Airbnb has completely blown up over the last few years, but has been a service I have used since 2012. When I first told people that I were planning to stay in random people’s houses and spare rooms when on holiday they thought Pablo and I were mad, but I am always up for trying new things – especially whilst travelling – so was willing to take the risk. I am so glad that I was not put off by other’s apprehension because I have not looked back since, and here are the reasons why:
This was the initial reason for choosing Airbnb over hotels. Though the service has become pricer as it has gained in popularity there is still accommodation available for most price ranges and is better value for money, especially in places such as New York.
Staying in people’s homes means that you can expect the unexpected and find somewhere to fit your personality. I have stayed in everything from people’s spare room to a penthouse in Vegas; there truly is something for everyone. The featured image is an example of this variety, each image is somewhere I have stayed.
4) An insight into other people’s lives
One of my favourites aspects of travelling is getting to see how other people live, there is no better way of gaining real perspective than actually staying in a local’s house.
5) Feel like a local
After a few days of staying in an apartment I begin to get a better understanding of the city’s vibe and like to pretend that I am an actual local. Also, every Airbnb host I have stayed with has been super accommodating and has sent, or left us, a welcome pack with local hot spots – some have even taken us around on a mini personal tour!
6) Explore different neighbourhoods
Staying in a residential area often means that you get the opportunity to explore places off the beaten track instead of the normal tourist destinations where hotels are often located.
Staying in an actual home means that you don’t have to go out for every meal or to simply grab a cup of tea. This also helps with one of my favourite holiday pastimes and that is checking out all the weird and wonderful things in the local super markets. Having a fridge for beers is also always a bonus.
Travel does not always allow for strict check in and out times, most hosts are aware of this and as long as you give them advanced warning they tend to be pretty accommodating.
Unless you are affluent and can afford a penthouse suite in a hotel, Airbnb can offer way more space for your money.
Whether staying in someone’s spare room, or renting an entire place, I have been lucky enough to meet or have correspondence with so many amazing, interesting people. Most recently we had a beer with our New York host, Luke, who happened to be in the same bar on the same night as us in Amsterdam the year before – talk about similar minded!
Of course, as with any service that relies on people there are mishaps and horror stories, but I have managed to have the best experience by following a few simple tips, being respectful and communicative with my host.
Have you used Airbnb? What was your experience like? If not would you use it in the future?