Listing your place on Airbnb can be a great way to make extra income when you are out of town. Over time, we have perfected our system for hosting on Airbnb. This checklist for first-time Airbnb hosts is catered to people who are renting out their permanent home. We are not one of those corporate companies that buy an empty apartment to rent professionally. Read on for our advice to earn that coveted 5-star review!

Basic Requirements for Hosting on Airbnb

We started listing our 1-bedroom apartment on Airbnb for times when we are away. Not only has it helped us supplement our travel budget, but we also love knowing that our apartment is being put to use by fellow travelers!

And as an added benefit, hosting has proven to be a great way to keep on top of the deep-cleaning tasks that we used to dread. Somehow, scrubbing the toilet in preparation for a guest makes it feel less like a dreaded household chore! First off, a note about why we felt we were well-suited for Airbnb. These are not strict requirements, but these conditions help us provide the best guest experience for our guests.

An owner’s closet

Although Airbnb is a community built on trust, we felt it was a requirement to have a lockable location for valuables, documents, and personal clutter. Not only does it give us peace of mind, but it also helps to reduce the clutter for guests to make them feel at home. We store the following items in the owner’s closet:

  • Personal documents
  • Electronics and electronic cords
  • Bathroom and shower clutter. Bathroom counter-tops, shelves, and the shower should generally be free of personal items
  • Bedroom clutter. We don’t clear out our closets, but we do remove most personal clutter from shelves and surfaces
  • Extra coats and shoes that are normally in the entry-way
  • Laundry and laundry baskets.

Easy-to-follow directions for locating the apartment

Our apartment is centrally located in Munich with easy access to public transport. We think that the location of our apartment is part of the reason why we have received such positive reviews on Airbnb. Travelers might rent a car, but more likely they want an apartment that is easy to access when visiting a city.

A well-stocked kitchen

We have received positive reviews about how our kitchen is well-equipped to prepare meals at home. The ability to prepare meals is one of the reasons why people choose Airbnb over hotels, so make sure your kitchen enables them to do so.

A lockbox

Since we rent our place when we are out of town, oftentimes we are unable to greet our guests personally. Initially, we asked a friend to meet our guests, but purchasing a lockbox was a game-changer. Now we can send the guests detailed photo instructions for how to get into the apartment using the lockbox. This also gives them complete flexibility on their arrival time. We have a weatherproof lockbox, that we just lock to one of our bikes in the back garden.

Airbnb Host Shopping List

airbnb hosting welcome shopping list

We like to leave a few special touches for our guests. Small details show the guests you care about hospitality and these items won’t break the bank! A couple of days before check-in, we make a grocery store run to make sure we have a few things in the house. Here’s our Airbnb shopping list:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Olive oil
  • English muffins/small pack of bread
  • Baby Bell Cheese (universally loved and good for individual snacking)
  • Small jar of jam
  • Some local beers or a small bottle of local wine
  • Chocolate for the pillow (we love the small Lindt truffles!)
  • Travel-sized toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel)
  • Extra toilet paper

One day before Check-in: Airbnb Host Checklist

airbnb host preparation checklist

  • Send a check-in note to the guest
  • Bathroom and bedroom clutter moved to the owner’s closet
  • Move electronics and documents to the owner’s closet
  • Move entryway clutter (coast and shoes) to the owner’s closet
  • Turn on the guest fridge (we happen to have a small, spare fridge that we cleared out for our guests’ use)
  • Double-check that guest sheets and towels are clean, if not, do laundry
  • Stock the guest fridge (see shopping list above)
  • Clean the water boiler (we live in Germany where the calcium builds up over time. A bit of vinegar solves this very quickly!)
  • Take out recycling and bring glass bottles away
  • Refresh kitchen labels if needed (we label our trash, and cabinetry to help our guests find the essentials)
  • Dust all surfaces
  • Deep clean toilet
  • Deep clean shower
  • Vacuum
  • Run the dishwasher
  • Set up the coffee/tea station

Day of Check-in: Airbnb Host Checklist

airbnb hosting checklist and welcome note

On the day of check-in, you should only have a few things left to do as you prepare to welcome your guests

  • Make the bed with fresh sheets
  • Remove personal towels from the bathroom and kitchen and store them in the owner’s closet
  • Put set of guest towels, toiletries, and welcome chocolates the bed
  • Put a fresh kitchen towel folded on the kitchen counter
  • One last scrub of the toilet
  • One last shower clean
  • Leave a welcome note on the coffee table
  • Empty the dishwasher
  • Water plants
  • Leave 2 rolls of fresh toilet paper on bathroom shelves
  • Take the trash out, replace bags
  • Lock the owner’s closet
  • Leave the key in the lockbox

That’s it for our Airbnb host checklist! Hopefully, this will help you get started as a host on Airbnb.


