How To Get An Airbnb Discount (a quick, simple trick)

How To Get An Airbnb Discount (a quick, simple trick)

By |2019-04-04T05:00:42-04:00December 7th, 2017|Travel Costs, Travel Tips & Advice|73 Comments

Airbnb discount - Mauritius

About two years ago, I started doing something that pretty much guarantees I get an Airbnb discount every time I book accommodation with Airbnb (the website that allows you to book rooms, apartments and homes all around the world).

It wasn’t some crazy secret that I had uncovered or some complicated trick that I figured out over time. It was simply an idea that came into my mind one day.

Here’s how it works:

I send a message to the host before I make a booking.

Yes, I write the host a message, and as you’ll see below, there’s a good reason for it.

First, while Airbnb does try to keep the blue “Contact host” button quite hidden, it does exist and is usually right there on each listing page, just under the property description.

So all I do is click that “Contact host” link and write my message.

In my message, I simply ask for a discount. This really does work and it works even better if your arrival date is less than a month away. Why? At this point, the host will naturally be more motivated to rent out their place for fear of not renting it at all during that period of time.

With that said, this little Airbnb discount trick still tends to work no matter how far in advance you are making your booking, which is why you should always give it a try.

What I typically do is come up with an amount that I want to pay for my stay and I write something such as, “I see your apartment is listed at $500 for two weeks. If you could make that $400 I’d book it right now.

And then I also provide some details about myself so that the host feels more confident in me as a renter. I’ll include something like “we’re clean, laid-back, we work from home and we don’t party or cause any issues.

Basically, the idea is to explain to the host that they don’t have to worry at all about you or their apartment/house, making the deal even better for them.

In addition, I’ll also try to use some of the local language as it shows some respect to the host and lets them know that you are an experienced traveler.

An overall message might look like this:

“Dobry den Eva,

I hope you’re doing well. We’re coming to Prague from September 10th – 20th and your apartment really caught our attention. I noticed the price for 10 days is $410 USD. If you could offer us the place for around $330 USD, we’d book it right now. We’re laid-back, we’ll definitely keep the apartment very clean, we actually both work on our laptops from home most mornings and then we like to just wander around the city in the afternoons. We’re not party people and we’ll always respect all the rules of your place. Let me know when you can and we look forward to hopefully staying at your beautiful apartment!


What happens next is that I’ll usually receive a reply from the host followed by a “Special Offer” email from Airbnb. These emails come in when a host has changed the listed price and is offering you a stay at a discounted rate.

Airbnb discount - Ubud

I just went through my last six Airbnb stays (Gran Canaria, Prague, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Athens and Mauritius). Sure enough, a discount was received on all of them. The smallest discount was 6% and the largest was 25%.

And it all happened by sending one quick email to the host. That one message creates a human connection which is something that a normal Airbnb booking, or any accommodation booking, lacks if you just book it right away.

When we make a personal connection, everyone involved tends to worry less and feel more confident in whatever we are trying to do. In this case, a host will feel more inclined to give a discount and trust their incoming guests if those guests reach out and give a good first impression.

At least that’s how it’s worked for me!

For those wanting to give this Airbnb discount trick a try, here’s an Airbnb link that will also give you up to $40 off your next booking.

Have you ever tried the above? Any success? Any other Airbnb discount tricks to share?

The Travel Email - SIGN UP!

New blog posts, updates from around the world and endless inspiration to help you achieve your own travel goals. Sent once per week.


  1. Sab February 24, 2020 at 11:22 am - Reply

    Awesome article, thank you!!
    I just got a nice little discount, just by asking!
    It’s also probably not a bad idea to drop the host a message before booking anyway.
    And for those saying it’s not official and the host can get into trouble, airbnb themselves provide them with offers they can send to guests so it is all perfectly official, you pay through the platform anyway!

  2. Caspian February 23, 2020 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek, I stumbled upon your article and decided to give it a go. I had my sights on a particular apartment, and needed to stay 5 nights, which cost £280 (£10 cleaning fee, £40 service charge). I introduced myself to the host and asked very politely if they were able to offer a small discount and they proceeded to knock £30 off. And the host stated that ‘if you don’t ask then you don’t get’.

  3. jenna January 11, 2020 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    As a superhost, I can vouch Derek is correct this is a common practice and it frequently works.
    I have no problem with getting a reasonable discount request for a last minute booking if you see my property is free soon.
    However there are a few common sense rules to follow when you are doing this, which should make sense to anybody:

    (1) do not ask for a discount 6 months ahead for 3 weeks of high season. Obviously the host is probably going to rent those 3 weeks between now and then, why should he block his calender half the year for a discount rate?

    (2) do not ask for a discount, and then keep asking for additional special extra services. Late check out,early check in, extra linens, leave the airco on full power all day when you are out, complain that you found one hair under the sofa and demand to have the cleaners back (all of this I have experienced and it really makes me angry). If you ask for a discount please try to make the rest of your stay easy on your host.

    (3) host’s main concerns are that
    (a) you will follow house rules, not damage the property or annoy the neighbors and
    (b) you will leave an honest and good review.
    If you are a discount seeker try to be extra considerate, easygoing during your stay, read and follow house rules, do not ask for extra services.

    =>Do these things and your host will be thrilled that he gave you a discount and even invite you back again.

  4. breezyJ November 29, 2019 at 11:50 am - Reply

    Thank you for these tips!
    I was hovering over the booking button on AirBNB when I stopped to see if I could find a coupon and/or a way to reduce the price I would pay for my stay.
    I tried messaging the host per your suggestion and within 10 minutes I had a discounted booking fee that saved me $375!

