Airbnb is vastly growing in popularity, but there are still people out there that haven’t experienced it yet. Whether its because they are scared, timid, or just don’t know enough about it. In this post we are offering up our experiences with the website, and hopefully we will provide you with some useful information along the way.
What is Airbnb?
Airbnb is a website where people looking for a place to stay and people who have rooms for rent collide. It currently has over 2 million listings in over 190 countries! No matter what kind of accommodation you are looking for, whether it be an apartment on the beach, a treehouse, or even a castle, airbnb has it.
You can search some awesome places like this tree house in Costa Rica:
Or this seashell house in Mexico:
On the website, you simply enter your destination and dates you would like to stay, then the available listings for those selected dates will appear. You then have the option to choose between renting the entire house, renting a private room in the house, or sharing a room. You can refine the search by room type, amenities, neighborhoods, and price. You can move around on the map to see the exact location you are looking for.
Check the amenties. Is there wifi? Can you use the washer/dryer? Are dogs allowed? Check the reviews of the host. Do they have positive reviews? How many reviews do they have? When you find one you like, send the request to book. You can ask the host any other questions you have about the property before you book.
Here are just a few of the reasons why Airbnb is better than any hotel
- Stay like a local
- We really enjoy being able to visit and chat with the hosts and get the true scoop on what to do around the property. It’s fun to have the option to sit and chat with them if you want. They can give you tips on places to see and do, parking tricks, or just fun tips about the area you are in. Staying with the hosts rather than in a hotel room can bring some extra insider tips.
- Cheaper than hotel
- In our experience, airbnb has been cheaper than most hotels. Also, some airbnbs will allow you to use things like the washer and dryer, fridge, kitchen, or include free wifi which cuts down on extra costs than hotels may charge for. It is especially cost effective if you have a big group of people all staying together.
- Airbnbs are generally more flexible with check in and out than a hotel. There are so many options on airbnb including location, prices, or amenities you want or need. We have found it to be easier to narrow down the options and really find something that intrigues you.
- Wonderful Hosts
- Everyone that has hosted has been nothing but gracious! I’m sure there are some hosts out there that are not as pleasant, but more than not are great! That’s the great thing about being able to review your host (or your guest if you are hosting). Connecting one on with hosts brings a personal connection that you can’t find at a hotel
- Who doesn’t love dogs? Some rentals will allow you to bring your pet with you, which is great for those who love to travel with their animals. Other rentals will have their own dogs which is fun if you are renting a place and are needing to extra dog loving. We love picking rooms that have dogs simply because dogs make everything better!
Is it safe?
When signing up, guests and hosts must verify their identity by confirming their social media accounts and confirming personal details. Guests and hosts both receive reviews that you can see when you are booking a room. All payment is handled through airbnb, so you wont be robbed of a stay. Things do happen from time to time, so if you need to, airbnb customer support is available 24/7.
Tips for booking a safe and successful airbnb:
- Choose which style accommodation you want-entire house, shared room or private room
- Always read the reviews and cancellation policies before you book
- Have a complete profile-it will help when you want to book a rental
- Check out extra person charges and cleaning fees
- Check to see what all is included in your rental-sometimes the owners will have everything from kitchen use, toiletries and wine. It is not always included though.
- Don’t be afraid to email the owners if you have questions, before booking
We had our first experience with Airbnb in 2013 in Paris and it was wonderful! It was our first international trip together and we took a chance with booking 2 Airbnb’s while we were in Paris and Barcelona. We found a private room in Paris that was located just 100m from the Eiffel Tower, for only $90/night. We were able to look outside the window and see the tower. And to top it off, Claire and her boyfriend were wonderful hosts! Although we only stayed with Claire for 2 nights, we have been hooked on Airbnb ever since!
How to get started
Now that I know you can’t wait to book your next vacation rental, here is $20 off your first booking of $75 or more, when you sign up.