Booking and staying in an Airbnb is a unique alternative to the standard hotel stay. Travelers looking for an authentic experience with all the comforts of home can find that experience with Airbnb. The convenience of having laundry facilities, the ability to cook meals, and more space for a large family or group just can’t be beaten. There are, however, some essential tips and tricks to consider that will ensure the best possible experience when renting a home or room via Airbnb.

Research everything. Check the verified guest reviews for potential red flags with the host or property. Also, it’s essential to know that the exact address of the Airbnb will not be released until closer to the arrival date, so it’s a good idea to utilize the available filters and learn more about the area before any final decisions are made. Carefully reviewing every photo available of the property and reading all the information given on the amenities and accessibility is advised as well. Lastly, travelers should read the fine print about any additional charges, like cleaning fees, so the actual cost is understood.

Safety and comfort are essential to all travelers, and one surefire way to feel confident with Airbnb accommodation is to go with a Superhost. Good reviews and other factors determine if a host is awarded the Superhost badge, and when new to Airbnb, going with a Superhost can offer peace of mind. When arriving at the property, travelers should check window and door locks to ensure they are in good working order, and check for fire alarms and fire extinguishers. When paying and contacting the host, only communicating via the Airbnb application/site is advised for safety and protection of personal information

A request to book may be rejected, and a host may have to cancel a booking, so it is always a good idea to have several options open in the desired area. Also, travelers should be aware that some things in their Airbnb may be slightly strange or different (such as bathrooms in the U.K. not having outlets for hair dryers), especially when renting in another country. Embracing the uniqueness of an Airbnb is all part of the fun in staying in one.