pros and cons of booking with Airbnb
As you know, it has become trendy to use Airbnb to book accommodation for our trips. For those who are still staying in hotels, I will tell you about my experience and give you some good reasons for booking with Airbnb.
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Advantages of booking with Airbnb
To begin, I am going to give you some of the advantages of booking with Airbnb the accommodation for our trips
The most important advantage is that Airbnb can be much cheaper than a hotel. There are luxurious homes and apartments that you can rent so it can be as expensive as you want. But it can also be quite cheap if you choose to rent a private room in a home of local people.
Great lodging offer
You would be surprised at all the accommodation options offered by Airbnb. From apartments, chalets, rural houses, to tree houses and rooms in real castles. On Airbnb, there are endless possibilities for all tastes and budgets.
If you travel alone you can choose a private room with a local family. If you travel as a family you can rent a house or villa to accommodate everyone.
Live as a local
One good reason for booking with Airbnb is that you can live as local people do. You have the possibility of buying local products and cook by yourself, or that your host offers you a homemade meal. Besides your host can recommend you attractions away from the tourists’ hordes.
Search using filters
In Airbnb is possible to filter your search to find the right accommodation. Among the filters, you can choose the price, type of accommodation and the area in which you want to stay. You can also choose the services which you need or are important to you. For me, the most important services are free wifi, a washing machine, and of course, the kitchen, which almost all the apartments have.
Despite some stories on the web, booking with Airbnb is safe because they verify each accommodation and host. Then you can be sure that you’ll not be scammed or stay with people who are not reliable. Airbnb holds your payment and they only transfer to the host until your stay has ended and you haven’t reported any problem or strange situation.
In this other post, Hotel, hostel or apartment? A complete accommodation guide you can see other tips to get the ideal accommodation for you.
Disadvantages of booking with Airbnb
And well … there are also some disadvantages or, let’s say, aspects to consider if we want to book with Airbnb. For example:
They charge a service fee
When you do your search you’ll see a price per night, but bear in mind that in the total you’ll see they add a service fee. The service fee is not fixed and can reach up to 20% of the total of your reservation. In Airbnb’s own words, the amount of this fee depends on the subtotal of the booking, the length of the stay and the characteristics of the space.
Besides, you may be charged cleaning fees, security deposit (normally refundable) and taxes. In my experience, I’ve never had to pay anything that didn’t appear in the total. The host or accommodation should not charge you anything else. If any of you have had a different experience, share it with us in the comments section.
You have to pay the full amount in advance
They will charge the total payment of your accommodation from the moment they confirm your booking. So you have to pay with a card or any of the other electronic methods. This can be a problem for those who do not handle cards (if there is anybody yet).
In my case, it affects me because one condition when you enter a foreign country is to have enough money. Sometimes they request a minimal amount to have in your account. Well, paying in advance means to have less money in my account (some countries ask for a lot of money). For the same reason, I prefer to pay when I arrive at the accommodation after I have passed the border control.
They don’t give you the exact location
Another con of booking on Airbnb is that you don’t get an exact location of the accommodation. They do indicate an approximate area in a circle, but the area they show is too general.
On one occasion, I’ve already told you before, I booked an apartment in Prague. It seemed to be somehow close to the center, and although it was not ideal, I booked it only for its location. When the booking was confirmed and the host sent me the real address, I realized that it was much further away than what it said on the site. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to make changes or cancel.
Although apparently, it was a mistake of the host, she told me that the location was not correct on Airbnb and changed it immediately. Anyway, I only tell you my experience so that you take it into account.
They will evaluate you as a guest too
The good thing is that we can leave a review of the place and our hosts. And also we can read these evaluations before making a decision. The not so good thing is that they will also evaluate you.
So you have to commit to taking care of the house (which often is where the host lives). You must be a good neighbor and to keep everything clean. Having a poor evaluation could prevent or hinder your acceptance as a guest in other accommodations.
You have to clean by yourself.
And talking about keeping everything clean, another possible disadvantage when booking on Airbnb is that you have to clean by yourself. And even if they charge you a cleaning fee don’t think you can leave everything messy and dirty. They will request that at least you wash the dishes you use and put them in their place.
And it’s not that I’m lazy to clean up (although ok, a little bit 😛 ) but imagine that the last day you have to hurry to pack but you also have to tidy up or clean, well … sometimes it’s stressful. If you are used to a hotel where every day you have room cleaning, this aspect can be a little annoying.
So is it worth booking with Airbnb?
Definitely yes, if you don’t mind these points that I mentioned. For me, it’s one of the sites that I use the most to find accommodation. And a great advantage is that you will almost always find something that fits your budget.
I like it much more than booking a hotel. If you book the entire accommodation you will have more privacy and comfort. For me, that’s worth it even if I don’t have cleaning service and changing of towels every day. My experience with the hosts has been usually very good (except on one occasion), and they give you very good tips.
Recommendations for booking with Airbnb
To end, I give you some recommendations for booking with Airbnb an ideal accommodation for you.
- Use the filters when doing your search. Since there is a wide variety of accommodations available, using the filters will help you save time and find the best option for you.
- Clear up your doubts by contacting the host. If you have any questions about the accommodation, you can contact the host before booking. Don’t hesitate to do it
- Book as soon as possible to ensure you get the accommodation you want at the best price. The best places and best hosts are taken soon.
- Read the reviews to help you choose the best accommodation. There you will find out about situations that are not in the description of the place. For example, if you have to climb many stairs or if the neighborhood is unsafe, etc.
- Be a good guest. Take care of the house or apartment as if it were yours. If you break something, contact the host to agree on how to replace the object. If you don’t know how an artifact works in the house, contact the host so you don’t damage anything. Don’t use anything that they didn’t specify that you can use. You know, be well-mannered and use common sense.
- Have an open mind. You are not booking a hotel so the accommodation may not be perfect (not even hotels are) or not what you expect. Many times it’s also much better than we expect. If the place doesn’t match the photos or the description, contact Airbnb to help you solve the problem
Thank you for reading…
I hope you’ve liked this post and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me or ask in the comments section. Have you used Airbnb before? If you have already had some good or bad Airbnb experience, share it with us in the box below. Keep in touch with me through Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
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