If you've followed our tutorial on how to search Airbnb, you've likely found a nice place on Airbnb.com to stay at your next trip destination by now. Great! Now, how do you go about letting the renter know that you'd like to book their place? Let us walk you through it!
After finding a property that you'd like to stay at the destination you specified and on the dates that you specified, click on it to see its details.
Before you go any further, you're probably going to want to log in (if you haven't already), because you will be asked to eventually. Click Log In in the top-right corner to bring up the pop-up window seen in the screenshot below. Click in each of the text boxes highlighted and type in your email address and password, and then click the "Log In" button in the pop-up window.
Now, back to the business at hand. Scroll down to see more details about the place you're thinking of renting, including the price (total and per night), amenities, property type, and a general description of the space and its surrounding location. Be sure to check the house rules, cancellation policy, guest reviews, and host biography to decide if this really is a place you'd like to stay!
If you've decided that you want to book this place, click Request to Book.
You will now have to enter your billing information. There's a lot of stuff to do here, so we'll break it down into separate steps for you. First is how you're going to pay for your booking.
Click in each of the drop-down menus and text boxes highlighted in the screenshot above and select or type in:
- the country in which you live
- how you wish to pay for your booking (e.g. credit card or PayPal)
- the brand of credit card that you use
- the month that your credit card expires
- the year that your credit card expires
- your credit card number
- your credit card's security code (click the "?" button next to the box if you need help finding it)
Next up is the address that Airbnb can bill you at.
Click in each of the text boxes highlighted in the screenshot above and type in:
- your first name
- your last name
- your street address
- your unit address (if applicable)
- the city in which you live
- the state, province, or territory in which you live
- your local mailing code
Finally, you can write a personal message to your host. Click in the text box highlighted below and type in some details about your trip. Some ideas are:
- Who you are and what you do
- Why you are going to your destination (vacation, business trip, visit friends, etc.)
- Who is coming with you (friends, relatives, kids, or maybe nobody else)
- What specifically attracted you to this property
A personal message makes in more likely for the host to trust you and agree to book you. When you're done, click Request to Book.
The host will have 24 hours to accept your booking request. If they do, you will receive an email confirmation. Congratulations on booking a place to stay with Airbnb! Enjoy your lodgings... and your trip!
Some hosts don't want to have to approve every single booking request that they receive, so they use a feature called "Instant Book". This allows them to set certain criteria that they want their guests to meet, and then anyone who wants to rent their property and fits those criteria can book it immediately without having to wait for the host's approval.
Hosts who choose to turn on "Instant Book" for one or more of their properties can set the following options for each of them:
Accept all guests, or only accept guests with mostly positive reviews from other hosts
Accept same-day bookings; or only accept bookings made at least 1, 3, or 7 days in advance
Accept same-day bookings anytime, or only accept those made by a certain time that day
Whenever you find a listing marked with a lightning bolt icon (), it means that you're potentially eligible for Instant Booking with that property. The process for booking is virtually the same as what we outlined in the above section, except for once you click Request to Book in step 6. If you meet your host's optional criteria, you won't have to wait for them to confirm you booking... your reservation is already all set!
That's it! You now know how to book a property, as well as how to make use of the "Instant Book" system. Next, we'll show you how you can save a bit of money on your Airbnb bookings by using coupons and travel credits!
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