Airbnb is becoming more and more popular. They pretty much define what the "home away stay" experience is for millions of people every year around the world. There are plenty of reasons to book your next accommodation at an Airbnb. From the free extras to the experience of staying in a quaint little neighborhood, here are ten reasons why you should definitely consider staying at an Airbnb.
However, there can be a darker side to Airbnb. Well, maybe not darker, but certainly there are reasons why you should not book that Airbnb. Included in this list are ten reasons that Airbnb may not be the best option for your next accommodation.
So, if you are looking for reasons to book an Airbnb on your next trip to New York City, then take a look at the list of ten reasons that Airbnb is worth it. However, if you want an excuse to bow out of that experience, then take a look at the ten reasons to avoid Airbnb.
Whatever your reason for looking more into the service, if you are a host or a guest, or just someone curious, pay attention to the details presented that will help you make a sound decision about whether or not to use Airbnb in the future.
Who doesn't love free stuff? Did you know that when you book an Airbnb, you often have access to all kinds of free stuff? You may be wondering, so here is a list of some of the stuff you can get for free with your Airbnb rental: access to the kitchen to prepare meals; on-site laundry, so you are not going to the laundromat; the host may let you use their Netflix or Hulu or other streaming service; and best of all - you may get access to free WiFi, which means you will not be using your device's data plan. You may not get all of this at your Airbnb, but it is worth asking about when booking, for sure.
Fake stuff is all over the Internet, we all know that now. However, you can rest secure that the reviews on Airbnb are legitimate. Why? Well, in order to post a review on an Airbnb rental, you need to have actually paid to stay there. That makes it a lot more difficult to fake reviews these stays. You would need to be a very spiteful neighbor to pay to stay at an Airbnb and then write a bad review just to get back at someone. So, you can safely believe that that five-star review is just as real as the one-star review.
So you've gotten tickets to that big concert in NYC for next weekend. Unfortunately, all of the hotels are booked, already. Never fear, Airbnb is here! That's right, there are far more Airbnb rentals available than hotel rooms, especially when it comes to landing a specific location on a specific night. Oh, and you will probably end up paying less for that Airbnb rental at that specific location than if you went with a classy hotel. Sounds like a great deal, doesn't it? Airbnb is constantly adding new properties that are available for rental all over the world, whereas hotels are only building a few locations a year in specific markets. Yeah, Airbnb wins this one, for sure.
If you are looking for a big room or a whole house, you can actually get all of that on Airbnb, often for the same or lower price than booking a single hotel room. Airbnb hosts are willing to offer more space for a lower price because they know that it will sit there empty if they don't offer it up while they are away for the weekend. Hotels, on the other hand, don't care so much if they have an unbooked room. Imagine getting to use a whole guesthouse or master suite of a large home for the weekend for less than the price of a king "suite" at the local luxury hotel.
Hotels have pretty strict check-in and check-out times. That is not always the case with Airbnb. If you want, you may be able to negotiate with your host for a late check-in or check-out, hopefully to work around the activities you have planned for your trip. When you show up to a hotel early, you can sit in the parking lot or go grab a coffee. When you show up early to your Airbnb, they may let you in early, so you can unload your stuff and not have to worry about your suitcase while you explore the neighborhood.
When you pick your Airbnb, you are picking more than just a room or a house to stay in. In fact, you may not realize this, you are choosing the neighborhood that you will be staying in. You can experience a great little Taco place local to a neighborhood, or a quaint pub, all based on the Airbnb you book because you will not have to travel across the city to get there. Booking an Airbnb based on the neighborhood is a great way to add to the experience of your vacation. Experiencing a neighborhood or part of town has never been easier than it is with your Airbnb rental.
Those hotels may tout themselves as "luxury," but we all know that it will never live up to spending the night in your own home. Luckily, Airbnb really offers a home away from home experience, because it is a home. What better way to get comfortable for the weekend than if you are staying in an actual home, instead of a stuffy singe hotel room? That is kind of the premise behind Airbnb, to provide a true home away from home experience for anyone who is looking to travel the world, without staying in a hotel that is anything but homey.
Airbnb has pretty much perfected the booking process for their rentals. It is based on your profile and your travel date (and location, of course), to figure out the best rentals for you. A hotel booking system just books you a room. Airbnb wants you to enjoy your stay, because they know that when you are on vacation, coming home at night and getting a good night's sleep before heading out the next day really can make or break the whole experience. And since they know what you are looking for (based on their system), they can deliver those quality nights between days of adventure.
Ever immersed yourself in a foreign language? When you travel to the grand hotel in a foreign country, they are trained to cater to your needs and speak your language. Yet, with an Airbnb, you may be in the home of someone who speaks not a lick of your native language, so you will get the opportunity to immerse yourself in their language by communicating with them in a language other than your own. That is a great way to learn a new language, and while you may not become fluent in a single Airbnb stay, you will be on your way to perfecting that other language.
