In case you’ve never heard of it before, Airbnb is a lodging reservation website on which home owners can list their spaces and “match” with travelers who are looking for a place to stay. The site currently has over 2 million home listings all over the world!
I’ve used Airbnb six times now – including a 3-month-long stint in New York City – and I have 2 more upcoming trips already planned. I’ve become such a fan of the site because of how easy it is to use. I’m also lucky enough to have never had a bad experience with any of my listings. Below are a few reasons why you should consider Airbnb when looking for accommodation for your next trip.
Reason #1: You can search for exactly what you want, anywhere in the world.
Airbnb allows you to search for lodging exactly to your preference. You can decide whether you want a whole place to yourself or if you’re okay with staying in a private room in someone else’s home. You can filter your searches based on location, price, dates, accessibility, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, amenities you want and even family-friendliness. Airbnb is available pretty much anywhere in the world and it only seems to be picking up speed. No matter where you’re traveling and for what reason, you can find a listing suited to your needs.
Reason #2: The website/app is easy to use.
From a user experience standpoint, the Airbnb website is designed to be as easy as possible to navigate. Each listing has a summary icon in which you can see images of the place, the price per night, location and customer ratings. Only people who stayed at the Airbnb location can review it so it’s helpful when looking for an honest recount of guest experiences while choosing a place to stay at. You can search for homes through lists or by looking at a map in order to select one in the exact location you want. You can also read a full description of the place and see a breakdown of the total cost for the duration of your stay before making a booking.
Reason #3: Airbnb has good customer service.
There was a time that I had booked a stay with a host who actually ended up offering me the place at a reduced price. I simply called Airbnb to ask for a full refund so that I could wait for the host to adjust the price. My call was answered without me having to wait for hours, and my money was fully refunded 3 days later. Airbnb knows the potential risk of having people list their homes so they’re ready to respond if need be. They also have a lot of protections in place for both hosts and guests. You can see who has submitted their government issued ID, verified their phone numbers and provided other information to prove that they’re the real deal. That’s another reason why reviews are really helpful.
Reason #4: You can have your own place while you’re on vacation/working.
Hotels can be great, but it’s always nice to have the comfort of a home wherever you are. Access to a kitchen is something we take for granted, but if you’re on a longer trip and want to be frugal at times, being able to cook your own meals is definitely important.
Whether you’re traveling for work of leisure, having your own space to get back to after a day of exploration or board meetings can be an added bonus. Even when I did my long-stay in New York City, I appreciated having a room to myself in an apartment and being able to just make myself a cup of tea or a bowl of cereal whenever I got hungry. Also, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like the continuous bustle of hotels, an Airbnb home could be a solution for you.
Reason #5: It’s typically more cost effective than staying in a hotel.
According to an article on Quartz, you can rent an entire home on Airbnb for an average price of $160.47 while a room in a hotel costs an average of $163.90. That means that if you’re willing to stay in a private room or even a shared room, the cost to stay in an Airbnb would go down even more. Airbnb is especially cheaper in big cities like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami. Though hotels provide certain services that most Airbnb listings don’t (e.g. shuttle bus services, room service, morning wake-up calls), the fact that you can have the privacy of an entire apartment for the price of a room has me sold.
If you want more information on how to use Airbnb, I’ll be putting out a “Tips and Tricks When Using Airbnb” article soon.