Top 5 Tips for Negotiating a Better Airbnb Price
Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full advertising policy: How we make money.Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Because pricing is up to each individual host, there is sometimes room for negotiation. I’ll share a few tips on how to get the best price!
Link: Sign-Up for AirbnbAirbnb is a service that allows you to book a stay with individual hosts.
You can book a private or shared room, or an entire home.
When you’re ready to book, you request your dates from each individual host, NOT Airbnb. So you arrange your stay directly with another person.
Benefits of booking a stay through Airbnb:
- Breakfast and snacks are often included in the price
- You can arrange an early check-in or late check-out, space permitting, for NO extra charge
- Many Airbnb places have a washer, full kitchen, and free internet
- Travel with friends or family and stay together in 1 home
- Stay in any part of town, NOT just where the chain hotels are located
- Visit a unique destination where there are NO hotels
- Meets lots of interesting people along the way!
Get a Better Price!
Once you decide on a place, enter your dates to see the final price with all taxes and fees included.
Airbnb charges a varying percentage as a service fee, and sometimes the hosts charge extra for things like extra guests or for cleaning. So be sure you know the final price before you ask for a discount.
Here are some tips for getting a better price.
1. Book Close to When You Want to Stay
Airbnb places get booked months in advance. Sometimes hosts find they have gaps to fill between stays, even up to the current day.
In that case, the host might accept a lower offer. Send them a message and ask if there’s a discount for booking the same week as your stay. Or even the same day!
Before you do this, compare prices with other dates in the future. Many times, hosts lower their prices to attract bookings. So you may already be getting a discount!
Still, it never hurts to ask!
2. Stay Longer
There’s lots of preparation on the host’s side that goes into a great stay on Airbnb.
They have to clean, stock supplies, buy snacks, and make sure everything is perfect before you arrive. When hosts have lots of short stays, it gets hectic very fast!
If you offer to stay a week or longer, some hosts are willing to offer discounts. That’s because they won’t have to incur the costs of cleaning, laundry, and their time while you’re staying.
And like anyone else, hosts like to take breaks, too!
3. Go in the Off-Season
Summer is the peak travel season for most of the US and Europe, especially if you’re visiting a tourist destination. Hosts won’t be as willing to negotiate because they know they can charge premium rates.
But if you want to stay between peak seasons, you might get a discount!
For example, lots of towns known for skiing make great places to hike in the summer. And most cities have vacancies in the middle of winter, but still have lots of activities.
If you’re willing to travel after the high season, you can ask for a lower rate on your booking. Many times, the host will be happy to have you!
This is a great way to get quality stays for less money!
4. Offer Something in Return
Do you have a handy skill? Are you good at gardening, painting, or repairing things?
Ask the host if they need help with changing light bulbs, fixing a leaky sink, or nailing down squeaky base boards.
Or maybe you see the host has a garden outside. Offer to pull out weeds, or plant new flowers.
If the host has lots of artwork in their home, offer to paint a new work during your stay.
There are lots of ways that people can help each other. And you can tell a lot about your host by the photos of their home.
Where can you offer something in exchange for a discount?
5. Be Your Sweet Self!
Hosts are people, too. And they like to interact with people who are genuinely excited about staying in their home.
Express your enthusiasm. Tell them what you’ve planned for your trip. And thank them for making their home available.
Ask if a discount is a possibility. Sometimes the best way is to simply ask. And of course being nice can only help! 🙂
More Ways to Increase Your Chances
Fill in Your Profile
Airbnb has a vibrant community based on person-to-person interaction.
So upload pictures of yourself. Talk about your favorite destinations. Add your interests, or where you went to college.
There are lots of ways to connect with people. If you have an empty profile and no photos, it’s hard for a host to know who they’re talking to. And no one wants to talk to a blank profile!
Once you get a few good reviews, other hosts will be more likely to give you a discount. Because they’ll see that you can be trusted. And they’ll feel better about having you in their home.
The best way to build your Airbnb profile is to start using it. The search functions have lots of filters and ways to explore all the listings. Get familiar with them, and start using the service.
Use Airbnb’s Message Service
If you want to ask for a discount before you book, the only way is to ask via the messaging service on the website. That’s because you won’t get the hosts phone number until after you book.
So the best way to ask up-front is through the website.
Ask at Any Point of Your Stay
Once you book, you can ask for a discount via email, text, or phone.
Hosts have the ability to adjust pricing at any point during your stay – before, during, or after.
So if you think of something to exchange or offer help to the host, they can alter your reservation while you’re staying with them. Or even after you leave!
So don’t be shy. Airbnb is built on interaction. And you can find lots of interesting places to visit!
Pay With a Card That Earns Bonus Points
Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Make sure you earn bonus points when you book your stays through Airbnb.
Bottom LineAirbnb is quickly becoming 1 of the biggest websites to book travel. And because it’s based on person-to-person interaction, you’ll have lots of room to negotiate a better price.
Especially if you want to stay close to your requested dates or in the off-season. You can also offer your services in exchange for a discount. And asking nicely never hurts, either! 😉Sign-up with my link and get $25 off your 1st $75+ stay!
I’d love to hear about your experiences with Airbnb!
Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)