Airbnb For First Time Bookers (Includes Coupons!)

airbnb first booking coupon

Airbnb coupon code for first time bookers - this blog post is all about using Airbnb for the first time: what Airbnb is, why you should use it, our story with it, how to use Airbnb coupon code for the first time.  But it doesn't stop there, this post is also chock full of Airbnb deals and tips that most long-term Airbnb users don't even know about. But first things first! Airbnb discount code for first-time bookings: simply click this Airbnb referral code and follow the sign-up instructions. 

airbnb discount code

Airbnb coupon amount varies depending on current exchange rates. But it always falls somewhere between £15 and £35 - and a discount is a discount, right? But before we talk about other Airbnb discount codes, let's talk first about what Airbnb is.

1. What is Airbnb?

Airbnb is an online platform that allows you to rent rooms or even whole apartments all across the world, for short periods of time. The idea is that locals with extra space can rent these to you to earn some extra cash, and in return, you get a truly local experience. But it doesn't just stop there:

2. Why you should use Airbnb?

There are lots of advantages to using Airbnb. But living like a local is one of the most important ones. Why stay in a hotel when you can stay in a real student's apartment in Paris, or in the house built by a father for his daughter's yearly visits in the Azores, or in a businesswoman's condo in Tokyo whilst she's away on business. Aka, don't just visit places: live there like a real local. Another advantage to Airbnb which is intricately entwined is this: real people live in these places and thus they are fully equipped with real facilities: kitchens, washing machines etc - stuff that I personally really miss when I just stay in hotels. It goes further, you can specify whether you want a home gym, or a pool and so many other amenities and facilities: 

airbnb deals

With Airbnb, you can also choose the exact location you'd like to be in, whether that's near the sites or public transport or more. Yes, most hotels are near sites or public transport, but are they near your friend who you're going to visit (who doesn't have the space to host you), or are they near to some obscure location you're visiting? Probably not. 

3. Why (and When) We Use Airbnb?

When we first started travelling the world we exclusively travelled with house sitting which has a lot of the same advantages of Airbnb - live like a local, have access to kitchen etc. So when and why did we start using Airbnb? One of the disadvantages of house sitting is that you are very dependent on the homeowner's dates and location. In the beginning, this suited us very well, we were really flexible with our time and location. But after two years of house sitting our blog started to take off, we were earning money and we had a bit more freedom about when and where we wanted to go places.

4. Is It Ethical to Use Airbnb?

There is some discrepancy with whether it's ethical or not to use Airbnb. I don't have all the answers but here are my two cents: firstly, some Airbnb's are illegal - for example in NYC it's illegal to rent an apartment on Airbnb for less than 30 days unless the host is present and there are a max of two guests. This varies from country to country and a quick google search of your destination will tell you if it's okay or not (but in most places it is).  Secondly, and this is rife world-wide, many airbnb hosts are subletting to you illegally. Luckily this isn't something you can't get into trouble for (though your host can). 

When it comes to ethics, many people argue that airbnb is bad because it's destroying the housing markets and local communities: if you have a property that you want to rent out, why would you bother getting a long-term tenant when tourists are willing to pay more than double? 
The impact of this is that in certain cities, locals can no longer afford to live in the centre. In a way it's similar to hotels: if a city gets popular, building hotels is prioritised over building housing, and houses are often pulled down to build hotels. The difference between airbnb and hotels is that building hotels takes time, switching an apartment from a long-term tenant to an airbnb tenant is quick and easy. Whilst I think it's abysmal that locals are being pushed out of the centre, I don't think a blanket-ban on airbnb is the solution. I think anything that pushes out something outdated is a good thing - the outdated here being the hotels - hotels are expensive for what you get (a comfy bed and a good night's sleep, but rarely a kitchen or an authentic experience) and there needs to be a shake up in this area. 

I also think airbnb is a lot like uber. Uber grew exponentially because people were annoyed with unreliable, expensive, untrustworthy taxi drivers. There was a market for something better and the internet provided. But of course the taxi drivers didn't like that, and in places where taxi drives had some power over the government (like Italy and the Philippines), uber was banned. Yes, I think it's unfair that Italian taxi drivers were losing work because of uber (because Italian taxi drivers invest a lot of time and money into becoming a driver). But on the other hand, I don't have so much sympathy for taxi drivers who often try and cheat people they perceive to be naive tourists. 

Back to airbnb, no it's not fair that rent in certain cities is now too expensive for locals. But I don't think that calls for a blanket-ban on airbnb. Do I have the answers? No. But I'd like to hear your opinions and, hopefully, we can come up with a fair solution for everyone. And put frankly, I think more and more people could benefit (mental health wise) from moving out of many centres, they're often hectic and full of annoying tourists like me. But that's a very broad statement, some people need the chaos. TLDR, Ultimately it depends on the country, as always do your research before you get there. I'm trying to give both sides here, but I'm biased because airbnb has always been good to me. 

