So you’re going on a trip, and you think the most affordable way to sleep in comfort is to get a hotel room.
When you arrive at the room, you realize:
- The pictures of your specific room were very, um, generous
- The bed doesn’t feel like the “cloud” they mentioned; it’s more like a pile of palettes
- That beautiful view you were promised is actually a view of the “beautiful” brick building next door
- You have no idea IF the sheets were washed, so you inevitably check for bed bugs
It’s happened to all of us.
Don’t know if you should take me up on it? Here are 10 reasons why this offer is an absolute no-brainer:
You get to choose your price level
There are a wide variety of Airbnb’s available, whether you’re looking for a lavish mansion, a cool multi-room place to share with friends, a little romantic cabin to use as a weekend getaway with your significant other, a tiny little shack to get you away from the perils of technology for a few nights, or even a live-aboard boat (seriously). To make things even better, you can choose whether you want a whole house/apartment…or just a private room in someone else’s! See #9 for why this is a cool option. You can also see a map with pinpoints showing you all of the Airbnb options in the location you’re searching…and their prices! Talk about user friendly.
You can find one pretty much anywhere
Airbnb is all the rage – for real. Even in the most desolate town, you’ll likely find at least one location for you to stay in. Earlier this year, my husband and I went to Raglan, New Zealand. The town had no taxi’s or Ubers…but our Airbnb was an absolutely incredible oasis on the water that was totally unforgettable. Don’t count Airbnb out as an option until you search your location in their handy search bar. You may be surprised what you will find!
You get the home-sweet-home vibe
One of my favorite things about Airbnb is that they offer you a home. Whether it be a place that someone owns specifically to rent to people on the website, or their own personal place that they’re looking to fill while they’re away, you still get the same result: a place to call home for the duration of your stay. You certainly can’t cook your own dinner in a hotel room!
You may even get some extras!
The Airbnb I mentioned above in Raglan offered use of their outdoor bathtub (I know, right?), their kayak, a private entrance to the ocean from the yard, and even a DINNER with the family who own the property and lived next door if you were up for it. Other Airbnb’s offer rides to and from the airport, unlimited supply of fruits and veggies from their personal gardens, classes and experiences and more. I’ll take it!
You can sometimes stay for (very) extended periods of time…with a discount!
When we first moved to New Zealand, we stayed in an Airbnb for 15 days while we got acquainted with the city and found our own “flat” to live in. Because we were staying for an extended period of time, our host offered us 20% off of our stay! That is not uncommon. Some Airbnb stays are available for weeks, months, even sometimes a YEAR…and they offer you some pretty gnarly discounts when you decide to go with their pad. Can’t beat that!
You can read honest reviews from other people…and get reviewed as a guest
If the location your staying at is a popular spot that’s been used many times, you’ll see pages worth of reviews from other travelers. And the location doesn’t need a TON of reviews to be reliable – everyone has to start somewhere! All that matters is good reviews. Quality over quantity, people! Although a bunch of stars and stellar feedback never hurt.
I rely on these reviews pretty heavily, because they’re always really honest. I often look for things like “super close to the town center,” or “such a great deal for the price,” or “amazing hosts, were there if we needed them and gone when we didn’t.” This gives you an idea of what other people have experience when staying at the exact location you’re looking into. Have kids and don’t know if the place is super kid-friendly? Check the reviews!
An additional feature is that the host can rate you after your stay…so be respectful! This is a plus for other Airbnb hosts because they can see what kind of guest you were before accepting your request to stay in their place. Can’t blame ’em!
You get a full description of rules, regulations and what you get when you select a specific location
There’s a space for the Airbnb hosts to tell you pretty much everything you need to know, and most times, they do. This can include check-in and check-out times, pet-friendliness of the place, the distance to town, things included with the house (bicycles, garden, water access, swimming pools, etc.) and more. The hosts also have an “About the Listing” section to tell you a little bit more about their space, how long they’ve been riding the Airbnb train, and even a little bit about themselves. It’s like your friends before you even stay in their space!
You can stay in some killer places that you may not normally get to experience
Have you always had the urge to live in a seaside villa with a waterfall swimming pool that attaches to a hot tub and rests directly under the stars with a butler feeding you grapes……and then realized you’re not a billionaire? Enter: Airbnb (well, maybe without the butler feeding you grapes). Airbnb makes it possible for people to stay in absolutely unbelievable locations for as long as they want – and you don’t have to be a billionaire. Give me waterfall pools and hot tubs any day!
You can meet some pretty rad people
If you are staying at an Airbnb that’s part of a “community,” or in a private room of someone else’s house, chances are they’re pretty cool people. While you stay you can get to know more about your host(s), tell them about you, and possibly make a friend you may not have otherwise! This option definitely isn’t for everyone (I personally prefer a whole house/apartment when I stay), but it’s always an option. And will likely turn out to be a pretty cool story.
You can host your own rad people…or leave them to use your house as their own!
You don’t just have to go to other peoples’ pads…you can list your own! Do you travel a lot and think your house could be loved by a fellow traveler while you’re away? Or you’re feeling the effects of empty-nest syndrome and want to give an affordable opportunity to a young nomad? Put yo’ place up on the site! Not only will you feel pretty cool, you’ll make some extra money to fund a portion of your own adventure – whatever it may be.