What We Look For When Booking an Airbnb - TréCreative Travels


With all of our TréCreative travels, the first website we browse when looking for unique places to stay is Airbnb. Our first experience with this awesome company happened about four years ago in Colorado. We were traveling out there for an engagement session and it seemed like the perfect place to try out this site Stephen had heard about.

Since then, it has quickly become our preferred method of finding a location to stay at. We've tried almost all of Airbnb's options. We've rented an entire home, a shared space, or just a private room in someone's home. Our love for travel and to stay at unique places transformed even as we looked into becoming Airbnb hosts ourselves. A little over a year ago, we became Airbnb hosts here in Chico and have enjoyed meeting new people from around the world and being able to show them around Chico. While traveling and using Airbnb, we have learned some lessons along the way in regards to what we look for. Below are five of our best current tips when booking a place to stay through Airbnb.

  1. Entire Home vs Private Room - Depending on the area, Airbnb's range in price. If we're staying someplace long term or more than a few nights, we often opt for an entire home. This allows us to have access to a kitchen and more than just a room. Typically for these types of homes, you'll never even meet the host. They'll leave a key or a code with instructions on how to check in. If we're going to be in and out quickly, we'll usually opt for a private room. This means it's just an extra room in someone's home. For these, we recommend reading the reviews and details to see if it includes a private bathroom or if it is a shared bathroom. When traveling, we've found to really enjoy having our own private access to a bathroom and amenities.
  2. Check the Amenities - We've made the mistake before and not looked closely at the amenities of what homes have to offer and accidentally booked a place with no wifi or no AC during a hot summer, oops! When we travel, having fast internet is vital especially if we want to get some work done while we're on our trip. Having no wifi is pretty rare these days, but we learned our lesson once and will always double check this section. When looking at a listing, just scroll down to Amenities and then click MORE to see a full list of what they offer. In some Airbnb's even offer breakfast if that's what you're looking for. Check the house rules and amenities section before booking the place.
  3. Parking - Often times in big cities such a San Francisco, parking may not be included. Sometimes it is street parking, or sometimes it is metered. We always check out what the parking situation around the Airbnb is before booking. You can usually find this info in the description of the listing or in the reviews. If people have parking (like in their driveway) included, they'll usually mention it. We may opt for a different location if we have to pay extra for parking or try our luck at street parking if it's a more residential area.
  4. Check the Reviews - When visiting Charleston, our initial thoughts were to stay in the downtown Historic district and be able to walk straight out our front door to all the fun. From using Airbnb, we've learned what neighborhoods work and what others to avoid. I'm a very light sleeper and having lots of unusual noise around me will not give us a pleasant stay. Many of the neighborhoods and iconic Charleston homes although super cute, came with a lot of outside noise like nearby highways or party-goers walking home in the middle of the night. Because they were so close to downtown, many of the reviews noted how hard it was to fall asleep with the noise. We opted for an entire home 15 minutes away from downtown and we're so glad we did! It was in this quiet neighborhood that was actually only two blocks from Lowndes Grove where we were photographing a wedding. This also works if you want to make sure your sleeping in a comfy bed! Often times the reviews will mention the bed if it's super comfy or overly uncomfortable. We've slept in horrible Airbnb beds and will never want to do it again!
  5. Instant Book - If you're looking for a last minute place to stay, Airbnb's Instant Book feature is the way to go. Usually how Airbnb works is that you request to book a place, and then you wait for the host to respond to confirm your booking (they'll respond within 24hrs). If you're looking for a last minute place to stay however, I always look for the Instant Book listings. These listings have a little lightning bolt icon next to them. When you book an Instant Book listing it is immediately confirmed. No waiting around.

Here are some of our recent favorites from trips we've taken for #TreCreativeTravels :)

Victorian Bungalow in Historic Grant Park - Atlanta, GA

When we booked this place it was only $30 a night. When we got there we were in disbelief because it was too good to be true. It's an old historic home with high ceilings and dark wood floor. You have a spacious private room, bathroom and access to the kitchen.

Perfectly located private Studio! - Sedona, AZ

This little back unit is so perfect. It's updated and cute inside. The hosts give you access to garage parking which is super nice too. It's a completely detached space so you have your own room, kitchen, and bathroom.

Modern Luxury Private SanFran Casa - San Francisco, CA

We've stayed in a bunch of fun places within the city, but this has been one of our favorites. It's a super modern space with lots of room to roam. In San Francisco having this much room is unheard of. It's a little outside the busy parts of the city too in the more residential Sunset neighborhood which means to go downtown it'll be about a 20-30min drive...but totally worth it for the easy walk to the beach and free street parking. Plus, it's ground level which is so hard to find in SF. When we're hauling tons of gear in, not having to go up a bunch of stairs is really nice.

Hip & Bright Hayes Valley Apartment - San Francisco, CA

For something a little more central in the city, this one was really fun. The bed is tucked into a hole in the wall to create more space. It's nearby fun stuff to explore and there's usually street parking just down the street.

Sunny, Luxurious Retreat for Two - "The Glen" Scotts Valley, CA

If you're planning a trip to the Santa Cruz area, this Airbnb is an absolute GEM. We booked this Airbnb for a vow renewal we shot at Henry Cowell and seriously, hands down this is one of the best Airbnb experiences we've had. This Airbnb host went above and beyond to make this place so welcoming and amazing. We can't recommend this one enough!

Executive Studio/Guest House - Sacramento, CA

We booked this one for a quick trip to Sacramento. It's close to the airport and a completely perfect back unit/guest house with private entry. This one reminds us a lot of the one we stayed in in Sedona. It has everything you need, small kitchen, bathroom and bedroom all in one nicely decorated space. You'll definitely feel at home here!

Sonoma Wine Country Room - Windsor, CA

Perfect for an overnight stay or a couple nights. This room is small but if you're just looking for a place to crash like we were, it's perfect. Private entry on the side of the house, automated check-in, private bathroom and a small kitchen as well.

Mill Room @ 1234 HOUSE in SE PDX - Portland OR

If you're looking for a really FUN place to stay in the Portland area, this is it. This room is so artistic and unique. There's a swinging hammock above the bed and really cool art and style throughout the room. This house is an entire home that's rented out via Airbnb, so there is a shared bathroom down the hall that you share with other guests. We never really saw anyone else when we were there. A blocks walk away is a fun street with lots of shopping and dining as well.

Park Ave Cottage - Adorable & Cozy! - Eugene, OR

Super cozy little tiny home! This tiny house was built by the owner in his backyard and it is absolutely gorgeous! Close to downtown Eugene as well, a really awesome spot for sure.

We hope this helps and if you have any questions about

using Airbnb for your next trip


becoming an Airbnb host

or if you're looking for Airbnb recommendations in some of the locations we've stayed in, send us a message at info@trecreative.com.

We'd love to hear from you! -S&C