Welcome to Canada, a beautiful and diverse country that offers something for everyone. From breathtaking natural landscapes to bustling urban cities, there’s no shortage of places to visit and explore. When preparing your itinerary, you’ll have quite a few things to consider.
What will you eat? How will you travel? But most importantly, where will you stay? Thanks to Airbnb, you have an abundance of options for finding the perfect place to rest your head during your trip. Click here to have a look at some of the Airbnb properties we manage available to rent in the Canmore area.
To help you make the most of your visit to Canada, we’ve gathered the top 10 tips for guests:
What Is Airbnb?
First and foremost, it’s essential to understand what Airbnb is and how it works. Airbnb is an online platform that connects hosts and guests, allowing them to rent out rooms or entire properties on a short-term basis. Guests can browse through different listings to find the perfect space for their needs, whether they’re looking for a cheap budget or luxurious accommodation.
Airbnb is to hotels what Uber is to taxis—an alternative that offers more value and convenience. Anyone can post an ad on Airbnb and become a host, so the selection of available properties is huge.
Why Use Airbnb?
There are several reasons to choose Airbnb over other accommodation options, such as hotels or hostels. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that you have more flexibility when choosing your accommodations and itinerary. With Airbnb, you can find a place that matches all of your needs when it comes to:
Hotels are generally concentrated in the center of cities, while Airbnb listings tend to be more scattered throughout an area. This gives you a wider range of options and can help you find accommodations closer to your preferred attractions, restaurants, or other activities. You can also find properties located in quieter neighbourhoods if you want a more relaxed atmosphere during your stay.
One of the biggest advantages of using Airbnb is that it’s often much more affordable than booking a hotel room. Depending on the type and location of the property you choose, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per night compared to traditional hotels. This allows you to travel more comfortably or stay longer in a given place without breaking the bank.
Another major benefit of Airbnb is that it offers more convenience and flexibility than traditional hotels. Check-in guidelines depend on the host, so you may be able to arrive and access your property at any time of day or night. Many opt for self-check-in, which is widely available with Airbnb and can save you time, effort, and stress.
In most cases, the key to your property will be stored in a lockbox, allowing you to come and go as you please without worrying about coordinating with the host.
Inside the rental, you’ll also find more amenities than you’re likely to get at a hotel. This can include things like laundry facilities, fully-equipped kitchens, and other home comforts that make your stay more enjoyable. Some Airbnbs even come with kayaks and bicycles, allowing you to explore the area conveniently.
Airbnb is not just about finding a place to stay—it’s also about exploring unique new experiences. Whether trying out local cuisines, learning how to surf, or signing up for a guided tour, Airbnb makes it easy to find and book innovative activities that you might not find anywhere else. It can add an exciting new dimension to your trip and allow you to meet residents and get a taste of life in Canada.
Our Top 10 Airbnb Tips For Guests
Now that you know more about Airbnb and why it’s such a popular choice for guests
visiting Canada, here are our top 10 tips for making the most of your stay:
1. Create An Airbnb Account
Before you start browsing for places to stay, make sure you have an Airbnb account. You’ll gain access to all the platform features, allowing you to browse listings more efficiently. For instance, you can save your favourite properties, request additional information from the host, and receive email notifications when new listings are posted.
Creating an account is fairly straightforward and only takes a few minutes. To start, go to the Airbnb website and click on the “Sign Up” button at the top of the page. From there, you can enter your basic information (name, email address, phone number, password) and set up payment methods for your account.
For an ever quicker and more seamless experience, you can use a Facebook, Google, or Apple ID account to connect your Airbnb account to one of these platforms. The platform will need to verify your identity through a government-issued photo ID before you can book any properties. Of course, you’ll also need a valid payment method to make any reservations.
Besides that, you can add as much or as little information to your profile as you like. Consider including a photo of yourself and information about your travel preferences and the languages you speak.
