How to Save on Airbnb: 9 Hacks to Save BIG – Podcast 013

In this episode B and Jack discuss 9 ways on how to save on Airbnb. They go over the details of the booking process as well as some negotiation techniques.

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1. Summary

1.1. The topic of booking accommodation within The Digital Nomad Life System [1:33]

    • The Digital Nomad Life System is a 6-step system created by us at Nomad Tactics that aims to explain how someone can go from living a non-nomadic normal life to living an optimized digital nomad life.
    • The process of selecting an Airbnb (including optimizing the ways on how to save on Airbnb) it is something that should be done in the third step (called Base Research and Arrangements)of the Digital Nomad Life System.
    • This is third step called Base Research and Arrangements can be summarized as follow: Once the digital nomad has selected the key variables related to the base (step 2), he needs to do some in-depth research about his soon-to-be new base. The base research step has four main sub-steps a digital nomad needs to go through. Some of the main areas will explore are listed below are the cost of living research, base-specific details, booking arrangements, and key travel experiences.
    • To have a general overview of the Digital Nomad Life System you should listen to this episode.

1.2. The 9 ways on how to save on Airbnb [3:14]

A. Negotiate the Price on Airbnb Messaging Platform

The best and most consistent way to save money on Airbnb is to negotiate the price with the host.

In a nutshell what you need to do here is, rather than clicking to book straight away, you should click to contact the host. When you do that you will be able to ask for a discount.

You should follow my step by step foolproof script to get massive Airbnb discounts.

If you want to check out the script click here.

B. Target New Airbnb Hosts or Listings with No Reviews

Airbnb Host No Review_censored

There are two main reasons why you should target new hosts and listings with no reviews.

First, these hosts are probably still figuring out how much money they can charge for renting their property, thus they might put their properties below market price.

Second, a portion of these Airbnb hosts also offers a 20% discount to their first customers, in order to get the first reviews quickly.

C. Look for Gaps on Their Booking Calendar

Date Gap Airbnb

If you are flexible with your travel dates, you can use this Airbnb hack in your favor.

You can try to leverage a discount by looking at the property calendar and finding gaps between two other bookings.

Usually, these gaps between bookings are difficult periods to be rented out, thus Airbnb hosts are more than willing to negotiate down their price.

D. Adjust Your Payment Currency

Airbnb Currency Adustment

Airbnb is a company that operates worldwide.

Therefore, it makes sense to accept payments in different currencies.

What people don’t know is that it is possible to change the currency of the payment, and by doing so you can actually lower the price of your stay.

As a rule of thumb you should always choose to pay the property using the local currency from where the Airbnb is located.

To change the currency you should look for the currency option on the header or footer menu of the Airbnb website.

There are two reasons why changing the local currency will make the overall price cheaper.

    1. Conversion fee: You will avoid the 3% conversion fees that exist whenever you are converting among different currencies.
    2. Conversion rate: You will avoid the Airbnb conversion rate. Thus, you will be instead using your bank/credit card conversion rate which generally will be better than the Airbnb rate.

E. How to Save on Airbnb by Booking Late (Last Minute Discount)

You and the host

If you find yourself going on a trip at the last minute, then you can appeal to the last minute discount.

Some host set up this type of automatic discount on the Airbnb platform. This means that the Airbnb listing will start dropping price some nights off the specific date (usually 5 to 10 days prior to the date). The discount is usually around 5% to 10% of the booking price.

However, even if the host did not set this automatic last-minute offer, you can still try to manufacture it “manually”, by asking the host for it.

Your aim here is to offer the Airbnb host the opportunity to rent his property ASAP (e.g. that very same day, the next day, etc.) if he gives you a discount on the final price.

The advantage to the Airbnb host is that he can secure his rent and avoid the risk of having an empty property that does not make him any money.

The advantage for you is that you will get an Airbnb booking with a discount.

There is another variation of the last-minute technique that I present in the Infamous Airbnb Script that you can check out by [thrive_2step id=’411′]clicking here[/thrive_2step].

