I heard about Airbnb few years ago but only recently join this community. I’m not only booking places to stay while traveling but as well hosting other people through it. If you are still not sure if Airbnb is exactly what you are searching for your trips or earn extra money – here is my pros and cons for joining Airbnb. Hope it will help you to decide.
Why you should consider to STAY via Airbnb?
You can find accommodation in more than 190 countries all around the world. And can book not only a room in the flat, full apartment but as well castle, houseboats, windmills and other places for your stay.
You can rent a place for 1 night or months, depends on your needs (if you stay longer than a week you get discounts).
It can be cheaper than stay in hotel or even home-stay. For example in Oslo I stayed via Airbnb. I rent a room in a flat where was living owner. To rent a room was cheaper than all flat. I made breakfast, cook lunch and dinner there, so I didn’t spend money for eating outside (what is quite expensive in Oslo). In total I pay less than would stay in home-stay and would eat outside.
You can read honest reviews about place where you want to stay, like comments are published only after both sides (guest and host) complete review. So there are no “revenge” comments if your host didn’t like your review.
It’s a community, so you get a lot of support in any case (solving problems, refund money and etc.).
Most of the hosts are the same travelers like you, so they try to make your stay as good as possible. What is sometimes missing in hotels, where people just making business and work only for money.
Staying in local places you can feel more like at home, sometimes be closer to local culture and daily life, what is missing in hotels.
You can contact many hosts and later decide which one to choose. You get 24 hours to approve your booking or not.
It’s easy to book – you need just register in Airbnb (get verified), find a place, if you have additional questions contact host before booking (you can get replies through SMS) and then book. The system will make reminders before the trips, will arrange all payment process (no cash needed).
You can apply many filters before finding the right place: choose property type, amenities (smoke detector, iron, suitable for events and etc.), size of apartment, price range, room type, guest numbers and much more.
Usually booking a room in hotel you don’t see exact room where you will stay, maybe it will be near elevator other noisy place. In Airbnb you see all pictures and know exactly where you will stay. If photos not enough – you can ask a host to send extra pictures.
If you need stay longer, you have everything you need for your daily needs: washing machine, kitchen equipment and etc. you don’t need to pay extra for any service (like laundry in hotels).
When bookinga room atthe apartmentyoudon’t have tospendall the timewith thelandlord. For example in Couchsurfing it’s exchange – you get free stay because the host wants to know more about you, your life, travels and etc. Host expects that you will spend more time with him.
What you should know before booking in Airbnb
The host can cancel your booking without explanation even if calendar was free at your choose days. As well not reply during 24 hours, then booking will be automatically canceled.
If you rent a room in couple rooms apartment, can be hosted more than 1 traveler at the same time.
If you are booking a room with owner, don’t expect that he will be the person who will show you around or will spend with you most of the time (it can be but not with all hosts).
When you are booking a room with landlord, you should consider that you are coming to his daily life routine. For example in the photos kitchen looks tidy but in reality can be a bit messy.
Like in any accommodation place (no matter hostel, hotel or Couchsurfing) there are house rules that you need to follow.
Some hostels put their ads in Airbnb as well and put prices higher than you can find in accommodation search engines.
You should understand that if you rent a room or apartment, there will be around neighbors. Maybe their daily life routine can be noisy and etc. (but you can ask host about neighbors).
You rent a private room or flat but the public spaces like corridor can look differently than place interior. But is it matter if you don’t stay in corridor?
The prices can be different from what you see in main page. It can vary depends on your selected days, how many people will stay. As well will be added Airbnb fee, can be added cleaning fee.
If it’s important for you, not all hosts are local people.
You can read some stories in internet about not nice experiences with hosts, but where you won’t find such things if you belong to community?
Why worth to RENT a place through Airbnb?
There is no registration fee. And eligible hosts are protected up to $1,000,000 with the Airbnb Host Guarantee.
Your place don’t need to be available all the time. You can mark in calendar when you are not available. So it can be only temporary hosting.
Before listing your place you can add all information for guests: check-in, check-out timing, is it suitable for pets or kids and etc. You can make it as comfortable for yourself as you want.
All members should verify their account, so in any case, Airbnb have all information about guests (hosts as well).
You can get a lot of support from Airbnb: tips, reminders and etc. 24 hours per day.
If you are renting a place it doesn’t mean that you need to stay with a guest all the time. Just behave with a guest as you would like to be treated while you are traveling.
If you didn’t choose “instant booking” you can cancel guest request if you don’t like reviews about him or other reasons. Nobody force you to rent your place even if it’s listed.