2. Use Airbnb Filters
At last, you’re ready to start browsing for your perfect Airbnb rental. As you arrive at the listings page for a specific location, you’ll notice that all available listings are sorted by default. In a big city like Montreal or Toronto, that easily surpasses 1000 properties at any given time. It would take you forever to sort through each one by hand. Instead, we recommend using the Airbnb filters to quickly narrow down your options and find exactly what you’re looking for.
First, make sure you input the desired dates for your trip. All the properties already booked on those dates will disappear from your search results. Likewise, you can indicate the number of guests staying at the property to eliminate those too small to accommodate your whole group.
Next, you’ll find the filter icon, which looks like two lines with open circles on either side. Click on this to access the wide variety of filters available. From here, you can choose to display the following:
Narrow your search results to properties within a certain price range. Set a minimum or maximum price, or use the slider bar to indicate a budget that suits your needs. The price is for a single night.
Type Of Place
Airbnb has three main types of listings: entire homes, private rooms, and shared spaces. Entire homes are the best choice if you want more space and privacy, but private rooms can be a good option if you’re travelling solo or as a couple on a budget. Shared spaces like hostels and guesthouses are great for smaller groups of travellers looking to meet new people.
Rooms and Beds
This option lets you specify the number of bedrooms and beds required in your rental. It also has an option for bathrooms, which is useful if you have a specific minimum or maximum number of bathrooms in mind.
If you’re planning on staying in a city for an extended period, consider looking into the different property types available. You can choose from House, Apartment, Guesthouse, or Hotel. Each property type comes with its pros and cons, so make sure to read through the host’s description of their rental carefully before booking.
Here’s where you can filter out listings that don’t offer your desired amenities. This can be anything from a hot tub or pool to a washer and dryer, wifi, garage parking, TV/cable, kitchen access, and so on. You can also specify if you want special features like a waterfront or a smoking-allowed property. Further down the line, you’ll also find accessibility features like wheelchair-accessible entrances.
This filter is useful for sorting out listings that allow instant booking, self-check-in, or free cancellations. We’ll discuss instant booking in more detail below.
These filters can help you find landlords and local hosts who speak the same language as you. Another filter called “Top Tier” also sorts through the most highly rated and reviewed hosts in your destination. Also called Superhosts, they are known for their exceptional service, communication with guests, and overall hosting quality.
Once you’ve input all your filters, you’ll be left with a (much smaller) list of properties that meet your needs and preferences.
3. Use Airbnb Map Searching Feature
Many people travel through Canada, going from one city to another. For these types of travelers, Airbnb offers a helpful map search feature. Even if you’re planning to stay in one town for a few days, using the map search can help you quickly find suitable accommodations near your desired location.
Maybe you want something close to the airport so you can get an early start on your trip, or you prefer to stay in a particular neighborhood where the restaurants and attractions are within walking distance. Either way, Airbnb’s map search feature makes it easy to locate accommodation options in any part of the city.
Simply enter your desired location into the search bar and click on the map above the listings. You’ll find an exact city map with price pins indicating each listing location. You can zoom in and out or click and drag to move it around. As you do, you’ll see properties appear and disappear on the map in real-time.
The map searching feature is the best way to find an Airbnb that meets your location needs. You’ll find it even if it’s slightly out of the downtown core, whereas typing in the location may not pull it up. Additionally, this feature can help you quickly identify any listings close to public transportation, which is another important factor when traveling.
4. Instant Booking Airbnb
An Airbnb listing without Instant Booking means the host has decided to approve each reservation request manually. While this might not seem like a problem initially, it can become more of an issue if you’re traveling in a group or on a tight schedule. After all, it can sometimes take several days to hear back from the host, and you may need to change your plans if they don’t approve your booking request.
Luckily, there’s a simple solution: the Instant Booking feature on Airbnb. This feature allows you to request and instantly book accommodation without waiting for approval from the host. In fact, all you have to do is choose your dates and click “book now.”
The Instant Booking feature can be a lifesaver if you’re booking last-minute accommodations or on a tight schedule. Use the filters on Airbnb to identify available listings that offer this feature, and you can start your trip in no time!
