23 May Guest blogger Margaret Allan of Ebb and Flow gives you the low-down on Airbnb.
Check out her amazing travel blog full of travel, culture and opinions! https://ebbflowculture.wordpress.com/
To Airbnb or to not Airbnb?
If you’re a well-seasoned traveller or just enjoy the odd holiday each year, you’ve probably heard of Airbnb! Airbnb has become hugely popular over the past few years. It’s easy and cheap and can add another level of excitement to your holiday! Having experienced Airbnb stays in Berlin, Stuttgart and London, I’m hoping I can give a bit of a low-down on the positives and negatives of booking an Airbnb!
If you’re on a budget, booking an Airbnb could be the perfect option for you. In most big cities, as well as smaller ones, there is an abundance of Airbnb options with the prices often being quite affordable and cheaper than a hotel.
Another advantage of booking the rooms is that it is quite easy to do. Some rooms have instant booking options, whereas others have a “request to book” option. With the “request to book” option, you may have to wait a little while for your host to approve your booking but from my experience, you never have to wait too long!
When choosing to book your Airbnb, there is always lots of information on offer. You can learn about the location of the Airbnb, the house rules, the amenities there and you can see many photos of the place. So you don’t have to walk into booking the Airbnb completely clueless of what to expect from your stay!
After your booking’s being confirmed, your host will often get in contact with you (this has usually been through Whatsapp for us!). It’s always really nice to hear from the host and it helps put you at ease that they’re on the ball and know when to expect you. So, you can start to enjoy your holiday as soon as you step out of your front door, knowing your transport and accommodation is all planned and well co-ordinated!
Sometimes, one of the nice things about going away is having a moment of quiet, and some privacy to relax and truly be able to take a step back from the real world. With Airbnb, you can book entire homes, which allows you to have some privacy but there is also the option to book private rooms in a house. Booking private rooms means you share the house with whoever else lives there, or other Airbnb guests. Whilst I’ve never had any bad experiences of sharing the house with other guests or hosts (I survived 4 years of uni house sharing. So that must count for something in my tolerance levels of house sharing!), sharing a house with other people, in the context of your holiday, doesn’t quite make it as relaxing as a hotel, for me. Think of little things like trying to find a quiet moment in the kitchen to have your breakfast, or waiting in the queue for the shower. However, those things don’t need to matter and it depends on what you’re used to from where you’re living. It also depends on what the purpose of your trip is! If your Airbnb is just somewhere for you to rest your head at night, it could be the perfect option for you!
One of the other negatives of Airbnb is simply the unknown! Photos, the list of amenities and the messages from your host can all speak volumes for what you should expect from your Airbnb. However, you can never really know what to expect from your Airbnb until you get there – what will the surrounding area look like? What will the host be like? Will the room be bigger or smaller than you expect? What if the host forgets to arrive for the agreed check-in time? It’s all a bit of a mystery! Whereas with a hotel, you feel there’s a certain element of trust. Once you’ve been to one Travel Lodge, you know they’re all the same – the same goes for the Premier Inn, Holiday Inn and the Hotel ibis. However, there is something exciting about going somewhere different too!
Depending on what your priorities are, I think Airbnb can make a pretty great addition to your holiday! First of all, it’s cheap! This is a great bonus, as it can give you a few extra pennies to spend on day trips on your holiday! It can also be a great way to get a real flavour for whichever city you’re staying in, as well as there being some really great places you can book across the globe.
If you’re looking for a bit of luxury, or something very easy, where you know you can be looked after by reception or room staff, a hotel may be a better option. It just all depends on what you’re planning for your trip! Whatever, I have definitely become an Airbnb convert and would recommend it for anyone who’s looking for a cheap and different way to spend their holiday!
By Margaret Allan.
Thinking of booking through Airbnb?
How to Get an Airbnb Discount
Here are a few ways you could get an Airbnb discount:
- Ask your host for a Special Offer. Use this sparingly! And please, be considerate. Hosts are often relying on their earnings to make a living!
- Check if the property is listed elsewhere. Some properties may be available to book direct or be listed on other sites such as Booking.com at a lower price.
- Book longer stays to snag a weekly or monthly Airbnb discount. Most hosts offer weekly or monthly discounts on their listings to entice users to book longer stays. If this is enabled, it should show up automatically when you select your dates in the listing’s calendar.