How to pick an Airbnb?

If you are traveling to a city you haven’t been to before and are faced with the challenge of finding a good Airbnb there, I want to share with you my trick for picking suitable Airbnbs to maximize happiness.

Start by finding good food blogs that list the best coffee shops in the city. Look them up, check their websites, see if they have decent latte art (leaf and heart at the very least, extra points for swans). Add the qualifying coffee shops to your Google Map by starring them. Once you have done this for a significant number of coffee shops (n > 20), zoom out of your map and see if there is a cluster of stars in any particular area. This is the neighborhood you want to be in. Go to Airbnb’s website, zoom into this neighborhood and pick a superhost here. If the cluster is not obvious, follow a greedy strategy of maximizing proximity to as many good coffee shops as is possible.

While this might not work in, say, NYC, where there are way too many good coffee shops in way too expensive neighborhoods, in general, it works well for me.