I find Airbnb a fantastic alternative to hotel and hostel stays when traveling. I have now used this service a few times and have had wonderful hosts, and a great, private area in the middle of the action, for a fantastic price.
Of course, when booking with Airbnb, you aren’t guaranteed that it will be the way it was presented online, in real life. I find it is essential to read over reviews of past visitors. I won’t even consider a place with no reviews. Call me over protective? One example that stands out in my mind is when I was looking in New York. One place looked beautiful, but once I began to read over the reviews, it was mentioned that it looked bigger in the photos than in real life (a large difference apparently) and all reviews mentioned that the state of the bathroom was less than pleasant. I find cleanliness VERY important when staying away from home, so I was really glad to know this ahead of time. It is also very important to feel safe with where you are going especially as a solo traveling female. Along with myself, I also have all of my camera gear, computer, etc that I also need to store safely when I am not in the home. The quality you get from Airbnb depends greatly on where you stay and your budget. If you can manage it, I highly suggest getting an entire home/apartment. I know some people like the social aspect of sharing a home with someone else, and that’s great, go for it! But for me, I like having my space and privacy. I feel like I don’t have someone I have to impress (for lack of a better term) all the time. (Awkward 2am bathroom run ins……) Sure staying in hotels can be a lot of fun, but try Airbnb if you want a more ‘at home’ feel. You can even find some good monthly prices if you are traveling to a region for a longer period of time! The selection available through Airbnb is endless. You can also rent out your home while you’re away to help pay for your stay elsewhere if you like. Even if you decide to stay in a home where the owner is still residing during your stay, they are almost always prepared with plenty of information for visitors. Some even keep a host of tour books at the ready. They are people who typically love to have visitors in their home. They love to learn about other countries and this is a great way for them to do so while in the comfort of their own home. It is a trustworthy site which I am also very cautious of when doing anything online, so it helps to take the worry out for you.
Have you ever tried Airbnb or a similar service? Let me know your experiences in the comments below!
*Chart from google.ca