AirBnB has been building in popularity in recent years and I’ve decided to write a blog post all about this new up and coming hospitality option.
What is AirBnB?
AirBnB (in 190+ countries) where locals open up their home for travellers to stay.
Options range from staying in a private room whilst you share the rest of the house with the host, to renting out whole apartments from the host for a set period of time.
The length of stay can be a few days to a few months.
It’s based on a referral system where past guests can leave feedback about how the stay went.
The main difference is your staying with a local in their home,
This makes your stay feel more homely with a unique experience to look into how a local culture lives.
Apartment styles are endless too, you never know what you might find, from authentic Swedish log cabins to genuine Dutch Windmill’s the possibilities are endless.
Apartments range in prices to suit any budget, it’s fun to explore as well as adding something unique to your trip.
Isn’t this just a paid version of Couchsurfing?
I’m a big fan of Couchsurfing and I’ve been using the site since it started in 2006.
The community has drastically changed since the start, which is common with anything that grows bigger, it has to adapt to meet the demand and I feel that it has been sliding away from what it once started out as.
I’ve even noticed many alternatives starting to pop up recently as many from the community haven’t been happy with the recent changes to Couchsurfing.
It’s still a great travel resource and it’s a perfect way of directly connecting with locals in new places.
However, it’s still something I wouldn’t recommend to my Mum, AirBnB however, I would (I have done this as well!).
Not because it comes across as a sort of backpacker community, but more down to the fact that it takes a type of person to understand the Couchsurfing community. I understand Couchsurfing and it doesn’t suit some types, that’s ok, it’s not for everyone.
Why is AirBnB a better alternative for everyone?
The way it works is very simple, search the location you wish to travel to, find an apartment that suits you, find the perfect price point for your budget and send a request to the host to see if its possible for the duration of your stay.
Many places listed have a review from past guests and it adds a reasurance to your booking.
Because there is a cash transaction its a whole different ball game, a sense of safety that you will have a night stay.
For this reason its perfect for anyone who has a free place in their current apartment and wants to make some money out of the empty space they have and help travellers out at the same time.
It’s fun to turn your living space into a hotel concept and host travellers from all around the world looking for an alternative sleep in a new city with a direct connection to the culture they are exploring.
Why not a hotel?
Hotel rooms are boring, they all look the same in each location you go to and they are costly too. Wouldn’t you rather add a cultural element to your stay and save some money?
Of course the host on AirBnB is not a Hotel receptionist but they are willing to host you and try and make your experience worthwhile.
Many hosts are happy to have breakfast with you, give you some handy tips for your stay and try and make you feel as comfortable as possible within their home.
Because people can leave reviews you can gather a rough judgement on the place before you depart.
So yes, basically its Couchsurfing that you pay for but with more reliability.
I will still Couch surf, but as I get older I tend to want to pay for a night’s stay here and there and if I could add a unique cultural experience by staying with a local then this is appealing to me.
AirBnB is full of unique locations and apartments too, Home is where the heart is and if Someone is willing to open up their home and it’s cheaper than staying in a hostel and the host gains a bit of revenue to cover there general household costs then it’s a win win for both partys.
In the past, I was always hesitant to recommend Couchsurfing, not because it was my little secret, but because I knew that some people wouldn’t understand it and get the same experience out of it as I do.
But now with AirBnB this site fits better as a recommendation.
Won’t this change the landscape of hotels and hostels?
Change will always come along.
AirBnB to hotels is seen in the same way as what Amazon has done to book shops.
I don’t think it will have a dramatic effect just yet. You’re still going to stay in a local home and its still not 100% private as a guest, this is what some people like to do on their travels, escape, relax and enjoy in peace, for some it’s not appealing and hotels and hostels will still play a part.
Plus, you will always want to meet Backpackers in backpacker hostels to socialise and meet other travellers from time to time.
But for those outgoing types of travellers that like to try something new, AirBnB does have its appeal.
Go ahead and give AirBnB a go if you’re feeling adventurous on your next trip, it’s worth a shot.
Be sure to try AirBnB a try on your next trip, thank you for reading Travel Dave and for your continued support!