What is Airbnb?
- Airbnb is a community marketplace where guests can book spaces from hosts, connecting people who have space to spare with those who are looking for a place to stay. Through their experiences on Airbnb, guests and hosts build real connections with real people from all over the globe.
- We specifically created a secure payment system to ensure that money is fully collected and safe. Once a reservation is completed, both guest and host can review each other to build a reputation in the community. (airbnb.com)
It’s hard to remember how I got to know about Airbnb, but once I did, there was no looking back. Airbnb is great when you travel on a budget like I do most of the time. Whether in Europe, Asia or America, my budget for a day rate doesn’t pass £50 and I’ve had awesome stays. Here are some tips to help you as you start to use the service.
Tips For using Airbnb
Have a budget – It’s nice to have a plan. Sometimes, you might find something much less or way more than you like, but having a framework to begin with, gives good focus.
Open Your Eyes – One reason I like Airbnb is the choice of pictures we are given to look at. You can easily determine if it’s the kind of place you want. I usually go for quite artsy, rustic, weird kind of houses. Places that are certainly worlds away from your regular hotel room. I also like homely kind of digs. One thing you can’t determine from pictures is the host. Sometimes hosts are hardly around but in my only negative experience so far, the host and her friends made noise the whole night, could hardly sleep. Thankfully, that was my last night, let’s not even talk about the filthy bathroom! then again, sometimes, you pay for what you get.
Consider the area – I made a mistake once in NY, where though the house was accessible by rail from JFK it took a very long time and the apartment itself was hard to find, I was beyond exhausted by the time I got into the house. So, check the distances between the airport and house, also places you want to go. How accessible is it to local transportation, food, shops etc. What sort of area? is it a high crime area or filled with hipsters. Important to check.
Don’t Forget the Amenities – Internet is high on my priority list, so I always check if there is wireless internet available. If it’s a flat, I check for elevators. Also, when is the check in, check out time etc. Some have pools, washing machines, make sure what’s available is suitable for you.
Communicate. Communicate. Communicate – If you spot a place that meets your needs the best, email them immediately. If it’s something you can book, book there and then, but first look at cancellation policies. Get the hosts contact details and keep them up to date on your arrival and directions to the house because maps can be deceiving. I’ve had hosts who acted as tourist guides which was nice value added service, but only got to know after a good round of emailing. She even came to pick me up from the airport.
Airbnb hasn’t always been the best for me to use on certain trips however it is always a good place to start looking. So next time you want to travel, make sure to look through it first, all the best.