Airbnb. It's one of my favorite ways to experience travel.
I know some folks are still a bit adamant about using, the online community marketplace that connects people looking to rent their homes with people who are looking for unique accommodations. But, there is nothing really to worry about if you do your homework. Airbnb can benefit both hosts and travelers.
Hosts get to meet people from around the world while making a little extra money, and travelers can often stay for less than the cost of a hotel room. In addition, many travelers enjoy accommodations that offer a different experience from standard hotels. Many users find the personalized service, both from hosts and from Airbnb’s customer service, makes for a good experience
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My very first experience with Airbnb was in Amsterdam back in 2012. my husband and I instantly fell in love with this whole concept, and later used Airbnb in a location perfect apartment in Nice, France; a modern pad in Hong Kong; a shared apartment in trendy Surry Hills twice in a penthouse with breathtaking views in Sydney; an uber-hip spot in Seattle; Asheville and Tamarindo. We've done both the shared house (where one stays in an extra bedroom at your hosts home) and private home (your hosts home is entirely yours during your stay.) Both were great experiences with some of the best hosts and some friendly pets. We've also listed our place on Airbnb, which was also a cool experience. I'm sure we will be using Airbnb for our 4-month stay in Charlotte, and out 2015 travels to Costa Rica, Spain, and Italy.
If you are new to Airbnb, this will be a great start to your Airbnb experience, and hopefully will encourage you to give Airbnb a try.
Here are 5 tips for making your first Airbnb stay a good experience:
1. Carefully consider your booking needs
Before you even start searching Airbnb’s website make sure you are clear in your accommodation needs. Airbnb generally presents a long list of broad rental options so narrowing down your search requirements will help reduce the overwhelming feeling I’m sure some first-time Airbnbers feel. As a recommendation, have a clear understanding on how many guests will be staying, the rental type you are after (whole apartment, private room or shared room) and maybe some loose budget ideas. Airbnb hosts do their best to be very specific about what they do and don’t offer, being able to match your requirements without confusion is the aim. Play around with the search functions on Airbnb, you may find the perfect hidden gem.
2. Check reviews and host’s approach
So you’ve found a few interesting rental options, now it’s time to get a feel and develop some trust in your potential host. As a first-timer, you would be strongly advised to stay with a host who has a few reviews. Every review left is a real, paying Airbnb Guest so the reviews can be trusted. The beauty of being a great Airbnb user (host or guest) can only be gained through doing fun things with your hosts and guests real-world experience.
Aside from the reviews, take a look through the Host’s photos are they Airbnb Verified? Has the host verified and connected themselves to their listing? Do you have any social connection in common? How quickly do they respond? These aren’t hard and fast rules but as a first timer, best to play it safe – your Host’s approach should give you nothing but confidence in staying with them.