Ultimate Airbnb Hosting Checklist

Airbnb Host Checklist

Social media has become part of our everyday lives, and it’s something we can’t let go of even while we’re on vacation. In fact, 55% of travelers spend around 30 to 120 minutes daily on social media. One can post updates, and find many tourist hotspots, restaurant recommendations, and even hidden gems on social media. However, social media is a double-edged sword that can also negatively affect you – especially your finances. Here are the seven main reasons why you might want to keep your distance on your next trip.

1. You’ll fall victim to targeted ads

When you make an account on social media sites, your basic information such as your age, gender, location, and preferences are gathered. Your shopping behavior reflects these traits, which marketers utilize for targeted advertising. So if you’ve ever wondered why your ads are showing items that are right up your alley, this is the explanation.

No matter where you are, you’ll always feel like you need the products presented to you. Of course, this can be harmful to travelers working with a set budget.

2. More screen time can lead to more spending

The more you scroll, the more you spend. Much like popular short-form videos that provide a brief sense of fun and entertainment, the happiness felt with social media-driven purchases is often also short-lived. You can also slowly feel addicted to the feeling of ordering, anticipating, and opening up your packages.

In the long run, this can be harmful to your wallet and become a bad habit that’s hard to break. Lessening your screen time will help you spend less and spend more time being in the moment.

3. Influencers encourage spending

In an in-depth article on how social media impacts our spending habits, influencers are highlighted as individuals with the power to convince their followers to buy, or not buy, a product or service. Travel influencers in particular are the ones in charge of making ‘must-see’, ‘must-try’, and ‘must-eat’ posts.

But it’s hard to determine how genuine these recommendations are, especially with all the sponsored posts that they do. We recommend travelers do their own research to get them the most bang for their buck.

4. Most luxuries are too expensive

It’s very tempting to live a glamorous life when you’re traveling, especially with a happy-go-lucky mindset. But you should find a balance for this because you don’t want to be in debt after the festivities end. Luxury hotel stays can cost hundreds and thousands of dollars per night.

On the flip side, you can opt to enjoy free accommodation in exchange for work, and use the money saved for something like tickets to a show. You don’t have to blow all your money off on everything.

5. Purchasing is made much easier

Most sponsored posts online have a direct link to the shopping website. This feature has made it easier to just click and input your card details. Some influencers and companies even have a discount code ready for you.

All this is done to help encourage viewers to spend on frivolous items. If any online shopping is to be done, we highly encourage readers to choose travel-related items or backpacking gear that can prove to be more useful in the long run.

6. Social media gives you FOMO

FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is the phenomenon that involves the perception of missing out, followed by compulsive behavior to maintain social connections. It’s a normal human desire to want to experience any and everything.

In fact, research has shown that social media FOMO drives bad spending habits and that a third of people admit to overspending in order to keep up with the fun they see their peers are having on social media. This can lead us to overspend if we’re not careful.

7. You’ll see the world through rose-tinted glasses

Finally, you have to realize that in most cases, people only post about the good stuff. You don’t see exhausting trips, dingy hotel rooms, or overpriced airfare. It’s the reality of the nature of social media. Because you’re not seeing the negatives of other people’s travel experiences, you’re tempted to think that there must be something wrong with the amount you’re spending.

The truth is that no matter your budget, there will be misses amidst the hits – but these moments make the good ones much sweeter.



It’s time to dust off your backpack and think about where to go next. If you’re on a budget, you may be wondering about the cheapest backpacking destinations in the world. The thing is, especially if you’ve been aching to get back out there, ‘budget travel’ can be a bit of an oxymoron. People go traveling to see something new, and once you’re on the road, the last thing you want to do is restrict yourself.

The way to travel on a budget without feeling too limited is to go backpacking destinations where food, accommodation, and transport are cheap. This will allow you to stretch your budget and splurge on the occasional special activity to get the most out of your trip. The good news is, after you figure out a cheap way to get to your destination, it is possible to travel around some of the most beautiful destinations on earth for less than $20 a day. Believe it or not, it can sometimes be cheaper to be on the road than to stay at home considering your normal rent and daily expenses! 

