In the past couple of months the news on the Airbnb front hasn’t been the most pleasing. Recently, a host has been charged with placing hidden cameras in his listing and videotaping the guests. Before that, there was the whole mess with Airbnb’s being used for pop-up brothels…
I’m pointing this out because it’s what the news has been reporting on lately, the bad. It has been easy to fall into the grasp of negative news since it’s everywhere we turn. But, I don’t believe Airbnb deserves the bad rep. With that being said, I am here to tell you about the positive side of booking an Airbnb listing.
In the past four years I have traveled to three countries and four states. Each time I needed somewhere to stay I studied the hotels, Airbnb’s, and hostels in the area. Each time I ended up booking an Airbnb listing for my stay. It was always the best choice, and I have had enough experience with them to confidently tell you the same.
Here are 6 positive reasons why I pick Airbnb’s over hotels and hostels any day, and why you should too:
Once you search a location and date, a plethora of options will appear at your fingertips. Don’t get too overwhelmed, because all of these things are not like the other! One of my favorite things about Airbnb is that every listing is different; even including the size. You can choose from a single room (bunkbeds are an option!) to a whole studio apartment. Whole houses are available too, which makes it nice for bigger parties.
When booking hotels, I always found that I could get close to where I wanted to be, but never in the ideal spot. When it came to hostels, either the ones where I wanted were booked, too expensive, or not where the action was. With Airbnb I find myself getting listings in the places I want and the price range that makes my wallet happy.
Airbnb gives you the chance for the perfect place to stay since they have 3,000,000 listings worldwide. Since people are renting out their vacation homes, rooms they aren’t using, and studios; this leaves more opportunity for you to get that room right across from Times Square.
I know what you’re thinking, a whole apartment or house has to be really expensive. Actually, you’re wrong. I have rented a whole house on the beach for 3 days, big enough for 4 people, at 90 USD. Now we split the cost of course, but I’m not complaining about my share. If you want to split the cost with your travel buddies it makes the listings even cheaper. Singles rooms are the cheapest by far, but even apartments can be easy on your bank account too.
But remember that Airbnb is just like any other hotel or ticket website, timing is everything! Check day to day, and snag the listing when the price is right.
Also, Airbnb just added a new feature that makes splitting cost with your friends a lot easier, so you don’t have to wait for them to pay you back!
I have never been in a listing that didn’t have character. Now that I’m thinking about it, I should say that I haven’t been in one that I’ve forgotten.
I stayed in an art studio that had a free library (give a book, take a book mindset). I took one of the free paperbacks and found one hundred Leu (Romanian dollars).
One summer I stayed in a house that sat near the beach, it was as pink as a summer sunset. The warm pink colored the whole house, from the roof to the shutters.
I also stayed in an apartment that was on the very top floor of its building. It looked as if it came right off of the IKEA show floor. The unfinished half of the roof was turned into a deck that overlooked a graveyard.
Even though I am posting about positive reasons stay with Airbnb, I know this one can on both sides of the spectrum, but bear with me.
I have had hosts that have been beyond wonderful. They weren’t watching my every move. Whenever I contacted them asking for recommendations they responded in record time, with places I would have never found. They also have gone above and beyond to make my stay as comfortable as possible, even if it was directing me to the closest liquor store after a long day.
With all these great experiences comes some…. absent ones too. I have had hosts that never contacted me. Once I couldn’t get into a lock box that held the key to a house. I tried calling and texting the host for two hours, only to be helped out by a neighbor. This was the worst host experience I’ve had. In the end it wasn’t that negative, the neighbor then proceeded to give me tips about the surrounding town. She became my surrogate host in a way!
The best thing about staying at an Airbnb is that it will always be an experience you won’t forget. You have the chance to immerse yourself in the surrounding culture by being a resident for a short amount of time. By doing this, you experience the culture in a way that you couldn’t at a hotel or hostel. By doing so you are creating a unique travel experience that you will never forget!
I hope my tips have convinced you to give Airbnb a try. Sometimes it is easy to get lost in all the negativity and forget the positive side of things. At the end of the day, how you decide to travel is up to you. Do what makes you happy and stay where makes you happy. If you focus on these two things you will get the most, and make the most, of your trip!