What is The Meaning of ‘AirBnB’? – Get the Best Accommodation For Your Destination

interior of property showing sloped ceiling, wooden beams, a sofa and a coffee table

AirBnB is a travel accommodation and experiences crowd-sourcing website that arose when the sharing economy took off. It was based on the exchange of a spare room with shared facilities such as a bathroom and kitchen, or an entire apartment, for a low cost and usually short-term rental. Now, AirBnB is used by holiday-makers and travellers of all kinds.

What is the meaning of AirBnB? There are places to stay for anyone needing a night for a work conference right up to those who need a home from home to live and work for a few months. Anyone with a spare room looking to earn some extra cash all the way up those how own a suite of serviced apartments can use the platform and app to advertise.

AirBnB search results showing two properties and a map of the Faro District in Portugal
Image credit: blogger’s own

In our experience, AirBnB can provide superior space and comfort to a similarly priced hotel – particularly for longer stays. It can also offer great value for families, groups of 3 or more sharing the cost, and for work trips. Having used AirBnB almost exclusively over the last few years, I’ve learned a few tricks that will help you select the best AirBnB available in your destination for your budget.

How to Get the Best AirBnB When You Travel

Here is how I search, filter, shortlist and select the best AirBnB in my budget when I travel for work and play.

Research Far Ahead and Book Early for Ultimate Choice

Start researching, and book as far ahead as possible. This is when you have most choice. Depending on your criteria, you can book beautiful, luxurious properties – sometime at a lower cost than you think. And, if you limit the number of filters in your search, you can easily find low-budget options that allow you to spend less money on accommodation meaning you have more to spend on experiences.

what is the meaning of airbnb_types
Image credit: blogger’s own

Alternatively, Experiment with Booking Late to Take Advantage of Last Minute Offers

Alternatively – if you have lots of flexibility on when you can travel and what facilities you’ll need, and if budget is your number one concern, you could take the chance of leaving it very late to book a place to stay. Some AirBnB owners reduce the price if their accommodation has not yet been booked up a few weeks or days in advance of the check-in date (particularly during peak seasons for the location). Before doing this, conduct searches for a shortlist of your unbooked properties a few days from today’s date, to see if the owner has a habit of reducing the price for last-minute bookings.

Find a Location Using the Map to Get Convenient Properties Nearest the Places You Plan to Visit

Where are you going to be visiting? This is one for those on a budget. If you plan to do some sightseeing, or if you’re planning a work trip with a small number of work locations, try selecting a property that is closest to the majority of those places. This helps to minimise your daily travelling time, complexity, public transport tickets or fuel costs.

map of a sample location, Copenhagen
Image credit: blogger’s own

Filter For Everything You Want to Create a Shortlist Then Remove a Few to Increase Your Options

Select the most basic filters, to avoid wasting time searching through completely unsuitable properties:

  • First, enter a location in the Where box. Once you’re there, you can use Search by Region.
  • Complete When (dates from and to). Alternatively, select Weekend, Week or Month, then a specific month.
  • Select the number of guess from the Who dropdown, including Children, Infants or Pets.
  • Click Search. A list of search results is displayed (which can often be too many to trawl).
  • You can now begin to apply further filters to narrow your search according to other criteria. Click Filters to view the options.
  • Filter for your preferences, if any, on Price Range, Type of Place and Property Type
  • From Amenities, filter for further preferences, if any (e.g. Wifi, Free Parking, Washing Machine, Gym)
  • From Booking Options, filter for your preferences, if any. For example, Self Check-in can be very handy if your flight is likely to arrive at unusual hours, when the property owner is unlikely to be available to meet you to let you in and give you keys.
  • From Accessibility Features, filter for your preferences, if any. For example, Accessible Parking Spot.
  • From Top-tier Stays, filter for your preferences, if any. This one is for those who’re not working on a strict budget, as the properties tend to be more expensive. For example, Superhost will include properties owned by experienced hosts that meet the Superhost standard – 4.8+ star ratings, a high response rate and a low cancellation rate. In addition, AirBnB Plus will include only those properties that have been review for quality. Again, this comes at a further premium. So, try selecting Superhost only if your budget is limited.
  • Finally, from Language, filter for your preferences, if any.

Click Show Stays to view every property in that city or area that meets the filter criteria you have selected. If there are no properties that meet your criteria, go back and remove some of the filters that are less important to you.

top tier stays screenshot

Pro Tips

What is the meaning of AirBnB? For me, it all comes down to being able to travel to places with my budget in mind. Most of us are operating with financial constraints. AirBnB allows me to filter properties for my preferences and find a short list of ones I can add to my country or city Wishlist. That way, when I’m ready to book, my list of suitable properties is ready and waiting.

  1. You may find gorgeous properties that are both well located and within your budget, but have no reviews. If so, click on the host’s name, to see if they offer additional properties. If they do, and those properties have great reviews, we think it’s a good sign. We do not recommend staying at place with no reviews or a small number of reviews.
  2. If you’re unsure about a property or its location, click Contact Host and ask a question. Hosts are generally very amenable and you’ll often get lots more than you asked for, including directions. We’ve also sometimes had an offer to arrange transport to and from our arrival airport or station. Use your own judgement on safety. In our experience, hosts are super helpful. They want you to enjoy your travels and take away great memories of their country and most of all. Their ultimate goal, of course, if that you write a great review of their AirBnB property – something that goes a long way toward getting repeat bookings.
  3. AirBnB hosts may ask for your passport number once you arrive. In our experience, this is fairly standard, at least across Europe, as many hosts are required by local laws to register you as a guest in their country with local authorities. We do not recommend handing your passport over to anyone, however.

AirBnB Offers More Than Just Accommodation

What is the meaning of AirBnB when it comes to things other than accommodation?

AirBnB provides automatic protection against cancellations. Find out about AirCover, AirBnB’s built-in protection for guests. And once you’ve booked your accommodation, you can search for Experiences in the area in which you’re staying. My experience is that this tool is great for finding local (sometimes free) walking tours, food tours and other experiences offered by locals.

experiences screenshot


Find out more at AirBnB.

Cover image credit: Photo by Andrea Davis on Unsplash

Dawn Baird
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