  5. Jeff October 10, 2019 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    Airbnb***For the most part, it is sad to see what has happened to Airbnb. I was one of the first users back when they were an exciting , fun new booking platform. They were originally established for the low cost traveller and hosts who could make some extra cash while meeting new people like themselves. Just like the guys who started Airbnb out of their budget SanFran apartment. It was awesome back then . Except for a few goid hosts, it now has become nothing more than a greed machine. Hosts that I booked with just a year ago, have now doubled, even tripled their prices. Add fees, taxes etc., it is mostly not worth the time or hassle of combing through countless Listings & worry your host may cancel. As an experienced traveller, I just don’t see much if an advantage booking with airbnb anymore ….Hotels have levelled the playing field, & will reap the benefits of greedy Airbnb hosts. 

  6. Matthew Olagbenro June 27, 2019 at 11:47 am - Reply

    Hey Derek I tried the discount thing and it worked. I think a lot of people been offended by this is very unreasonable. As a host, no one is forcing you to give a discount. Its a simple yes or no. You can’t be a business person and be offended by price negotiation which is what asking for a discount is. Before you give out a discount, look at the review of the renter, look at his/her ratings. If you give a discount to a rental with a 3 star and then they don’t live up to the standard then that’s on you for renting to that person in the first place. From now on, I’m going to always ask for a discount if its the place I want to book. IF they say no then they say no and I would move on or still book it. Its not that hard.

  7. David Barnett May 30, 2019 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    Just found this older article. I am a host. I no longer give discounts on request. I did so when I first started hosting, thinking I would get repeat business and that guests would be appreciative. Instead, these guests had expectations more in line for the Four Seasons than a short-term rental. Each of the guests to whom I gave a discount only gave four stars when rating value. Guests who paid full price all gave their stay all five stars.

    So, my motivation to give discounts quickly faded as I realized it was not helping my business and these guests were actually hurting my ratings. I am polite to guests who request a discount when I decline and several of them went ahead and booked. I already give discounts for week-long and month-long stays built into my pricing. So, sometimes the guest asking for a discount has already been quoted a discounted price. I am not going to further discount that.

    On two occasions, guests have been insistent with repeated and somewhat vitriolic messages that they deserve a big discount as my space will just otherwise surely sit empty (usually these requests are three or four weeks out and my stays are often booked within the week). After message number three, after I have declined twice to offer a discount, those guests do get a special offer of five times my regular price for each night of their stay. No surprise that I never hear from those folks again. Apparently one did complain to Airbnb and I got a query from their customer service department. I had the agent read the message history and she agreed that this guest was rude, entitled and his disrespect deserved the special offer I made. She noted that since I already gave weekly and monthly discounts, a guest seeking a discount for two nights was unjustified in demanding one. I don’t object to being politely asked (nothing ventured…) but I do object to being harangued to give one.

  8. Shannon May 23, 2019 at 10:35 am - Reply

    I wasn’t sure if this would actually work but I thought I’d give it a shot. I went big and asked for about a 25% discount on my monthly rental. The host responded with a 15% discount and two free additional days. Thanks for the tip!

  9. Jolene May 8, 2019 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    Nothing wrong with asking for a discount. If the host wants to make some money they will take you up on it, if not you will find another who will. Great tips Derek!!

  10. Nick B. March 21, 2019 at 5:25 am - Reply

    To all you ARROGANT hosts out there bashing Derek, I am living proof that this approach works, esp internationally. I travel extensively as does he, using AIRBNB exclusively. I honestly can’t remember the last time I booked at full price. Sure, there are those who will turn down a polite offer, but that’s where having chosen 4 or 5 other listings as back-ups comes in handy–nice to have options! Lastly, I would say this, to those of you who will not even entertain a discount…I truly hope you enjoy all those non-occupancy days! If you’re being HONEST, you know you have them!


  11. Haley February 27, 2019 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    I am also surprised by the amount of people offended by the idea of asking for a discount…I worked in retail for quite a few years and one of the most valuable lessons I learned in sales was the ability to haggle! Giving customers a discount (even if just a token one) makes them feel special, appreciated, and forges a relationship that makes them likely to return to you for business. We worked it into our profit margins that we would be okay offering at least a 10% discount on nearly all items. Not everybody would ask for a discount, but sometimes people would – and we could give it to them; sometimes they wouldn’t, and we did it anyway – for example, if they bought in bulk or came back to us regularly for business. I just cannot stress enough the value, from a seller’s point of view, of being able to negotiate on price. Price negotiation should be built into your initial asking price so that you can offer it, forge relationships, and make people feel like they are valued. I bet many of the hosts who respond with offense to this idea have never run their own business outside of Airbnb.

  12. JM Mauritius February 18, 2019 at 11:56 am - Reply

    As a host, I always explain that my prices are as low as we can possibly make it, and always respectfully decline for discounts. Sometimes they book regardless, sometimes they dont. No matter, I’m quite happy to let the guests who don’t value our time and efforts book somewhere else, to leave our calendar open for guests who do so, and we need that money to keep offering a 5-star experience.

  13. M.R. January 14, 2019 at 7:53 am - Reply

    Wow! As a very successful professional salesperson who travels internationally over 250 days a year, (and an American consumer), it is obvious that some of these ‘Hosts’ have forgotten or never known the #1 rule of business: Take the emotion out of it. For them to be insulted or offended by just the consumer asking for a discount just boggles the mind. The rest of the world does not work that way. I or my company asks for discounts on everything from groceries to airline tickets; and get it most of the time. Our customers do the same. There is no emotion involved. This is a basic tenant of economics. These ‘Hosts’ must not live in the same democratic society that I enjoy. I would ask them:

    Do you go to the store looking to pay full retail price 100% of the time?

