We’ve used Airbnb a few times when we were traveling and living in the country of Georgia and although we only had great experiences, there are some pros and cons of using AirBnB .
Marie Nieves, regular author at High Style Life, mastered the art of using Airbn and shares her experiences of why you should or shouldn’t use AirBnb on your travels.
As someone who has been on both ends of renting property, I’ve heard all sorts of stories, from the nightmare types, all the way to your dream-come-true scenarios in which the guest and the host are a match made in heaven.
Thanks to the digital revolution in every aspect of our lives, we now have the convenience of booking anything – from massive hotel rooms to little apartments overlooking a postcard-worthy view. And platforms such as Airbnb have made it all the more transparent and personal!
Whether I travel alone or I’m just another member of the digital nomad herd, I always do my best to seek out the ideal accommodation for all of its intents and purposes. Some of my friends need to be close to a fitness center, while I would love to have access to a slice of nature if possible.
I work while I travel, as well, so wherever I go, I have to make sure that I’ll have the right conditions to stay dedicated to my job. One might say I’ve mastered the art of Airbnb-ing my way around the globe, and I’m pleased to share my dos and don’ts so that you can make your own travels as comfy and memorable as possible!
1) Pro: the local lifestyle
If there’s a single key reason why so many digital nomads love Airbnb (myself included), it would be precisely this particular perk: you get to interact with a local from day one, stay in a truly local environment, and immerse yourself into the local culture in a way no other experience can offer.
Most of the homes you’ll come across actually reflect the local customs and traditions to a certain extent, so it’s no wonder many of those apartments look and feel as if they were living, breathing museums.
If you find yourself on the other end of the bargain (as a host, that is), you get to meet and greet people of all backgrounds and interests. I’ve had many wonderful encounters when my guests would extend an invitation to their own home, and tell me so much about their homeland, that I’d actually take them up on their offer.
Making connections and building relationships is an incredible honor, both for the guests, and the hosts alike.
2) Con: the limits
Airbnb has been touted one of the best ways to find affordable stay anywhere in the world, but the term is often a very relative one, depending on the destination as well as the length of your stay. For example, certain truly cheap apartments come with a minimum stay limit that doesn’t suit you as a visitor, and also comes with various additional fees.
It’s not just that you need to spend a few extra nights at a reasonably priced place, but you need to factor in the occupancy taxes and the service fee that often comes with apartments, adding to your final bill.
This may be acceptable for someone who already plans to spend an entire week or two in a city, but if you’re traveling for business and only need a single night to sleep, then the search for the perfect spot becomes limited to those apartments who actually allow being rented for a single night.
3) Pro: flexibility and transparency
The platform comes with many perks in terms of simplifying communication between the host and the guest and makes the whole process quite an enjoyable and personal one. You can choose to manage your rental on your own, talk to potential guests when they reach out, manage your calendar while using Airbnb property management in Sydney and similar major cities has become another favorite option among hosts.
This gives you, the owner, peace of mind knowing that your place is in safe hands, while you don’t have to spend hours of your day negotiating with potential guests, managing your page, texting back and forth, and the like.
You still have the reins, however, but without the burden of micro-managing your property. This changes nothing for you as someone who wants to rent a place, as you still have a single point of communication and the entire process is equally simple and breezy from start to finish!
4) Con: the risks
We’ve all heard the horror stories about guests that fake their way into your lovely place only to destroy it to bits and pieces. On the other side of the story, you have lovely photos of apartments, and no reviews to check out as of yet, and you are greeted by a place that has little in common with its online presentation. While it’s important to note that these situations are not the norm, they are most certainly a possibility.
The best bit of advice I can give you is to choose apartments and homes with existing reviews (positive ones, of course), and always keep your place insured in case you are the one renting your home.
There are other risks associated with using the platform to book and stay in a new place, such as whether or not the rental has all the safety amenities, from a fire extinguisher to some form of a security system.
5) Pro: saving time and money
On the other hand of the financial tale, as you’ll stay in someone’s actual home as opposed to a hotel room, you’ll have access to a fully-equipped kitchen, and your hosts will let you know where you can find the most affordable groceries and where the local farmer’s market is.
I’ve learned to ask for directions as well, especially in massive cities such as New York, where everything from streets to their crowds can feel overwhelming. I’ve done the same for my guests here in Sydney, even if they don’t remember to ask – it might be their first Airbnb experience, after all!
As a visitor in a new country, you can always compare the prices in various hotels, but rest assured that you’ll easily find a home, or at least a room, at a much fairer cost, in a better location, and with all the above-mentioned perks of getting in touch with a local.
You can save up on public transport by choosing a location that best suits your needs, and often a host will let you know where you can find the most wallet-friendly shopping nooks, too!
Whether you’re an Airbnb host or a future guest, you can always rely on the platform’s ability to tackle issues, simplify communication, and give you access to some of the best travel experiences of your life. It takes a bit of research to find your own match made in heaven, but with it, you can finally embrace the “stay like a local” vibe, and truly taste your destinations from a local’s perspective!
About the Author:
Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels, she likes to read poetry and prose and surf the Internet. Her favorite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. She spends most of her free time at home walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography and a regular author at High Style Life. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.