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Arrange a last-minute affordable vacation rental

Not only do you get images, amenities lists, guest reviews, and information about the hosts but AirBnB also provides a user-friendly search mechanism (cities, dates, property type) to help you find exactly what you're looking for. At press time, AirBnB had apartments in 6,757 cities in 156 countries, with more being added every day. Since you're paying by credit card, your payment doesn't go to the hosts until 24 hours after you've checked in and approved of the space. Deals are impressive: a recent search yielded $52 for a night in a large studio for two, with high-speed Wi-Fi and use of two bicycles, in Tokyo's Shinjuku district.

Drawback: Some hosts request nonrefundable deposits, which are handled outside of AirBnB, so check reviews before you send any money in advance.

T+L Tip: Make sure you see lots of pictures and read reviews before you book-if you have a question, use the messaging system to get more information directly from a prospective host.

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