How to Pick the Perfect Airbnb in Malibu


How to pick the perfect airbnb in malibu

How To Pick the Perfect Airbnb in Malibu     

I’m sure you’ve heard of Malibu. You’ve probably seen it in TV shows, movies, heard it in songs, seen it in travel guides, I mean, the list goes on! It’s one of the most romanticized beach-destination cities in the country. Flocks upon flocks of tourists head to the ‘Bu, with around 8 million people visiting in the summer months alone! If you’re considering visiting, this guide will fill you in on a few things you may not have considered yet about your trip. Here is a guide to on how to pick the perfect Airbnb in Malibu, California.

Staying in Malibu on a Tight Budget is Tough

Let’s be real. Staying in Malibu on a tight budget is probably not going to happen. If you’re on a tight budget, my advice is to not even bother checking the prices of Airbnb’s that are actually in Malibu. Check what’s “over the hill,” as we say, referring to the opposite side of the mountains where the 101 Freeway is.

Places are cheaper over in Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Calabasas, and Woodland Hills. Hey, this is California, so they’re still going to be expensive, but I promise they’ll be less expensive than your Malibu options. Since you will need to rent a car while you’re visiting this incredibly spaced-out place, you can always stay in a different area than Malibu to save money, and then drive to Malibu to visit! Depending on traffic, it should take between 30-60 mins to get to Malibu from those places I’ve recommended.

Sunset view from Malibu's resident's-only neighborhood on Broad Beach.

Sunset view from Malibu's resident's-only neighborhood on Broad Beach.

Great, You Have the Budget to Stay in Malibu, Now What?

I feel that some tourists don’t consider how mountainous the geographical ‘scape of Malibu is prior to planning a visit here. If you’re envisioning staying in an Airbnb that’s right on the actual beach, you better be rich! Those places are INSANELY expensive and usually are rentals like RV’s, guest houses, trailers, and so on.

Maybe you would score a private room in somebody’s mansion for $500 a night. If you and bae want a tiny, private apartment to yourselves that’s beachfront, you’re looking at something like $1400 a night. If you want a house that’s beachfront, ticket rings at around $3700 a night. If you guys are OG ballers and want a villa, you gotta pay around $12,000 a night. Yes, you read that right.

For us average humans who don’t have a few thou' to drop on a weekend in Malibu, something around $200-$350 a night is a more stable number. There are plenty of listings in Malibu that are around that price range, but be aware, they are not beachfront. You may have to drive up a canyon 20+ mins each way to reach the house.

Some people are terrified of windy canyon driving, since it’s foreign to them. But girl, if you want to stay in Malibu, get over that fear! Just go slowly and take the turns cautiously. Be hyper-vigilant for crossing animals, bikers, fallen rocks, tumbleweeds, etc. Just think about that gorgeous view you’ll have from up in the mountains.

Aerial view of El Matador State Beach- photo by  Gerson Repreza  on  Unsplash

Aerial view of El Matador State Beach- photo by Gerson Repreza on Unsplash

Malibu Airbnb Options

Picking the perfect Airbnb in Malibu means finding that right combination of what’s most important to you in an Airbnb. If you value the view over anything, then choose something small with limited/shared amenities that has a killer view of the ocean. If you want something secluded in the mountains, without emphasis on an ocean view, there are plenty of fun options for that, too! If you prefer something that involves no canyon driving, and you don’t mind staying in a tiny box during your vacation, make search to work those Airbnb search parameters to find that perfect spot.

As always with booking places on Airbnb, reviews are very important to read. Don’t just go solely by photos of the place or by low nightly prices. Read what people have to say, as people can have extremely different experiences staying the same place. I am reluctant to book places that are brand new and have no reviews. I always look first to book with Superhosts, as they’re known to be legit, but if another non-Superhost person has many good reviews (not just a few, like 25 at least), I will still consider booking their place.

Airbnb in Malibu- Real Talk

You probably will not find it surprising to know that Malibu is a very exclusive place. The population, being only 19.83 sq miles (51.35 km), is a meager 13,000 people, at most! Now, I’ve found most Malibu folk to be pretty awesome, from attending Malibu High School with them to meeting people while working at the local Starbucks. Consistently, Malibu people are protective of our city.

There has been growing resentment towards Airbnb and the onslaught of tourism that it’s unleashed upon Malibu, since there are only a handful of hotels/motels that are actually within Malibu limits. The biggest issue is the lack of respect that many tourists have displayed while visiting. The topic of whether or not to make Airbnb in Malibu illegal is controversial enough to be currently in debate by the City Council.

This isn’t just a bunch of snobby rich people wanting to keep tourism out of their precious paradise, although, honestly, that is some people’s reason for wanting to do away with Airbnb. It’s more the fact that the city, land, and residents need to be respected. There have been too many incidents of raucous behavior, littering, property damage, DUI, drug use, and so on from people who don’t live in Malibu.

Growing up there, I know that Malibu is a close-knit town. People know each other. You live there long enough, and your family becomes everyone else’s family. It’s devastating when unnecessary accidents happen that really hurt the town and its people, while the tourist can move on and brush it off their shoulder. I believe that people should have the right to rent out the property that they own to tourists, and everybody should have the opportunity to visit this beautiful place. But if people can’t learn to be respectful of where they visit, they’re going to rob everyone else of the chance to Airbnb there, too.

Malibu's natural beauty- photo by  Kyle Cottrell  on  Unsplash

Malibu's natural beauty- photo by Kyle Cottrell on Unsplash

See You Soon, Future Malibu Airbnb-er!

If you do decide to visit, acknowledge the peaceful vibe of Malibu, and respect it. People take their time and don’t rush to get places. They may be speeding on PCH (Pacific Coast Highway), but that’s probably just to show off their $200,000 car.

But in all seriousness, being able to Airbnb in Malibu is a privilege that may not always exist. If you’re going to visit, be courteous. Respect the beaches. Don’t leave trash anywhere. Tip people in cafes and restaurants. Watch out for pedestrians. Just be respectful! This should all go without saying, but yet, it still needs saying. Don’t ever be the ignorant tourist

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Perfect Airbnb in Malibu
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Writer of this article is Heather, 25, co-founder of the Female Travel Collective.  She used to live in California, NYC, and Hawaii, and is currently traveling. Follow her along on her  Instagram !

Writer of this article is Heather, 25, co-founder of the Female Travel Collective.  She used to live in California, NYC, and Hawaii, and is currently traveling. Follow her along on her Instagram!