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jca's avatar

Have you ever stayed anywhere using Airbnb?

Asked by jca (36046points) July 17th, 2017

I have no immediate plans to use Airbnb, but looked at something on it and then suggested locations have been popping up in my Facebook feed.

I was looking at the locations and thinking about it. I wonder if it would feel odd to stay in someone’s home. There are locations where you get the entire house or apartment but it still might feel odd, to me. I realize that my personal feeling might not be the way everyone else feels. Even though I just travel with my elementary school aged child, I still like the element of privacy and anonymity that a hotel gives.

Also, there are certain amenities that a hotel might have that a house/apartment may not have, like a swimming pool.

I can see the advantage of having Airbnb when there are times that the local hotels are booked up (for example, beach locations during July and August).

I’m just curious what others have experienced, if you’ve used Airbnb for a vacation destination.

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11 Answers

janbb's avatar

I’ve had mainly wonderful experiences with AirBNB – and a few that were disappointing. You do have to be a little bit of an adventurer in some ways, willing to expose yourself to figuring out someone else’s wi-fi, etc, but generally, the info is pretty clear.

The place I go back to again and again in Berkeley is an AirBNB rental and I love it – it feels like my place there. I did have a somewhat dowdy cottage in Burlington, VT and an “interesting” place in Paris but for the most part, I’ve been happy.

I do enjoy staying in hotels at times as well.

Mariah's avatar

I’ve stayed in an Airbnb a handful of times, and enjoyed it a lot.

There was a place in LA where we stayed in a bedroom on the second floor of a house while the owners lived in the bottom floor. Our room was the only room on the second floor, so it was pretty private, though we saw and interacted with the owners when we walked in, and we shared a bathroom with them. But they were nice people and were women and I didn’t feel unsafe at any time. The rating system on Airbnb helps with that – anyone creepy wouldn’t have a good rating.

Another time we stayed on the top floor of a house while the owners lived in the bottom, but the top floor had its own entrance and the door was locked with a combination that they sent to us online ahead of time, so we actually never even met the owners. The studio we had for that weekend was nice and had a huge jacuzzi tub. I loved it.

It’s usually cheaper than a hotel.

zenvelo's avatar

I stayed in one at Lake Tahoe. It was essentially an “in law unit” at the back of the house, with a separate entrance. It was nice enough, and the price and location were right.

DominicY's avatar

I have stayed in Airbnb homes a few times, though the two that I remember most and stayed in the longest were not homes that anyone was living in, but homes owned for the specific purpose of being Airbnb homes (in fact, the house next door to me is an Airbnb home. Techies come and go from there all the time).

One I stayed at was in Berkeley. We rented the place for a party and a couple days in SF. The key is reading the reviews online and looking at the pictures: we wanted a place that had enough rooms, had some extra bedding in case more people showed up, etc. And this place was specifically designed to be an Airbnb home, so there were labels on all the cabinets, instructions for the Wi-fi, etc. I had no complaints about it—much easier than getting a hotel room in that area.

janbb's avatar

I agree with @DominicY – the pictures and the reviews are crucial. I was surprised by two of the places that looked better on paper than when I arrived but generally they have been accurate. One of the bad ones had the owners food still in the fridge.

In London, I had a lovely private room and large en suite bathroom in a very nice family’s old Victorian home for $91 a night. You couldn’t touch a hotel room for that.

And in the place I regularly stay in in Berkeley, I’ve become friends with the artist owner and we go out to lunch when I’m there.

Zaku's avatar

I have stayed in someone’s AirBnB basement unit. It was quite nice. Got to meet the nice interesting local host. None of the negartives of a hotel/motel. Didn’t feel odd, but I’m sure that can vary based on the specific place you choose (so yes, check out the info on the site including the reviews). Since it was the whole basement and pretty much had its own entrance, there was as much privacy (though slightly different sort) though not as much anonymity(/apathy). There was no pool but there was a back yard, easy on-street parking, nice pets, interesting books and videos.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wow! I just checked my area alone…that’s so cool!

flutherother's avatar

We’ve used AirBnB a number of times when travelling through Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Italy. Our experiences have been overwhelmingly positive. How does it feel having the use of an entire flat close to the centre of Vienna for a few nights? It feels great.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That would be soooooo cool!

dappled_leaves's avatar

I’ve used airbnb several times and always had very good experiences. I always aim for places that are lived in by the owner/tenant, as opposed to a building someone owns as a kind of private hotel. That makes the experience more personal; it means that I’m helping out someone who could use the money, and it means that they maintain the place to their own standard. The key is to read all the reviews. There’s no shortage of places available, so choose one that everyone loved. Look at all the photographs; read the list of amenities carefully. Not every place has wifi or a tv, or whatever. Know what’s important to you, and make sure it’s offered. Check the street view if you can, to see what the immediate neighbourhood is like. A little effort on your part will ensure that you have the experience you want.

As to staying in someone’s home, I actually greatly prefer this over the weird combination of clinical and grotty that describes most hotel rooms. Finally being able to choose not to have wall-to-wall carpets is amazing! In exchange for a cleaner room, you must clean up after yourself before you leave, but that seems very reasonable to me.

Benefits of an airbnb over a hotel: you can cook and bake for yourself while you’re traveilling, and often do laundry. If the hosts are friendly, they will often be available to give tips on local travel, food, and entertainment; they also frequently leave the fridge and pantry stocked for the guest’s use. Ask where their favourite cafe is, for example.

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