    Do you think that Sony / Ford / Microsoft / Mom & Pop XYZ store., is any less proud of their televisions / cars / computers / or whatever, by offering a discount?

    When you bought the property you now hopefully are enjoying profits from, did you offer less than the asking price?

    How do think the banks AND your country operate? (think about it!)

    For those of you that own in tourist areas or similar and can dictate any price you like and get it, well, good for you. You did your homework, paid the costs, and put in the sweat that those type of markets demand. But even in those areas believe it or not, not every owner is in your same situation. The grand majority of accommodations in the world are not so rigid and welcome offers that they are free to decide at that time, based on their own current situation, whether to accept or not. Individual or corporate. Ask yourself if Airbnb has ANY emotion about ANY transaction with you.

    And the parallel that some ‘Hosts’ infer that those who ask for a discount will be ‘high maintenance’ definitely holds no water. Using that logic, do you think that the very wealthy individuals of this world, that pay full price, who lease items, property, hotel rooms, etc., are ‘low maintenance’? (I’m here to tell you that if you don’t already know, that also is DEFINITELY NOT the case).

    I deal daily with, individuals from all walks of life, company CEOs, and government officials; they are all people just like us, and we all want the best deal we can get for ourselves and our families. Discounts, by that and a few other names, are a fundamental way of doing business. To maximize your success in business, you need to use all avenues available in your endeavor. Or, you can stick your head in the sand and continue to assume what you do, and accept only ‘full price’ offers. Maybe you will stay in the black.

    That is the beauty of a free society, you can do almost whatever you like; but don’t expect others to follow in your false beliefs, especially when there is smarter competition. Best of luck-

    • Lisa at CH February 27, 2019 at 6:01 pm - Reply

      I think the key difference, and full disclosure I am a host, is that hosts are giving you the keys to their home. A lot of times the home they bought as a second home or it is their primary residence, so asking for a discount can get things off on the wrong foot. I, personally, don’t mind someone respectfully asking for a break on a rate if they are wanting to book more days in a season that I normally would, but my property books a lot, so it can often come across as insulting. Another thing to consider, and I have found this to be somewhat true, that if you start by asking for a discount that will lead to nit-picking, damages, and a bad review. Since reviews are the lifeblood of these properties, coming across this way is risky if you really want to stay at the place. As evidenced here, a number of hosts will shut the conversation down and decline the booking. I am not saying they are right, but it is a consideration.

      Most hosts adjust their pricing daily and really give a lot of thought to it. I would never give a further discount for a booking within a month because anymore that is when you can get the best rates, because most people these days do not plan ahead.

      Keep in mind too, it is not the hosts problem you did not budget for the stay well or appropriate to your tastes. Don’t ask for discounts for multiple pets. Avoid asking for further discounts for a longer stay, as most hosts don’t want really long stays (we want to come there too; we have housekeepers we need to keep in business; longer stays often equal more mess and damages; we make more money in busy areas by getting full price every night) It’s good to know that a number of hosts only have a couple of properties at most, so our needs are different than hotels. Since there is more risk in renting whole houses, we evaluate the risk against the rate charged.

      Bottomline, if you don’t care whether you stay there or not do what you want, but if it is a limited edition/boutique property, it is the only one that has an amenity you need or care about, don’t ask for a discount. You’ll risk being declined.

      • Derek February 28, 2019 at 12:16 am - Reply

        Hey Lisa – I appreciate your input on this as well. I think the difference is between what people think of when they hear the word ‘host’. I see it often referred to as someone who owns their home and rents it out part time on Airbnb to earn some income or pay off the mortgage. However, especially outside the US, that’s a minority of the hosts. Most Airbnbs are set up as businesses and the host does not live there. They simply buy a property in order to rent it out full time as a business. This is why there is huge backlash against Airbnb in many cities in Europe for example. It’s turned into a business, the prices listed on Airbnb are often much higher than they need to be and this drives up the price of real estate for the locals. So they get pushed out because they can’t afford to rent a place since so many people are charging inflated prices on Airbnb, as a business, not as a home owner. It’s a very big difference and that’s how it works in most places.

        This is why I’m successful almost every time I ask for a discount. Also, I’ve never stayed in an Airbnb in the USA, so this is based on my extensive travels around the world instead.

        The idea that hosts are all homeowners trying to get by is a big misconception in terms of how Airbnb actually works in most of the world. As another example, 3 weeks ago I sent an email to 10 hosts on the island of Cyprus as I’ll be staying there for over 1 month. I asked for a discount. 9 of the 10 offered an extra discount ranging from 5% – 20% for my extended stay. Clearly, they can afford to do this because their listings are run as a business with plenty of margin and their original price was simply created to hopefully get a foreigner to pay what is an inflated rate for a stay in that country.

  14. DG December 21, 2018 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Hey Derek,
    I took the time to read the comments. As a host – and since here there is around like 2% in your comments agreeing with you – I would love to see the huge list “of hosts” that agree with you. I never gave a discount and I am always fully booked. I decline every single one and I would rather have someone staying that did not ask for it and refund it after meeting them – which happened quite a lot. People tend to ask discounts before hand. I would rather agree that if everything goes right, I will give you 10% back or so.

    Anyway, I hope Airbnb hosts get more educated and stop making the smart ones get better rates, when they definitely do not deserve it at all.

