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Strategies to Find Killer Deals on Airbnb in Colombia - Medellin Guru
Discovering exceptional deals on Airbnb rentals in Colombia, while also saving money, involves mastering a set of strategies. This guide delves into nine effective tactics to help you find the most value-for-money accommodations. These approaches are not just about cutting costs but also about maximizing the quality of your stay. From timing your bookings strategically to understanding the nuances of negotiation with hosts, each strategy is designed to give you an edge in the competitive rental market. Whether you're a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor to Colombia, these tips will equip you with the know-how to secure the best possible deals on Airbnb, ensuring a memorable and budget-friendly experience.

9 Strategies to Find Killer Deals on Airbnb in Colombia

We look at nine strategies to find killer deals on Airbnb when renting apartments in Colombia. You can easily save money compared to hotels or hostels.

I have stayed over 1,500 nights at Airbnbs all over the world including in Colombia. In this article based on my experiences, I provide nine strategies to find killer deals on Airbnb in Colombia.

Why Use Airbnb Compared to a Hotel or Hostel?

For me, it’s all about the experience. From communicating with the host before making a reservation, to the check-in process, to the neighborhood, you are sure to add to the uniqueness, for better or worse, of your vacation rather than staying in a manufactured experience of a hotel.

Airbnb is normally cheaper. While hotels don’t prefer weekly or monthly stays, an Airbnb host does. The longer you stay, the cheaper it gets per night. It’s not uncommon to reserve an entire home Airbnb for cheaper than a private room at a hostel for a month.

If you’re a cook, like me, then Airbnb is your only option. In my experience, hostel kitchens are disgusting and hotels don’t have kitchens.

With Airbnb there are normally fewer rules and more privacy. I remember once having trouble bringing my friend to my hotel while in Medellín at 7 pm in the evening. No guests allowed!

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We look at nine strategies to find killer deals on Airbnb when renting apartments in Colombia. You can easily save money compared to hotels or hostels.

I have stayed over 1,500 nights at Airbnbs all over the world including in Colombia. In this article based on my experiences, I provide nine strategies to find killer deals on Airbnb in Colombia.

Why Use Airbnb Compared to a Hotel or Hostel?

For me, it’s all about the experience. From communicating with the host before making a reservation, to the check-in process, to the neighborhood, you are sure to add to the uniqueness, for better or worse, of your vacation rather than staying in a manufactured experience of a hotel.

Airbnb is normally cheaper. While hotels don’t prefer weekly or monthly stays, an Airbnb host does. The longer you stay, the cheaper it gets per night. It’s not uncommon to reserve an entire home Airbnb for cheaper than a private room at a hostel for a month.

If you’re a cook, like me, then Airbnb is your only option. In my experience, hostel kitchens are disgusting and hotels don’t have kitchens.

With Airbnb there are normally fewer rules and more privacy. I remember once having trouble bringing my friend to my hotel while in Medellín at 7 pm in the evening. No guests allowed!

1. Book in Advance

This sounds obvious. But if you have the convenience to book three or more months in advance, you are more likely to find a great deal, as many new Airbnb hosts don’t know what they’re doing with pricing and the best deals will be booked up first.

If you’re one of the first reservations before a host understands that they are undercharging compared to the market, you can find a nice discounted Airbnb for little extra work with some planning ahead.

2. Book Within 7-10 Days Before Your Reservation

Airbnb hosts can lower their prices when they have availability within the next 10 days. And if you can wait until just a few days before arrival, you’ll can sometimes find deals up to 50 percent discount.

However, this strategy comes with two big caveats. First, you cannot be picky with regards to location. Second, if you’re traveling to a popular city in a popular month (or during a popular event like Feria de las Flores in Medellín), you may not find any worthy Airbnbs available.

View of El Poblado taken from Pueblito Paisa Cerro Nutibara, photo by Jenny Bojinova

3. Consider the Neighborhood

Do a search online for ‘best neighborhoods [city]’ to find the best neighborhoods. For example, we have an article about the best neighborhoods in Medellín.

