It always shocks me when I come full circle on a business. A few years ago I attempted to try Airbnb when traveling to Europe and had nothing but frustrations. I made deposits and had host after host cancel on me. I felt more like I was begging for a place to stay rather than trying to pay for a service. Fast forward to 2016 and I have just had one great experience after another. What has changed? Check out my top 10 reasons below.
1: YOU GET TO STAY WITH A LOCAL
We all know as travelers that there is nothing better than staying with a local! You can pass on knowledge, learn different languages and maybe even make a life long friend.
2: NO MORE HOSTEL DORMS
With Airbnb, you get to stay in a house (95% of the time) or even your own apartment! It will come to a point when you get sick to death of sharing a cramped hostel room with 14 other people. So why do it? Instead, for a similar price you could have your own room, living like a local and get cultured by the minute! Everyone loves a few home comforts now and then!
3: IT CAN BE CHEAPER
For so long, travelers have believed that hostels are their cheapest option. But why? Because they are basic, you get a mattress (sometimes!) and a bit of floor space but are willing to spend $30+ per night. Yes hostels have their up sides, don’t get me wrong. But for the same price or a little more, you can stay in an incredible place, apartment, house, TREEHOUSE, bungalow, beach hut! If you are travelling as a couple or even a group, Airbnb is definitely a cheaper option! With thousands of locations boasting rooms under $40 per night, when you split that between two or more… You see where I am going with this?
4: YOU WILL FIND SOME EXTRAORDINARY PLACES
I am currently writing this from an apartment we rented on Airbnb in Pattaya, Thailand. We booked this place about a week ago using the easy to use Airbnb app. It was easy to research with all the reviews and maps and pictures. We are paying a total of $39 a night for a two bedroom apartment and that includes all cleaning and Airbnb fees. We have a full kitchen, two master bedrooms, each with it’s own balcony and a full living room to hang out in. That means for less than $20 each a night we are staying in this as opposed to a cramped hotel.
As an added bonus, our host and new friend Kris threw an amazing BBQ for us last night at his expense. We had a wonderful time and made new friends while talking with all of the other guests.
5: EXPLORE LOCATIONS AWAY FROM THE TOURISTS
A lot of listings aren’t always in the heart of the city or main tourist strip, but instead just outside. Make sure you can get transport into the city (if you want to) but normally the tourist attractions are super easy to access whilst you stay somewhere so many tourists will never see! You’ll get to see the real town and not just the tourist traps
6: YOUR HOST CAN GIVE YOU INSIDER TIPS
We know local knowledge is invaluable to travelers! Well with Airbnb, your host may just be able to recommend where and where not the eat, how to access the secret pathways which lead to a secluded beach paradise which only the locals know about or just how to get into the city cheaply! Think about all the places you would recommend to a traveler visiting your hometown, that’s what it would be like to live with a local!
7: THE PROCESS IS SO EASY
With Airbnb, the process is not long and drawn out, repeatedly filling out contact details etc. Once you profile is set up, you are good to go! The only unique point is that not every listing is an “instant book”. Generally you can request to stay with a host, give them a few lines on why your travelling, and they can approve or decline your booking request which for good hosts is normally within 24 hours. But don’t worry if you need a room quickly, there are plenty of “instant book” places and these are the ones I usually look for.
8: THEY HAVE AN APP
We all love a good app, and Airbnb has a great app. This means you have access to thousands of listings all over the world, right in the palm of your hand. And again, the process is just as easy, which means you can search listings, filter your results based on price, facilities etc, book a room and even read reviews.
9: YOU CAN MAKE MONEY
There is nothing better than free money right? Well with their referral program you can earn free travel credits every time a friend signs up and makes their first booking with Airbnb. Not only that, but your friend will get money off their first stay too! So it is a win win! The more people you sign up, the more money you can spend on accommodation around the world! Click below to get your free $35 travel credit to spend anywhere you fancy!
10: THE REVIEW SYSTEM IS HONEST AND DOWN TO EARTH
I think pretty much every traveler relies on other traveler’s reviews when deciding on a place to stay. However, sometimes it’s tough to decide whether the reviews are honest, and you never really get anything back once you review somewhere you have stayed. That’s where this site is different. You have 14 days to review a place you stayed at, not only that, your host can review you too. So not only does their profile look great as a host, but yours will have reviews from hosts too, saying what kind of guest you are, which will make booking requests oh so much quicker.
So there you have it. What are you waiting for? Yet another way to travel the world without breaking the bank. Now meet me at the pool!