AirBnb – Safe or Sorry?

Written by Travel

AirBnbs – what is the verdict? Some say that they are the best places to stay in whilst travelling while others cross it off their list of possible housing immediately. Mimi and Julia discuss the pros and cons of living in an AirBnb instead of a hotel.

One of the great things about Airbnb is that the accommodations on the website are just as unique as their hosts. You can choose a place that is perfectly tailored to your needs and the way you want to spend your holidays. Whether it is just a sublet room in an apartment or the entire house for you and your friends, depending on what you are looking for there is a place for you. Filled with personality, these places are often decorated with hand-picked objects that have nothing in common with the monotony of hotel chains.

When travelling you want to explore new places and cultures. You want to be surprised, experience something new and not have an intercontinental breakfast yet again. On Airbnb you can find spectacular buildings to spend your holidays in, which are simply not made for the masses. It can be a lighthouse by the seaside, a tree-house hidden in the woods, a remote villa in the countryside or a little apartment in the city centre, it is the lifestyle that comes with it, that makes it feel like a second home to you.

What makes renting an accommodation via Airbnb such a great experience is certainly the hosts, who are just as passionate about travelling as you are. They normally offer great advice, because they really want you to have the best time you possibly can and as locals, they know the place like no one else. So when you go grocery shopping at the market, you already know where to get the freshest fruit or local delicacies. Also, you are unlikely to get lost in the often chaotic public transport, because the host knows the best connections to your accommodation.

For those wanting to avoid tourist traps, this is your chance to get fantastic insider tips off the beaten track. From personal experience, I can tell you that without the hosts I would have missed out on many things. In retrospect, they are some of my most precious travel memories.

However, there is also the downside of living in an Airbnb –

Airbnb undoubtedly made way for a new business model – people interested in sharing their own homes with travellers who would like to experience the local culture. Despite the many pros of Airbnb that you can find on the Internet, there are just as many cons that you should take into account before using the platform to book your holiday accommodation!

[pullquote]Airbnb is not for the cookie-cutter traveler, but for those seeking an individual and more independent travel experience[/pullquote]

Firstly, the location and route guidance are unclear. The house is a personal property that one would not spot out as easily as a hotel with has a conspicuous sign. Travelers must rely on the hosts’ instructions. It seems easy, but difficulties can arise when you are in such an unfamiliar environment. You can even have a problem locating the doorbell!

In addition, you have to plan the check-in beforehand. The timings are not as flexible as a hotel that has a reception – usually round-the-clock – which can deal with your enquiry. It is necessary to secure the appointment with the host and make sure both of you can meet each other smoothly otherwise the check-in and check-out process can be very frustrating!

Most Airbnbs are not run by professional operators which can lead to disappointing visitors. One such issue that can arise due to a lack of formal training is horrible hygiene service. The hosts might not properly clean the house or change the bed sheets after the last guests left.Another downside worth mentioning is that the aspect of the lodging may be inconsistent with its description. Checking the property’s details before booking is a good idea, but there is a risk that those might not as described.

Airbnb is not for the cookie-cutter traveller, but for those seeking an individual and more independent travel experience it is definitely worth browsing. You may stumble upon some beautiful places you will love to stay in! For those looking for a unique experience or to cut costs, Airbnb can be a great alternative instead of a hotel. But, people must consider its potential shortcomings otherwise it can cast a shadow over what should be a happy and relaxing time. 

Last modified: 26th October 2018

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