Airbnb can be the traveler's dream or a vacationers nightmare. There are plenty of horror stories on Reddit and plenty of success stories all over Instagram, so how do you find a spot that you can brag about every #TBT? TBH, it's pretty easy as long as you follow our 4 simple rules. Start reading--that Airbnb isn't going to book itself. Start looking Early You might think because there are so many rental spots, you can wait to book, but the best places will be scooped up in a second. Map out the perfect spot and book it ASAP. Nothing is more haunting than letting someone else snag your dream vacay spot. Use Filters It is not only 'okay' to be picky, but it's encouraged. If you want a space with a kitchen, filter it. If you fancy a pool, filter. If you don't want to be 50 miles from civilization, definitely filter it. With 4 million listings across 191+ countries, it CAN be overwhelming if you don't know what you want. Which is true when booking a vacay spot and in everyday life. Read the Reviews Unlike the very dramatic reviews on Yelp, Airbnb reviews are always reliable. Not to be negative, but it's important to focus on the lowest ratings-- they have the best insight and always point out details you may overlook. After you've analyzed all of the bad reviews, check out the good ones to get an idea of the type of experience you are about to sign up for. Ask Questions Feel free to ask anything and everything about the area and the apartment/condo you are looking to rent. Seriously, don't assume anything. Message the host with questions and introduce yourself. It is a great way to get a better idea of the space you are about to rent and the person you will be communicating with should anything not meet your expectations. Plus, insider tip: sometimes if you inquire, hosts offer a discount to help secure the rental! Now go enjoy your dream vacation, and don't forget your SPF. Oh, and here is a helpful packing list and our favorite travel essentials.