So without further ado, here is our updated list of the cheapest backpacking destinations for 2023.

Bulgaria – The best Eastern European country for budget travel

Even though Bulgaria is the cheapest backpacking country to visit in Eastern Europe, it has an abundance of gorgeous landscapes that rival its neighbors. During our 5 days in Bulgaria were able to see Alpine mountains, forested countryside, sandy beaches on the Black Sea, plus beautiful cities like Sofia and Veliko Tărnovo.

The Rila Monastery near Sofia in Bulgaria, one of the cheapest backpacking countries in the world

The Rila Monastery near Sofia, Bulgaria

Because we were traveling in the off-season, we were able to splurge on the occasional high-end luxury accommodation for less than $100 a night. Of course, you can always find cheaper hostels in Bulgaria. Food and drink are also super affordable, with the average price of a beer being about a dollar.

Learn more: Backpacking in Bulgaria


India is one of those countries where budget travel is almost entirely dependent on your willingness to haggle. If you strike the right tone, India can be one of the cheapest backpacking destinations in the world.

When booking guesthouses, you’ll most certainly get a better price by booking directly with the guest house versus booking online through an agency. Transportation-wise, it is super cheap to get around in India. In the big cities, we recommend using Uber it’s actually much cheaper than the prices you’ll be quoted for a tuk-tuk ride. For intercity travel, trains cost between $8 – $30, and you can even find flights within that price range!

Learn more: Backpacking in India

Portugal – The cheapest backpacking destination in Western Europe

Portugal is a great option in Western Europe for travelers on a budget. You’ll be able to experience the vibrant European culture as well as world-famous food and wine at a fraction of the cost of what you’d pay in France or Spain. 

Learn more: Backpacking in Portugal


Cambodia has so much to offer, and you can travel there for about $20 a day. Private rooms in a nice guesthouse will cost you about $10, and tuk-tuk rides are a savvy way to get around. Our guest house helped us arrange a private tuk-tuk driver to help us visit the many temples of Angkor Wat for just $12!  You can even get a 30-day SIM card with 1.5 GB of data for $2.

Ta Prohm Temple in the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Cambodia, one of the cheapest backpacking countries

Ta Prohm Temple in the Angkor Wat Temple Complex

Learn more: Backpacking in Cambodia


With medieval fortresses, majestic mountains, and friendly locals, the country of Georgia should be much higher on the list of top backpacking destinations. And with delicious meals starting at $3, and $1 local buses, it’s one of the best countries for budget travel. You don’t have to withhold on the cultural activities here, since most entrance tickets cost around $2.

The Caucasus Mountains in Georgia

The Caucasus Mountains in Georgia

Learn more: Backpacking in Georgia


In the Czechia, the old trope ‘beer is cheaper than water’ is actually true. While Czechia boasts much of the same beauty as its neighbors like Germany and Austria, it’s possible to travel here at a fraction of the cost.

Learn more: Backpacking in Czechia

Bolivia – the cheapest backpacking country in South America

Bolivia is one of the cheapest backpacking destinations in the world and is very popular with adventurers. Here, it is possible to get a 3-course meal for less than $2. Accommodation in a hostel dorm room costs between $8-$12 a night, and local and long-distance buses are a cheap way to get around. Even the most famous backpacker destination in Bolivia, the Uyuni Salt Flats, won’t break the bank, costing around $200 for 3 days, which is relatively cheap for this bucket-list destination!

Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia

Learn more: Backpacking in Bolivia


Trekking in Nepal doesn’t have to cost as much as you might imagine. Other than the Everest Base Camp Trek (an exorbitant expense), there are plenty of beautiful Himalayan treks where it is possible to go by yourself. The Short Annapurna Circuit, for example, is well-marked with guesthouses along the path for about $5 a night, so you won’t have to carry tons of gear. (If you want to go all the way to Annapurna Base Camp, you’ll need to go with a guide). Food and drink in Nepal are also very affordable, with meals costing between $2-$3.

Learn more: Backpacking in Nepal

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is certainly one of those countries where you can travel on a budget or live in the lap of luxury for relatively affordable prices. Their infamous train system (a bucket-list item in itself) is the cheapest way to get around the country. Or, you could hire a private taxi to travel between cities with a few other people from your hostel. Keep a special travel budget set aside for entrance fees to nature reserves and UNESCO Heritage sites!

