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To Airbnb or Not to Airbnb

akmacca

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May 4, 2014
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Firstly I must admit I am a huge fan of Airbnb. I have now stayed at 70 Airbnb's on every continent except Antartica and have had one bad (but not terrible) experience. The are several reasons I choose to stay at Airbnb's the foremost being value. I generally save 50 to 75 percent by staying in an Airbnb rather than a hotel. I also get to stay amongst the local population and experience first hand a little of how they live. I've had fabulous stays living locally in Istanbul, South Africa, Easter Island and Siem Reap and many others as well. Not all of my stays have been close to the city centre but when they aren't it forces me to use the public transport system which is another great way to get to know the location. The hosts are also another major asset of Airbnb, some, of course, are better than others but all strive to make your stay enjoyable. Some of my hosts have picked me up from airports and train stations while others have fed me. Many leave a bottle of wine and food for your arrival and they are always on hand to give you locality tips or to help you if needed. There is nothing wrong with hotels but give me the authenticity and experience of living amongst locals.
 

Denali

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Joined
Sep 17, 2012
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I prefer a Hilton any day, give me impersonal, sterile, service is just a phone call away, please pick up my laundry bag for washing any day but I'm doing airbnb next year for Iceland because accommodation plus eating out was going to cost about $7+K.

Budgeting about $2.5K for an apartment with grocery store nearby.

I've been advised to stick with super hosts.
 
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flying_duck

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May 5, 2014
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I host when I'm away (which is often) and stay in airbnb's, I like it but its not for all occasions. I used to live in the East Village in Manhattan so I like to stay back there in an apartment when I visit. But for work or training I'll usually choose a cheap hotel. And if road tripping in the USA I stay in chain motels because $20 a night each can't really be beat. If I'm travelling to skydive the dropzone usually has beds for $10 a night so an airbnb wont beat that price.

Having said that, nothing beats a 5 star hotel with the "service" button who brings you slippers. But that really isn't in my budget most times.

I will say that super hosts will give you "peace of mind" but that doesn't mean there aren't a ton of hosts out there just trying to give you a clean quiet place to stay and would bend over backwards for you. I recently had a guest who was upset the balcony door didn't open - it's just sticky. If he had have asked, I would have helped. I find it a bit like tripadvisor, read what the host has written, have some messages and see if you get a good vibe. That hasn't steered me wrong yet.
 

Cossie

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Aug 24, 2006
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Won't use them, but I don't like b & b's either. I really don't want to be in someones house, not even too keen on staying with friends or relatives, too personal, I'd rather, as Denali says have something impersonal and sterile. I also feel the same way about uber and the like, don't care if they are cheaper, I'm more concerned about the licensing and insurance aspects, this goes for airbnb as well.
Security and safety is likely to be better in hotels and things like fire escapes also have me preferring a licensed, registered and hopefully inspected establishments
I do realise that there may be flaws in my argument, if I was in my twenties I would think differently I'm sure, but I'm not.
 

asterix

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Oct 9, 2008
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We'll be using Airbnb for the first time next year when we go to Paris. I've picked a Superhost who has been on the platform since 2013 and has hundreds of positive reviews, so I'm confident it will be a good experience. We're not doing Airbnb for the rest of the trip as we'll be travelling with my in-laws after Paris and I don't think they'd be up for Airbnb.
 

RooFlyer

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I've never used AirB&B, but occasionally do stay at a B&B when in areas not serviced by a hotel, and have liked it every time

One thing though. Until recently I owned a holiday house, managed by a local operator managing about 20 properties. They took bookings via a number of on-line 'channels', including AirB&B and direct through their web site. The rates for punters booking through these on-line channels was higher than bookings made direct to via the manager's web site, to account for the AirB&B (for instance) commission/charge.
 

Denali

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Sep 17, 2012
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Won't use them, but I don't like b & b's either. I really don't want to be in someones house, not even too keen on staying with friends or relatives, too personal, I'd rather, as Denali says have something impersonal and sterile. I also feel the same way about uber and the like, don't care if they are cheaper, I'm more concerned about the licensing and insurance aspects, this goes for airbnb as well.
Security and safety is likely to be better in hotels and things like fire escapes also have me preferring a licensed, registered and hopefully inspected establishments
I do realise that there may be flaws in my argument, if I was in my twenties I would think differently I'm sure, but I'm not.
We did a few B&Bs in April in Scotland because where we were, the hotels (?) were really low end, the 70s are calling and want their furnishings back. But the B&Bs were $$$ and some I would call high end, very professional, very private, lots of personal space, separate living rooms, quality sheets/bedding and a couple were private cottages that I would happily move into. I wouldnt do them all the time but the fact we had personal space and could close a door to everyone was fantastic. I cant fake pleasantries/share my personal time with strangers for too long.
 
