Mini Retirement Project

Aside from finding a good room and location for your stay, finding a good host will make or break your holiday. This especially true if you are sharing the place with your host. If you are going to share a place with a host, you want to live with someone who is accommodating, flexible and nice. Someone who will respect your privacy, someone approachable and happy to share tips of their city with you. A few tips to find the perfect host….

Start by messaging them. Review their room/unit for rent, and strike up a conversation about anything at all (i.e. questions about amenities, locality, public transport) One of the easiest way to get a feel of a person’s personality is by chatting with them. So just simple exchange of messages will tell you if they are friendly / flexible / strict / professional. I normally would expect any good host to response within 12hour period. In this day an age, if you running a home business like Airbnb, you need to be on the call to response to queries etc. Stay clear of hosts that takes forever to reply. It reflects on their professionalism. You want to stay with experienced hosts, not some hippie that’s renting for the fun of it.

Read the hosts’ reviews. This one is critical. Do not ever rent from a host who has no review, with poor photos and/or minimal description on their page. No matter how cheap the place is, it’s not worth the risk to spoil your holidays. A lot could go wrong and will go wrong when renting from a newbie host. Also when reading review, just keep in mind that most people are polite, and they sugar coat their words a lot because, people in Airbnb community are generally nice 🙂 However, the key is to lookout for consistent negative reviews about a certain issue. i.e A few complains about a bad wifi coverage in the last few consecutive months, chances you will have those issues as well.

Read the property rules of their rented room/unit. I personally do not like to stay with people who are overly strict on rules. I did once out of desperation stayed at a place with an extremely uptight host who loves sticking rules of what NOT to do all around the house. It was a disaster because we didn’t feel welcome despite paying for our accommodation and felt like we were in a prison with all the strict rules. Rules are to be expected because you are living in someone else’s place, however a good host should not burden their guest with a long list of Don’ts. It just reflects on their lack of generosity and friendliness as host when they do that.

Also another important note, these are all tips to help you judge the person’s character before you actually meet them. It doesnt mean that just because they sound nice online they will be just as nice offline. Sometimes they turn out to be totally different person when you finally meet them. I’ve heard of people (girls especially) fallen victims to fraudsters pretending to be a woman host, only to find themselves being greeted by a man. Just trust your instincts in those situations, and when you arrive to find that the person is not who they claimed to be at all, then contact the Abnb emergency hotline immediately.

The whole appeal of Abnb for me is that i get to stay with a local host who knows their city, and is happy to give me some local tips on their fav hotspots in town. You want a friendly host that is actually happy to provide that sense of ‘home away from home’ feeling when you stay at their place. If i want to be subjected with strict rules and shower curfews then i’d be better off (and cheaper) living in a hostel or other budget accommodations. So choose wisely guys and girls!

P/s : If you are thinking of trying out AirBnB for the first time, then here’s a FREE $20 credit for you when you sign up for the first time and book your accommodation. Enjoy!

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Debbie Lim

Born and bred in Penang, Malaysia, Debbie has spent the last decade in her second home Brisbane, Australia as an engineer. Her professional experiences have taught her how to plan efficiently and manage effectively in the various aspects of her travels. She is an experienced minimalist traveler who believes in keeping it simple yet fun. You will not find a fixed itinerary sheet on her and definitely no alarm clocks or wake up calls when she travels. After spending most of her adulthood in a highly analytical and tightly regulated environment, she currently revels in a a good adventure and spontaneity when least expected.

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