How to Choose the Best Airbnb

How to Choose an Airbnb

When we decided to head to Porto at February half term we decided to use an Airbnb for the first time. I asked on my Mini Travellers Facebook page what tips people had for how to choose the best Airbnb and you all came up with some great ideas so I thought I’d share with you our first experience of using Airbnb and how to choose the best Airbnb.

Whilst using Airbnb is common sense, there can be a bit of panic and overload when you type in where you want to go and literally hundreds of options come up! How do you choose the best Airbnb? How do you choose the right one for you?

If you haven’t signed up for Airbnb yet, you can get £25 off your first booking using my promotional code here.

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What is Airbnb and How to Choose the Best Aibnb?

To start with you need to understand what Airbnb isn’t. It isn’t a hotel, a motel or a bed & breakfast. It isn’t even a straightforward apartment (although it could be) it started as a place to “rent unique places to stay from local hosts in 190+ countries”. So you need to remember when you are booking that if the price is really low then it might be a spare room in an apartment for rent or a full apartment in a not so great location.  You also might not be booking an apartment, however you might be booking a really cool river boat, or castle or treehouse. Options are endless.

Benefits to Airbnb:

  • Cost effective (sometimes)
  • Flexible often
  • Non touristy spots
  • Can have more room than a hotel great for kids to let off steam
  • Usually have a kitchen
  • Non-touristy recommendations from hosts

How to Choose an Airbnb

Negatives to Airbnb

  • The location might not be quite where you expect and could be hard to find
  • Sometimes the pictures aren’t exactly representative of what you find
  • It might not be that cost effective, check comparisons before booking
  • Double check what’s included before booking, service charges, cleaning fees and extra person fees may apply.

How to book an Airbnb once you’ve chosen one

  1. Choose where you want to go, the dates you’re interested in, and how many guests are staying.
  2. Filter your results by “entire home/apt”, “private room”, or “shared room”.
  3. Then filter by price
  4. Filter again by amenities. It is worth reading through them all as it might prompt you to think I can’t live without that.
  5. If it’s your first time perhaps choose a Superhost as they are recommended are you are more likely to get a place that meets expectations.
  6. Read all the reviews and read between the lines
  7. Ask the host questions about check in time/check out time/flexibility
  8. Check the cancellation policy and ask if any extra costs are possible or likely.

Exploring Porto with Kids


If you haven’t signed up for Airbnb yet, you can get £25 off your first booking using my promotional code here.

Porto was our first time using Airnbnb and I’m sure it won’t be our last.  So how did it work out? Did we manage to choose the best Airbnb?

The location was very very convenient and we walked to everything we wanted to see in Porto. It was a top floor apartment and whilst that presented some challenges to my MIL who came wth us at the last minute, this was only because Porto itself is so hilly and after a day climbing hills she didn’t want to climb three more flights of stairs – anyway I digress. The area feels a little edgy after dark (as it is just near the convenient station) but we experienced no problems at all. The apartment itself was very clean and had everything we needed. Initially I was concerned we were going to struggle sleeping as the first night seagulls kept us awake a lot. After the first night though we got used to them. Communication with Deli & Andre was very good and they sent some tips over about restaurants on about the third day we stayed there. There was a lovely visitors book though with helpful hints in too.

NB We received a voucher towards our Airbnb in Porto but it did not cover all the cost.



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Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!

Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.

1 thought on “How to Choose the Best Airbnb”

  1. I love Airbnb! It’s so much nicer than staying at a hotel. Last year we (I and my daughter) used it twice; when going to the OneLove concert in Manchester and in Los Angeles in July. In Manchester we found a perfect room in a kind of hippie-inspired block of flats, at a walking distance to the venue. In LA we stayed in the cutest little cottage with our own backyard pool, not that close to central LA, but having a car it was fine and we enjoyed the calm after a busy day in town.


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