Once in a while WW feels strongly enough about a place, or product to talk about it. We get no kick backs or freebies for this. We just like what we experienced, and want to share.
Some of our best travel times were when we stopped moving fast, put down roots, and rented an apartment. We got to know neighborhoods, the local food vendors, and for a brief period of time, got to live the local life, wherever we were. We found apartments thru word of mouth, Craig’s List, and good old fashioned pavement pounding.
When we began planning a trip to Budapest, Prague, and Amsterdam one of my friends told me about the website AirBnB. We did some research regarding the site and its safety, decided to throw caution to the wind, and booked 3 apartments in a fresh new way.
The site is set up like this: Let’s say you have a house to rent, or an apartment, or a room in your home. You can set up an account on AirBnB and rent out your space. You can rent it out for as little or as long as you want. It could be your own place if you are going to be away for a period of time. You can charge a cleaning fee, extra person fee, or even a pet fee.
When you decide you want to be a renter, you can look up a place to rent by city, neighborhood, amenities, and/or price. Each space has photos with a verbal description of the space to be rented. There is a map view, a list of amenities, and a calendar so you can see when the space is available.
The most invaluable feature to me were the reviews. After someone stays at a place, they put up a review. In turn, the owner of the space reviews the renter. This allows each party to research information about the other prior to making a commitment (as long as they have used the site before).
Once you decide on a space to rent, you place a request using a credit card. If the host accepts your request, you will be charged. If the host declines your request, there is no charge.
Please pay attention when booking to confirm if there is a cleaning fee, and how much the AirBnB fee is, so you are not surprised with this information. It is clearly listed at the time of booking.
Each host has a type of cancellation policy, ranging from Flexible to Strict. Keep this in mind if you have any fears your travel plans may change last minute.
Each host we had, in three different countries, provided good communication with us prior to our visit. Each host met us at the designated spot on time, and were able to provide helpful information about the area we were staying in.
In every place we stayed , we found the photos to be accurate, the descriptions to be accurate, and the ratings to be on par with how we would rate a space and/or host.
We were so happy with our experiences that we booked an apartment for our next trip as well. I would like to think that our experiences thus far are the norm. I am sure you can find articles and blogs that speak of much different experiences. I can only speak from our own experiences, and say that we had no problems with AirBnB, and have only positive things to say.
Keep an eye out for Wandering Why to list our space! Kidding. For now, anyway.
What about you? Have you used AirBnB? What were your experiences like?