Airbnb is great – aside from the odd weirdos (shout out to the Swedish girls who left a whole pizza in my wardrobe) it tends to be a pretty great experience.
Some of us just aren’t into the stuffiness of hotels, and like the freedom of staying in a home from home.
Whether you stay in someone’s spare room and get all the local info off them, or rent their whole house and enjoy 100% freedom, it’s a bloomin’ great way to immerse yourself in a new city.
The only problem is that a lot of the rentals operate with a ‘Strict’ cancellation policy, which means that once you’ve booked, you’re tied the hell down.
If you cancel for any reason, the maximum you get back is 50% of your booking cost, even if you change your mind straight away.
Which can be a problem when you have flaky friends/poor organisational skills/one of life’s little unforeseeable circumstances.
Not for much longer though – Airbnb are introducing a 48 grace period for all ‘strict’ bookings from April 5, 2018.
They’ve been testing out a feature which allows guests to cancel penalty-free within 48 hours of booking a listing with a ‘strict’ policy.
They found that rentals were booked more often because guests felt confident knowing they could brew the idea and change plans.
I know I’ve hesitated at confirming bookings because I’m usually booking for a group of people and we all know that booking for groups is a nightmare.
After taking approximately 54 days to come to a decision, there’s always one person who replies to your confirmation message in the holiday WhatsApp group with, ‘Wait, I thought this was in April, not May? I can’t do May!!’ and then you’re stuck with a booking you don’t need.
Not anymore – cancel within 48 hours and you get all your money back, so long as the booking is more than 14 days away.
If it’s cancelled within 14 days but before seven days, you get 50% back, and if it’s less than seven days away?
You’re screwed, mate.
No other cancellation policies are affected. As you were.