How To Negotiate On Airbnb as a Permanent Traveller

airbnblogoMost people that travel at this point probably heard about but if you have not, it is basically the best thing that has come to travelers since the internet and Google maps. When I first left Canada and went to Miami for 3 weeks, I was very homesick living in youth hostels, I never thought long term traveling was for me, I can’t live with minimal privacy in the same location for long and having “my stuff” to cook with so I can avoid constant processed food or overpriced restaurant meals.  That is, until I discovered airbnb the year after in 2012 and I have now been traveling for 2 years from Ukraine and most of Europe) to currently living in Thailand with an apartment found on airbnb. Before airbnb, you either had to book overpriced hotels in advance and then, if you enjoyed the country, had to look around for an apartment you like and a lease term you can work with.

hungary appartmentNowadays, before even going to a country I know exactly which apartment I will book and usually either for one week or one month. I went from huge apartments in Hungary to smaller more intimate places in Bangkok that are located exactly where I want them to be (in the center of the city) with the ammenities I want (kitchen and high speed wifi).

Here are a few pointers I keep in mind to negotiate apartments and to not lose too much time before going to a city.

1) Locate public transportation stations and/or the city center

I tend to look for popular bars and clubs since I know I will want to go out and I do not like taxis.

2) Open a tab with all the apartments near the location you want + amenities in the price range you want.

I open a tab with all apartments that have a kitchen+ Wifi (my personal preference, I like to have the option of cooking so I can control the food going into me …)

3) Find the prices to negotiate a 1 week or 1 month rental as your budget. then copy paste it to everyone.

I go for negotiating one month with a template like this:

“Hi, I am coming to X on the Y of May. I want to rent your apartment one month and since this is a longer stay am looking for a discount as Z is my budget.Also I would like to confirm if the internet is good as this is very important for my work


Your name”

I put my budget as follows, if I take 1 week, I ask for 6 days. If I go for 1 month, I ask for the price of 3 weeks. While airbnb offers owners the opportunity for a discount, most of them do not put it and its time consuming to find out which one do and do not (I wish airbnb had a color signal or whatever on the price tag if the weekly/monthly rate is discounted).

The next day I look more deeply at the apartments that the owners agreed to a discount and make a decision from there. Sometimes you cannot get a discount but I often do, especially for a one month rental. This way you can concentrate on enjoying the country instead of focusing on where to live, and also get a good discount over living in hotels and in some countries you can almost get to the price of youth hostels. I still think hostels are great for meeting people but I cannot focus on work and waste a lot of time securing my things every morning and night.

In the future, I hope to buy an apartment in some countries I like going a lot and renting them out on airbnb with tips such as the ones in this guide to keep them going while I am away without needing to be there (electric security devices + a maid in the city that you trust to clean and update you).

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  1. I cannot believe that with all the travelling I do, until now I’d never heard of Airnb! This sounds like exactly what I’m looking for in terms of being able to plan meals and hotels abroad, and hopefully through using this I’ll be able to save some time and money 🙂

    1. You can definitely save money on meals in certain countries, which is great for long term travelers on a budget too, or me because I like to know exactly what is my meals (no vegetable oil for cooking and other such things)

  2. I like the template you’re using for your negotiations with the hotels. Usually, I end up spending half an hour constantly thinking about each property and how to talk to the owner, so perhaps this could save me some time and hassle. Thanks!

  3. I’ve always liked and the fantastic service that they provide. I hardly ever notice anyone talking about them though, which is surprising, I would’ve thought that people would eat this up like Candy! I’m not quite what we’d call a ‘permanent traveller’, but I do occasionally go on extended breaks when the daily routine gets too much. Perhaps I could use that negotiation template.

    1. It comes up for people that travel for a long time but for more 1-2 week traveling people I think they just avoid trying something new and don’t pass it on.

  4. That’s a great neat guide! It’s simple but very practical.
    I’ll use it as a template once I move on outside of bangkok!

    Have fun in SG

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