Whether it is a stay-cation, one night stay, or international travel I nearly always use Air BnB.
While I have had some pitfalls using the app, for the most part Air BnB has actually enhanced my travels.
I have received a lot of questions from friends and family so I decided to write this in hopes that it clears up some of the hesitation and curiosity around the app.
This article contain the top three reasons to use Air BnB as well as tips on how to land the best accommodations.
I use Air BnB for these reasons:
- Travel Perks
Air BnB accommodations can be 50% cheaper than hotel rooms, and even a bit cheaper than hostels in some countries.
Aside from the money you save from booking, you can also save on transportation by choosing an Air BnB within walking distance of city hubs, attractions, grocery stores, etc.
If you’re really on a money crunch, try booking one with access to a full kitchen so that you have the option to dine-in.
Some Air BnBs even offer conveniences such as light breakfast or complimentary coffee.
Depending on whether you choose to stay in a “Private Room” or “Entire Apartment/Home” Air BnBs tend to have a more homey vibe than hotels.
What I mean by this is, Hosts tend to put a lot of love and personalization into their space.
While some may prefer the sleek look of a hotel room, I prefer a space with fluffy pillows, rugs, pictures on the wall, and comfy couches.
Aside from the often cozy vibes, I find it comforting knowing that I have one-on-one contact with the host in case any emergencies or needs arise.
I have heard quite often that people feel awkward staying in someone else’s space, and while I can’t guarantee you’ll change your mind, I suggest giving it a try at least once. Initially, I felt the same but quickly embraced the unique stays and haven’t looked back since.
Air BnB typically provides a very ‘local’ experience.
By reading a bit about the Host when choosing a space, you can easily find a space owned by a local in your chosen destination which provides you with an authentic experience.
For example, when I traveled to Norway I used almost exclusively Air BnB. I stayed in a university area, a quiet neighborhood, and in the city. This gave me a well-rounded idea of how locals live and use their space.
Many Hosts also choose to leave some sort of a guidebook. This can include popular local spots, Host favorites, transportation information, and safety tips. Invaluable tips curated for your specific location.
OPTIMIZE YOUR SEARCH
Utilize the Air BnB search engine
- Enter your destination
This can be as broad as a city (Chicago, Illinois), or as specific as a neighborhood (Hyde Park, Chicago, Illinois.)
Note: You will not be able to see the exact address until booking (for safety reasons), so ALWAYS view the map provided to ensure that the Air BnB is in the general desired location to save on transportation.
- Choose dates & guests
Select the dates you will be checking in – checking out, and the amount of guests.
Note: Air BnB does count couches as sleeping spaces so make sure to check in the ‘About this space’ to see specifically what types of sleeping spaces are provided.
- Choose any additional filters that are important to you
You can toggle the ‘price range,’ select whether you prefer an ‘entire place’ or ‘private room,’ choose amenities, facilities, etc.
Note: This is how you truly CUSTOMIZE your stay! If you want to stay in a cabin with a hot tub and a deck, you can select that. If you are traveling internationally and need access to wifi, you can select that. You can even find a space with a washer & dryer for long-term travel. This can save you money, and add comfort to your stay.
Research your Host
- Click on the photo of the Host and read their description
This gives you a hint of their personality, history, and experience.
- Read reviews
DO NOT SKIP THIS. The space can be beautiful, have tons of amenities, but a bad Host can compromise your comfort and safety. Be sure to read reviews and take them seriously.
- CONTACT YOUR HOST
ALWAYS reach out to your Host after booking to ensure that they are responsive and friendly.
The ONE time I did not do this I ended up stranded outside of my Air BnB alone and had a terrible experience. You rely on your Host for check-in, check-out and other important details so this is important!
In 2019, the travel industry is constantly changing and hospitality is no exception.
While hotels are always a classic option, Air BnB and other apps/websites provide a more customizable, budget friendly way to explore!
I hope that this article has answered some questions and encourages travelers to try something new.
Please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any further questions!