How to Find an Airbnb Rental That Might Not Suck | 6 Tips For Noobs

You truly haven’t traveled until you’ve had an Airbnb rental disaster…or three.

I’ll never forget the first time my Airbnb apartment went to hell and a handbasket.

I was exploring one of my favorite countries, the Dominican Republic.

A couple of buddies and me decided to rent a massive apartment in Santiago de Los Caballeros.

The listing seemed solid. Plus, it was one of the few three bedroom apartments in the whole city.

Even though it didn’t have a lot of reviews, we booked it.

P.S: Just click here to jump to the insider tips!

Upon arrival, everything seemed decent. The place was well decorated and the Airbnb rental genuinely looked like the photos.

Always a plus.

We checked in and got comfortable, as we planned to stay for a little more than two weeks at the place.

But fate seemingly had other ideas.

Two nights into our stay and the water went out. Nothing in the sink. Toilets not flushing. No shower.

So we called the host and let him know we were having issues. He said someone would be over in the morning to fix the issue.

Good enough.

We roughed it through the night without water. Not a pleasant experience when middle of the night bathroom runs are on the docket.

The next morning the plumber never showed.

We called the host, again. Was told someone would be over in the evening.

Around 7 pm, someones finally show up. They inspect the place and tell us they’ll have to buy a part to fix some pipes – but the store is already closed tonight.

Now, you can imagine the smells after two days of not flushing a toilet…

We were not pleased.

Views from my “shower” for the week.

Yet the lack of options in the city ensured we waited this out. My buddies and I agreed that we’d leave if the place wasn’t fixed by the following evening.

But we have one question…

How are we supposed to shower?

It’s been over a day already. We need to get clean.

Luckily, there’s a solution. The someones take us to the rooftop of our apartment building.

There’s a water tank. They open the top of it and hand us buckets.


Butt arse naked rooftop showers to be exact.

While all your Dominican “peeping Tom” neighbors look on from above.

When in Rome…

So the plumber arrives the following morning and “fixes” the issue. The water is back on and the toilets are flushed.

All is right in the world.

Until the following morning, when the water shuts off, again.

No more indoor showers. No more toilet flushing.

We call Airbnb.

We call the host.

No more Airbnb rental.

Sadly, it was time for a hotel.

Click here to save $40 off your Airbnb rental!

How to Find an Airbnb Rental That Might Not Suck | 6 Tips For Noobs

It’s not too hard to avoid Airbnb rental disasters like the above these days.

The service has gone mainstream and millions upon millions of people use Airbnb weekly.

So apartments have way more reviews these days.

Plus, the quality of listings has skyrocketed around the globe. Luxury can easily be found on Airbnb.


There’s still a few things to look for when renting on Airbnb.

You need to pay attention to a couple things to ensure you’re getting the absolute best apartment at the best price.

Which is why I’m writing this article to y’all.

Below you’ll find five insider Airbnb tips for vagabonds and digital nomads alike.

All from a dude who has rented dozens upon dozens of fire Airbnb rentals.


#1. Read Reviews

Common sense?

No doubt about it.

But you’ve absolutely gots to read reviews on Airbnb before booking a place.

There’s been numerous times I thought I found an ideal Airbnb rental – only to read the reviews and quickly find out the place has issues.

Airbnb has a community feel to it. And other travelers don’t want their fellow vagabonds to deal with bullshit while on the road.

So you’ll often get a detailed assessment of the pros and cons of any Airbnb rental right in the review section.

#2. Location Over Everything

The biggest noob mistake Airbnb rookies make?

Renting that “luxury” apartment chalk full of amenities about a half hour outside the city center.

If you’re traveling to a city, then stay in the city. Even if it means average accommodations compared to less convenient places.

While having a dope Airbnb is cool and all, traveling to explore unique cultures and cities is far cooler.

#3. Always Negotiate Prices

It’s baffling to me how many people treat Airbnb like a corporate hotel chain in the United States.

Just clicking and booking Airbnb rentals – without even thinking about negotiating a better rate.

That’s not how Airbnb works.

You’re dealing with individuals. Not massive hotel corporations.

These people are often willing to cut you a deal. This is especially true in low season or on longer stays.

A general rule of thumb is…

  • 5-20% off on weekly stays
  • 20-50% off on monthly stays

Just try this…

Next time you book an Airbnb for a week vacation, ask the host for a 20% discount.

You’ll be surprised what happens.

#4. Balcony Rules

This one is a little personal…

But I always try and find an Airbnb rental with a great private balcony.

There’s just something about looking down at the new city you’re about to explore every morning – cup of coffee in hand.

Plus, the photo ops don’t hurt either. Do it for the ‘Gram, y’all!

Oh, and wine dates on the balcony with a view.

Seriously, having a sick balcony is way better than a pool, gym, or hot tub at your place.

You’ll just get more mileage from it.

Crumbling Havana, Cuba.

#5. Read the Fine Print

You absolutely need to read the fine print of any and every Airbnb listing you’re about to book.


Because hosts often hide stuff in the listing that you need to know.

Things like rules, deposits, and the like.

For example, I rent Airbnb apartments because I’m a grown ass man.

I like my privacy and I expect to live in the Airbnb rental like I would my own home.

I don’t do rules and regulations.

I’m a respectful adult and I expect to be treated like one. No Airbnb host is going to treat me like a little kid staying at a hostel.

So I always ask hosts if there are any other rules I should know and if guests are allowed over.

I want a double confirmation to ensure no issues arise.

I also make sure the deposit situation is covered, as some hosts try to be sneaky about getting a cash deposit -which is against the rules.

#6. Ask For a Speed Test

This is an Airbnb tip for my digital nomads and fellow hustlers.

You always want to have decent Internet in the Airbnb rental – even if you plan to use a coworking space or cafe to get work done.

As such, I always ask the host for a screenshot of the Internet speeds at the apartment.

In the Airbnb app, you can send photos and screenshots.

All a host has to do is download the app and run one test from inside the apartment.

Then screenshot you the photo on the Airbnb app.

Just like that.

It’s simple and should take 5 minutes.

If you work online and a host cannot provide that screenshot for you, then it’s not an Airbnb rental you want to stay in.

Te lo juro.

Find the Ideal Airbnb Rental Today

There it is.

Everything I know about finding an Airbnb rental that probably won’t suck.

A major key to ensuring you have a damn good time traveling.

Trust me when I say…

A bad Airbnb will be a downer on your whole trip and travels. So heed these words and apply the advice above.

Oh, and make sure to save a little money on your first Airbnb rental, too.

Just click here to get $40 off!

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Jake D

Travel junkie turned blogger. Location independent. From the Midwest, but often based in Latin America. Big on beaches, rumba, and rum. Addicted to the gym. Committed to showing a different style of travel - one that involves actually interacting with locals and exploring different cultures.

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