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Anyone used AirBnb??

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burmans

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I'm doing a trip to Eastern Europe this year (Bosnia/Croatia/Montegro/Slovenia/Hungary/Czech Republic), not always cheap but seems to me you can get some great aprtments MUCH cheaper than hotel rooms. Have just booked three days in Sarajevo at about $50/day for a 3 br apartment when even cheap hotels were 2 1/2 times as much.

If anyone is interested I can refer you and we both get $25 US off (just PM me).

Obviously quality varies but some great value it would seem out there.!
 

moa999

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Have not myself but had a number of friends use it in Europe and HK successfully.

Based on an article I read recently caution is required in NY on any whole of apartment lets as they are illegal short term rentals, and you as the renter can also be fined.
 

mella2007

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I've also read many horror stories of properties in different parts of Europe. There is an entire TA section on it...which has properties to avoid.
 

whatmeworry

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In Croatia and BiH, you have old grannies hanging out at the bus stops trying to rent out rooms. It all depends on when are going to these countries. Peak season,obviously more. Also you might need to book earlier to ensure a room. Generally you can get a room/Apartment for 10-30 euros a night. Just remember if you go on a shoulder you can do a bit of bargaining. You can also find many properties on the net for cheap, as the economies are still depressed and there is a bit of over supply.

P.s. burmans, I realise typing out "Bosnia and Herzegovina" is a pain in the ****, and typing Bosnia is much easier, but is a bit disrespectful to us guys with heritage from Herzegovina. I don't want to go into the whole reason, but BiH is acceptable.
 

burmans

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In Croatia and BiH, you have old grannies hanging out at the bus stops trying to rent out rooms. It all depends on when are going to these countries. Peak season,obviously more. Also you might need to book earlier to ensure a room. Generally you can get a room/Apartment for 10-30 euros a night. Just remember if you go on a shoulder you can do a bit of bargaining. You can also find many properties on the net for cheap, as the economies are still depressed and there is a bit of over supply.

P.s. burmans, I realise typing out "Bosnia and Herzegovina" is a pain in the ****, and typing Bosnia is much easier, but is a bit disrespectful to us guys with heritage from Herzegovina. I don't want to go into the whole reason, but BiH is acceptable.
Thanks for that advice (on the BiH), we are going early July which is peak season hence our desire to book ahead. AirBnb does give you the ability to check rooms (and reviews) before you get there, I've done the rock up thing before, usually but not always with great success & would rather rules out the latter as much as possible.
 

RB

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I'm doing a trip to Eastern Europe this year (Bosnia/Croatia/Montegro/Slovenia/Hungary/Czech Republic),
Obviously quality varies but some great value it would seem out there.!
We used some great apartments(not AirBnb) in Czech Republic in 2011. I posted some photos of each one in the Hotel Experiences section on here.-Happy to help with contact details if you like.
There have been articles in the Syd press like the 1 below
Airbnb | renting | Brian Chesky | Spare space can be profitable
 

turnip666

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Used it to book apartment in NYC last October.

Even though there is a corporate back up, you are usually dealing with individuals. This back up might be better in NYC than less frequented locations.

Once you get your head away from the Wotif model....just because the property is available on the calendar, doesn't mean it actually is, or is available to you!

I had to submit many, many requests to have enough people respond and take my booking. Even then the first one decided 2 weeks out that his sister wanted the room and I was SOL. Back to more requests and being ignored or rejected , though one did get back to me in January to see if I still was interested in staying with them the previous October!

Some run it as a business and have many rooms to offer. This can be a good thing as they will have something suitable, but you might never know who you are sharing with. If you are staying with the owner then you can check out their reviews. If you are sharing with another traveler...well, no guarantees.

Once in town you have to find the place and get the keys. Not always easy at 10pm Friday night in Times Square. My host was working and couldn't answer the phone or get away, so our pre-arranged call to arrange key drop took a dozen phone calls and an hour on the front step waiting to get in. I was just about to get in contact with Airbnb offices to have them step in,as they will take over chasing the landlord and if not successful organise alternate accommodation. This may be easier in the well traveled areas like NYC, so not having bed wasn't the worry......just being in Times SQ for the first time after 20 hours in the air.

Once you are in and have the keys comes the joys of sharing and discovering the 'hood. That is another tale.

Airbnb......don't expect anything like the hotel booking experience, even if the website looks very professional, behind it you are dealing with individuals that might not speak your language and assign a different level of priority to your enquiry/ booking/ arrival than you. The corporate call centre provides back up, but you are the one stuck waiting on the street and it will take some time to sort out of things go wrong. Not much fun if you are using international roaming!

That said, it will be a cheaper than hotels, provide colourful stories on your return and in general work out well all round. I will use them again, but only where I speak the language (which may not be NYC).
 
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yohy?!

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In Croatia and BiH, you have old grannies hanging out at the bus stops trying to rent out rooms. It all depends on when are going to these countries. Peak season,obviously more. Also you might need to book earlier to ensure a room. Generally you can get a room/Apartment for 10-30 euros a night. Just remember if you go on a shoulder you can do a bit of bargaining. You can also find many properties on the net for cheap, as the economies are still depressed and there is a bit of over supply.

