Why You Should Avoid Using The Instant Booking Option On Airbnb

Airbnb has an option called instant booking, that allows guests to book a space immediately, without the step of getting the host's approval. Certain hosts like the instant booking feature on Airbnb, and others really don't. If a host is new to the site, having the instant booking option available means that they might attract guests, since they have scant or no reviews. It can also be easy for a host to use instant booking if the space that they're listing is separate from their home. For example, if it's a separate apartment that they never live in, instant booking is appealing because the host is able to keep the space in constant readiness and if a guest turns out to be a lemon, at least that guest isn't in their home.

This is the precise reason that many hosts are averse to instant booking: it doesn't give them a chance to vet the potential guest. The brief pause that it takes for a host to approve of a booking made in a more traditional way also gives the chance for host and guest to chat. They can get a feel for one another and see if the stay is good for both parties, so that everyone's Airbnb experience is a positive one. As a guest, there are also a few reasons to steer clear of the instant booking option too. Your odds of getting a better deal are greater without it and you also want to vet your host.

Instant booking doesn't allow for price negotiation

While instant booking on Airbnb is quick, it isn't the best economical option. It allows you to book the place without speaking to the host first, but communicating with the host is actually a really good idea. When you use instant booking, you're agreeing to the set rate for the unit, however when you communicate with your host before booking, you can often negotiate a better rate than the one listed.

There are a few tips for the savvy traveler when trying to get a deal on Airbnb. For one thing, hosts are more likely to negotiate with you if you're staying several nights, so let them know if your visit is longer. Also, see what their calendar availability is. If a host has lots of available days in a month, you know that they might be eager to get a guest. Weekends are more popular, so if you're staying during the week, hosts might be more flexible. Also, keep an eye out for newer places, as new hosts are going to be eager to get their name on the Airbnb map and might be more willing to play ball on the price. All of this communication isn't possible with instant booking, and so by using it, you're missing the chance to get a better deal on your stay.

Communicating with your host is key for a good stay

One other problem with instant booking is that guests don't get the chance to talk to their hosts before putting money down. While hosts generally put everything there is to know about the space on the site, sometimes when you're in a rush to book something, you might miss the fact that you're only getting a private room as opposed to an entire apartment. No one wants to arrive and discover that they don't like their Airbnb space.

Maybe you were looking to cook a lot during your stay, but the space doesn't offer as well equipped of a kitchen as you'd like, and the photos aren't detailed enough to tell this. Talking to your host beforehand about what you're hoping to get out of the stay can be a great way to ensure that you're getting the right space. The host wants you to enjoy your stay, so they'll certainly be honest about what they're offering.

Communication before booking is imperative if you have a more complicated request. For instance, if you need to bring a pet with you, instant booking isn't your best bet. Or the reverse could happen. The host has a pet and you have allergies. All of these nitty-gritty nuances of travel can get hashed out ahead of time so that you and the host have the best time, and to do this, communication is key.