I often find those closest to me are stunned when they hear I use Airbnb while traveling...
Although I get some pretty off the wall responses, here are some of the most common questions and misconceptions I have heard over the years:
"You're staying in some strangers home? I can't believe it! That sounds so unsafe!"
Well, yes and no. Not all Airbnbs are rented out as a room within an occupied home. Although it may have started off that way, many people have purchased properties with the sole purpose of then renting that property out on Airbnb. If you look into the listing options, you can easily find many listings where you can stay in an entire flat/condo all to yourself- and at a very affordable price!
So it's not necessarily in a person's home. And when it is, I have found it to be super safe. Read on... :)
"How can you trust them?"
Each listing is attached to a profile which is connected to an account. The account can be verified through things like Facebook, email, phone number, and/or a government-issued ID. The profile will have reviews from other guests who have also previously stayed there, so this can give you a better idea of who will be your host.
For the best experience, choose an Airbnb host that is verified and has great ratings.
"Why would you stay in someone else's home instead of just renting a hotel?"
Now this question is what sparked an interest in me to write this article about Airbnb.
*FYI - This is completely written from my viewpoint and is based on my personal experience.
1. They usually offer to pick you up from your port or airport of arrival for a reasonable price. This means arriving to your place without any hiccups or rip-offs.
2. Airbnb is usually more affordable than a hotel.
3. Airbnb hosts can give you awesome tips and unique recommendations about what to do in the area you are visiting. I've found a hotel usually gives me only the tourist attractions, whereas Airbnb hosts usually give more of "the local insight" on things to do, which can be pretty cool.
4. Check in and out is usually more flexible which is super helpful if your arrival or departure times are unusual.
5. You can feel a bit safer knowing you have a local to contact in case of an emergency or any questions. Most Airbnb hosts are also travelers, so they really understand the stresses that can come with traveling and are super helpful.
7. Airbnbs have some of the best locations! For example, my boyfriends Airbnb in Cape Town is seriously my favorite location of all time. Not biased at all. Well maybe a little ;)
If you ever visit Cape Town come stay with us! Here is his AirBnB listing!
6. It's an opportunity to make a friend with someone from another country! I have heard awesome stories from friends who stayed connected to their AirBnB hosts and developed a deep friendship.
I really look forward to staying at an Airbnb when it's a short stay, a trip with a large group of friends or a vacation where I am outside more than inside. But don't get me wrong, I can totally do one of those luxurious, treat-yo-self kind of vacations too!
So there you have it! I have had some really great experiences with Airbnb, and I hope this write up encourages others to give it a try too!