What you should know before host a guest via Airbnb
Some countries has special laws for temporary renting. You should check how it is in your country, if you won’t need to pay extra taxes and etc. while using Airbnb.
Before listing your place you should answer for yourself these questions: Do you like meeting new people? Do you have a general sense of trust in humanity? Are you uncomfortable with having strangers in your home when you’re not there? Do you find the idea of cleaning up after strangers revolting? If more than 2 answers is “no” – maybe Airbnb is not for you.
You will get payment to your bank account after 24 hours after the guest check-in.
In internet you can read some stories about not good experiences of hosting guests. So I suggest to read some of them before deciding.
For me it’s really worth to use Airbnb. First I save money during my trips on accommodation, like using Airbnb credits. Second I earn extra money while my flat is temporary empty. In such case I “win” double :).
Will you consider to become part of Airbnb community? Or maybe you already a member and would like to share your pros and cons?
Before coming to Indonesia, I didn’t know much about this country. But after I started to search for information, I was surprised how “rich” is Indonesia :). Even some of the facts became my travel destination. I hope these interesting facts about Indonesia will be useful for you as well:
The country is 2nd after Brazil with the highest level of biodiversity in the world.
Mount Tambora erupted in 1815, which is the world’s most powerful volcanic eruption. It affected the global climate to such an extent that it was called “year without summer”.
Indonesia has the smallest fish in the world named the Paedocypris petrogenetic, with a length of 7.9 mm and found in a Sumatra muddy swamp.
Indonesia has the world’s longest snake called the Python Reticulates, which is ~7 meters long and can be found on Sulawesi island.
Indonesia has the world’s smallest primate named the Tarsier Pygmy (Tarsius pumilus), also known as the Mountain Tarsier, whose length is only 10 cm. This animal looks like a monkey and lives on trees found on Sulawesi island.
Indonesia has the world’s largest flower called the Rafflesia Arnoldi, which has a diameter of up to 1 m during the blossom phase. Reaching 5ft high and 4ft wide, it only blooms for 3 days, and for 8 hours of these 3 days, the flower gives out the rotting flesh smell. Found in Borneo and Sumatra islands.
Indonesia has the only living ancient dragon, Komodo, which can be found on Komodo island. Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard, is an endemic species of Indonesia; the creature is also the national animal of the country.
Javan rhinoceros is an animal that lives only in Indonesia; in any other part of the world, you will not see this animal.
Indonesia has the largest mangrove forest in the world. The main benefit of mangroves is to prevent erosion by seawater.
Indonesia has the world’s largest amount of orchid biodiversity. There are about 6 000 species of orchids, ranging from the largest (Tiger Orchid or Grammatophyllum Speciosum) to the smallest (Taeniophyllum, which has no leaves). The collection also includes the Black Orchid, which is extremely rare and can only be found in Papua.
Indonesia has the largest number of shark species, which is approximately 150 species.
Indonesia is the world’s richest in terms of most extensive coral reefs. It has about 18% of the total coral reefs around the world.
With more than 450 different bird species, Java Island is a bird watcher’s paradise.
Sumatra is the biggest island of Indonesia, which comes under the Greater Sunda Islands. It is also the 6th largest and the fifth-highest island in the whole world.
If you wanted to spend one day on every single Indonesian island, you’d need more than 45 years.
By landmass size, Java is the world’s 13th largest island, and 5th largest Indonesian Island. It was formed mainly by volcanic eruptions and has an east-west chain of them along the island.
The main island of Java is as big as New York State. Java is split into four provinces: East Java, Central Java, West Java, and Banten.
Puncak Jaya is the highest point in Indonesia, situated in the highlands of Papua.
At the top of the Indonesian volcano, Kelimutu situated three lakes, each of which periodically changes color from turquoise to green, red and black. Such transformations are caused by volcanic gases, which react with a variety of minerals dissolved in the water, thereby changing the color of the lakes.
Certain fruits of Indonesia make foreigners curious. These fruits seem strange as they have no name in the foreigner’s language and they never knew it existed. The Durian fruit is one of them which is known to be the king of fruits. Salak (“snake fruit”) and Duku are some other examples of such “strange” fruits.
Tarsier Pygmy – the world’s smallest primate.
Taeniophyllum orchid – the smallest orchid without leaves.
Rafflesia Arnoldi – the world’s largest flower.
Puncak Jaya – the highest point in Indonesia.
Paedocypris Progenetica – the smallest fish in the world.
Mount Tambora – the world’s most powerful volcanic eruption that affected the global climate.
Komodo – the only living ancient dragon.