P.s. burmans, I realise typing out "Bosnia and Herzegovina" is a pain in the ****, and typing Bosnia is much easier, but is a bit disrespectful to us guys with heritage from Herzegovina. I don't want to go into the whole reason, but BiH is acceptable.
+1 I have done this many times in Croatia - the standard of accomodation was typically excellent and far, far cheaper than hostels or hotels. i would go for this even again even in high season.
 

smit0847

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Have used airbnb many times in many different countries without any problems. Make sure you book a place that has several reviews (and make sure its that property that is reviewed, not just other properties owned by the same landlord).

We got amazing big, interesting, luxurious apartments in Barcelona and Paris for much less than the cost of a hotel room. I highly recommend it if you want to live like a local rather than a tourist.
 

burmans

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Have used airbnb many times in many different countries without any problems. Make sure you book a place that has several reviews (and make sure its that property that is reviewed, not just other properties owned by the same landlord).

We got amazing big, interesting, luxurious apartments in Barcelona and Paris for much less than the cost of a hotel room. I highly recommend it if you want to live like a local rather than a tourist.
Yes funnily enough I have some apartments in Barcelona and Paris bookmarked when I thought I was going there, and yes I absolutely want to live like a local rather than a tourist!
 

ncraigm

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I used AirBnB this past summer to book a stay in Korcula, Croatia. It was fantastic, cheap and easily arranged. It only took one follow-up email to arrange a meeting time and place off the ferry. Much better than a hotel.

I agree with smit0847 though that previously reviewed properties and proprietors are safer and probably more reliable. I have noticed lately that a lot of friends, rather than customers, seem to be posting reviews though so watch out for that.
 

robd

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Has anyone checked prices on airbnb.com (or other extensions) rather than the Aus default airbnb.com.au ?

I don't have a proxy IP and it keeps defaulting to .au

Just wondering if the $$ may be better from other international sites.
 

burmans

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I used AirBnB this past summer to book a stay in Korcula, Croatia. It was fantastic, cheap and easily arranged. It only took one follow-up email to arrange a meeting time and place off the ferry. Much better than a hotel.

I agree with smit0847 though that previously reviewed properties and proprietors are safer and probably more reliable. I have noticed lately that a lot of friends, rather than customers, seem to be posting reviews though so watch out for that.
Will be going to Korcula myself, ended up booking one of the properties recommended via TripAdvisor rather than Airbnb.

On the other point agree absolutely but that's probably a general rule anyway, with hotels I generally check out the reviews too (and avoid the one posters and friends on tripadvisor).
 

Isochronous

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I have used airbnb to book properties in HK, Texas, and DC. Its a fantastic resource.
 

gvix

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RB

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We used AirBnB late last year for a trip around Europe.

My experience is really clouded by the last rental and I therefore don't recommend it, especially if you're travelling with little kids or a big family. You may care to read about it here:

One simple but powerful reason to avoid using AirBnB: It is very risky · Craft Gossip | CraftGossip.com.

After posting this, I got several calls, apologies and financial incentives from AirBnB staff and management.
Perhaps you are just more of a "Sheraton" type of person!
 

burmans

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We used AirBnB late last year for a trip around Europe.

My experience is really clouded by the last rental and I therefore don't recommend it, especially if you're travelling with little kids or a big family. You may care to read about it here:

One simple but powerful reason to avoid using AirBnB: It is very risky · Craft Gossip | CraftGossip.com.

After posting this, I got several calls, apologies and financial incentives from AirBnB staff and management.
Travelling outside of any of the big chains is potentially very "risky" but frankly some of us can't really understand why you'd want to go overseas and spend your time in a hotel that looks and acts like it could be anywhere in the world. For us the local colour is part of the charm but does come with some risk. Booking at the last minute on a site where the renters are individuals who may well be out of contact from time to time (I know I am) would seem to be an unnecessary risk for you to take.

Don't want to be abusive like some of those on that other site but I have booked a number of smaller "boutique" hotels/BnB's/apartment over the years and some tardiness is just part of what you should expect and plan ahead for, i.e. book ahead. If this is not for you then yes, stick to the chains.
 

BVT

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I have used AirBnB a number of times, both in Asutralia and abroad. No problems and always prompt and efficient assistance from AirBnB when it was required.

I used the service acknowledging that it was not as secure as a hotel chain - and many have had terrible experiences with hotels. You get what you pay for!
 

gvix

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Booking at the last minute on a site where the renters are individuals who may well be out of contact from time to time (I know I am) would seem to be an unnecessary risk for you to take.

Don't want to be abusive like some of those on that other site but I have booked a number of smaller "boutique" hotels/BnB's/apartment over the years and some tardiness is just part of what you should expect and plan ahead for, i.e. book ahead. If this is not for you then yes, stick to the chains.
That was exactly the point of my article. It is a risk to use AirBnB in the situation that I was. On the other scale, there is NO or very low risk in booking a decent hotel in the same situation. I booked with the Sheraton with even less notice to get out of the mess that AirBnB had created and I had a great experience. With AirBnB there was the RISK that was real and actually materialized.

Again, my article emphasizes these points and points to how unhelpful AirBnB were in my situation and were only insisting on making sure that I understood that there will be no refund.
 
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