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jetpack

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Mar 21, 2014
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393
In all my searching I have never really found airbnb to be cheap. I only search for 'entire house' listings and I find them comparable to and usually more expensive than hotels. I don't know if renting just a bed or a room is cheaper but the whole idea of living in the owner's house while they are in the next room is too creepy for me.
 

tgh

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Joined
Apr 23, 2006
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1,246
Our hit rate on B&b's is very high, but I am very careful to read between the lines on reviews.
Many B&b's would kill a 5* for overall quality and service.
 

jase05

AFF Supporter
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
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In all my searching I have never really found airbnb to be cheap. I only search for 'entire house' listings and I find them comparable to and usually more expensive than hotels. I don't know if renting just a bed or a room is cheaper but the whole idea of living in the owner's house while they are in the next room is too creepy for me.
I’m similar.
I even prefer staying in a hotel in Sydney when we visit my brother even though his home has ample room. I just prefer the freedom of my own space, especially toilet and bathroom facilities.
 

asterix

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I’m similar.
I even prefer staying in a hotel in Sydney when we visit my brother even though his home has ample room. I just prefer the freedom of my own space, especially toilet and bathroom facilities.
We've picked Airbnb for our Paris stay as for $127 a night we can get the whole apartment with two bedrooms, use of a washing machine and kitchen. However when I've looked at Airbnb for places like Chester and Manchester, I'm better off staying at a Premier Inn or Travelodge.
 

burmans

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Feb 21, 2006
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Have stayed in about 20 AirBnB's now. I actually agree that in some cases AirBnB's are not cheap but then you normally get around 5-10 times the space too. What I like most is the ability to cook ourselves, not that we don't eat out but eating out every meal is what makes travel very expensive.

Like others I only go for 4.5 - 5 star reviews and super hosts, those reviews can be very helpful to weed out the dross (as they can be for hotels too).
 

Saltywings

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Feb 19, 2018
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I'm in my late 20s so my view may differ from other AFFers here.

When it's just me and someone else (usually my partner), a hotel will do - an Airbnb often doesn't save too much for it to be worth it over hotel-amenities.

However, Airbnb is very useful when staying as part of a group. When I travel with family, or simply groups of friends, the value proposition of an Airbnb is unbeatable, notwithstanding those families/groups who can afford to pay for 3+ rooms at a 5-star hotel*. A lot of comments here and elsewhere pertain to the whole 'eek' factor in having to share with other Airbnbers/the hosts themselves and/or having to establish the check-in process, which isn't always consistent between Airbnb properties.

However, when I travel in groups of 4-6, the 'entire property' option makes sense, and will almost always be significantly (read: 70%+) cheaper than three rooms at a hotel. Plus, on average, more Airbnbs than hotels have free parking, and simply more space, which is a boon for families and road-tripper types. Of course, I realise that much of that is due to the fact that many lux hotels are located in a city's CBD, so it's just a correlation. Even then, the availability of facilities like laundry and a kitchen are quite useful to the right travellers. It sounds ironic, but despite being willing to pay $700+/pn for a hotel, I blanch at the thought of then paying $30-50 for laundry. Call me weird.

*If I'm going to stay at a hotel below 4 stars, I might as well go for an Airbnb then. I like to think of hotels as a luxury good - all in or not at all :p

Long story short: travelling with my gf? Hotels for sure. Travelling with a group/will be using a car/lots of expected laundry/space needed? Airbnb rules.
 

Denali

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Sep 17, 2012
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Which did you opt for?
I've stayed here and while it had its quirks, was great value for money in such an inflated market:
Aurora Borealis Loft cental RVK - Lofts for Rent in Reykjavik, Capital Region, Iceland
Thinking of this one. Perfect luxury downtown location - Apartments for Rent in Reykjavík, Capital Region, Iceland

By the reviews, photos and google-earth, been able to suss out where it is and its a few mins walk from grocery store, the tourist bus pickup stop (buses not allowed in downtown), thermal pool, restaurants, 600mtrs from harbor and looks light and airy. Plus walk in shower, I hate shower over tubs! And as people have posted above, space. Travelling 24/7 with your spouse for weeks means we need space.
 
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dajop

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Jul 1, 2002
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One thing though. Until recently I owned a holiday house, managed by a local operator managing about 20 properties. They took bookings via a number of on-line 'channels', including AirB&B and direct through their web site. The rates for punters booking through these on-line channels was higher than bookings made direct to via the manager's web site, to account for the AirB&B (for instance) commission/charge.
On short stays, airbnb take around 15% of what the guest pays. (less for longer stays). We recently listed our holiday house on airbnb and also have a facebook page, that appears no 3 if you google the name of the house (behind stayz and airbnb) with a booking link which gives cheapest price - but no-one has even sent a query that way. Either people don’t think they way I think, which is googling a property name to see if cheaper ways of booking - or more likely they trust airbnb more. We didn’t go with agents in our area as they had restrictive rules and charged 20%.
 

AisleSeat

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Nov 11, 2016
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We've never had a problem with AirBnb's we've used. Reading all the feedback before selecting the property has been key for this I think. We prefer AirBnb as travelling with kids means we need space as well as facilities to prepare food and somewhere for them to have a nap.

Our best experience was in Port Douglas a couple of months ago, when there was a ton of rain and the PD/Cairns road was closed. We had an early morning flight back to MEL and our host got up at 5am to text us road condition updates.
 

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