5. Making Deals with Airbnb Hosts

Another way to get an airbnb discount code is to negotiate with the airbnb hosts, there are three ways we know about: 

Airbnb hosts with no reviews

If you find a place that you love on airbnb that has no reviews, consider writing something like this to them: "Hi, I love your airbnb and want to stay for X days, however, I noticed that you don't have any reviews. If you could give me a discount of Y dollars I would feel more comfortable, taking the risk of staying somewhere without reviews. Furthermore, if I stay and your place is as good as it looks, I can give you your first positive (and honest) review!" We did this in Malaysia. There was a room in one of the most sort-out apartments in Kuala Lumpur, but it was outside our budget. I noticed that it had no reviews so I wrote and asked for a hefty discount, which he gave us!

airbnb first booking coupon

However, I wouldn't necessarily recommend this if it's your first time using airbnb and you are a bit nervous. Reviews are a great way to see that the place checks out. But, if you're comfortable staying at a place with no reviews in exchange for a discount, this is a very easy (and fair) way to get an airbnb deal. 

Airbnb hosts with bad photos

Working off a similar type of idea, if you have a good camera and find a host with bad photos of their listing, you can offer to photograph it for them properly - in return for a discount. We nearly did this in Marrakech, but in the end, gave him the photos for free because the airbnb was so cheap in the first place.  Their photo:

airbnb coupon code first time

Our photo:

how to get airbnb discount

Airbnb last minute booking

One that I have no experience with (but know a lot of people who have done this), is waiting until the last minute and saying "hey, I want to book, but because it's last minute and you have no one staying, can you offer me a discount". Or something along those lines. The only reason I haven't done this yet is because I like to have everything booked out months in advance. Haha. 

6. Airbnb Coupon Codes

Airbnb Coupon Paris

Our first ever Airbnb experience was in Paris. We were only going to be there for one night so it was highly unlikely that we were going to find a house sit. And, because it's Paris, the hotels near the centre were too expensive. In the end, we found the perfect Airbnb, hosted by two students we stayed right by the Eiffel tower and enjoyed the use of their kitchen, for a fraction of the price of hotels!

airbnb 25 off first booking

Tallinn Airbnb discount code

Our second Airbnb trip was to Estonia. We spent one day in Tallinn and this time opted for a whole apartment (because it was so cheap), the host went the extra mile and actually picked us up in his car. We had the best time!

airbnb coupon code first time

After our first two positive experiences we were off, and since then have had many Airbnb adventures in the Azores, Rome, Athens, Palawan, Manila, Saigon, Chiang Mai, Budapest, Zagreb, Venice, Iceland, Lisbon, Kuala Lumpur, Bali, Bangkok, Tokyo, Poland and more! 

airbnb discount code philippines

Airbnb long-term discount codes

One of the best airbnb discount codes can be found by booking for longer. Airbnb owners offer great deals if you book for a week and even better if you book for a month:

how to get airbnb discount

Even if you're staying in one place for 26 days, just check the price for 28 days, you might find it's a lot cheaper. We stayed in airbnb's for a whole month in Portugal, Hungary, Thailand and Malaysia - the monthly airbnb price discount is a beautiful thing. 

Cash-in-hand airbnb discount

One that's probably not so ethical, but is still a valid way to get a good airbnb discount is by cash-in-hand. How does it work: you contact the airbnb owner through airbnb and offer to pay them cash-in-hand. Because airbnb always takes a cut, this way both of you win - the owner gets extra cash and you pay a little less. Why it's not so ethical: airbnb brought you together, and probably deserves a slice of the profit. Personally, I don't believe it deserves such a large slice of the profit and hence why I think it's okay to work without airbnb. From a safety point of view, if you don't book through airbnb you don't have their back up - there's a chance you might arrive to meet your host and they don't turn up (if you're with airbnb they put you up for the night, if you're not with airbnb you're on your own). Similarly, the owner could just chuck you out at any time (if you're with airbnb, airbnb would put a stop to it). But it's up to you. A nice compromise is to book with them the first time with airbnb, and if you return do it without airbnb. 

Sharing a friend's first time airbnb coupon

Last, but not least, sharing a friend's first time airbnb coupon. Tanbay and I pretty much always travel together. When we first used airbnb I signed up, I used my first time airbnb coupon code and away we went. It wasn't until a few months later that we realised he could sign up to and we could use his first time airbnb coupon.

Tep wireless coupon code

Having wifi abroad and on the go is really important with airbnb: firstly so you can actually find your airbnb, secondly so you can communicate with your airbnb host (trust me, the number of times I've turned up at the airbnb and they expect you to be able to whatsapp them? Airbnb hosts always assume you have wifi). I use a tep wireless, a little device that connects me almost everywhere on the planet. You can find a Tep wireless coupon code here. 

7. Wrap Up: Airbnb for First Time Bookers

Airbnb is a great way to travel the world cheaply, authentically and with your home comforts (like a kitchen and a washing machine). We personally use it a lot and hope you find it good for you too!  Thanks for reading :)  Check out my House sitting or Airbnb post to see if house sitting is an option for you (and for house sitting discounts). We have a vlog series titled "How can I afford to travel?" and Part 1 is about Accommodation, you might find it interesting - enjoy :)

Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post, but for every new booking I send airbnb I get airbnb credit. As always I'd never recommend something I haven't personally tried and loved. Airbnb for example I use on average 4 months a year, the rest of the time I work with hotels, house sit and stay with friends and family. 

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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