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 booking a room at the apartment you don’t have to spend all the time with the landlord. 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?