    Looking forward to your polite reply with the same information you put on every single answer! 🙂

    All the best,

    • Derek December 21, 2018 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      Hey DG,

      Thanks for your comment. A couple of things…the main reason that only 2% agree with me is because people always comment when they get upset about something. And this post was shared on several forums where Airbnb hosts tend to congregate and the original posts in those forums were all about how terrible it is that anyone would ask for a discount. Naturally, the people that agreed came over to voice their opinion.

      Second, I write the same information because that’s my view and when someone leaves a comment, they generally don’t go through and read my replies to everyone else. So, the only way to reply is to each person and since many of the comments were the same, my response is naturally the same. You left the same comment as many others. I could have predicted your comment too before you wrote it 🙂

      It’s also intriguing to me that people keep saying “I don’t offer a discount and I’m full all the time”. You do realize how many factors are involved with being full, right? Market, location, type of accommodation offered, price, competition and so on. Not everyone all over the world is in an ideal situation to be able to have their place rented all the time.

      And as I’ve stated many times, I don’t think many hosts realize how many Airbnbs are pure profitable businesses. I mean actual companies buying dozens of apartments just to rent them out. It’s not all owners trying to make some extra money to pay their mortgage. Most of the Airbnbs I end up in are Airbnbs 365 days per year. They are not homes that are lived in by the owners. It’s turning into big business with big companies owning dozens and dozens of apartments to rent out only on Airbnb.

      As for the long list, I can’t give out names naturally but I travel for a living, I’m on the road 11 months of the year and I stay in Airbnb apartments very often. And yes, I get the discounts, almost all of the time without any issues before, during or after my stay. You can keep doing things your way and I’ll keep doing things my way. Seems like everyone involved with both ways are perfectly happy in the end 🙂

  15. Juan Hernandez Aguirre December 10, 2018 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    Hey Derek..thank you for the article.I just signed up to airbnb and I’m trying to book my first stay but I can’t seem to access the $40 discount code. Could you please help me?

    • Derek December 10, 2018 at 3:48 pm - Reply

      Hey Juan – If you signed up through the link, the discount should be added at the very end when you make your first booking. It is usually added on the final page before the payment is made. Let me know if that makes sense!

  16. Juan Ovalle September 10, 2018 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    I’ve never tried this before but definitely need to try this the next time I book an airbnb!

  17. Varunraj Keskar August 31, 2018 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Hey! This just worked for me, the discount was around 10% but that made it fit right into our budget! I thank you with all my heart Derek! And, reading the comments above, I will make sure that I leave a good review for my awesome host!

  18. Sue Masselink August 28, 2018 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Hi Derek,

    I can’t believe the level of vitriol in reponse to your tip about asking for a discount! As an Airbnb host, I have had people ask for discounts, and each was far enough in advance that I was confident I could rent at the undiscounted price so I politely said no. Simple! I was not offended by the request, and I trust they were not offended when I declined. If it had been closer to the time of their travel, I may have been willing to accept their discounted price, or counter with something in between. If people want to stick to their original asking price, that is certainly their business, but I have found that some flexibility is key to ensuring nearly full occupancy during peak periods.

    • Derek August 28, 2018 at 5:00 pm - Reply

      Hey Sue – I absolutely agree with what you said. It has completely shocked me that people have taken offense to asking for a discount, as if the simple inquiry is something criminal. Like you mentioned, if they don’t want to give a discount, they certainly don’t have to. But for many hosts, as is clear by the success of this tip, it can work out quite well, especially when it is closer to their time of travel. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us!

  19. Ray August 28, 2018 at 6:14 am - Reply

    Thank you very much Derek! This is a useful tip! I love how upbeat and nice you sound in all your replies to these Airbnb hosts too! I’m going to share your post just to point out how most people demean others as unethical when their own profits are at stake 🙂

  20. Steve August 22, 2018 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Derek – you have singlehandedly convinced me never to accept a request for a discount from anyone. The few times I’ve done it in the past, I’ve ended up with problems clearly it’s people like you who we don’t want staying at or places.

    I’ve spend a ton of money renovating and getting the place to look nice. This year I’m going to take about a $10k loss on the place. Airbnb is constantly driving people to race for the bottom to get bookings. You are just making it worse.

    • Derek August 22, 2018 at 12:05 pm - Reply

      Hey Steve – It’s very simple. You don’t need to offer a discount if you don’t want to. I’m simply saying that my success rate is extremely high, so obviously, not everyone is in the same situation as you are. It’s okay not to offer a discount.

  21. Albi Reo August 21, 2018 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    From my experience, guests who ask for discounts are more likely to leave a bad review. Paradoxically, they usually leave lower “value for money” grades.
    So, I never offer discounts nor accept discount requests. I do lower prices in last week before the date.

    There is only one situation where I would accept to give discount – when someone is offering to take entire free period in my calendar

    • Derek August 22, 2018 at 12:06 pm - Reply

      Hey Albi – That’s a good reason to give a discount for sure. I’ve spoken with a lot of hosts and of course, they take precautions and don’t just rent their place out to anyone that asks for a discount. But if the traveler has great reviews from other hosts, almost all of the hosts I’ve spoken with during my travels said they have no problem giving an extra discount if they can.

  22. Carole August 21, 2018 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Good for you Derek that this method has been successful in your experience. My experience hasn’t been as you described. As a host I set my prices fairly to begin with. I’m in a high demand tourist spot and I stay booked most of the time. I have no fear of not getting a last minute booking, on the contrary, I actually enjoy the break when I get it. I have had potential guests ask for discounts and I actually find it rude and arrogant. To me you are a complete stranger and without having seen my place or knowing fully what I offer in comparison to my competition you are telling me my service is of less value to you than what I believe it is worth. You are also telling me that you believe you are entitled to my sacrifice without having done anything to earn the favor. I offer discounts when warranted. Not when asked for by someone who assumes to know about my profit margins, value of service or pricing motives.