F. How to Save on Airbnb by Booking a Long Stay (Long-term Discount)

Long Stay Airbnb Discount

Airbnb allows hosts to set special discounts for different stay lengths (i.e. weekly discount, monthly discount). Though these discounts are not required, most hosts provide them.

Do not underestimate such discounts. These can be up to 40%.

With that in mind, it is quite obvious that you should strive to stay long enough to meet the minimum required days to qualify for a discount.

The number of days to qualify for each type of discount are the following:

    1. Weekly discount: 7-27 days
    2. Monthly discount: 28+ days

Pro tip: Sometimes it is better to book an Airbnb for longer then you will actually stay just to get a discount. For example, if you can only stay 27 days in a place you will only qualify for the weekly discount. Let us imagine that the weekly discount is 10%. However, let us assume that a given host gives a 30% discount for the month. In this case it would make sense to book for an extra day even though you might leave a day earlier, since by doing so you will be saving money.

G. How to Save on Airbnb by Booking Ahead of Time (Early Bird Discount)

The alter ego of the last minute offer (that we saw on tip #5) is the early bird discount.

It is basically the opposite.

Which means that this is the discount for when you are making a booking far in advance from the check-in date.

Hosts are not obliged to set this type of discount, but many of them do. Usually hosts set this type of discount to be applicable for when you are making a booking 30 to 120 days in advance. The discount is usually around 5% to 10% of the booking price.

1.8. Find a Place with a Kitchen and Washing Machine

This is a quite straightforward tip, but people sometimes overlook it.

In certain parts of the world, eating out every meal and using laundry machines outside can be quite costly. If you rent a place with a kitchen and a washing machine, you will save money.

H. Watch Out for Extra Fees and Ask to Cut Them Off

The price you initially see on the Airbnb website when you make a search is usually not the final price.

To figure out the final price, you need to click on the booking button.

Apart from the price per night, Airbnb will show you some or all of the following fees:

    1. Cleaning fee: This is the fee for cleaning the property once you checked-out.
    2. Service fee: This is Airbnb’s fee; usually Airbnb charges about 5-20% of the booking price.
    3. Extra guest fee:  This is the fee for each extra guest you bring to the property.
    4. Local taxes and fees: This is the fees that apply to properties being rented out in certain regions/countries.
    5. Conversion fee: This is the 3% fee Airbnb charges you if you need a currency conversion in your payment.

Some of these fees can be cut out and some cannot. I will list below the fees you can in fact cut and how to do that.

Cleaning fee: You can ask the Airbnb host to cut this fee since this is entirely up to him. Tell him that you will keep the house very organized and clean, and thus the cleaning fee would not be necessary. You can point to your positive reviews (if you have those) to support your claim.

Extra guest fee: Some people prefer to lie about the number of guests and sneak in more people to the flat (assuming you are renting the whole Airbnb).

This may work in many instances but I do not think this is the way to go. I think the best approach is to simply be honest and ask the host to cut this fee altogether. Once again this is a completely arbitrary fee and most hosts do not have a good justification for it. You will see that many hosts will accept to cut this off if you ask.

Conversion fee: You can cut this fee by choosing to pay using the local currency from where Airbnb is located. I explain this on tip #4 of this article.

What about the Service fee and Local taxes?

I know that some nomads try to avoid these fees altogether by negotiating with the host directly. In other words, they try to reach a deal outside the Airbnb platform.

I do not think this is a good approach. First of all it is unfair to Airbnb since you are paying nothing to use their service. Second, you will not be protected under the insurance that Airbnb provides to all their hosts and guests. At the end of the day if something goes wrong, then you are on your own.

If you interested in more articles like this, I suggest you check out my two other articles on booking tips and what should you do after booking.