Volcano Kelimutu – in the top suited 3 lakes, each of which periodically changes color from turquoise to green, red and black
Javan Rhinoceros – an animal that lives only in Indonesia.
In some countries even don’t allow to take it inside hotels.
Indonesian people take it easy and slow. Indonesia is near the bottom of the ranking in “speed of walk” among all the countries in the world. Even though people in Jakarta are as busy as other workers in other big cities of the world, their speed when walking is notably slow. If there are Japanese/Western people who also live in Jakarta and walk among us Indonesian, you would spot them immediately, because their speed stands out.
The most important thing in Indonesia is not really “success” or hard-work or be of use for those around them. It’s being happy and loves their life. They don’t need big money as long as their life and their family is peaceful and easy. Maybe “take it easy and enjoy the risk” are the motto. The thing is, this attitude toward life is what makes them suffer the most. Sadly, they won’t change. They won’t put big effort but because they want their life to be easy, they have a lot of demand. And granted, it’s not being fulfilled.
In Java island, locals can often ask you to be photographed with them. The standard phrase “Hello misterrr, photo?” Even if you the girl, they will call you the same – “Mister”. Like in their language doesn’t exist “she/he” only “dia” that’s why sometimes for Indonesians hard to remember which gender is “Mister”, which is “Miss”.
Rice is the main food staple in Indonesia. Indonesian at least once per day should eat rice to feel full; usually, they eat rice 3 times per day.
Balinese are named according to their birth order. The 1st is Wayan, the 4th is Ketut and if you are the 5th, it goes back to Wayan.
The small Indonesian Hindu population mostly lives on the western island of Bali. Balinese Hinduism is steeped in ancient superstitions. They never let a baby’s feet touch the ground for the first six months, to prevent the devil from entering the child. This means that babies are continually passed around like hot potatoes by relatives.
Almost everyone in Bali has their teeth filed down. They believe that the essence of the 6 vices (jealousy, anger, confusion, drunkenness, desire, and greed) enters the body through the top 6 teeth, so by filing away their “demonic” ends, the vices are thwarted and entry to heaven is guaranteed.
Most of the time, as often in Asia, Indonesian people are not used to reading maps.
Indonesian people do not use toilet paper, but they wash with water, always available in WC in Indonesia. Indonesian people use the left hand to wash, while they keep the right hand to shake hands and to eat. If you cannot do without toilet paper, always keep with you a package of tissues.
Indonesian mostly eats with their hands. Do not use your left hand, and try to use only the first three fingers (thumb, forefinger, and middle finger). Wash your hands before and after eating with the finger bowl which is put on the table. Indonesian use to eat fast and silently.
The name “Indonesia” was first used by the British in the mid-19th century. It comes from the Greek “nesos” (island) and Indus, the Latin name for the land beyond the Indus river, which was derived from the Sanskrit name for that river: Sindhu. Dutch colonists didn’t like “Indonesia”, preferring Dutch East Indies or Malayan Archipelago. As a result, it was adopted by the anti-colonial movement in the early 20th century.
The oldest hominid in the world, Pithecanthropus Erectus, is found in Indonesia. Its origin is dated way back from 1.8 million years ago.
Another early human being, Homo floresiensis (“Flores Man”, nicknamed “hobbit” and “Flo”) is the possible species, now extinct, in the genus Homo. The remains were discovered in 2003 on the island of Flores in Indonesia.
The country is so expansive in its area covered that it has 3 time zones. It is one of the countries that have not been fully explored or mapped.
Indonesia is a major producer of cloves and nutmeg (It’s used in cooking, as medicine, and as a hallucinogen). Nutmeg is native to Indonesia’s Banda islands and ranked first in the world in terms of production.
Indonesia is the largest exporter of plywood, which makes up 80% of the supply to the world.
In the markets and in some shops there are no price tags, it is possible to bargain and make a price lower by two-three times.
Usually, the shops, eating places doesn’t show their working hours, so one day they can open and close in one time, the next day in another.
One of the world’s unique funeral processions takes place in a Toraja, a small town on Sulawesi island. The funeral procession will take around 7 days and cost a fortune. That’s why families usually save up their money for years before they can bury their loved ones. The dead bodies they are keeping in their house.
Movies in cinemas and on television never duplicated in the local language. Movies are shown in the original with Indonesian subtitles.
“Nasi goreng” is an Indonesian fried rice dish that is the world’s 2nd most beloved food as per a CNN poll and also known as the national dish of Indonesia.
It is the world’s largest producer of palm oil, 40% of which is set aside for use as biofuel. It also exports 3,000 tons of frogs’ legs to France each year.