Then, search on Airbnb for listings just outside of the desirable area. If you’re willing to walk 20-minutes, it can save you up to 40 percent.

Alert: another caveat. Be sure to note the topography of the area. A 20-minute walk in flat Laureles turns into an intense exercise if you’re in Castropol.

For example, Parque Lleras is a popular nightlife area in Medellín. I decided to stay about a 15-minute walk from Parque Lleras. However, this involved walking uphill to an elevation about 500 feet (150 meters) higher than Parque Lleras.

Also, in Medellín in Colombia keep in mind it is helpful to be near a Medellín metro station to enable getting around the city cheaply.

4. Use as Few Filters as Possible

I only ever use the following filters: dates, number of guests, type of place (ie bedroom or entire home), and price.

Once you start selecting additional filters, you are making the assumption that all the Airbnb hosts who have the amenities you’re selecting for have selected them in the Airbnb system.

This isn’t always true. Even for something as simple as the number of beds, many hosts select fewer beds than are actually available.

By not selecting additional filters, find some hosts who are being contacted less because they’re not being shown to guests who’ve added additional filters.

5. Get a Week or Month Discount

I find that weekly discounts are in the 10-20 percent range. And monthly discounts can be as high as 60 percent.

Some hosts really value longer stays due to personal preference or city regulations. If you can extend your vacation, the costs may be offset by the savings on your accommodation.

6. Look for a New Airbnb Listing.

New listings want to get bookings and often offer a discount or provide a special discount. You can easily identify one by looking for this ‘New’ logo within the search results.

However, there can be risk with new listings, which don’t have reviews. The best way to guarantee a positive experience is to book a listing with at least five reviews.

6. Look for a New Airbnb Listing.

New listings want to get bookings and often offer a discount or provide a special discount. You can easily identify one by looking for this ‘New’ logo within the search results.

However, there can be risk with new listings, which don’t have reviews. The best way to guarantee a positive experience is to book a listing with at least five reviews.

7. Consider Poorly Reviewed Airbnbs

Read the reviews and understand what the guest is reviewing. Sometimes you will find out they didn’t get along with the host, but the property is fine. These hosts are more likely to give you an additional discount.

8. Go to Page 15 of Search Results.

Any search on Airbnb can return up to 15 pages of results. Similar to Google search results, that 15th page is hardly ever visited.

These hosts on that 15th page generally are more eager to accept a booking. Use my custom message below to maximize your chance of getting a discount as hosts don’t like when you ask directly for a discount.

I have developed a specific message I send to hosts which introduces myself as the perfect hassle-free guest while indirectly asking for a discount.

The idea is to make yourself seem like their ideal guest. These guests are rare and worth a discount.

Update for your positive guest attributes. If you’re a new Airbnb guest maybe you will say “5 successful reservations”

9. Don’t Overvalue the Superhost Designation

Less than 3 percent of all Airbnb hosts are awarded the Superhost designation. A Superhost is an Airbnb host who has completed a minimum number of successful reservations with a 5-star review rating plus no cancellations.

While you’re more likely a hassle-free accommodation with a Superhost, there are plenty of fine hosts without this Superhost designation at a discounted rate.

A typical Laureles street

Other Things to Consider When Using Airbnb

Specifically, ask about any amenities that are important to you. For me, kitchen amenities are very important and hardly ever known from descriptions of Airbnbs.

I ask the host if they have a fully equipped kitchen, as I normally cook my meals. Sometimes I’ll tell them what things I expect to have.

 

In my experience, some hosts are willing to purchase what they don’t have. You should ask if the host provides beach towels and chairs if near a beach. Or bikes, if you’re in a bike-able neighborhood.

While you never expect to cancel, if you’re deciding between two listings and one has a flexible (free cancellation within 24-hours) and the other has strict (free cancellation within 7 days) you might want to go with the more flexible Airbnb listing.