It may seem a little strange going into some stranger's house to spend the weekend. However, Airbnb is set up to respect both the privacy of the host and the guest. Oh, and both the host and the guest will be given an opportunity to review one another, so you know ahead of time what kind of host or guest you are getting involved with. You really cannot get much safer than that. Airbnb really wants to let you get the most out of the whole experience, whether you are the host or the guest, so they do everything they can to ensure that the whole process is safe and transparent.
And now for ten reasons you should not go with an Airbnb rental when you are planning your next trip.
When you book a hotel, you generally only book the amount of space that you need. If you need a suite, you book a suite. If you only need a single queen bed, that is all you book. However, with Airbnb, you may end up booking more space than you actually need, which means that you will be paying for all of that extra room that basically goes unused. Sure, Airbnb can be less expensive than a hotel, but if you are interested in only paying for what you use, why would you pay for a whole house when all you need is a single bedroom?
There seems to be a never ending battle about whether Airbnb is actually legal or not. A lot of cities (some of them pretty major) have tried to make it illegal for residents to list their homes on Airbnb. The problem? Cities and states cannot gather the lodging taxes that are paid out when you book a hotel room. That is part of the reason Airbnb is so inexpensive. But if you are looking for a particular location, you may find that local laws prohibit Airbnb from operating in that place, which means that if you find a rental, it is going to be illegal.
Do you care about the people that live around the fancy hotel that you stay in? Probably not, because the hotel has little impact on their lives. However, the impact that an Airbnb rental can have on the lives of people around the rental can be relatively large. You are staying in the home of some neighbor, and if you are not a good house guest, that neighbor is going to be impacted just as much - if not more - than the Airbnb host. We should all try to be considerate of those around us, but that is not always the case with Airbnb guests and their "neighbors."
When you book a room at a chain hotel in Tulsa, and then you book the same type of room at the same chain hotel in Paris, you will find that they are pretty much the same room. A hotel chain is going to offer consistency across its brand around the world. Unfortunately, you will not find that same consistency with Airbnb. All Airbnb hosts have their own home, and a home in Tulsa will vary widely from a home in Paris. If you are looking for a consistent stay wherever you go, you are going to be better off sticking to the hotel chains.
You get what you pay for. At least that is what you hope for. When you book a room at an all inclusive resort, you are going to get a lot of extras thrown in with your room. When you book a room on Airbnb, you get a room in someone's house, no frills attached. If you are looking for an upscale experience with a hotel or a resort, you can book that. When you are looking for an upscale experience with Airbnb, you have to hope that your host throws in a mint on the pillow when you check into your single room.
While Airbnb tries hard to keep your information anonymous, they simply cannot guarantee that either the host or the guest is safe from someone knowing who they are. When you stay at a hotel, you are virtually guaranteed anonymity because they care about who you are when you check in, and that is about it. With Airbnb, you are turning over your information to a total stranger, and that can be a scary thought. If you want to remain anonymous, then stick with the hotel chains that really do not care about who you are from the next person that walks in to check in.
Many hotels will offer you free breakfast (or "breakfast," depending on your definition of the first meal of the day), but you will likely find that your Airbnb host does not set out a basket of pastries or a plate of eggs for you. Sure, the price of that meal is generally included in you bill, or an add-on, but getting breakfast with your stay is a big perk of staying at a hotel. Even the less fancy places are getting in on the free breakfast thing, and that is just something you cannot expect Airbnb hosts to live up to.
Who doesn't like a few extra perks and bonuses when they are on the road? When it comes to luxury, you simply cannot beat a luxury hotel. Certainly not with an Airbnb rental, anyway. A luxury hotel is going to give you all the perks that make it a luxury stay, such as nice (free) soap and towels and linens. Your Airbnb host will likely give you a sheet and a towel, but definitely not luxury soaps and such. That said, you are going to be paying more for the luxury experience, but at least it is an option when you book a traditional hotel over an Airbnb rental.
If you like to cook when you are on the road, taking the chance to experience local cuisine your way, then Airbnb is not going to be the way to go. Most rentals are going to give you a room and a bathroom, but little more. Very few hosts are going to turn over their kitchen to total strangers, which means that if you like to cook you are going to need to pack a camp stove. More reasonably, you are going to be eating out everywhere you go when you book an Airbnb. However, many hotels can give you a suite with a kitchen that will let you do all the cooking you want to do.
Is Airbnb really safe? They claim they are, but you never know for sure. Of course, Airbnb will claim to be the safest way to do a home away rental, but the Internet is rife with examples of people getting hurt or worse in their Airbnb rental experience. Now, to be sure, Airbnb is safer than some seedy hotels, but if you really want a safe stay, stick with a mainstream hotel line. They are going to have the security that will keep you and your family safe. Or, you could stick with Airbnb and their questionable safety record. The choice is up to you.