    • Derek August 22, 2018 at 12:10 pm - Reply

      Hey Carole – That makes sense. Except that I mention in the post that it works when you can prove that you are a great guest and you have the reviews to back it up. That is what makes it a low-risk, win-win situation for many hosts. It’s not about being entitled to anything. We automatically ask used car dealers for a discount even though many are family fun businesses that are charging what they believe to be fair prices. So I don’t think it’s arrogant to ask for a discount, especially when, again, many hosts find it to be a great win-win situation.

  23. Ann August 21, 2018 at 8:32 am - Reply

    I already offer weekly and monthly discounts. Anyone who asks for an additional discount is denied on the spot. I agree that any time I’ve given a discount, even if only a few dollars, the guests have been more trouble and have left a poor review anyway. If I agree to a booking even without a discount, those guests usually leave a poor rating in the value section. Guests beware, following this advice is a sure way to make sure you have no place to stay in certain markets.

    • Derek August 21, 2018 at 8:41 am - Reply

      Hey Ann – Thank you for the message. Again, I use this all the time and I’ve received dozens and dozens of emails from people that have used the method successfully. I think what’s not realized is how Airbnb hosts come up with their prices. While many do offer a fair rate, there are plenty that are trying to maximize their profits…at the end of the day, especially in tourist hotspots, why not charge the highest amount possible at first and if it doesn’t work, you can then reduce it? This happens all over the world and is exactly what is explained to me by Airbnb hosts I talk to. So if you ask for a discount, many have that wiggle room to give it, especially if there isn’t much time until the period you want to book.

      As for the poor review thing…it’s pretty easy to check the reviews of a potential guest and see what other hosts have said about them.

  24. Penny August 21, 2018 at 6:07 am - Reply

    Another option is to Google the property to see if the owner lets it out directly through his/her own website. That way you save yourself and the owner the Airbnb commission and are likely to get better and more personal service from an appreciate owner.

    • Caroline August 22, 2018 at 11:30 am - Reply

      Now that’s a smart tip! (Host)

  25. Jen August 21, 2018 at 6:02 am - Reply

    As a host I would echo what other hosts have said…guests who have had a discounted stay tend to be high maintenance and I would go further and say those who have had the cheapest deals have been the ones who have not respected my apartment and have left it in a mess or worse. It seems if they haven’t paid full price they don’t appreciate the value of what they’re getting and treat it accordingly. I never give cheap deals anymore for that reason – I have a great property which is good value at full price, I don’t overprice it and would rather have it empty than underpriced.

    • Derek August 21, 2018 at 8:19 am - Reply

      Hey Jen – Thank you for your comment. The high maintenance thing is easy to solve since you can simply look at the reviews of the potential guest from other hosts. That clearly states whether or not they are high maintenance. I have great reviews from the places I’ve stayed and I ask for discounts. And I’ve never had any issues at all.

      Since I wrote this post, I’ve used the same method above several more times and it’s worked out great each time. For example, I just booked a place in Portugal and the owner was thrilled to have someone book for 1 month at a discounted rate. She responded immediately and confirmed the deal in less than 5 minutes.

      It’s important to keep in mind that, in many places, the Airbnb prices are heavily inflated. For example, Lisbon is a relatively inexpensive destination and the average Airbnb monthly rate is WAY above what they should be. Apartment owners are covering their expenses and making huge profits, simply because there are travelers willing to pay higher rates. But as a result, not every place is full all the time, so there is some wiggle room.

      So even with a discount, apartment owners in these cities with heavily inflated nightly/monthly rates, easily cover their expenses and make a very nice profit. Again, if it was really a bad deal for the owners, I don’t think my success rate would be so high. And I speak with every Airbnb owner I stay with and they confirm, over and over again, that it works out great for them to give a discount and have a longer stay.

  26. Whitney August 21, 2018 at 4:55 am - Reply

    How disgusting of you to be so cheap in an already cheap vacation rental market. It”s complete disrespect to the host. Don’t stay there if you can’t afford it. You’re clearly trying to stay in a place WAY below your budget. Try staying in a dingy room since that’s obviously what you can afford. Disgusting

    • Derek August 21, 2018 at 8:23 am - Reply

      Hey Whitney – The market is not cheap by any means. I just booked a place in Lisbon (yes, the owner was more than happy to give me a discount) where the Airbnb rates are WAY above average accommodation rates for that city. There were simple apartments for rent on Airbnb at $2000 USD per month which is about $1300 USD per month more than a normal, non vacation rental. That’s a massive increase.

      And as I continue to travel around the world nonstop, I find that this is the case in most places. So even with a discount, the owners cover their expenses and make a great profit. They advertise their places at higher rates to try and get as much as they can. But if they can’t get it. they’re happy to give a discount. Again, these aren’t my words. This is what I hear over and over again from the Airbnb owners that I talk with.

      And if it really was such a bad deal for apartment owners, I am certain that this method wouldn’t work as often as it does.

      But thank you for your comment. It is very much appreciated 🙂

  27. Carla August 21, 2018 at 2:11 am - Reply

    As a host, I can tell you I’d never accept a reservation request like the one suggested here.
    It shows a total lack of respect towards hosts and all the other personal that works in/to an airbnb apartment.
    Anyone writing this bs would come accross as thinking their time and money were more valuable than mine, than my cleaning company’s employees, than my laundry services… than the people who help me with checkins.
    It is wrong to bargain on airbnb in so many ways. This is a very seasonal business, meaning, at each season, hosts practice the price they think it is fair and worth their trouble.

