Monday, 6 February 2017

My Experience with Airbnb


Airbnb is always a concept I have absolutely loved, rather than staying in a hotel which are all pretty standardised anyway, actually getting the chance to stay in a house in a more residential area gives you so much more of a feel for the city and I love it. However, staying in someone's house that you haven't met before and only having a few photos from the internet to go on, is a pretty terrifying thought. Although I've stayed in an Airbnb before with friends, my quick trip to Stuttgart this weekend was the first time I had done the whole process of finding and booking one myself. I know quite a few people are still a bit sceptical of it, which I totally understand because I was too, so I thought I would write this post just to give you a complete run through of the whole experience, from booking to actually arriving and checking in. Each air bnb is obviously different and each host will have different ideas and standards but this is just my experience and opinions. 

I personally find the Airbnb website very easy to use and I love the fact you can see all the properties on a map to judge which area is best for you. With filters such as price, number of separate beds and more it's easy to navigate and find exactly what you are looking for. We chose a slightly out the centre area of Suttgart to stay in as it was quite a bit cheaper, as it usually is in most cities. 

After deciding which place you want to stay in, a short message to the host explaining why you are wanting to stay is usually enough to get a reservation at the property. A bit of a weird point that I'm not quite on board with, is that I had to upload a photograph of my passport to the website to verify myself as a customer. After a lot of umming and ahhing (excellent spoken phrase it just looks so strange written down!) I decided to do it. I had a look into the terms and conditions of it and assured that the air bnb host wasn't going to see it, it was only for the website to confirm I was a real customer I went ahead. I have since spoken to other friends who frequently use the website and some of them have had to and some haven't come across that before. I think it's down to the digression of the host, which I guess is fair enough considering for many of them it is their house which they rent out when they are away at weekends. 

Arriving at the air bnb, our host had emailed a list of instructions for where to pick up our keys as he would not be at the property himself. He also provide us with really clear and helpful instructions on travelling to the property which was so helpful. The Airbnb was how it was described and he had even left us some juice and water for when we arrived.

The whole process was really straightforward and we were able to contact our host throughout our weekend if we had any questions which is another feature I really like. I would definitely recommend Airbnb if you are travelling in a group as well, as it is much nicer for everyone to be in a house or apartment together rather than separate rooms at opposite ends of a hotel. Living in a house provides a much greater degree of flexibility than a lot of hotels which is something I look for when I am travelling. It can of course be much cheaper as well, which is something I am increasingly conscious about as I try to fit as many trips into what's left of my year abroad as possible.

I would also recommend downloading the app, as it is a much simpler version of the site to use on your phone. With all the same features as the main website, you only need to open the app to message your host or to find directions of where to go. You can even book your next trip from your phone!

One thing I can't see myself ever using the site for is to find a single room in someone's house and not a whole apartment. Personally it's not something I would feel comfortable doing, however if that kind of thing is for you then it is usually a very cheap way of finding accommodation and I can understand why it is a good service to offer.

So the next time you are looking to travel, definitely check out what kinds of Airbnbs are available before you book a hotel. I am definitely on board with it now my scepticism has been blown away. However as always, read the reviews left by other travellers about the apartments and your host. If you're travelling to Stuttgart and want to know which Airbnb we stayed in then either send me a message on Instagram or Twitter and I'll let you know! 

Do you use Airbnb when searching for accommodation? Or do you have any other sites which offer a similar service? Let me know in the comments!
XOXO






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4 comments

  1. Oh I've had my first Airbnb experience in summer when i travelled to lisbon and actually loved it. We put quite a lot of research into deciding which house to choose because friends had such an awful experience in fuerteventura. I personally think it depends on what you want to have from your airbnb and you gotta be really careful with reading the reviews.

    Love, Kerstin
    http://www.missgetaway.com/

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    1. Definitely agree! You can get some really nice ones or just budget accommodation which I quite like! :)

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  2. lovely post, so helpful and informative :)
    I have not used Airbnb myself but I really love the idea and want to use it on my next travels, it just seems so much better and comfier than being in a hotel even if it's someone elses house. Like being able to cook for yourself and be in a home..it sounds good!
    Im so happy to have come across this post as well cause I didnt know about the passport thing and now at least I know what to expect if I come across it :)

    http://amelodyofdiaries.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. I love having all the amenities of a home it makes it so much nicer. And yes I think it's so important to make people aware of that because I hadn't known about it either :)

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