Green spaces are not so common in Indonesia. Some cities have the city center arranged as a park, green space for people, which is nice, but other than that, you have to search and discover your own places where you can take a rest.
Nasi goreng – is the world’s 2nd most beloved food as per a CNN poll.
Toraja funeral – one of the world’s unique funeral processions
Indonesia is a major producer of nutmeg.
Indonesians mostly eats with hands.
One of the brand of Indonesian cigarettes that contains cloves inside.
Cloves drying in Damar island.
Cloves and nutmeg
Indonesian at least once per day should eat rice to feel full.
The facts that you probably already know:
“Unity in Diversity” is the national motto of Indonesia.
The flag of Indonesia is similar to the flag of Monaco. Like the Indonesian flag, the flag of Monaco also has two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and white.
The total land area of Indonesia places it in the 15th position in the world. Flying from one end to the other, from North Sumatra to West Papua, takes over 12 hours of flying time.
In terms of population, Indonesia is the 4th largest country in the world (after China, India, and the United States) with over 253 million (2014) people.
About half the population of Indonesia lives on less than USD $2 per day and the unemployment rate here is almost 10%.
With a population of 143 million, Java is the home of 57% of the Indonesian population and is the most populous island on Earth.
In Indonesia, there are around 300 ethnic groups.
The Indonesian Constitution guarantees freedom of religion but the government only recognizes 6 official religions (Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism). On the island of Java, more than 90% of the people are Muslims, on a broad continuum between abangan (more traditional) andsantri (more modernist). Some parts of south-central Java are strongly Roman Catholic and Buddhist communities exist in Java’s major cities.
Jakarta (capital city) with a population of more than 10 million is one of the world’s most densely populated cities.
Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) is the national language of Indonesia, used in schools and other state-run enterprises, as well as in the media. However, Indonesia has over 700 indigenous languages, meaning that many Indonesians are bilingual, speaking their indigenous language at home and Indonesian at work or school.
Indonesia is a very diverse country in terms of culture and around 583 languages and dialects are spoken in the country.
During World War II, the Japanese invaded and occupied Indonesia.
The Dutch kept Indonesia colonized for almost 350 years, owing to the fact that many old Indonesians speak Dutch fluently. Many Indonesian words have been derived from Dutch.
During the colonial periods of the 17th century, the Dutch introduced the cultivation of commercial plants in Java, including sugarcane, rubber, tea, and coffee. In the 19th and early 20th century, Javanese coffee gained global popularity. This is in fact why the name “Java” is commonly considered to be synonymous with coffee.
Indonesia was formerly known as the Dutch East Indies.
Indonesia became a member of the United Nations in the year 1950 and today it is the signatory to the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, the Cairns group, and the WTO.
There are around 17,500 islands in Indonesia (out of which 6,000 of these islands are inhabited) taking up almost the same space as the United States. New Guinea, Borneo (also known as Kalimantan), and Sumatra island are on the list of the top ten largest Islands in the world.
There are over 150 volcanoes in Indonesia. 127 of them are active. Records at least 3 earthquakes per day.
Indonesia is a part of “The Ring of Fire”, the volcano group. About 75% of the volcanoes of the Ring of Fire are in Indonesia.
Almost 60% of the country is covered with forests.
Indonesia sits on both sides of the equator (the line cuts across islands Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Kalimantan along with a few other small Islands in the middle of the country). Experiences tropical climate year-round and its average temperature do not fluctuate much throughout the year. The average range of the temperature remains between 26-30 degrees Celsius.
Indonesia has the biggest Buddhist temple in the world – Borobudur, built-in 9th century.
2 sports that are the most popular among Indonesians are badminton and soccer. Illegal gambling of sports is on the rise in the country.
The Indonesian industry mainly imports chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs, and machinery and equipment’s while electrical appliances, rubber, plywood, oil and gas, and textile are the main export products here.
Tourism is the main industry of Indonesia. The country attracts hordes of tourists and nature lovers from all across the globe for its pristine tropical forest and the culture of the people.
20% of liquid natural gas in the world is produced in Indonesia and the country is the largest supplier worldwide.
In Indonesia left-side traffic.
Indonesian loves spicy foods! Order a pizza or hamburger here; you will get some sambal packages.
The most expensive coffee in the world – Kopi Luwak is from Indonesia. Coffee beans are eaten by civets and digested before being brewed.
The most expensive coffee in the world.
2 sports that are the most popular among Indonesians are badminton and soccer
Indonesian loves spicy foods.
Borobudur – the biggest Buddhist temple in the world.