How to Book Accommodations on Airbnb

If you’ve followed our tutorial on how to search Airbnb, you’ve likely found a nice place on 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!

To book a rental property on Airbnb:

  1. 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.

    Selecting an Airbnb rental property to view

  2. 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.

    How to log into your Airbnb account

  3. 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.

    How to request a booking of an Airbnb rental property

  4. 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.

    Entering your billing information for your Airbnb 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)

  5. Next up is the address that Airbnb can bill you at.

    Entering your billing address for your Airbnb booking

    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

  6. 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.

    Finishing your booking request on Airbnb

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!

About Airbnb “Instant Book”

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 (Airbnb Instant Book 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!

Airbnb Wish Lists

If there are certain rental properties on Airbnb that you are interested in and you want to come back and decide between them later, or there is a certain place that you've always had a good experience at, you can add them to "Wish Lists".

How to add properties to your Wish List

  1. To mark properties as ones you want to add to your Wish Lists on Airbnb, you'll have to log in first. Go to in your web browser and 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.

  2. Now, when you're searching for rental properties, click the heart icon in the upper-right corner of the listing.

  3. A window will pop up allowing you to select which Wish List you want to add the listing to. Let's say that you want to add it to a specific Wish List. Click in the box highlighted below to get started.

  4. This allows you to see which Wish Lists you have and select which ones you want to add the current listing to. You can even create a new one by clicking Create New, which is what we'll do now.

  5. Now all you have to do is type in a name for your list, and then use the drop-down box next to it to select who can see this Wish List — everyone on Airbnb, or just you — and then click Create.

  6. Now, repeat step 3, then click the check boxes beside the Wish Lists that you want to add the current listing to, and then click Done.

  7. If you want to, you can click inside the box labelled "Add a Note" and type in something to say about the listing. Finally, click Save.

How to access and edit your Wish Lists

Once you've created a few Wish Lists and added a few properties to them, you can access and edit them from your account options any time that you like.

  1. When you are logged in, move your mouse cursor over your profile picture in the top-right corner until a drop-down menu appears, and click Wish Lists.

  2. Here, you can see the Wish Lists that you've set up. Click on one to see what listings are in it.

  3. For each listing:

    – You can click on its name to take you to more detailed information about the property.

    – You can click on the left or right edges of the thumbnail picture here to cycle through photographs of the property.

    – You can click on the box labelled "Add Note" and type in something to say about the listing, and then click Add Note to save it.

    – You can click Change to move the listing to a different Wish List, or click Remove to take the listing off this Wish List.


  4. You can also click on Map View to see all listings on this Wish List on a map. Click List View to go back to the other type of view.

And that's pretty much all there is to know about using Wish Lists on Airbnb!

Searching on Airbnb

So, you’re on Airbnb now. The next step is finding a place where you want to stay when you take your next trip. Fortunately, we’re here to walk you through it and make it easy.

How to Search on Airbnb

  1. Go to in your web browser. Look for the search bar near the top of the page; you may want to scroll down a bit so it’s easier to see any drop-downs that appear. Click in each of the boxes shown in the screenshot below and type in or select your destination, your check-in date, your check-out date, and your number of travelers. Then click Search.
  2. When you click Search, you’ll now be taken to the search page. There’s a lot to cover here, so refer to the numbered legend below the screenshot for additional details.

    1. Destination – You can click in this box and type in a new destination, if you wish. Like before, you can click on the menu that drops down to pick one of the suggestions.

    2. Dates – You can change your check-in and check-out dates here, as well as the number of guests who will be staying. These work the same as they do in the search bar on Airbnb’s front page.

    3. Area Map – This shows you the general area of your destination, along with any of the listings that are located there. Click a marker button () to see information about the property at that location. Click this information to see more details about that property.

    You can also click and drag at an empty space on the map to change the area that you’re looking at, or click the “+” or “-” buttons in the top-left corner to zoom the map in or out. If the box next to “Search When I Move the Map” has a check in it (you can click it to remove this check or add it again), the listings you see in the right-hand menu may change when you do this.

    4. Room Type – Click a check box beside an option here if you have a privacy preference.

    Entire Place: You’ll be the only ones in the space; nobody else will disturb you.

    Private Room: You’ll have a private area, but some areas may be shared with others.

    Shared Room: Your area may be shared with or open to others.

    5. Price Range – Click and drag the left slider here to set a minimum daily rate for spaces you see (if you’re looking for something with a little more quality), or click and drag the right slider here to set a maximum daily rate for spaces you see (if you’re on a bit of a budget).

    6. More Filters – Click this button to see more options for narrowing down what places you’d like to look at, including how many bathrooms/bedrooms/beds they have, what neighbourhoods they’re in, what features they have, or anything specific in their description that you’re looking for.

    Click the check boxes beside the options you want, or click the small arrows on the right side of each category to see more options in that category. Or, if you’re looking for certain key words, you can click the text box there and type them in.

    ​When you’re done selecting your criteria, click Show Listings to see the new list of places that match your search criteria. If you have already set some criteria, you can also click the “X” button beside any criterion in order to remove it from your search.

    7. Listings – These are the rental spaces that match your search criteria. Scroll down to see more of them, or click on one to see more details.

And that pretty much covers the basic search options on Airbnb!

Signing Up for Airbnb

If you’ve decided to see where Airbnb can take you on your next trip, the first thing you’ll need to do is sign up for an account. To do so

  1. Go to in your web browser. Then click Sign Up in the top-right corner.

    Clicking the "Sign Up" button on Airbnb

  2. You’ll be given the choice to sign up with a social media account (such as Facebook or Google Plus) or by email. Let’s assume, for the purpose of this tutorial, that you don’t have a social media account. In that case, click Sign Up with Email.

    Signing up for Airbnb with various credentials

  3. Click in each of the text boxes highlighted in the screenshot below and type in, respectively:

    – Your first name
    – Your last name
    – Your email address
    – A password to use (it will appear as little bullet points so nobody snoops it)
    – A copy of your password (it will appear as little bullet points so nobody snoops it)

    You can also click the check box highlighted in the screenshot below to opt out of receiving news emails from Airbnb.

    When you’re ready, click Sign Up.

    Enering your information and confirming your regisration

  4. You’ll receive a confirmation email. Go to your email client and log into it, open the email, and click Confirm Email.

    Confirming your Airbnb account email address

Doing so will take you back to your main screen on Airbnb. Congratulations! You’re ready to rent!