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.
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?
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