And how it can change yours too!
Short-term apartment rentals. Sounds complicated like there are a lot of unspoken rules you have to be aware of and that you have to be vigilant of the ones you book. I was intimidated but as soon as I was able to do my first random location search on Airbnb, I was hooked.
The very first thing I booked on AirBnb was this exquisite and luxurious beachfront villa for our trip to Bali.
This photo’s Airbnb link is HERE.
I sifted through a lot to get down to this: price, amenities, location, space, pool and the ability accommodate all of us. Messages were sent left, right, up, down and upside-down. I was really anxious but then again, when you try something out for the first time – and it involves your credit card- you’d be anxious too. I would be handing over money to someone so I can stay at her rented out rooms. If this went south, I would be OK but I was worried what my Mom and Stepdad would say – my days of planning family trips could very well be numbered and the task would, once again, fall upon the hands of a travel agent. I wasn’t going to let that happen.
I cross-checked with the host, Paula, with a lot of correspondence and made sure that we decided on this one until finally the non-sound of a virtual cha-ching made its sound. Booked.
The great thing about Airbnb is that it discloses as much information as a host possibly can, including a host-written description, inclusions, amenities and other things like transfers, breakfasts and the like. Then there are reviews from recent travelers – those prove to be the best feature.
To get through the booking process, what you would normally do is to send the host a message about your inquiry (with the dates already included) and then go back and forth until you finally decide to book.
If you’re already confident in the host and in your Airbnb skills, you can directly book the thing, immediately, by already providing your credit card information so you can book it automatically just as you would if it were like, Agoda or something.
The other cool thing about Airbnb is that the rental will not be paid after 24 hours of the first day of your stay. So even if you booked the room 6 months in advance, like us, nothing is paid to the property until you check in. The credit card gets swiped, but the money stays with Airbnb so that you are insured that the property you check into is as more-or-less advertised.
Airbnb has a wonderful system that helped me in making our first reservation, I went through their entire site for answers to my questions. The site is very helpful in putting you at ease and introducing you to the wonderfully cozy world of short term apartment rentals. There is a section on refunds, on property insurance, security deposits and other helpful ideas that would come about in booking with Airbnb.
As part of my own screening process, I only book with people who have very good (and recent) reviews. I also tend to book with someone who has a very thoroughly written description that covers most aspects from breakfast to getting around and other amenities of the property. I also prefer ones with lots of photos of the property- including different parts of the room or apartment. When they only post photos of outside the property and not inside of the room, I skip it.
Breakfast isn’t always included nor is cleaning services. This may be a deal breaker for some, totally understandable though, which is why my Stepdad isn’t too fond of the concept. I am hoping this trip to Bali will change his mind about renting out rooms from “strangers.”
Personally, I like being able to stay at Airbnb properties because it just feels so homey and cozy. It’s not so much hustle and bustle as compared to a hotel and there are some perks that you just cannot get anywhere else. You could have the opportunity to interact with your host or even have the opportunity to forge everlasting lifelong friendships. Or not.
And that’s the beauty of it – go with a super duper interactive host, who treats you like family or go with someone who treats you as a receipt number. It’s all up to you.
During my very first stay at an Airbnb booking, the key to the condo unit was left at the front lobby so we had to “register” there. Other than that, we had no other interaction with anyone while we were there until we had to drop off the key when we left the following day.
This photo’s Airbnb link is HERE.
The condo unit had a bed, a kitchen and a bathroom. The place was spotless, the sheets were crisp and the view was awesome. Nothing much else. It was as advertised and we were able to enjoy the property.
I love that AirBnb has a mess of hosts that makes each experience unique and memorable. You can have a host that lives on the property. You can have one that will tend to you on the day you check in and check out and not be there for the duration of your stay. You can have a host that will not at all be there at all. It’s all a big mess, and I like it like that.
Airbnb can have its own hiccups though. It’s not with the site itself but with individual hosts. Like, when we booked one room, the host insisted that we paid the security deposit in cash upon arrival instead of through AirBnb but since Airbnb collected the deposit through my Paypal account automatically, we were able to avoid that little awkward moment and insist that we weren’t going to pay for security deposit twice. Besides, who randomly has $250 lying around to be used as security deposit?
I have officially made 5 bookings with Airbnb and I cannot wait to make more! I intend on using Airbnb when the day comes that we gallivant around Central London, Bondi Beach, the Upper West Side or the Seychelles (my Mom’s already looking at villas that she and her friends can book).
Booked because it was walking distance from NAIA Terminal 3. This photo’s Airbnb link is HERE.
Booked because, well, LOOK AT IT! It’s gorgeous! This photo’s Airbnb link is HERE.
For our Korea trip in the fall, I am already in the works of booking a highly strategically positioned apartment in the heart of Seoul. I already have a lot of favorites bookmarked. Here are a couple of them:
Considered because of its proximity to Seoul Station, assistance provided and it’s a cool loft! This photo’s Airbnb link is HERE.
Considered because, damn, who wouldn’t want to stay in a Hello Kitty loft?!?! This photo’s Airbnb link is HERE.
***All photos of rooms were provided by the property hosts as seen on their Airbnb profiles.
Oh yea, and this is NOT a sponsored post. I just love Airbnb a lottle. It’s like a little, except a lot.
Have you ever had an AirBnb experience? What was it like? Are you a host? Can I get a link to your property? 😀