5. Read Airbnb Reviews
Like many service-based listings, reviews are one of the most valuable tools you have as an Airbnb guest. Reviews can provide a wealth of information about the listing, such as the quality of the accommodations and what to expect from the host.
Most listings will have several reviews, so you can get an idea of whether or not they’re reliable by reading what previous guests have to say. Pay close attention to details, such as whether people had a good experience with the hosts and how well-appointed the space was. However, don’t just look for positive reviews. If there are any negative reviews, try to find out what went wrong to be better prepared for similar situations.
Sometimes, it may just be a subjective opinion of the person who left the review. In other cases, such as a local power outage, it may arise from something out of the host’s control. If you’re still not sure, it might be a good idea to reach out to the host before booking and ask them any questions that you have about the listing.
6. Airbnb Price Tips
When booking an Airbnb, price is one of the most critical factors. After all, you’re paying for a service that gives you access to a home or apartment, so you’ll want to ensure you’re getting the best possible value for your money. At the same time, you’ll also want to find accommodations that meet your needs and are in a good location.
Start by determining a budget for your trip, considering what you’ll need to spend on flights, food and drink, and any other activities you have planned. That should leave you with a fixed upper amount you can use to book your Airbnb.
You’ll also need to consider the type of accommodation you want, particularly the location and amenities. If you’re planning to spend a lot of time exploring the city, an Airbnb closer to the center may be worth paying a little extra. You’ll save on transport costs and can easily get to popular attractions. On the other hand, if you just need a place to sleep at night, an Airbnb outside of the city center might be all you need.
Remember to factor in cleaning and security fees when pricing out your Airbnb, as these may add to the total cost of your stay. Overall, it’s a good idea to compare prices across several listings and book the one that offers you the best value for your money.
7. Airbnb Photos
Perhaps the best way to determine if an Airbnb listing is suitable for you is by looking at the photos. Photos can give you a general idea of what to expect from the space and whether or not it’ll suit your needs.
When looking through Airbnb listings, pay attention to details such as furnishings, light sources, and decor. Is the space clean and well-maintained? Is there plenty of natural light? Do all of the amenities seem to be in working order? By looking at Airbnb photos, you’ll also get a good idea of how much space is available for your use.
An Airbnb with very few or old photos may indicate that the listing isn’t well-maintained. Some images, especially for apartments and hotels, might also show different spaces you can access. A gym, pool, or common living area, for example, might be included in the price of your stay.
8. Speak With The Airbnb Host Before Completing The Booking
Although it can be tempting to quickly book an Airbnb and get on with your trip, it’s always a good idea to speak with the host first. Doing so will give you a chance to ask any questions about the listing and learn more about what to expect during your stay. You’ll also want to know whether the host is someone you feel comfortable interacting with.
Lastly, ask about any special rules or restrictions that may apply to your stay. For example, can you bring your four-legged friend along with you? Some hosts may have a no-pets policy to avoid any potential damage or noise complaints from dogs, but they might be willing to make an exception for your cat if you ask nicely.
9. Ask Airbnb Host For Recommendations
Hosts typically know the city or town well and can provide valuable tips on where to go, what to see, and how best to get around. They may also have other recommendations for restaurants, local events, or hangout spots that you might not be able to find elsewhere. By asking your host for advice, you’ll be able to make the most of your trip and get a more authentic experience.
Some hosts may even be able to provide guided tours or act as personal drivers during your stay. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous hiking excursion or want someone to take you around town, having a local on your side can help you make the most of your time in Canada.
10. Read Airbnb House Manual
Finally, most reputable Airbnb hosts have a house manual outlining important listing information. This may include rules and restrictions, wifi passwords, instructions for using appliances and other devices, contact information, and more. This manual will be prominently displayed at the rental location once you arrive, so read it carefully.
Remember that just like hosts are reviewed on Airbnb, guests are also reviewed after their stay. If you follow all of the rules and abide by any house manual instructions, you’ll likely have a smooth experience with your host. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask if something is unclear or seems unfamiliar.