Learn more: Backpacking in Sri Lanka


Colombia is one of our favorite backpacking destinations because of the friendly locals, diverse landscapes, and of course, affordability. You could easily backpack in Colombia for a month with just $1000 in your bank account. By taking long-distance buses, staying in hostel dorm rooms, and cooking your own food in the hostel kitchens, you can visit destinations like Medellín, Cartagena, and Salento on a budget.

The Cocora Valley near Salento, Colombia

The Cocora Valley near Salento, Colombia

Learn more: Backpacking in Colombia

Honorable Mention


This country certainly doesn’t scream ‘budget travel’ but it’s the cheapest destination in Scandinavia. If visiting this part of the world has been a dream of yours, we can definitely recommend Denmark in comparison with its more expensive Scandinavian neighbors Norway, Sweden, or Finland.

Nyhavn Canal in Copenhagen, Denmark, one of the cheapest backpacking countries in Scandinavia

Nyhavn Canal in Copenhagen, Denmark

Learn more: Backpacking in Denmark

Dubai on a budget? Does that sound alien-like to you? Well, the good news is that it is possible in all aspects.

To most people, the city of flamboyance comes across as a place well-suited for the rich. Though a part of it may be true, traveling to Dubai on a budget is possible, if you play it smart.

We call it ‘Vegas in the desert’ and that’s because of all the glitz and glamor it offers. Dubai is on the checklist of every travel enthusiast. The multicultural city is crowded with larger-than-life shopping malls, luxurious hotels, gourmet dining spots, grandeur of luxury living, splendid structure, adventurous activities; and so much more.

In a nutshell, the city has something to offer everyone. So, even if you’re on a tight budget you’re truly in for a treat. Here’s a guide to introduce you to some smart hacks that will help you save all the big bucks.

How to travel to Dubai on a budget?

Dubai is more than just being a flashy city. If the extravagant price is what’s stopping you from taking a trip, read through our guide. Here’s how you can go about traveling Dubai on a budget.

Timely air ticket travel

Here’s a no-brainer tip that most people already know, but don’t follow. One major expenditure of any trip is booking an air ticket. And the best way to crack this is to book it well in advance. Dubai is a popular destination and therefore it has an amazing airline service. With so many options for flights every single day, you have the option of choosing what’s convenient for you. However, that’s also a reason why people tend to get a little laid back about it.

So, save some money travelling to Dubai on a budget by booking at least 20-30 days in advance. Here’s a tip- take an early morning or a late night flight. Also, look out for airline special sales.

Don’t opt for a bank-breaking accommodation

Dubai is famously known for ultra-luxurious and 5-star hotels but that’s not the only available option. The city has a stay for every budget, so book your accommodation intelligently. Dubai is crowded with options of service apartments, Airbnb stays, hostel accommodation and lavish stays, of course. So in order to travel to Dubai on a budget, don’t rush and take your pick wisely. Also, making a booking during an off season will get you a deal you can’t refuse, even at a fancy establishment.

Look out for internal travel

Without wasting any time, get yourself a NoI card as soon as you land in Dubai in order to stay on a budget. Undoubtedly, taxi rides in Dubai are cheaper than most countries. However, compare it to the metro and you will feel like you have spent half your fortune. The metro runs through the middle of the city and therefore you can get to any place without any hassles. Also, traveling by rail can get you glimpses of the most incredible structure in and around the city. Besides the metro, you have options of buses, tram and water taxis.

Well, once in Dubai you cannot do without the experience of renting a luxury limousine car. You could save the big day for the win and indulge in a chauffeur-driven ride. Take some luxurious memories back home.

For more information on the luxury limousine rides, you can try checking up –

Don’t skip the free attractions

Dubai seems like you have to pay for everything. But hey, that’s not true! Some ancient and modern sightseeing, gorgeous-looking landscapes and beautiful beach views are easy to pocket making it easy to travel in Dubai on a budget.

Make your trip a bit of both- paid excursions and free tourist attractions. Some of the spots to look at – Coffee museum, sunset beach, Dubai dancing fountain, fossil rock, camel museum, La mer beach and more. Also, some of the activities you can gladly involve yourself in are- camel racing, cycling at AI Qudra, Desert tours, Spice Souk, Beach Libraries, watching flamingos, Dubai Aquarium view and more. Even with meager funds in your hand, you can be on your toes throughout your trip.

