Booking a trip can be an exciting, yet costly endeavour. You want to explore and experience a new destination, but you also don't want to break the bank in the process. One of the biggest expenses is usually accommodations. Services like Airbnb make finding a place to stay easy, but all those convenience fees and service charges really add up.
Luckily, there's a clever trick using Google's reverse image search that can help you save money on your next Airbnb booking. Keep reading to learn how it works!
This Airbnb Discount Hack Can Help You Save Significantly on Commission Fees
Here's the basic premise - a growing number of Airbnb hosts are beginning to create their own vacation rental sites, enabling guests to book directly and eliminating the need for an intermediary. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find independent direct booking sites (we're working on a search tool that will make this easier), but if you can, you'll be able to avoid all the extra Airbnb fees.
This is where reverse image search comes in handy. You can take any photo used in an Airbnb listing and run it through Google to hopefully track down the owner's site. The search will pull up any place that image appears online, including more times than not, the host's own rental site.
Overall, this trick can save you 10-20% or more off the total you'd pay to book on Airbnb directly. The savings add up, especially for longer stays!
PS - We’re building a free search tool that will help you uncover any Airbnb host’s direct booking site or listing. Click here to receive early access once it's released!
Step-By-Step Guide to Booking Cheaper Stays
Ready to give it a try and see if you can score a deal? Here's a step-by-step walkthrough:
1. Search on Airbnb like normal
First, search for a property on Airbnb just like you normally would. Enter your destination, dates, number of guests, etc. to pull up the options.
2. Note the Total value
Browse until you find a listing you like. Make sure to take note of the nightly rate, fees, and total price for the stay.
3. Click on a listing photo
Once you've found a suitable rental, click on one of the photos included in the listing. This will open the image at its full size on a new page. Try choosing an image that is easily recognizable.
4. Right click and select "Search Image with Google"
Right click anywhere on the photo and choose "Search Image with Google". This will launch the reverse image search directly in Google.
5. Scan the results for a direct booking site
Carefully look through the search results for any site that appears to be the host's own vacation rental site or property management company site. You may need to click "View page" or "Visit" to be taken to the full site.
6. Look for ways to book directly
Once on a site that seems to be the host's direct site, look for any booking or reservations options. There should be a way to select dates and book a stay.
7. Compare prices
Input the same dates and details as you did on Airbnb. Compare the nightly rate and total price between the two sites. Hopefully you found a cheaper direct rate!
In the case of the example above, we'd be saving a total of $89.72!
8. Book the cheaper option
If the direct site is less expensive, go ahead and book your stay through them instead of Airbnb! Be sure to double check cancellation policies and amenities before completing the booking.
And that's it! Just repeat the steps above for any promising Airbnb listings to uncover cheaper direct booking options.
Tips for Success with This Airbnb Trick
Follow these tips to have the most success using Google reverse image search to get deals:
- Try it with various photos from a listing, not just one. Different images can produce different results.
- Click through several pages of results. The host's site might not be on the first page.
- If you find a direct site, try searching its name directly too. Sometimes more booking options are hidden.
- Double check amenities, requirements, and policies before booking directly. Make sure they match the Airbnb listing.
- Be aware this only works when a host has their own direct booking site. Not all will.
- For the best chance of success, look for listings from hosts with multiple properties or with a company or property management name (e.g. “Best UK Holiday Stays”).
The Benefits of Booking Direct
Saving money is the main motivator for using this Airbnb trick, but booking direct from a host has other advantages too:
- Avoid Airbnb service fees, cleaning fees, taxes, and other charges
- Get special discounts or perks hosts might offer direct bookers
- Better chance of early check-in/late check-out
- More flexibility to change plans since you aren't locked into Airbnb policies
- Potential to negotiate for longer term stays
So not only can you potentially save a chunk of change, but you can often get some nice perks too!
Put More Money in Your Pocket on Your Next Trip
Hopefully now you feel confident using reverse image search to unlock cheaper Airbnb rates for your upcoming travels! It takes a bit of extra effort, but being a savvy traveler will allow you to explore more destinations without going over budget.
The next time you're ready to book accommodations for a vacation, give this Airbnb discount hack a try. With a little sleuthing, you can avoid unnecessary fees and put more money towards the actual experiences you're after.
We’re launching a free tool for travelers that will do this work for you. Want to stay in the loop and become a beta tester? Click here to be the first to access when it is ready!