Renting in Paris for one day longer and (almost) half the price

A welcome discount on Airbnb by booking 28 nights instead of 27 nights

Once Sean and I decided to spend an extended period of time in Paris this past Spring, I began our housing search. We wanted space for cooking and for Eliza to crawl around and since we knew we’d be there for at least a couple of weeks, I looked exclusively at apartment rentals. After playing around with the dates on Airbnb, I noticed something fascinating: for some properties, it was counterintuitively cheaper to stay longer—not just per night, but in total!

What was going on? When I clicked into the listing we ended up booking in the 18th arrondissement near Montmartre, I noticed that the host offered a 23% weekly discount and a 55% monthly discount. In other words, it cost more than $1,000 less (!!) to book for 28 days instead of 27 days. This pricing discovery certainly helped us make our decision to stay in Paris for a full month. We loved our place, treated it as our own, and felt genuinely sad when the time came to leave it, as if we were actually moving out.

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Our home away from home in Paris
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A nearby street
Maker:S,Date:2017-8-22,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
The view from Sacré-Cœur near our apartment

The pricing for every Airbnb listing can differ since hosts set their own rates, but we’ve found that longer-term discounts are fairly common but entirely up to the host’s discretion. I imagine it’s good business for hosts to offer a discount: multiple cleanings aren’t needed, it’s easier to manage one booking than several, and there aren’t gaps between bookings where they’re not renting their space.

If you have flexibility with your dates and length of stay, take some time to play around and see what deals you can find. You may even consider booking more nights than you need, if it gives you a meaningful discount.

I haven’t had success with this yet, but others have reported being able to actually negotiate on the price of an Airbnb rental. (Read about this over at the Wherever Writer.) Also, some locales require Airbnb to collect and remit taxes on their behalf. (You can find the full list here). In these cases, it may be helpful to know that many places charge sales tax for stays shorter than 28-30 days, though this varies greatly.

What other tricks have you learned about booking with Airbnb?

P.S. Once you find the place that’s right for you, you may enjoy reading about our favorite, simple tip for keeping your hotel or rental room clean.

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