Does “cozy” mean small?Ai825/Shutterstock
Cozy and quaint sounds warm and inviting but could it actually mean you’re booking a shoe box? Bill and Eleanor Seavey, Airbnb “Super hosts” in Cambria, California note, “One thing we have discovered that’s important is how the space has been described, particularly square footage-wise. The problem with square footage is that many people don’t really understand it, and a lot of times, Airbnb hosts have converted small ‘extra’ spaces into rooms.” Will you feel comfortable in a tighter space or claustrophobic? If you expect to entertain friends or are vacationing with kids, space is an important detail not to be missed.
Is your host a ghost?file404/Shutterstock
Whether you’re renting a suite in a house or an entire home, you may want to know if your host is on the property or nearby. It’s a good idea to establish a relationship before booking and then meet the host at check-in to go over the details. “Consider highly reviewed places with hosts who are very responsive to inquiries if you’re newer to the process,”says Emily Long, a safety expert and seasoned business traveler. If something goes wrong, you want to be assured that your host can be easily reached and will respond in a timely matter. Practice your amateur sleuth skills and try to find out more about your host, suggests Long. “Do little extra Googling or social media searching to see if the host has received any additional complaints or red flags elsewhere. You can also reach out to past guests directly for feedback about their experiences.”
Quaint or quirky?Nella/Shutterstock
Some home-sharing options are appealing to because of their quirks, like renting an old row house on a cobblestone street. But other vacationers are drawn to a more modern home with all the upgraded amenities. If you prefer the quaint and quirky, be sure it’s still manageable for you. For example, if you rent an old row house, are you able to walk three flights of stairs to the bedroom? Do you mind tiny bathrooms and rubbing elbows while brushing your teeth over the pedestal sink or a noisy fan instead of central air conditioning?