Here’s a Foolproof Method to Finding a Legitimate Airbnb and It Only Requires You to Ask ONE Question

#airbnbtips, #sarjeantsonfire #slowtravel


With all the news on Airbnb recently, I thought I would share a quick post on how we find quality and legitimate Airbnbs.  It’s super easy and only requires you to ask your host ONE simple question.  I know, crazy…right?

So what’s the question?

After 3 years of slow traveling, I can safely say we’ve stayed in a lot of Airbnbs.  We’ve had some really good experiences and some really bad ones.  FYI–a bad experience in ‘Airbnb lingo’ means the place is super gross and disgusting.

But with all those stays comes some very hard lessons–including the right questions to ask the Airbnb host PRIOR to staying.


(WARNING:  If you don’t want to see black ugly mold then scroll by quickly!)



Yep, that was our first ever Airbnb stay!  Are you gagging yet?   You would think after that nightmare we would have been scared off Airbnb for good.  Oddly we weren’t and still use them to this day.

I won’t even go into the obvious–yes for every bad one there are hundreds of good ones and we’ve had some really great ones.

But it only takes one bad Airbnb to ruin your whole trip–not to mention the money you lose (Airbnb isn’t very forgiving when it comes to refunds and frankly walking a hamster would be easier–but that’s another post for another day!)

Okay, now I am feeling guilty.  Fine here you are … a nice Airbnb so you don’t think I am being overdramatic.  Oh and feel free to pin it (haha, you see how I did that?).

All kidding aside, this was probably our best Airbnb EVER!



So what’s the question already?

Alright, you’ve been patient long enough.   Here’s the question you should always, always, always, always, ask your Airbnb host…

“Will you be meeting us there?”

I know you expected more.  But I am telling you it works!


Why does it work?

Well, it’s very simple really.  It’s pretty much guaranteed–if your host agrees to meet you at the place it will be legit and liveable.  It works for us every time.  NO, there is no science behind it and if we really want to get fancy it’s ‘anecdotal’ evidence… meaning it’s just one couple’s experience.

But, let’s think it through my friends…. there’s not an Airbnb host on this planet that would personally hand you the keys to their place if it was an unlivable shack.  Don’t you agree?

And meeting each other also helps the Airbnb host.  I am sure it’s not all lollipops and rainbows for them either.  They want to see your shining face as much as you want to see theirs.  So it’s a win/win for everybody!


The ups and downs of meeting your Airbnb host.

This is trivial stuff…but I have to say there are times when we have driven for 8 hours and dead tired–the last thing we want to do is meet a host and chat about the Dodgers for 30 minutes. Then read through a 20-page book of rules and regs…TOGETHER!

I know they mean well, and the good outweighs the bad…so it’s something you just have to sit through.

Most hosts are gracious and well-meaning, and usually, recognize when you are tired and not interested. Especially, if your main goal is to check the place out and make sure it’s not a shack in the middle of nowhere.  I am just throwing that out there because sometimes it can be a huge pain.


What if they can’t meet you?

First, I think Airbnb should require EVERY host to meet their guests!  But that’s never going to happen.

So if they can’t it’s a gamble you take.  Our last trip, we had 5 Airbnb stays–2 of them we had issues with and neither host met us.  We have never once in all our Airbnb stays ever had a problem with a place when the host handed us the keys.

But not every host can or wants to meet you, so you’re next step is to rely on the reviews.  Lately, we find them less and less helpful because people are afraid to leave an honest review for fear of retaliation.  In the end, you just have to use your gut feeling, do your homework, and ask the right questions or question. Ninety-nine percent of the time it always works out.

Alright, that’s it friends!  That’s our foolproof method.  I know it’s simple and it’s basic but it works for us.

What about you?  Do you use Airbnbs?  What experiences have you had?  We would love to hear from you.  If you’re an Airbnb host, tell us do you meet your guests?











Mike and Donna have been slowly and blissfully exploring the world since 2017. Slow Travel has changed their lives forever. They will never go back to that fast-paced travel lifestyle again. Not only do they practice slow travel but also slow living. Leave a comment! They would love to hear from you….


  1. November 22, 2019 / 10:22 am

    Thanks for the tip. Yet, I’ve already booked the bulk of Airbnb’s for our France & Italy next year. I try to book with Airbnb’s who have a large number of reviews, many of the reviews say extra nice things, the host is a Superhost (yet so many seem to be). Fingers crossed this works. I’m guessing you ask the question before booking?

    • sarjeantsonfire
      November 22, 2019 / 2:48 pm

      Yes—- we’ve gotten better about it. We’re noticing lately reviews aren’t always a good indicator. But for the most Airbnb’s are nice! You’re doing to be busy next year!!!! Donna

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