Which Airbnb Accommodations Suit You Best?

Airbnb has become a global giant in the hospitality industry, with listings available in 191 countries. According to their statistics, 17 million people stayed with Airbnb hosts in 2015 in comparison to 47,000 people in 2010.

Airbnb offers some great and affordable options for vacation stays, making it a fun alternative to live like a local than to stay in a hotel. I’ve personally booked through them several times and found the services incredibly useful. However, it can also confusing and time consuming while searching for a place to stay. That’s why it’s also best to use Airbnb’s search filters so that you save yourself time while looking.

Airbnb hosts, credit techcrunch

Airbnb hosts, credit techcrunch

If you’re thinking about booking your accommodations through Airbnb for your next holiday, but are unsure of what to expect, read on for some helpful tips to make the most of your Airbnb experience.

A room in a house or an apartment

The owner or even a family will most likely be there during your stay. It’s a little like going to mom’s house for the weekend, only no one is going to cook your dinner or do your laundry.

Expensive cities with Airbnb, Credit- businessinsider.com

Expensive cities with Airbnb (credit- businessinsider.com)

Pros: 

1. This is probably the cheapest way to stay in some of the most expensive cities in the world.

2. It’s perfect for a single person who only needs a place to sleep.

Cons:

1.You’ll be sharing living space with the resident of the home and maybe the bathroom.

2.You’ll have to retreat to your room for privacy rather than kicking back in the living room in front of the TV.

3. If you happen to “meet” someone, it’ll probably be frowned upon to take them back to your room.

airbnb impact, Credit- sfchronicle.com

Airbnb impact (credit- sfchronicle.com)

 Multiple rooms rented in a house or an apartment

This means that the owner has several rooms in one house that they rent out to various Airbnb guests at the same time. Although your room is private, you’ll most likely be sharing a bathroom and the kitchen as well. If it sounds a little like a hostel to you, well, essentially it is.

Meeting new people, Credit - go4travelblog

Meeting new people (credit – go4travelblog)

Pros:

1. It’s another affordable option for singles, couples, or families.

2. It’s a way to meet other travelers, maybe even making a friend or two.

3. It’s a great way to get tips  about the city you’re visiting.

4. The owner often offers a taxi service for their guests at a minimal cost so that you don’t have to rent a car.

Cons:

1. You’ll be sharing all the living space with various people. This means that if the others have a party, watch TV late into the night, or talk about life into the wee hours, even the privacy of your room might not be enough.

2. If the refrigerator is shared, others might mistake your food for theirs.

3. You’ll probably have to share your bathroom with different people, making for awkward times during peak bathroom times in the morning.

4. Depending on the location, parking may be difficult if you do arrive by car.

crowded house, credit flicker

The whole house, but the owner is still on the property

This is where the owner has a separate living area, such as an apartment, mother-in-law quarters, or a guest house, but lists the entire house on Airbnb. The house should have its own private entrance, and it often gives you much more living space than a conventional hotel.

whole house

Pros:

1.You can save money by preparing your own food.

2. It usually offers you solitude during your vacation.

3. The owner is close by if you need assistance.

4. The family often has a taxi service.

Cons:

1. You may lack total privacy because the owner is nearby.

2. Parking may be a problem.

3. It can be on the pricey side.

The whole house to yourself

This is often the best choice for families, or larger groups. This is also the most expensive option that very often trumps the cost of a hotel stay. However, if you factor in the space you get, it’s probably worth it.

Whole house to yourself, Credit- Pinterest

The whole house to yourself (credit- Pinterest)

Pros: 
  1. It’s really a great option for families or larger groups.
  2. You can cook all your meals.
  3. It offers complete privacy.
Cons:
  1. There’s usually a list of rules. Although these aren’t usually hard to follow, it’s still a reminder that you’re staying in someone else’s home.
  2. Since it is someone else’s home, you often feel on edge, making sure not to break or stain anything.
  3. You need to save time at the end of your visit to clean.
  4. There could be pricey cleaning charges.

When it comes to booking accommodations on Airbnb, it’s also best to check your options and make note of the fine print.

Essential tips:

  1. Read the fine print. That way you’re fully informed of exactly what you’re renting. This is the only way to really figure out how many rooms are being rented, or if it’s an apartment connected to the main house. Words like “entire house” or “room in a house” are generic terms and could mean a multitude of things.
  2. Mind the house rules that are usually posted.
  3. Review the cost description. Some can charge hundreds of dollars in cleaning fees.
  4. Check if the owner has a minimum-stay requirement.
  5. Look at the availability calendar before contacting the owner. This saves time for both of you and the owner.
  6. Contact the owner quickly if the accommodation is the perfect place for you, even if you’re just thinking about a vacation in that destination and haven’t booked anything yet. Places can rent out fast, so it’s good for the owner to know that you’re interested. It’s okay to do this at several places at the same time so that you find the best fit for you.
  7. You rate your host at the end of the trip, and they also rate you.

Have you booked through Airnb? Let us know what your experience was like.

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I have used airbnb several times and it has never failed me yet. I think if you know what you are getting in to and you no how to search for exactly what you are looking for, it’s a fantastic resource.

  • Done it few times. It was not bad and once I had to share my room with someone which was not expected but it was fun. We hang out all night talking.

  • I enjoyed the article as I had never heard of airbnb before. The pros and cons were very helpful.

  • Super useful post, Marc! Thank you for sharing all these insights.
    I’ve personally used AirBnb several times, mostly to stay in more expensive places in the US like New York and San Francisco, and until now I haven’t had any major negative experiences. There’s always a chance you’ll be sharing accommodation with a person who isn’t exactly your type of a roomie, but that’s never been a big deal for me because I spend most of my time outside and I also don’t expect everything to be perfect.

    However, I do agree you need to read every listing in detail and contact the host to discuss everything that’s potentially unclear. Another thing I would like to add is that, even though this narrows down my options a lot, I always book only through hosts that have a lot of positive user feedback. This way I can be sure that everything really is the way it’s presented in the listing.

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