Airbnb has certainly transformed the way we travel. Some people love it and refuse to stay anywhere else, others are still skeptical. In this article we will try to delve a little deeper and find out exactly what makes Airbnb great, and where there’s still room for improvement.
Pro: More Bang for Your Buck
If you compare the prices of hotels and Airbnb properties, you will often find that you get much more space with Airbnb, for the same price which would only get you a room in a hotel. Usually, it’s an entire home, with all of the amenities that you might need. This is especially important if you are considering a longer stay. For instance, staying in a hotel room for a month would start to feel very cramped. And let’s not forget amenities like a washer and dryer, or a fully equipped kitchen. These can both save you money and provide some much-needed extra comfort.
Con: You Might Miss Hotel Service
To flip the coin – if you are looking for utter relaxation on your trip, or you’re travelling for business and have no interest whatsoever in cooking your own meals, doing your own laundry, or cleaning up, a hotel might serve your purpose better. Some people don’t want the hassle. They would rather pay more to have meals provided, room service available, and a maid who will clean their room and change the towels and sheets regularly. If that’s you, maybe Airbnb just isn’t what you need.
Pro: Meet New People
People who rent their properties on Airbnb are, more often than not, just pleasant, regular folks who are using this opportunity to meet new people and make some extra money on the side. Some of them also get help from pros. For instance, some properties I stayed in used professional Airbnb property management in Sydney. Whether they are pros or just regular people, hospitality is their business. Most often this means that you get a much more personalized service and more of a human touch than at a hotel. They might also provide you with genuine insight into how locals live.
Con: Some Hosts Might Disappoint You
In general, when it comes to Airbnb, you should use the same common sense you would with a hotel. Check the reviews first – both the score and the actual experiences. Sometimes, pictures can be deceitful. Bear in mind that some reviewers who have had a negative experience don’t feel comfortable leaving a bad review. Before you book, always define exactly what it is you’re looking for and list your deal breakers. If a listing seems iffy, skip it.
Pro: Airbnb Might Be More Flexible
Plenty of time, Airbnb can be a lot more flexible because you’re dealing with an individual rather than corporate apparatus. Cancellation policies for each listing are available on the site. If you encounter a problem of any kind or need assistance with anything, your host might be far more inclined to leave a good impression and help you out than hotel staff. Hotels also tend to have very strict check in and check out policies, while your Airbnb host might be able to give you some leeway on that front.
Con: Hotels Seem to Be Safer
Depending on how much security matters to you, you might feel more comfortable at a hotel. Most Airbnb properties are perfectly safe homes with locks in place. However, some folks prefer to know that there is a security guard in place and a 24-hour reception clerk.
Airbnb might not be for everyone, but it is absolutely a valid choice to consider when you are planning your next holiday. Try it, you might be surprised.
Contributor: Marie Nieves
Marie is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and to surf the Internet. Her favorite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.