2. Transcript

B: Hey hello welcome to the nomad tactics podcast you provide life optimizing tips and systems for digital elements I'm your host B. and I'm joined by the co host Jack.
B: The episode today it's all about how to save on Airbnb.
B: I would start with a quick summary of the episode.
B: First me and mr. Jack going to talk about where this topic better fit in our broader digital nomad life system after that we will present the nine main ways in which you can save on Airbnb.
B: Finally we gonna give our opinions to which of this nine main ways are the most relevant to save big on Airbnb.
B: I hope you enjoyed the episode
Jack: So hello Mister B..
B: Hello Jack.
Jack: So the topic of today is how to save on Airbnb.
B: That's absolutely correct.
Jack: So as usual we should probably try to fit this topic into one of the step of our system.
B: Yep.
Jack: And for people who don't know our system is called the Digital Nomad life system which is a six step system that aims to help people who go through the normal life into a optimized digital nomad life so where do you think this topic fit in?
B: Yeah Jack so the topic today with very clearly fit the third step of our digital nomad life system and the third step is called base research and arrangements to summarize very quickly the idea behind the step So after a nomad have decided the key variables regarding his new base the new place in which he will live he then needs to make some research and make some arrangements about this new base. of course one of the main things that he need to do when he's doing these arrangements is to find an accommodation which most likely will be a be Airbnb so saving on Airbnb makes total sense when you're making these arrangements. If you want a more comprehensive and detailed summary of what do we mean by the digital nomad life system I think would be a very good idea for you the listener to listen to episode number two.
Jack: Anyway so let's go into the main topic of the day how to save on Airbnb Mr B. this seems to be like a really big topic how we're going to present it and how we're going to divide it?
B: Yeah Jack so as you said this is quite a big topic but what we did is we sat down a couple of days ago and we came up with the nine main ways in which we think someone can save on Airbnb so yeah I think the best way to do it is just we go through this nine main ways and then in the end we we can provide our opinions about what is the most relevant ones.
Jack: Okay Mr. B so what is the first one.
B: All right so the first way in which we have here to save on Airbnb is to try to negotiate the price with the host using the messaging feature on the Airbnb platform so in a nutshell what do you gonna do here is rather than clicking to book the listing straight away rather than simply selecting the dates and clicking to book you're going to scroll down the listing and you're going to click on the button that allows you to contact the host.
B: Dialog box gonna pop up and you gonna be able to put a message to the host and in this message you gonna ask for a discount the good news is that me and Mr. Jack came up with Airbnb negotiation script for you guys to follow that pretty much every time going to provide you some sort of discount I mean do we sometimes get up to forty percent but of course it depends from case to case and host to host how much are they willing to negotiate.
Jack: So the second way is you should target new Airbnb host for listing without any reviews there are two reasons behind it and the first one is the new holes are probably still figuring out how much money they should charge for renting their property and they are new to Airbnb so sometimes you're the price will be lower than the market.
Jack: And the second one is when renting a listing without any reviews the owner will try to get their review fast and sometimes they were offered twenty percent discount to their first customers.
B: Yeah and of course they do that because they want to have some sort of social proof people saying oh this Airbnb is great then they gonna attract more customers that's why they want this first review very fast.
Jack: Anyway speaking of reviews if you enjoy listening to our podcast Norman tactics podcast please make sure to leave a review on your listening platform.
B: Yeah that's right that would be a huge help your new podcast in every review is deeply appreciated okay let's move on to the third way in which you can save on Airbnb which is to look for gaps on the booking calendar for certain property.
B: So this hack this tip wouldn't work for everyone in every circumstance.
B: But if you are somewhat flexible in your travel dates I think that could apply to you.
B: So what do you basically doing here is you're trying to leverage a discount by looking at the property calendar and finding gaps in between two other bookings and the reason why you're doing that is because usually these gaps between bookings are quite difficult periods to be rented out.
B: Thus if you find such gaps you can message the host and say look I can book holidays this period in which most likely won't book out otherwise and I would like a discount sell there is a higher chance the Airbnb hosts will be okay putting the price down for you
Jack: I see so the fourth way of how to save on Airbnb is adjust your payment currency so most people probably know now Airbnb is an international company and it does make sense for them to accept payment in different currency.