Budget dining

Dubai boasts plentiful luxury dining, but also has a lot to offer otherwise. You can keep a day off for a swanky restaurant to experience the pomp if you like. However, you don’t necessarily need it to tickle your tastebuds. Dubai is packed with shawarma stalls, street cafes, exclusive Middle East joints that are sure to treat you to mouth watering food without burning a hole in your pocket. Realistically, you can enjoy a sumptuous meal at a small independent street restaurant for less than AED 50.

Schedule your holiday wisely

One of the important things to do is to schedule your holiday wisely. Just like any other place, Dubai also has high and low seasons. So, save some extra bucks making a trip in the off season. Besides that, you can also actively search for deals and discounts across Dubai. Get your hands on coupons applicable on restaurants, accommodation and entertainment. It’s a great way to unwind on a budget.

And that’s a wrap on UAE’s money-saving hacks. Our tips & tricks were curated keeping every seasoned traveler in mind. Remember, you don’t really need a Kardashian-sized budget to explore the city.

So Habibi, it’s time to visit Dubai!

London, the nation’s capital and largest metropolis, sits on the beautiful banks of the Thames River. More than 14 million people call the city, and its surrounding region, home; thanks to the city’s continued expansion.

It’s not hard to see why tourists should flock to London. Many notable museums and historical landmarks call this metropolis home. The top ones are parks, galleries, marketplaces, museums, restaurants, bars, and sports teams.

You’ve found the right spot if you want helpful tips for backpacking in London. If you’re planning a trip to the British capital, you must not skip the below essential backpacking tips:

Purchase an Oyster Card

When it comes to public transportation, London has it all. Please don’t think it’s bragging when we say that it’s pretty decent. As with most desirable items, it will set you back a pretty penny, which is a big concern when backpacking London.

Using an Oyster Card is a simple and effective method to reduce the cost of travelling within London. It’s more economical to use this pass than to buy individual paper passes. This is because you can simply purchase one and fill it with money before you travel.

Get Your Fill of Free Things

If you do everything that costs money in this metropolis, your money will disappear. While there aren’t many museums that are free to enter, the permanent collection at the British Museum is completely free every day. Also, the museums dedicated to the study of nature are equally fascinating. 

Likewise, merely passing Buckingham Castle on foot is a treat. Numerous exciting pursuits can be enjoyed while backpacking in London without spending a single pound.

Get a London Pass

A visit to London is likely to add up when it comes to costs. Whether it’s the price of a motel room or the price of admission to a major attraction, a trip to the city can quickly drain your savings, which is a big problem when backpacking London.

Seeing many of London’s famous attractions without paying astronomical prices is a good idea. All you need is the lucky London Pass. Although the pass is pricey, it could be valuable if you are planning to visit several of the city’s top sites in a short period of time.

Go on an Adventure to Camden Town

Camden is London’s alternative hub. In simple words, it is home to a wide variety of record stores, unique boutiques, parties, and eateries. It’s a great spot to enjoy cuisine, music, drinks, and people-watching, among other activities, and is popular among backpackers in London. 

You can also witness and enjoy a full-size monument of Amy Winehouse here. It is also a good place to find hotels for budget travellers while backpacking London.

Try Out Some of the Regional Specialities in the Borough Market

Just steps away from Big Ben, the bustling Borough Market is London’s finest food market. It is loaded with international flavours alongside fresh, local fare. It’s a fantastic activity for wet London days because it takes place primarily under shelter. 

The historic district is a maze of winding streets and alleys that have hosted a market since the 12th century. The current building, however, was constructed in the 1850s.

Stay in the City Centre if You Can

Some people will tell you to take advantage of London’s excellent public transportation system and find a place to remain further out.

One of the London backpacking tips we keep repeating is to remain as close to the city centre as possible, obviously within your budget. To see as much of London as possible in a short amount of time, choose a hotel or any of the best-serviced apartments in London, that is convenient to the city’s public transportation system.

It should be close enough to several attractions that you can stroll to them. Also, not too difficult to get back, especially if you plan on staying out late.

Backpacking in London – Final Thoughts

Although London doesn’t initially seem like a budget-friendly destination, there are plenty of ways you can go backpacking in London on a budget. Just follow these tips to navigate the British capital and have the time of your life, without breaking the bank!