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What Airbnb’s New Price Transparency Means for Your Next Trip

What Airbnb’s New Price Transparency Means for Your Next Trip

by Staff
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Photo: BigTunaOnline (Shutterstock)

Renting an Airbnb always seems like a great idea, but it turns out to be such a hassle (which is why we recommend alternatives to using the service at all). The company has heard the complaints of its users, however, and announced a big change this week: Prices are about to be more transparent. Here’s what you need to know.

What is changing on Airbnb?

Airbnb vowed this week to show a “total price display” when you’re looking at a potential property, which basically means “cleaning fees” won’t be so hard to figure out and factor into your budget anymore.

“Starting in December, we will begin rolling out the option to display total price in countries without existing price display requirements,” the company said in a press release. “Total price will include all fees before taxes and be shown in search results, as well as on the map, filter, and listing page. Before confirming their booking, guests can still view a full price breakdown that shows Airbnb’s service fee, discounts, and taxes.”

The total price of a stay will now take priority over nightly prices in search results, too, so you can see the highest quality and best total price deals instead of wading through irrelevant listings.

What’s different for hosts?

If you use Airbnb to rent out your own property, the new changes affect you, too. First, early next year, hosts will have new pricing and discounting tools to help them understand the final price guests will pay and how to best set reasonable, competitive prices.

Second, hosts will be expected to make their checkout requests easier for guests to see before they book, which will prevent any checkout mishaps.

What does this all mean?

Airbnb was once notorious for how hard it was to figure out how much you’d actually pay (or be paid) for a stay. These new changes are designed to make pricing and host requirements more transparent so there are fewer miscommunications or incidents around what a guest is expected to pay and how they’re expected to behave.

Of importance is the “guidance” Airbnb said it will provide hosts about “reasonable” checkout requests. One of the most frustrating things about renting an Airbnb has long been the sometimes-arbitrary demands that hosts make on guests when it comes to cleaning or behaving a certain way during a stay. The changes at the company will encourage hosts to be a little more reasonable with these expectations, but it’s still not a bad idea for you to learn what you should clean when you check in, even if no one is making you.

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