How to Navigate Recent Airbnb Changes
If you are looking to rent a house or condo for a spring trip, you may notice some changes on Airbnb, as well as other home rental websites.
They’re designed to help travelers and hosts by simplifying booking and reducing costs.
Caitlin Ignatowski, who rents out a small suite at the back of her house, says she’s glad Airbnb has made booking more seamless with the introduction of “total price display.” Since December, the website shows all fees up front and not on the last page.
“People see what they’re getting for their money, and they probably feel the value of it too,” she said.
Cleaning and other charges will be more obvious
Travel expert Sally French from nerdwallet says cleaning fees have been a sticking point for guests and hosts.
“I spoke to a host who said he wasn’t getting any complaints about the property except one, and that was the cleaning fee,” French said.
The new upfront pricing tool allows users to immediately see the total price of an Airbnb, including service and cleaning fees, which can add upwards of $100 per night in some cases.
Vrbo, its main competitor, also displays the total price including fees, excluding taxes.
Marriott announced a similar decision in 2021 for resort fees at its hotels.
“I think we’re seeing this trend of travel brands wanting to be more consumer-friendly,” French said, “in the sense of being more upfront about what those prices are.”
No more requests to strip the bed
There are also other changes.
Airbnb said payment requests should be reasonable, like turning off lights or throwing food in the trash.
Stripping beds, washing sheets or vacuuming shouldn’t be part of the move, according to the site’s latest guidelines.
The other big change for Airbnb this year is that it’s easier for people to become hosts.
A new program called Airbnb Setup connects potential hosts with established “superhosts” like Ignatowski who walk you through the setup process.
“It’s a way to earn some extra cash and engage with people in a neat way,” she said.
The changes are all designed to improve your next Airbnb experience, whether you’re a guest or just want to host.
As always, don’t waste your money.