    • Derek August 21, 2018 at 8:31 am - Reply

      Hey Carla – I appreciate your thoughts but that’s a very general statement that “hosts practice the price they think is fair”. There are millions of hosts out there, many of whom are companies that run several apartments, many of whom are located in tourist hotspots where they can try and charge way above what is fair and so on. So it’s important to understand how Airbnb really works in different places. While many hosts might give a fair price, that’s not the case around the world.

  28. mada August 21, 2018 at 1:52 am - Reply

    So you think asking for discount is ethical? You think everyone has extra time to negotiate with peope like you who think they deserve more and better then others? The price is set up. Take it or leave it like everyone else. You have many options and you can find cheeper place but you think it is ethical to demand better because you think you are special and smart. You are not. And you are so unaware of how wrong you behave thay you suggest others to behave unethical like you. Uf. People like you piss me off. No wonder Trump is you leader.

    • Derek August 21, 2018 at 8:34 am - Reply

      Hey Mada – Considering that I am in touch with many hosts and they always agree, yes. Like I said above, prices are set for different reasons. In many places, especially tourist hotspots, the prices are heavily inflated as the hosts try and get the absolute maximum they can. It doesn’t always work so they are happy to give discounts. Also, many times, Airbnb listings are managed by companies, not individuals, so they are just trying to make a maximum profit for the management company/owners. So there are many factors involved as to how the prices are set.

      And based on the fact that almost every host I contact is happy to give a discount, it seems to be a good deal for them. When I talk to these hosts they explain that they still earn a profit and it’s much better than having no income from the place at all.

    • Justin August 22, 2018 at 11:25 am - Reply


      Your final line where you put a dig into our president shows that you’re more concerned with nit picky details and probability being a huge complainer yourself as opposed to your AirBnB business. Our president has absolutely nothing with AirBnB and has nothing with anyone asking for a discount, that’s just absurd, silly and juvenile.

      With that said, if I had a few days available and could fill those spots and make some money, I would. Maybe not all the time.

      Why people are giving Derek a hard time is beyond me. Not everyone looks at things from an emotional standpoint when it comes to their property/properties.

      I once had an economic professor who would do this at hotels and it worked, because they have an empty room which costs money to sit empty. A lot of times they would rather minimize loss than. That’s what this is about, minimizing loss. A little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing.

      As my father taught me, “A lot has been lost for want of asking”

  29. Genevieve August 21, 2018 at 1:35 am - Reply

    What you failed to mention is that as a host, if you are hosting in a hot market (as I am) any such mesage will immediately get you a decline. Then you will be forced to find something much more expensive and less accommodating. Granted, this may work on new hosts but then again you’re taking your chances with that. Nice way to advertise your blog though!

    • Derek August 21, 2018 at 8:36 am - Reply

      Hey Genevieve – Not sure about that. I just booked a place in Lisbon, which is a very hot market, and I got a discount from a host with dozens of reviews who has rented out her place for several years. She responded in 5 minutes and confirmed the discount. In these places, the Airbnb rates are often heavily inflated so even with a discount, the owner covers their expenses and still makes a great profit.

  30. Kat August 21, 2018 at 1:26 am - Reply

    As a host that has people in my home, I don’t do discounts. I put a fair price on my listings (2 guest rooms) and I have to pay the extra electric, water, and cleaning supplies plus new sheets and towels every few months to keep them fresh and new. I also do welcome baskets, coffee and limited breakfast items, and make sure my guests leave very happy. I’m booked every day I don’t block off. I have same day people often and if they need to have a discount to stay here, they need to find somewhere else. I depend on this income to help pay my bills. I’m not a corporation, just a single girl trying to keep my head above water.

    • Derek August 21, 2018 at 8:29 am - Reply

      Hey Kat – That’s great for sure. I think some people put a fair price and don’t do discounts. And in my experience of traveling around the world, in many places, people simply try to get the most they can for their place, especially when they’re located in tourist hotspots that have a short tourist season. So these people are usually more than happy to give discounts because they still make a good profit.

  31. Michelle August 21, 2018 at 12:39 am - Reply

    As a host, I quickly learned that people who ask for discounts are always needy, entitled, picky, and demanding. If a guest asks for a discount, not only do I ALWAYS refuse, but I deny hosting them at all, even at full price, because i know that the “reward” will be a bad review and likely a trashed place. Simply not worth it. It’s already a great deal. No need for further discounts. Experience has taught me that I can easily rent my for what the set rate is without having to offer discounts.
    The only hosts I know of that agree to give discounts this way are newbies who don’t know any better. But trust me. They quickly learn.
    So please don’t do this. It’s annoying and takes valuable time away from hosts who could be doing other things, rather than addressing you asking for an unwarranted discount simply because you don;t want to pay.. Rates are set what they are for very good reason. Oftentimes, the income is much needed and can even be a sole source of income. Why would you feel good about taking money away from families who need it?
    If money is so tight for you, how about you just shop within your budget in the first place?
    That would be the RIGHT thing to do.

    • Derek August 21, 2018 at 8:28 am - Reply

      Hey Michelle – I’d have to disagree. I actually just booked a place in Lisbon with a host that had dozens of reviews and has been renting her place for many years. She was more than happy to offer a discount and agreed to it right away. And since this post came out, I’ve received dozens of emails from people that used the method successfully and had a great experience.

