These are the things I liked and didn't like about using Airbnb.

3 things I liked about using Airbnb

Following on from my post a while back about what I didn’t like about using AirBnB, here’s what I did like about using the service.

These are the things I liked about using Airbnb. A companion piece to what I didn't like.1.  Filter according to budget

One of the main things that is an AirBnB drawcard is price. Because listed accommodation is mostly privately owned, there aren’t the overheads associated with running a hotel e.g. staff and maintenance costs. This, of course, is passed on to AirBnB punters. I know how much it costs to stay in a hotel in a fabulous inner city location, and it’s significantly less if you use AirBnB. In fact, I recently went to Melbourne for the weekend, and for what it would have cost me to stay in a Melbourne hotel for a weekend, I could have gone to Asia for a week. So I opted to use AirBnB and the cost reduced significantly. And I was still in a fabulous inner city location. You can filter your search according to budget, so if you do want to spend more and get super luxurious accommodation, you can.

2. Helpful user reviews

The user reviews on AirBnB are super useful because they are (mostly) full, frank and fearless. You end up with an excellent overview of what the host is like (communication, responding to queries etc.), and whether the property is as it’s advertised. Of course, user reviews sometimes fall short because they are from a person’s own perspective, and you need to take into account their own situation at the time of posting, but they are a pretty good guide.

Just a word of caution: when you are interested in a property, make sure you contact the host and ask questions specific to your situation. For example, when I booked my accommodation in Melbourne, I wanted a two-bedroom house because I was travelling with my sister. The house I booked was advertised as having two bedrooms, but it didn’t (it was a master bedroom with a study, which had a pull-out couch and I didn’t discover this until we arrived) and the reviews didn’t reflect that because it was only solos and couples who had stayed there. Yes, the reviews about the property and the host were positive BUT they didn’t accurately reflect the property pursuant to my particular needs.

3. Excellent user experience

I have to say that the AirBnB website is pretty slick. It’s also slick when I use it on my mobile device. It’s clear that a lot of tender loving care has gone into the build, and it’s fabulous to use. The user experience also extended to Twitter. When I posted the first part, AirBnB reached out to find out if they could help. And they followed up with an email. That’s rare. And totally unexpected (as I said in my tweet).

Last word: would I be using Airbnb again?

Of course, but only in certain circumstances and with reservations (no pun intended). I love the fact that you are living like a local for a short time, and it served me well, particularly when I was in Bali. But I do like the convenience of a hotel, and when you can get fabulous hotel-type accommodation in Bali, for example, for $50 a night—complete with swimming pool and cooked breakfast—I would prefer to go with that option. In expensive locations, I can see where AirBnB is the perfect choice because of the price. Just do your research!


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