a short public service announcement
i’m currently in my 24th Airbnb, a lovely apartment two blocks from Av. Paulista in Sao Paulo. i’ve already posted in the past about why i prefer Airbnbs over hotels but wanted to add on a key tip about making your stay a successful and low-stress one for you and the host:
one of the reasons why i’m so keen on getting a local SIM (or use T-Mobile’s free international roaming) everywhere i go is because it facilitates this. whether via voice, SMS, or preferably chat platforms like WhatsApp (popular pretty much everywhere), iMessage (my favorite just because it’s so easy and built-in), or Line (for when you’re in Asia), keeping in touch via these methods is quicker than email and you’re more likely to get a response this way when you need it.
a communication plan
my biggest fear is not being able to meet up with the host to check in due to getting lost or a delayed flight or bad directions or they just plain forgot. yeah, these have happened several times to me (well, not the last one) and the only thing you can do it combat it is…COMMUNICATE EARLY, COMMUNICATE OFTEN. alas, there’s only so much you can do beforehand and i’ve been stuck using roaming voice and/or data when i didn’t have a local SIM or T-Mobile coverage, but this is all the more reason to make sure you have a communication plan beforehand. not only do i verify the meeting time and place with the host a couple days before i arrive, but as you see above, keep in contact with them just to let them know what’s up. worse comes to worst, use that airport wifi (especially when it’s free) when you arrive or if you’re delayed on the way and send them an IM or email.
(or, if they offer an airport transfer, it might be worth it to splurge for it, especially in cities where there’s no Uber and taxis are known to rip you off).