Why Use Airbnb?


In over ten years of travel, many things about travel have changed dramatically. From the way I plan my trips using myriad online resources, to the ability to surf the web whilst on coaches in such random places as rural Colombia, it’s now easier than ever to make a trip your own.

In recent years, one element of independent travel that has changed quite radically is the way we book our places to stay.

With countless different websites offering hundreds of different options, it can be a challenge to find the right place for you.

On the plus side, there are so many options now and we don't have to just reply on the guidebook. Whether it’s a rustic campsite in darkest Peru or swanky high-rise in Bangkok, with the right resources it's no longer a trauma to find something that ticks all the boxes.

My favourite discovery of recent years is Airbnb.

 

For those not familiar, Airbnb is a site where one can list one’s home/spare room for a price. These are not generally hotels, but private homes are rented out. In general, you can have the entire place to yourself for about the same price as a small hotel room.

 

The real joy comes from having an entire place to yourself. From a whole kitchen and bathroom without sharing (what a joy) and often, a lot more ‘home comforts’ than what’s usually offered. As a couple on the road together, sometimes, you just want a proper bit of privacy and a chance to unpack a little.

With Airbnb in Latin America, we found that the price of an entire apartment was about the same as a budget hotel room. This meant that we were sometimes able to stay for a week in a lovely modern flat, do some uninterrupted cooking, have a bath…you know, all those things you leave behind when you embark on an extended trip.



For those not familiar, Airbnb is a site where one can list one’s home/spare room for a price. These are not generally hotels, but private homes let out. In general, you can have the entire place to yourself for about the same price as a small hotel room. The real joy comes from having an entire place to yourself. From a whole kitchen and bathroom without sharing (what a joy) and often, a lot more ‘home comforts’ than what’s usually offered.

As a couple on the road together, sometimes, you just want a proper bit of privacy and a chance to unpack a bit. With Airbnb in Latin America, we found that the price of an entire apartment was about the same as a mid-range hotel room. This meant that we were sometimes able to stay for a weekly rate in a lovely modern flat, do some uninterrupted cooking, have a bath…you know, all those things you leave behind when you embark on an extended trip.

The other big bonus is the placement of your average Airbnb home. Whereas most guesthouses and ‘tourist’ places will be in the noisier parts of town, Airbnb rooms tend to be in more residential areas. My husband and I have stayed in high rises on posh estates in Bogota and cute houses in arty neighbourhoods of Helsinki…the choice and character of these places is just far better.

 

As if that wasn’t enough, Airbnb by its very nature is all about that ‘personal’ touch. As tourists, you are giving money directly to a person who lives in the area, not some giant hotel chain or foreign owned guesthouse.

 

My own experience is that Airbnb hosts tend to put that extra effort in too; we’ve had bottles of wine left for us , little welcome notes, boxes of chocolates and even a birthday card; it’s just that extra element that makes it worthwhile.

 

I've written about the site before (because I love it so) and my top 5 reasons to use Airbnb can be read right here.

 

If I haven’t sold it to you enough by now, it gets better, if you register on the site, both you and I get travel credit - a decent amount too, quite often enough for you to have your first trip. That would be enough reason for me to want to sign up :) Click here for more details

 

What has YOUR experience of Airbnb been like? Any great stories to tell? Get in touch with me - Twitter Facebook - or comment below. 



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