We have in recent years, with few exceptions, used Airbnb for booking our accommodations. We have stayed in a boat house on the Faroe islands, a small bohemian house in the middle of nowhere in Minnesota (where a small horse lived in the garden), a small room in a house with only one bed for all four of us and shared bathroom with the hosts. To name a few. We have also stayed in various apartments in different big cities. So far no incidents and we have always left satisfied. How can that be? The answer is research! If you do your homework you know what to expect, which hosts are good and which are not.
I get many questions from friends and family about our trips, where to stay and how to find good accommodation. Airbnb often comes up in those conversations. I have noticed that many people are a bit skeptical to the idea of staying in an Airbnb. To our family Airbnb has opened a lot of possibilities. Airbnb often means more than a hotel room and many are centrally located. In many accommodations you also get to interact with the locals if you want to. We have had many interesting conversations with hosts that we would have never met if we would have stayed in a hotel instead. But we have also stayed in places where we haven’t even met the hosts. In many places you are able to cook, something that can be nice if you are on a budget or traveling with children. Sometimes there is a patio or a balcony, a garden or a pool. Almost all places have had parking and free wifi.
If you still aren’t convinced I have compiled a FAQ.
How do I start?
The first thing you have to do is to register on Airbnb.com. It is completely free and if you follow this link you get $40 to spend on your first booking. When you are registered you can start searching for an area or city where you want to stay over. You add the dates, if you know them, and the number of persons staying. Then you can choose from a lot of different accommodations. If you want to you can also use filters to only choose places with a pool, parking etc.
How does it work?
People register their guest room, a whole apartment, a guest house, a tree house, a caravan or anything where guests can sleep. When you have booked your accommodation you will get a confirmation and a couple of days before your stay you get a detailed fact sheet with information on how to check-in and such. You can also contact your host before or after your reservation to ask questions. The check-in can be done in many ways. We have gotten to places where the door was left open and the key was on the table. We have also in other places received a code to a door lock but mostly the host has been there to show us around and hand over the keys. The host will tell you about all this in advance, and you can sometimes choose how you want the check-in done. All the places we stayed in have one thing in common: the check-in was always very smooth and with no problems at all.
Is it really safe?
Our answer is yes. As long as you do your research! You can read about the place and the host before you book and you can read reviews on the Airbnb site. If you take some time to read through the reviews you get a good picture of the place and host. If the accommodation doesn’t have any reviews yet it can be that it just recently got listed and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. All guests and hosts have to verify their identity with an ID-card, so it is legit.
Why choose Airbnb instead of a hotel?
- It is often cheaper.
- You get more space, perfect if you are traveling with kids!
- You can often cook or at least make breakfast.
- You can stay in areas where there are no hotels.
- You get a glimpse of the local life.
- You get to meet the locals.
- You can stay in many different and fun places such as a tree house or a pool house.
Are you convinced yet? Here is a link to get $40 to use on your first booking!