Five Questions to Ask Before Booking Airbnb

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Apartment rentals are always touted as the best option for a traveling family but we’d never tried it.  Well, we recently had our first Airbnb experience.  That’s right — we are no longer Airbnb virgins!

While it wasn’t absolutely awful, there were definitely some questions we wish we’d known to ask beforehand.  So without further adieu, here are five questions you should ask before booking an Airbnb.

1.   Do you have a tub or only a shower?

Depending on the age of your kids, stand up showers can be a pain to use to bathe them.  If this is the case for you, be sure to ask if they have a tub available [or at least something tub-like to wash the kiddos in].  This should be easily visible in the pictures of the apartment so keep a look out for it.  If it isn’t, then be sure to ask.

2. How many towels and other linen are included with the reservation?

Our reservation only included one large towel and one medium towel per person.  For our entire four day stay.  Anything more than that was an additional charge.  Considering we were already paying a pretty penny to stay there, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to pay additional money for towels.  Plus, it wasn’t in the budget.

Doctoring up the towels to make them last with kids [use this end, this side today but tomorrow use this other end but same side and then day after that flip to the other side] was a pain.  Wiping my face with a towel that kinda sorta smelled like kid butt was even worse.

Just take my word for it.  Ask about the towels and other linen.


3. Is there any major construction in the apartment, the building, or the immediate area?

Construction = a lot of commotion = a lot of noise.  Construction crews are a lot like kids in the fact that they really don’t care if you want to sleep in.  They want pancakes for breakfast to complete their project.  Unless your apartment is completely sound proof — and most aren’t — then any immediate construction is likely to put a damper on your stay.

Construction can also equal a lot of dust!  Our apartment was fine but the building itself was being renovated.  Quietly but with a ton of dust, paint, and other allergens.  My sinuses noticed before the rest of me did.  As a result, my first day exploring the city was spent sneezing like a mad woman with blood shot eyes.  The kids were just as bad off too.  Whomp whomp.

Luckily I had my medicine bag with me.


4. How often do you do pest control?

Pests in large cities are hard [dare I say impossible] to avoid BUT having a roach crawl across the Girl Scout cookies you brought with you from home because you have a problem are supporting your favorite little Daisy can cause a serious “ick” moment.

If this type of thing is important to you, ask the owner how often they perform pest control.

Also, if you or the kids have a sensitivity to pesticides, you might want to ask the last date of service to ensure there is enough time in between them spraying and your stay.


5. Are you prepared to clean?

This is a question to ask yourself.  More often than not, the cleaning standards of an Airbnb are slightly lower than that of a nice hotel.  If you want everything to be pristine, dust free, shiny, and smelling like PineSol, an apartment rental might not be for you.

So ask yourself: “If it isn’t as clean as I would like, am I willing to clean it [either  little or a lot] myself?”  If the answer is no, work with the owner to ensure they can clean it to your standards. If that doesn’t work out, find yourself a nice hotel or aparthotel instead.



Also, some places require you to do a little housekeeping — even if they charge a cleaning fee.  Take out the trash, gather the linen, wash the dishes, etc. are all things they might ask from you.  Again, if this isn’t your thing, find yourself a nice hotel or aparthotel instead.


Do you have any tips for booking an Airbnb?  Please leave a comment below!

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