When I traveled to New York in 2012, I was just shocked by the prices for accommodations. Spending $80+ a night to stay in hostel with a shared bathroom? No way! I’m not okay with that, and neither is my wallet so I looked into Airbnb… Ever since then, I have been traveling “the Airbnb way”…
What’s Airbnb ?
Airbnb is a worldwide marketplace for accommodations; they’ve been around for about 10 years now. They allow you to rent all types of accommodations, from local hosts. Just enter the location, your check-in and check-out dates, the number of guests and your price range and you’ll see all the listings available. I was a bit nervous before booking my first stay with Airbnb as I didn’t know anyone who had used this service before. Now, I’m pretty much an Airbnb-only type of traveler.
If you’re thinking about booking your first stay on Airbnb but are still unsure about it, let me answer a few questions you may have:
- Can I find accommodations anywhere in the world ?
Yes, pretty much everywhere. Airbnb is present in over 190 countries.
- Is it safe ?
Guests and hosts have to have their IDs verified. Also, after a stay, guests and hosts review each other. Of course, don’t book a place if it has bad reviews, or if there are no review or pictures of the place. I sometimes see some listings that are a bit too good to be true, with 0 review, so I skip them obviously.
See Airbnb like any other marketplaces: carefully read the ad and the reviews before booking. No reviews or bad reviews = no booking. I’ve been using Airbnb for over 6 years now and I’ve never had an issue.
- What are the advantages of staying at an Airbnb ?
I think for me, one of the biggest advantage is that you get to meet a local host. They can give you tips about their city, recommend a restaurant or some hidden gem you won’t find in any travel guide. Some even give thoughtful welcome gifts, such as a few cookies, or some local things–I got Floridian sea salt once !
Another advantage is the price of accommodation, which I’m gonna talk about a bit later. What’s nice too is that you can always want to find a place that fits your need: a very simple room in the heart of the city? they have that. A huge villa by the beach? they have that too. A cabin in the wood? Guess what… they have that too!
- What are the disadvantages of staying at an Airbnb ?
Some people may not like having a host around, but don’t forget that you have the option to rent entire apartments and houses.
I’ve read some stories of people who were disappointed by Airbnb… I’ve never been so I would say, be careful with your booking and you should be fine. The only time I encountered a (small) issue with Airbnb, they fixed it very quickly.
- Is Airbnb compatible with budget-traveling ?
Definitely ! Use the price filter and find a place that you can afford. If you get a shared room, you’ll definitely get the cheapest accommodation but everyone can find a place that fits their budget. I personally prefer to have my own room and I can always find good prices; here are some examples:
- Room in Prague: $30 a night
- Room in Gothenburg: $60 a night
- Room in Madrid: $30 a night
- Room in Rome: $48 a night
- Entire apartment in Brooklyn – 3 people: $40 a night per person
When you look at Gothenburg for example, hotels were $100-$120 per night so I saved pretty much 50% by staying at an Airbnb.
Also, if you sign up using this link, you’ll get a coupon when you take your first trip !
I hope this article convinced you to book your first stay with Airbnb, if it did, let me know where you’re going! And if you traveled with Airbnb before, share your experience in the comments!