The days where you had to pay exorbitant accommodation prices every time you went on a road trip around the east coast of Australia are over. Take, for instance, a trip around Queensland – it used to be that once you'd arranged your car hire on the Gold Coast, or some other such city, you'd set your budget and realise a large proportion of it would be eaten up with paying for your bed. Well no longer.

When Airbnb first launched in 2008, they could hardly have expected to change the way people book accommodation, yet they have. The Airbnb community now extends to over 191 countries, 65,000 cities and has hosted more than 200,000,000 guests. If you've never used the service, however, it can be a little daunting. But it doesn't have to be – here's our guide for using Airbnb the next time you take a road trip around Queensland.

What is Airbnb?

The Airbnb model is simple – users can be both hosts or guests. Hosts rent out their homes, flats, or holiday homes for guests to stay in. All payment and ratings are made through the app, making the experience of staying pretty easy. Think of it as an online marketplace for short term rentals.

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Jun 17, 2017 at 3:17pm PDT

Set up your profile

The first step to using Airbnb is to set up your account, with a personal profile.When you're having someone else stay in your home, you'll want to know who they are. Likewise, when you're staying in someone else's home, you'll want to know the kind of person they are, too.

Depending on the place you've chosen to stay, you may need to meet further verification checks, like linking a social media profile, uploading an image of your driver's licence or ID and confirming your email and phone number.

Choosing where to stay

If you're lucky, your host may give discounts for extended stays – keep an eye out for these bargains!

Next is picking the place you want to call home for a while. Airbnb features a reviewing system, where hosts and locations are rated on all manner of things. First timers may want to be extra careful by choosing somewhere that has a proven track record with many positive reviews.

If you're lucky, your host may give discounts for extended stays – keep an eye out for these bargains!

You can also read comments from previous guests. This is a good way to make sure your host isn't leaving any unsavoury facts about their place out of the description. Is it in a bad neighbourhood? What's the traffic noise (if any) like? These are things you can find by perusing the comments.

Another factor you need to be wary of is the facilities available at the accommodation. When you look at the listing, a list of amenities available will be shown. Make sure, however, to also read the description – sometimes things may not be what you expect, like a kitchen too small to cook meals in or air conditioning that doesn't work well. If in doubt, you can always message the host if you need further clarification.

Making the booking

Once you've found a place you're happy to stay in, you'll need to contact the host to check if it's available. Many listings will have 'instant booking' available but as places can be popular, you should cast a wide net.

When you hear back from a host that a place is available, your task is more-or-less done. All that's needed now is for you to confirm the booking and turn up at the time you arrange with your host.

Booking accommodation with Airbnb can make road trips around Queensland (or anywhere for that matter) so much easier. Next time you're off for a road trip around Queensland, get in touch with the crew at East Coast Car Rentals. We can find the perfect vehicle for you!