So today I'm going to talk about Airbnb! I recently started using Airbnb and I thought it might be helpful for those of you out there wanting to know how Airbnb works and if it's a good option for your next trip.
Why I first used Airbnb
I first decided to use Airbnb when my husband and I were planning our trip to Japan. I was in charge of getting our room and I remember seeing Airbnb commercials recently and was hearing more and more of my friends using this service. I quickly looked through the Airbnb's in Japan and compared them to the hotels in the areas we were considering staying at. Overall, Airbnb was much cheaper. I paid $413 for 7 nights and 8 days, compared to everything else which was about $600 and up for the cheaper hotels that were far away from where we wanted to stay.
My husband and I then chose Airbnb again when we decided to move from the city we originally bought our departure tickets from (Dallas). So we had to get a night both the day before we left and the night we got back. In total, we stayed at 3 different types of Airbnb. Here are my thoughts.
- Airbnb is typically cheaper. When you book your Airbnb, you will pay a cleaning fee (about $5-$30 depending on the size of the place), which means you don't have to detail clean your area, but you should just pick up before you go.
- You and your Airbnb will rate each other on the app so hosts can see how past hosts have rated you (so be nice).
- As a customer, you have the option to choose someone who has done Airbnb a few times or a "superhost," aka someone who has tons of reviews and has done this whole thing before. I personally only chose superhosts because I watch lots of horror movies, but if you want to support and give a new host a try, more power to you!
- There are cancellation fees, but most hosts give you up to a week to cancel, so if you know a month in advance that you can't go on your trip anymore, you can cancel with no fees.
- Airbnb's have to provide a lock on their guest room doors for your safety. So if you check into an Airbnb that doesn't have one, question everything.
- Different Airbnb's have different house rules, but everything is laid out before you book.
- There is no fee to use Airbnb and all transactions and communications are through the app or the website.
Private Room In House
The first Airbnb we stayed at was a private room in a house. Check in was at 3pm and we could check in anytime afterward (reasonably speaking). We stayed in a private room in the house with 2 other guests sleeping in their own rooms. Our host and hostess, Peter and Shay, were really friendly and nice to us. They let us have free roam of the living room, kitchen, and two bathrooms. They had snacks set up in the living room with a small coffee bar. Our room was themed and came with a vanity, free Netflix and Hulu, guest wifi and a lock to our door. Yes, like locks you would put on your front door if you didn't want people coming in, which actually made me feel very comfortable.
Our stay was comfyand even though the guest down the hall could be heard snoring, it was a nice place to stay for the night.
|Peter & Shay's Music Room via Airbnb|
When we went to Japan, we had a whole apartment to ourselves and I absolutely loved it. Our host was Kaoru and he was so helpful and had such a clean apartment! We were able to wash our clothes, cook, microwave leftover, buy food to put in the fridge to eat later. We also got to sleep on one of a traditional Japanese bed, which actually was more comfortable than we thought it was going to be.
My favorite thing about having the entire apartment to ourselves, especially in a different country, was that it didn't feel like we were tourists, minus the camera I had around my neck the whole time. We watched Japanese TV in the morning, went to our local 7/11 for rice balls and morning sandwiches. I felt like we were locals, even though I know we definitely were not.
Another thing that I enjoyed about this Airbnb, was that we were in a nice and quiet neighborhood with neighborhood priced restaurants and bars. (We stayed next to a 200 yen bar, which is basically a $2 everything bar). We weren't bombarded by other tourists and skyrocketed prices.
|Kaoru's apartment via Airbnb|
Private Room Side of House
Our last Airbnb was in a private room that was technically in-house, but it felt more on one side of the house. Our host, Robert Bo, was great at communicating and let us check in late since our flight was delayed. Our room was pretty spacious and came with an equally big washer and dryer, with lovely decor, private bathroom, mini fridge, and coffee pot. He had a table with a journal that had all of hiss recommendations of the area, plus some other people who have stayed there as well.
It was such a cozy room and he had said that we could roam around the house, but we didn't have too much time to stay.
|Robert's place via Airbnb|
In conclusion, I would highly recommend staying at an Airbnb, especially if you're looking for something for the night, if you want something cheaper, or if you are going to a different country.
Will I continue using Airbnb's? Yes! Will I continue booking hotels? Yes, I would for certain travel areas, but in all honesty, I really enjoyed staying at an Airbnb and will probably be booking more of them than actual hotels.
Hope this has helped you if you are considering staying at an Airbnb. My husband and I actually want to start an Airbnb once we get a house and my parents are into the idea as well. If you want to check out Airbnb to book your next vacation, head to the Airbnb website today!