Airbnb is the Uber of the holiday rental world, with good reason. But working out how to choose the best Airbnb can be tough! Here are some of our top tips to help out.

1. Go with the crowd.

It may seem unnatural (especially if you’re an independent traveler!) but hear us out. Because it operates on a review system, one of the surefire ways to ensure you get an excellent Airbnb place is to thoroughly read the reviews and note what other guests have said to see if a house or apartment is suitable for you. It’s also essential to stick to places which have reviews.This is much safer than taking a gamble on a place that has had no other guests.

2. Adjust your expectations.

For most travelers, Airbnb usually offers spectacular value. Generally priced somewhere between a private room in a hostel/budget hotel (read: cheap and nasty) and a dorm bed, there are many rentals that are excellent value for money. Added to that is the fact that you have access to a kitchen, laundry and other facilities that you may not in other accommodations. Because of this, it’s wise to adjust your expectations. No, you may not be sleeping on 1000 thread count sheets, or have housekeeping or room service at your beck and call, but you will have a home-like experience in a foreign country, with conveniences that you wouldn’t otherwise. A pretty good trade-off, we think!

3. Research the area.

This is a crucial thing to consider to make sure you choose the best Airbnb! You experience can be greatly enhanced or detracted from depending on whether where you choose to stay is central to your main activities. Briefly map out the main things you want to do and go from there. We always choose to stay somewhere relatively central to the main sites we want to see or hang out in, plus make sure it has a good amount of restaurants nearby.

4. Make sure it suits your needs.

Really nut out what you need from you Airbnb before you start looking. Do you want super fast wi-fi? Air-conditioning? A pool?! Once you’ve worked that out you can set your filters to narrow down your search. You can also always send potential hosts more specific queries before you book. And again, don’t forget to scour the reviews to ensure you are getting what you had in mind.

5. Buy a local SIM card.

This is not so much a tip to choose the best Airbnb, as a tip for when you actually arrive. It relieves a whole lot of stress not having to frantically run around looking for free wi-fi to communicate with your host. Buying a SIM card when you arrive in the country is an easy and effective way to keep communication flowing. Remember, buses/planes/trains all can and do arrive late and being able to easily keep your host updated is important for your stay. And your sanity.

Have you found an amazing Airbnb somewhere in the world? Share it with us, and any tips you use to choose the best Airbnb!