. When you select the property and set the dates + number of guests, the screen will update to show you the pricing. This can be made up of multiple sections depending on the property. There is always the ‘room’ fee that is based on the daily charge multiplied by the number of days. Some properties also have a separate ‘cleaning’ fee but not all properties charge this. There is always a ‘service fee’ and this is the fee that AirBnB charge for having the website and making the introduction to the host.

Air Bnb Pricing Example

The prices for a room are generally cheaper than whole properties in the same area but occasionally you might see a bargain appear. This can happen if a host has had a cancellation or perhaps they just have a space in their calendar and would rather the room was used (and paid for!) rather than it stays empty.

How to Save Money on AirBnb


The best way to save money is to sign-up to AirBnB via my referral link. This will give you a coupon for £25 off your first home booking for £55 or more. There aren’t usually discount codes or vouchers available on AirBnB so signing up via a referral link is usually the only way to get a booking cheaper. It is worth noting that they do change the value of the discount regularly so don’t shoot me if the current discount is less than it currently is.

Air BnB Referral Detail



  1. We have been going away with our son who is a teacher at half term. So far we have stayed in too very good air Bnbs in Spain. The big advantage over traditional letting agencies is that you can talk directly with the host and discuss your arrangements. Both properties were very good and exactly as described.

    1. Hi Anne,

      I have now completed my first stay and it was everything we wanted (and considerably cheaper than a hotel!).

      I will do a separate blog post about it but I am sure it wont be my last Air BnB booking.


      The Reverend

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