Clever Airbnb 'hack' can see you save money on overnight stays

POLAND - 2023/01/20: In this photo illustration an Airbnb logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

A travel expert on the hunt for wallet-friendly holiday lettings has shared a clever hack which could save you money on Airbnb properties. Chelsea, the brains behind Cheap Holiday Expert on social media, helps to find services, food and accommodation for less.

In a recent video uploaded to her Instagram account, Chelsea shared how she managed to save 21% on an Airbnb letting in Manchester. The avid traveller booked an “amazing” barge for a short stay, which came fully equipped with a double bed, kitchen, log burner, living area, bathroom, and the ‘smallest bar in Manchester’.

Chelsea explained she found the Floating Homestays - African themed boat for £132 per night (plus a £20 cleaning fee) on Airbnb. Instead she went on the hunt to see if she could book the property directly.

She said to be on the lookout for key words to help your search. Having searched the key words found in the title, Chelsea managed to find the barge listed on its own website for £120 per night.

Chelsea said: “This is a great hack, I use it all the time.”

She continued in the caption: “There’s SO MUCH CHOICE on Airbnb but as there becomes more and more places for owners to list their properties, it is ALWAYS worth checking to see if you can find the same accommodation on another platform for less.

“This could be on another booking site including: Vrbo,, Sykes, HolidayLettings. The reason this can sometimes work out cheaper is because Airbnb charges guests a service fee in addition to the cost per night.

“Another option could also be to check to see if: The owner has their own website or social media. This one can often work out the cheapest since they’re not having to give away part of their fee to the platform.”

However, the cheap travel expert did share a warning for holidaymakers looking for Airbnb-style stays. She reminded people to look at who you sign a ‘contract’ with when booking properties, explaining it’s worth exploring what protection and customer service options are available, should anything need to be amended, cancelled, or if you face an issue.

She continued: “Now, there’s pros and cons for both - some individuals may provide a much better service than a big company, and then for others it would be vice versa!

“So always check the reviews and whether you’re booking direct or on any platform, always be on the lookout for false listings where someone has simply lifted the photos from an existing holiday let (let me know if you’d like me to cover spotting this in more depth!).”