      And rates are not set at what they are for very good reason in many places. I speak with hosts all the time and they are simply trying to charge as much as they can for their place. This was the case in Lisbon where Airbnb rates were WAY above what they should be. Now, with the discount, my host will cover her expenses, make a great profit and have someone with great reviews stay in her place. It’s a win-win situation.

  32. Max June 26, 2018 at 8:42 am - Reply

    Derek, home-owner airbnb’s are already much lower cost than hotel rooms and guests get far more room, free tea, coffee etc, other provisions, personal attention of the host often with recommendations on local places to visit, eat and drink. The reasons for hosting is very broad, some because it supplements low incomes, or assist a start-up entrepreneur of artist not starve whilst they build their start-up, some retired with pensions being paid later and later now, some supplementing the ever rising costs of living, utilities, food etc which is not keeping up with salaries, to some it is a full-time job and reduces reliance by some on social security benefits, and many other reasons. Whilst I understand that everyone likes a discount attitude, you appear to be a healthy individual with a good job but have chosen to use your influence to cause your readership to push home owners for discounts. No host has to agree to a discount but if everyone starts doing it it’ll tear the heart out of hosting. There is also a general view among hosts that those seeking unreasonable discounts (or any) tend to display self-entitlement and can be high maintenance.

    • Derek June 26, 2018 at 9:06 am - Reply

      Hey Max – Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The only thing is that Airbnb has changed a bit. It is no longer that cheap option to hotel rooms, all hosted by people that need extra income. Given all the fees and taxes added on, it’s actually quite comparable to hotel and guesthouse rooms in many places around the world these days. You also have businesses that own entire apartment buildings, renting them out on Airbnb, and plenty of people that are simply trying to earn as much as they can for their place. I’m in an Airbnb right now in London that did not come with free tea or coffee or other provisions and after speaking with the owner, she revealed that she earns very good money on Airbnb compared to what she could get from a regular renter (3 times as much). So she was more than happy to give us a discount to ensure her place was rented for the period we needed. That’s generally the same thing we hear from almost all of the hosts we talk to during our travels.

      And sure, it could mean the person is high maintenance, but all you need to do is check the traveler’s reviews from other Airbnb hosts, as you would in any situation.

      I understand what you’re saying but I do think that Airbnb has become much more of a business (I use it all the time as I travel nonstop). For every host that is offering their place for a very reasonable rate to cover the expenses they need to cover or supplement their income, there are dozens of hosts (individuals and businesses) trying to earn a very good profit through it as well. And I’d imagine if asking for such discounts were really unreasonable, I’d be told ‘no’ most of the time. But it’s quite the opposite and I’ve been using Airbnb regularly for many years now.

      As with anything, there are always different perspectives and I appreciate you sharing yours 🙂

  33. David June 10, 2018 at 8:18 am - Reply

    I think it’s totally reasonable to ask for a discount, if you are staying a month or even longer. Especially, if it is in the off-season. You are doing the host a favor, not the other way around. Also, what are the chances the accommodation is going to be able to be booked for each vacant day of the year. I think the host would have to figure the opportunity costs of taking a chance and waiting to get the full price or the guarantee of a longer term booking, “Bird in the hand” approach….

  34. Angela April 30, 2018 at 11:31 pm - Reply

    And here I thought everything that could be written about Airbnb was already written! I am definitely going to try this tip. My husband and I have been traveling about six months out of the year now for a couple of years and I figured out pretty fast that having a kitchen and more space than a hotel is better when away from home long-term (and helps with us not killing each other!). Thanks for not keeping that gem to yourself.

  35. Christian April 12, 2018 at 4:23 am - Reply

    As an airbnb host i can tell you I would never do this unless my apartment is so shitty that even the reduced price is too high. So I would book only if the host refuses to give a discount. That way you can be sure you are renting a nice apartment which rents out easily.

    • Derek April 13, 2018 at 8:00 am - Reply

      Hey Christian – I understand what you’re saying but we look for discounts all the time, every day, on everything we purchase. And many of those purchases come from small businesses, but that doesn’t stop us from asking for a discount. Sometimes it’s not about pure profit, sometimes there are other reasons why a discounted rate might make sense. An example, as I put in the post, is if the Airbnb is not yet booked for dates in the very near future. The chances get much lower that it will be booked. It would certainly be better to reduce the price to get someone in there and also get that positive review if the place really is great. That’s better than the apartment/house/room sitting empty and the host getting zero benefit at all during a particular period of time.

  36. Dre @ Wander Junkies PH January 31, 2018 at 12:46 am - Reply

    This is a great tip! I wish I’d seen this sooner. I already booked my Airbnb accommodations last month. Thank you for the tip. 🙂

  37. David December 27, 2017 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    Great idea I never thought about! I am going to try this for sure.

  38. Teresa Calloway December 12, 2017 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    You are totally correct and I will say that, for your target audience (people who travel long-term, generally have perfected the art of being an ideal guest, and likely have great reviews) this is entirely appropriate. The problem arises when some shill at HuffPo reads this and recommends that every newcomer to Airbnb ask for discounts. Their audience is not savvy like yours, and their requests dilute the requests from veteran travelers lie yourself. In the hosting forum I belong to, hosts are getting discount requests for New Years Eve, for regular two- and three-day stays. That is what I mean by taking advantage.

  39. Stephen December 8, 2017 at 12:51 am - Reply

    I have been successful doing this in the past like you have but I only ask for a discount if I’m staying 3 days or more. It doesn’t really make sense for less than that.