Also, a host who uses a flexible cancellation policy knows they have the best listing which will get rebooked in the unlikely event of a guest cancellation.

 A balcony is great and can be found in many Airbnb apartments in Colombia. But a balcony with direct sunlight is better.

If you’re staying in a big city like Bogotá, you might open your window to see a brick wall three feet away in which case you’ll receive zero direct sunlight the entire day. But great for sleeping in.

Airbnb is generally known to favor the guest over the host when it comes to claims of damage, this is a worthy protective measure.

You don’t want to be on the hook for something that you shouldn’t be. Upon entering the Airbnb, take a short video of all the rooms. While staying, I highly recommend communicating any issues, no matter how small with the host.

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Our reliable partner, a leading real estate company, offers a wide range of services:

  • Transfer funds to Colombia
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  • Sales agreement
  • Deed registration
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Medellin Guru’s Airbnb Series

Medellin Guru's guide to buying, selling and renting apartments and choosing a neighborhood

On the Medellin Guru website, we have a comprehensive and up-to-date guide to buying, selling, and renting apartments and choosing a neighborhood in Medellin found in several articles, including:

Buying and Selling Apartments

Renting Unfurnished Apartments:

Renting Furnished Apartments:

Choosing a Neighborhood in Medellin:

Also, we have several articles that can be used to help foreigners choose a neighborhood in Medellin:

The Bottom Line: The Bottom Line: Strategies to Find Killer Deals on Airbnb in Colombia

Using the strategies above, you can find killer deals on Airbnb in Colombia with a little bit of research. In my experience, a strong guest profile does increase your chance of an accepted Airbnb reservation and a discount.

Be sure to fill in everything and confirm your ID by going to www.Airbnb.com/Verify before sending any requests.

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8 thoughts on “9 Strategies to Find Killer Deals on Airbnb in Colombia”

    1. Ben Dover February 11, 2021

      Sounds like a commercial for Airbnb. Do you have any financial interest in ABNB?

      • Medellin Guru has a strict policy of not accepting advertising and does not have a financial interest in Airbnb. See our about page – https://medellinguru.com/about/

        Daniel Rusteen, the author of the article, clearly states he formally worked for Airbnb and since that time has stayed 1,500+ night in Airbnbs, has an Airbnb property management company and two blogs.

        In the article, the author clearly provides his experience in how to save money renting Airbnbs.

    2. I would add one more caveat for locations like Medellin: Make sure that the AIRBNB is legit and that the building (resp. the HOA) permits short term rentals. Few actually do…

      • Daniel Rusteen February 10, 2021

        It’s true, but not really the guest’s job nor would they know how to verify. I suppose they could ask? But I assume the host knows the law. And Airbnb covers 100% if you’re not able to access the building, though I agree a headache. If you’re booking for 30+ days, then it makes no difference.

    3. Nice article with some good strategies. I also have had success after staying a week at an Airbnb to negotiate with the host a lower rate for staying more weeks. It is worth a try.

      • Daniel Rusteen February 10, 2021

        Yes, that’s true. You are no longer protected through Airbnb, but if you feel it out then it could save you some $$$. However, by staying on Airbnb, you basically always have the upper-hand over the host as Airbnb is extremely guest friendly.

        • This just isn’t true. Airbnb protection is BS. I had a guest damage my sheets and mattress and Airbnb did not compensate me.

          They asked for receipts of my original purchase which I did not have because who saves receipts of their sheets and mattresses…. so unless you have receipts for everything in your house forget the Airbnb protection .

          My advice to guys is to book for a month…. see if you like it.. then negotiate with us for cash. And we can type up a short term lease and have a security deposit. Then we can work with you.

        • Oh sorry Daniel, you wrote guest friendly not host friendly*** as for us hosts we actually don’t have protection as people think. The time involved just isn’t worth it

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