Airbnb has become an increasingly popular option for travellers after an affordable and unique accommodation. With that being said, some cities are more expensive than others, so if you’re wondering how to get a cheaper Airbnb, you’ve come to the right place!
The right approach will allow you to find Airbnb rentals at a fraction of the cost.
Common Ways to Get a Cheaper Airbnb
There are so many ways you can get a discounted rate on an Airbnb. Here are some of the most common ways to do so:
Most Airbnb’s offer weekly discounts so it’s best to book an entire week! If you’re thinking about booking 6 days somewhere, making it 7 (even if you don’t intend on staying that extra night) will drop the price and make your overall stay cheaper.
Just like the weekly discount, Airbnb typically offers a discounted rate for monthly stays. This is great if you’re planning on spending a few weeks in one destination or for digital nomads that are working remotely. Longer stays are always a benefit for the host so if there isn’t a monthly discount, reach out to them and see if they are willing to create one for you.
New Listing Discount
New listings always have a discounted price because they need to get positive reviews to convince people to stay. Always keep an eye out for a brand new listing because you’re bound to get a great deal on your next trip!
Ask for a Discount
Did you know that you could negotiate the rate of an Airbnb? You can simply send a message to an Airbnb host and politely ask if they offer a discounted rate. I’d only recommend doing this if you’re booking a long-term stay (2+ weeks) or during low season because otherwise, it could be disrespectful and some hosts will block you.
Early Bird Rate
Are you the type of person who books a trip months in advance? This is a huge win if you’re looking at booking accommodation through Airbnb. Hosts love knowing they have guaranteed income months ahead of time so you can snag an early bird discount. You’ll often see a lower rate on property listings 6 months from the date you’re searching. If they don’t have a discount, you can always send the host a message and see if they’re open to dropping the price.
Last Minute Deals
I know, this seems a little counterintuitive after thinking about booking way in advance. However, if you see an Airbnb the day of that hasn’t been booked, you’ll see an automatic last-minute discount (usually) applied to the dates you’ve selected. If you don’t see one you can always ask the host if they’ll do a deal for the night of since they’re not likely to sell the space for that night anyway.
Location isn’t Everything
Airbnb’s located in the city centre or most popular tourist spots are always going to cost more. If you’re willing to move out of those areas and stay a little further away, you’ll save a LOT on accommodation.
Look for spots that are slightly out of the city if there is good transportation available and it’ll be worthwhile.
Consider a Shared Space
If you’re comfortable sharing an apartment or house with a few other people, you’ll get a much better rate on an Airbnb. I’ve stayed at Airbnb’s like this while travelling solo, as it allows me to meet other people while still having my own room.
7 Unique methods to Get a Discounted (or FREE) Stay
When you’ve exhausted all of the above options, don’t give up! There are still many ways you can get a cheap Airbnb or free stay at an Airbnb.
Book Extra Nights
Although this might seem a little ridiculous at first glance, play around with dates and you’ll see that you might find a better price for 30 nights vs 25 nights. This sometimes happens because you could have a weekly discount of 10% that jumps up as high as 50% when you book for a month.
Have you come across a special offer on Airbnb? It’s fairly easy to come across an Airbnb coupon code online. You can do a quick Google search for “Airbnb coupon codes” but you’ll probably have better luck by turning to social media.
Many influencers/bloggers will have a discount code with specific rates. With that being said, it’s important to note that as of February 2023, Airbnb no longer has an affiliate program so it might be harder to find large discounts through codes.
The best way to get a free or highly discounted stay at an Airbnb is by creating content for them. This option only really works if you’re already a content creator/influencer of some sort, HOWEVER, don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a big following.
If you’re starting from scratch and have no followers, start by staying at an Airbnb and taking photos and videos for them. Offer it to them for free and use it in your online portfolio. Then you can share that portfolio with future hosts you want to work with. With experience, you can get free stays and earn a lot of money!
When you’re just beginning, it’s best to look for new listings because they won’t have any (or many) good reviews. It can be hard for hosts to get their first booking because they don’t look credible so this is a good place to step in.
Airbnb for Work
This is a trick I just recently discovered! If you’re a freelancer, have your own business or travel for work, all you have to do is enter a work email to your Airbnb profile. They offer a $25 coupon for work stays, which is great if you’re booking long-term stays at an Airbnb.
The only catch is that the stay must be at least $250 before you’re able to earn a $25 coupon for your next stay. It’s not a huge discount but it will add up over time if you’re often using Airbnb.
Avoid Service Fees
Whenever you make an Airbnb booking, you’ll notice the number skyrocket! Airbnb charges the hosts 3% on average for each booking and guests pay 14% on top of that… If you ask me, that’s a lot of extra money and a bit ridiculous. You’ll be doing yourself and the host a favour by asking if they have the property listed on a private website (ask via email or phone number if you’re able to get that information from them) and find a way to pay the host directly.
Of course, this comes with a few downsides, as you don’t have Airbnb’s customer service to facilitate payment and any possible issues that may arise but it’s a good option if you’re travelling on a budget and looking for the best deal.
I feel like most people don’t know about the referrals on Airbnb. They used to offer $20 for every person you refer to book an Airbnb rental which was great. Recently, their referral program has changed and they aren’t offering the same promotion BUT they have another option for referrals.
If you know someone who would make a great host on Airbnb, you can earn $269 CAD when they sign up as a host. While this is a lot more than the $20 kickback, you probably won’t find as many people willing to sign up as a host. It appears as if Airbnb has stopped offering great incentives through their website for those who want to promote and help grow the platform which is a bit sad.
Travel With More People
If you’re still wondering how to get a cheaper Airbnb, another great way to get a special offer on Airbnb stays is by travelling in bigger groups. Solo travel is always more expensive than travelling as a couple and the same goes for group trips! If you have a group of friends that want to get together and explore a new place, you can book a house or apartment at a lower price than you’d get on your own.
Say Goodbye to Paying Full Price
As you can see, when considering how to get a cheaper Airbnb, it’s easier than you might have originally thought! From applying tactics such as booking a month-long stay to using a referral credit, asking for a long stay discount or searching for Airbnb coupons, there are many methods you can use to get a better bang for your buck!