Jack: But some people don't know is that when you change the currency of the payment sometimes it would lower the price of your paying first rule of thumb is you should always choose to pay the property using the local currency where the Airbnb is located in order to change your currency you should look for the currency option on the header or the footer menu of the Airbnb website there are two reasons why changing the local currency will make the overall price cheaper so the first one this conversion fee you will avoid the three percent conversion fees that charge by Airbnb when converting among different currency.
Jack: And the second one is the conversion rate.
Jack: You will avoid the Airbnb conversion rate and those you will get the better conversion rate from the bank.
B: Yes as Mr Jack said instead of using the Airbnb conversion rates which tend to be quite unfavorable for you as a customer you're gonna be using that one from your bank or your credit card itself which tend to provide better rates than Airbnb moving on to the fifth way in which you can save on Airbnb this is to book very late in other words to look for what is called a last minute discount.
B: So this is kind of hard to plan out to be like a a strategy you gonna follow every time when you're booking Airbnb.
B: But sometimes you you simply find yourself going on the last minute trip.
B: And if that's the case you can try to look for this last minute discount.
B: So some hosts sat op this type of discount automatically using the Airbnb platform so Airbnb allow hosts to set up the discount where.
B: When it's very close to the check in date and nobody booked.
B: There will be an automatic discount applied when you are paying and this discount is usually around five to ten percent so not a huge discount but it is simply another point that is important to be sad is that even if the host did not said these automatic last minute discount offer you can still try to let's say manufacture one manually by asking the host so your aim here is to offer the Airbnb host the opportunity to rent his property as soon as possible like that very same day or the next day.
B: And tell him that you would like a discount because most likely he won't rent for that date anyway because the advantage to the Airbnb host in this case is that the will be securing a rant and avoid the risk of having an empty property that does not make any money to him and the advantage for you is of course that you are getting at A. Airbnb discount.
B: Another variant of the last minute technique that I just presented is also included in what I mentioned before our Airbnb script so if you want to check that out go to the episode description and find the link there to get our script.
Jack: So the point number six and this might sound a bit strange for you guys is to find place was a kitchen and washing machine.
Jack: So this is quite straight forward but some people sometimes overlook it in certain parts of the world eating out every meal and using launcher machine outside can be quite costly.
Jack: If you rent the places with this kitchen and washing machine you can save some money.
B: So way number seven to save money is to book a stay for longer.
B: A. K. A. you're looking for a long time discount so as I mentioned previously Airbnb allows hosts to set special types of discounts to its customers among these special types of discounts.
B: Some are related to the length of your stay so host can sat weekly discounts or monthly discounts although these discounts are not required most hosts provide them especial it is once related to the length of your stay and do not underestimate how big these discounts can be.
B: And in the monthly discount I believe you can get up to forty percent with that in mind it's quite obvious that you should strive to stay long enough to qualify for one of this length of stay discount this long term discounts so the number of days to qualify for each type of discounts are the following the weekly discounts you gonna get if you stay from seven to twenty seven days and a monthly discount you're gonna get if you stay over twenty eight days.
B: just that important tip here is that sometimes is better for you to book an Airbnb for longer then you will actually be stay just to get the discount so let me give you an example.
B: If you only intend to stay twenty seven days in the place you only qualify to the weekly discount but let us imagine that the weekly discount is ten percent.
B: And also let's assume that the monthly discount is thirty percent in that case it would make much more sense for you to book an extra day even though you won't stay there after all and get the monthly discount which started to be applied after twenty eight days.
Jack: So the tip number eight is saving on Airbnb by book it ahead of time A. K. A. the early bird discount so an early bird discount is usually apply when you make a booking thirty too hundred twenty days in advance from the check in and tipping mine that that this this discount is dependent on the host so every listing can be different but usually you can expect to get a five to ten percent discount.
Jack: And by the way we keep mentioning a lot of different special discount you can get on the Airbnb.
