I’ve stayed in all sorts of accommodation in my time travelling, but I’ve got to say some of the nicest and best value places have been ones I’ve found through Airbnb. So in this post I’m going to outline why I think it’s so great, and why you should consider it next time you travel.
Value for money
If Airbnb was too expensive people would never use it. One of the reasons it works so well is that for what is great value for us, is often also great value for hosts. If you want to stay somewhere quality with a bit of luxury (although this massively depends on location), most often the best and cheapest way to do this is through Airbnb. You can rent whole apartments with everything you’d need, or whole houses to fit 10 people, as me and group of friends did recently. The easy to use functionality and review system means you can be strict about budget and still choose the best options available for you. In all of my experience with Airbnb I’m yet to feel like I paid too much for somewhere.
A great reason for Airbnb is that they often aren’t in tourist hotspots. Admittedly sometimes they are, but I’ve found that I’ve actually discovered really cool places, towns, and areas that I would have never otherwise found if I’d just stayed in a hostel or hotel. You’re in people’s homes so you get to see what it’s really like to live somewhere. I’ve had lakeside views, rooftop patios with cracking views (like above), modern city centre pads, country cottages, and I could go on… If there’s one thing I’ve realised about AirBnB is it allows you a way of staying somewhere more off the beaten track that you might never have considered. Or the contrast to this, is that it allows you to stay right in the action, in the middle of where it’s all going on, for so much cheaper than otherwise. Take the above example which was a shot taken from the roof terrace in Hawaii, I stayed right in Waikiki where all the 5* hotels are located, for probably less than 10% of the price.
With Airbnb working on a review system, whereby the hosts review guests and vice versa, you get to see reviews by other guests before you stay somewhere and can get a taste of what the place and host are going to be like. I’ve always found that by going to positively reviewed places, the hosts are friendly, and very informative. The amount of great tips and information I’ve received from lovely hosts over the years is better than you’d get from any guide book. When your host provides options of what to do and see, it’s like having a local show you around. When I stayed in Hawaii, the host Kane drove us to local hikes and beaches all across the island, and it really made my stay. I went to places I would have never seen and had a far better experience than I would ever have had staying anywhere else. Another example is my friend Sam who stayed in Kyoto, his host took them out to his favourite local restaurants and spots. This obviously won’t happen all the time, but in cultures like Japan where often locals like to practice their English and meet westerners, it might happen more than you think!
Although the company is called Airbnb, with the ‘bnb’ suggesting ‘bed and breakfast’, often you won’t actually expect breakfast unless it’s stated. A lot of the reason for this is places that you’ll stay in for a week for example and are more self catering types. But when you do! My the breakfasts can be incredible. The main picture for this post was when we stayed in Canada with such a lovely host who made us a different breakfast every morning and spoilt us rotten. Other extras might include the use of the facilities in the place, such as a wood burning stove, or projector screen, or hot tub, or swimming pool (see above). It’s the little extra perks that often make staying in Airbnbs so special!
One of my favourite things about Airbnb is that you don’t need to book way in advance. I’ve been on trips where we’ve wanted to play it by ear and decide where to stay as little as the day before, and Airbnb provides a great and flexible way to do this where you won’t get charged extra because it’s last minute. It always get’s on my nerves how hotels would seemingly rather have an empty room than lower their prices… Whereas with Airbnb, you’ll only see the options that are available, so you’re very likely to find somewhere. Also, if you’re travelling solo and just need a cheap room for the night, you can often find just a room somewhere too.
Don’t worry, I don’t actually work for Airbnb! I’ve just always had such positive experiences with using their service I had to write this post. So if you’re looking for an easy, good value, verified, flexible, and different way to travel somewhere, Airbnb is always a great option.
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