AirBNB London and Paris tips for NEWBIE?

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PLANT

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Hi all,

Family members have just booked and paid for Accom in London and Paris.
First time using service and they checked reviews and believe it will go without a hitch.

Just want to draw on AFF members experience with using service at "these two places" and tips/tricks to ensure it goes as smooth as possible.
Security of belongings ie. tablet/laptop?
Suggested backup plans?
Is a mobile phone a must?
Even with the site having places +ve reviews, they could be false or fake?
 

Limewood

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Security of belongings ie. tablet/laptop?
Suggested backup plans?
Is a mobile phone a must?
Even with the site having places +ve reviews, they could be false or fake?

Security: depends on the accom, but should be OK if you hide the item somewhere.
Backup: Check our other accom nearby and printout with google map
A mobile phone is a must, gets global sim before you go.
The can be false and as I understand it not fake.

We got dudded for 400 euro last May in Vienna, pictures looked nothing like the portent it was a dump. The owner emailed us just few days before departure told us a BS story and that he had left AirBnB so we paid him direct, bad move, on arrival kept waiting 1hr. in the cold till 11pm, stayed 5mins and left, lucky we found excellent accom. nearby after asking a local walking by.
 

travelislife

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Never process payment outside of airBNB. That's how the whole system works. It provides security as the owner doesn't get payment until 24hrs after you check in I am pretty sure. This means if you rock up and it is not as it was described you can leave and claim your cash back.
 

Alanslegal

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Just want to draw on AFF members experience with using service at "these two places" and tips/tricks to ensure it goes as smooth as possible.
Security of belongings ie. tablet/laptop?
Suggested backup plans?
Is a mobile phone a must?
Even with the site having places +ve reviews, they could be false or fake?

We used airBNB in London for our August 2013 trip. We rented a private room with ensuite (not a private aparment) in Berwick Street SOHO. Loved being able to walk downstairs and being literally minutes away from the fun and action. I can find out the owner/property if you are interested.

Security of belongings? Well not much you can do really if there's no safe but then again, most hotel/room electronic safes are easily accessed anyway without much effort.

Backup plans? Do you research and read the reviews of properties before you book, I always like at least 10 positives before I even consider it. In the worst I would book a last minute mystery room on hotwire.com to get a room first and then work an alternative plan.

Mobile phone? Yes & no depending on who your needs. I rely on (free) wifi to update FB, Whatapp, Skype etc.

Like most review sites, some could be fake/exxagerated etc but if you look at multiple reviews, that would be a bit more useful.

I have used airBNB for various places now (London, Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, Split) and have been satisfied with all the properties.
 
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yohy?!

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used airbnb recently in london also and it was great - no need to worry about security or any of the other points as the owner was a management company for short term lettings so they were very professional
 

get me outta here

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If anyone has positive AirBNB experiences in NYC or SFO, I'd appreciate pm plse with the contact details.
 

Limewood

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Never process payment outside of airBNB. That's how the whole system works. It provides security as the owner doesn't get payment until 24hrs after you check in I am pretty sure. This means if you rock up and it is not as it was described you can leave and claim your cash back.

As experienced travellers we should have known better but as it was a day or two before departure with so much to do and his story sounded correct we booked direct, never again.

We will however be booking accom. soon with AirBnB they do have an excellent name.
 

pagingjoan

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Apologies for not answering the specific question from the OP but, to support the positive comments in other posts, I will add my general experiences with AirBnB. Have used in various locations in Europe and all have been as represented on the site - or indeed, better, in a couple of cases.

First was in Antwerp, where we had an amazing place: The owner was an Interior Designer and it was the first time it had been rented out. We have rented also in Oslo and Bergen - the former, lovely, and the latter, interesting, quirky and quite acceptable for a short stay. Then in Valencia, a generally acceptable and well presented apartment, which had a couple of negatives but really, was as represented on the website. (Others, too, I think, but I use a number of different agencies, so would have to double check which were actually AirBnB.

Their procedures seem robust. No problems at any stage with payments or responses to any problems or queries.

From the other side of the fence, I know someone who rents out their property through the agency and has had no problems either, to date.

I would not hesitate to use them again. So, best of luck with your choice. Enjoy! :)
 
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We just returned from London and the AirBnB property was fine and certainly matched the advertisement. We happened to strike fine weather in London and found that the apartment was quite hot with no way to change the temperature. I gave the owner feedback about this. The main advantage seems to be that you are dealing with the owner personally so you can ask questions beforehand about what to expect. The apartment we stayed at was in Islington not far from the tube. I would recommend it to others.
 

burmans

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Big fan of AirBnB but my one suggestion would be to check the reviews! These don't get censored but if there are no reviews it may mean no one has anything good to say and subscribe to the view of my grandma ( if you have nothing good to say, say nothing!)
 
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