  40. Toni December 7, 2017 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Great tip. We book 2-3 days normal way and get proper connection with the host and we can check out the place. After one day (or so) we make contact face2face or through WhatsApp etc. and make a deal for longer period in the place, if we liked it. Probably this way the final price is about the same than your procedure except taxation and service fees. This has worked really well at least in Eastern Europe off season. With your tip we probably can get places even cheaper for the first days.

  41. jim fountain December 7, 2017 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    Or… if you you don’t want to offer a discount… just tell ‘ em to fuck off?

    • Derek December 7, 2017 at 11:01 pm - Reply

      For sure, if you can’t give a discount, you don’t give a discount. I certainly wouldn’t be offended.

  42. Steph December 7, 2017 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    I like the wording of your message. When I was hosting though, we would turn down all discount requests as we found these guests were generally high-maintenance. I guess it varies according to the demand in the area and whether or you like having longer stays in your property (not all hosts do – and the weekly/monthly discount feature in the listing can be a clue).

    • Derek December 7, 2017 at 11:03 pm - Reply

      Hey Steph – I guess you can also check the feedback that guests have received from past hosts in order to get an idea of what kind of guests they would be. But either way, I’m sure it does vary.

      • Chris August 21, 2018 at 1:18 pm - Reply

        There are so many ‘guests’ with no feedback/reviews, no verified ID’s and just created profiles. If I saw somebody who was looking for something special outside of my normal offer AND they had a long history and great reviews I might consider it but otherwise I agree that most guests who start the dialogue by asking for more than you are offering are trouble. We all go out of way to super-serve (well most do) to create something better than the hotel stay and it just doesn’t match if the host is trying to provide a premium service while the guest wants economical. You can’t make everybody happy and asking for a discount is the first red flag for me.

        • Derek August 22, 2018 at 12:08 pm - Reply

          Hey Chris – That’s fair. I’m not saying that discounts should be given to everyone. I think some people got very fired up here thinking that was the case. Obviously, I wouldn’t take a huge risk either if there was someone without any reviews at all or with no verified IDs. But the point of the post is that for those that do have a solid, positive history of being a guest through Airbnb (with the reviews to back it up), it can work out well for both sides.

  43. Drew Meyers December 7, 2017 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    This is something Horizon (home sharing with friends, friends of friends, and communities) would enable to do much, much easier. Ie hosts setup a profile, add a link to their AirBnB listing, join relevant groups, and then anyone with a mutual friend/group can send them a direct message. We’re optimized for helping travelers find the “friends, family & trusted connection” discount that exists on every listing in the world.

  44. Teresa Calloway December 7, 2017 at 10:44 am - Reply

    I’m a host and yes it does eat into profits. Many will reluctantly agree to be nice, or if the length of the stay outweighs the discount. We have many flat coats per stay like housekeeping, so asking for a discount on 10 days is very different than asking for a discount for a weekend.
    Mostly, I think the author of this article is attributing the willingness to give a discount to trust and reassurance, but honestly, I think the hosts that agree give the discount because of the social awkwardness involved in saying no. Hosts are hosts because they want to help and they want to be nice. Don’t take advantage of it.

    • Derek December 7, 2017 at 10:55 am - Reply

      Hey Teresa – Thanks for the comment. I have spoken with many hosts though and I’ve never heard anyone state that they felt pressured to say yes to a discount. Everyone has said that if they can offer a discount, still earn a profit and have a chance at getting another positive review on Airbnb, then giving a discount is worth it to them. Also, keep in mind that a large percentage of Airbnb hosts are actually companies these days, ever since Airbnb allowed you to add additional hosts to your account. So now you have companies buying up apartments and hiring a management company to run them. So it’s really not much different than trying to get a discount at a hotel in many cases.

      While I understand that many hosts are simply trying to earn some income from their property, at the end of the day, if they don’t want to give a discount there’s certainly no reason for them to say yes. I’m not trying to cheat anyone at all. But just like anything we buy these days, there’s nothing wrong with at least trying to get the best price possible, one that works for both purchaser and seller.

  45. Dimitrios December 7, 2017 at 8:09 am - Reply

    Hey Derek,
    Interesting idea. Thanks for sharing.
    I assume that in such a case the ownwer of the property does not really lose any profit. The discount is made possible by ‘setting aside’ the platform. Contacting him privately and agreeing on a discount implies that you make the actual booking privately, too, in one-to-one trust agreement, rather than a standard Airbnb booking. In such a way, he could, in fact, make some exta profit for himself, too, if the agreement is to share in half the platform’s commission. Am I getting it quite right?

    • Derek December 7, 2017 at 10:06 am - Reply

      Hey Dimitrios – Actually, the host can change the price on the Airbnb platform just for one booking and then send you a new offer through Airbnb. So everything still remains official through the site but you receive a discounted rate instead of the one that was originally listed.

    • Caroline August 22, 2018 at 11:41 am - Reply

      This goes against Airbnb’s terms and conditions, transactions outside the platform can result in the host losing their access to the platform, so they will avoid it at all costs. Airbnb only gets paid when all business goes through them.

      I do get asked for a discount but it usually by guests that haven’t seen that there is a discount for 3 nights plus, once they realize there is then there is no issue, but my prices are final at all times. For hosts offering discounts for some who ask but not all, beware of claims of discrimination.

      Maybe the better idea is for Airbnb to offer a percentage reduction for guests with high reviews.

      PS, your blog seems very popular, there have been many reports of hosts receiving copy and pasted messages form here!

  46. Leo December 7, 2017 at 7:51 am - Reply

    Wow… Great tips right here. I will try this on my next booking for sure. Thank you, Derek, for this post.

Leave A Comment