What do you look for when booking a holiday home? A beautiful view, maybe or a set of luxe beauty products? If you’re renting from Airbnb, you may also be considering sustainability. According to a new report (published just in time for Earth Day), 4.5 million guests chose eco-friendly listings in the last year alone. With bookings for environmentally conscious homes purportedly increasing by 50 percent on the platform, it seems like travelers have sustainability on the brain now more than ever before.
As for what makes an “eco-friendly” Airbnb listing, the response is varied. Some spaces are built from recycled materials, others rely on solar energy, and a select few come with organic gardens guests can use for food. The top 10 destinations for eco-friendly listings are equally varied and somewhat surprising—the list includes Rjukan, Norway; Thulamahashe, South Africa; and Mhamid, Morocco. However, all have one thing in common: They’re located off the beaten path, situated in a natural environment with plenty of opportunities for guests to enjoy the outdoors. Bring your sunscreen.
If you’re already planning your summer travels, you may want to consider an eco-friendly retreat. Looking to narrow your search? Here are some other things to look out for when booking an Airbnb.
Use the right filters
Picture this: You’ve spent an hour scrolling through hundreds of homes and finally found your dream property… only to realize midway through booking that it’s not stroller-friendly. Luckily, you can filter your search to suit your needs and eliminate the heartache of missing out on the perfect home. Search specifically for family-friendly homes, business trip–ready spots, and luxury abodes.
Read the reviews
It seems basic, but it’s important. The review section is where you’ll learn how great the wifi actually is and whether “spacious beachfront home” actually means just that. Generally speaking, the more reviews the better: It means the host has been vetted by other travelers and that people liked them enough to leave a comment on the stay.
Map it out
If a gorgeous apartment in Paris for $30 a night seems too good to be true, pay attention to the map on the listing—what the host is calling “city center” may actually be a solid 45 minutes away by train. While you won’t be able to get a specific address until you actually book, the listing gives a good enough idea of where the home is located. Most listings should also note nearby public transit so you can figure out how to get to and from the Airbnb. And again, check the reviews: If there’s something potentially problematic about where the Airbnb is located, chances are that some disgruntled visitor will have a lot to say about it.