Jack: So it is important for you to know the special discount you can have a lot of them at once.
Jack: In other words these special discounts we mentioned in this episode you can have and stacked on top of each other if you qualified for those.
B: The final tip we gonna give today on how to save on Airbnb is the following watch out for extra fees and ask to cut them off so the price you initially see when you search properties on Airbnb website is usually not the final price to figure out the final price you're gonna need to go to the specific property in which you intend to rent and click on the booking button.
B: And once you do that apart from the price per night Airbnb we'll show you some or all of the following fees that we add on top of the base price per night.
B: So what are going to do now is to go over the main fees that might be added up and give a quick summary of those the first one is the cleaning fee and this is the fee for cleaning the property once you check out second fees what is called the service fee it's how much Airbnb will charge which is usually five to twenty percent of the booking price it's Airbnb share basically third is the extra gas fee so depending on the number of guest you put when you are arranging the booking days so there might be added an extra fee the more people you say you're coming to the property for if there is sometimes local taxes and fees this are the fees that apply to properties being rented out in certain regions or countries and finally you have the conversion fee so this is the three percent fee Airbnb charges.
B: If you need a currency conversion in your payment and as we sad you should avoid those that was one of the tips that Mister Jack talked about.
B: Okay so these are the fees now let's talk about each of those and see which ones you can cut off and which ones you cannot.
B: Starting with the cleaning fee.
B: Cleaning fee you can totally asked Airbnb host to cut off this is entirely up to him you can tell him that he will keep the house very organized in the clan.
B: Thus professional cleaning not be necessary once you leave the property you can also point out to your positive reviews if you have those to support your claim to show you are a good guess so to avoid the extra guest fee some people prefer to lie about the number of guest that are going to the property and sneak in more people in two days the property right.
B: This may work in many instances but here nomad tactics we do not advise you to do that at all.
B: And we think a much better approach is to simply ask the host to cut all the field together because it's totally arbitrary and you know there's no good justification for paying more money for having extra people there in almost hosts if you pressed them on it they gonna cut that that fee so I don't think it's necessary to lie.
B: The next fee is the conversion fee so this one we already covered so Mr Jack already said that you can get this fee by choosing to pay using the local currency from where they're been dis located was one of the previous steps we gave in this podcast episode so that one is easy to deal with so at this point you might be wondering what about the service fee and the local taxes some nomads some digital nomads try to avoid these fees all together by negotiating with the hosts directly so they sent a message to the host and say Hey look let's cut Airbnb out of the equation and let's negotiate outside the platform we don't think that's a good approach first of all it's kind of unfair to Airbnb which you won't be paying anything to the service and it's the platform that allow you to find a property in the first place and second of all if you do that if you negotiate outside the the platform you won't be protected by the insurance provided by Airbnb to all the hosts and guests so at the end of the day if something goes wrong then you are on your own.
B: In short here at nomad tactics we don't advise people to book outside there been the platform.
Jack: I see Mister B. so we have to talk about nine ways of how to save on their B. and B..
B: Yep.
Jack: And among all nine which one do you think is the best.
B: So in my opinion hands down the one that you can save more money consistently is actually the first way in which we talked about it which is to try to negotiate the price with the host using the messaging feature.
B: So as you said we have this script if you follow you can probably get quite juicy discounts but apart from that the other one is technique number seven which is looking for a long term discounts and more specifically the monthly discounts so since we are digital nomads we tend to stay longer on places therefore it's very easy to qualify for this monthly discount so in my opinion these two are the most relevant ones to save money consistently what do you think Mr Jack.
Jack: Yeah I agree those two are really good but I also ask the host to cut off some fees like the cleaning fee and the actual gas free.
B: So you're successful.
Jack: Yeah sometimes a bit back and forth but usually they would agree on that.
B: Yeah that's my experience as well.
Jack: I see so I hope you enjoy this episode and please make sure to leave a review on your listening platform after all we are still new podcasts and we really appreciate every review you leave.
B: Thank you very much.
Jack: Thank you for listening.

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