Airbnb | A Nice Alternative

Sometimes it can be difficult to make yourself dive into a new city or culture.  Couchsurfing can be a daunting way to step out of your comfort zone.  If you are wanting to live like a local but would enjoy more of the comforts a hotel offers, then Airbnb is for you!  Airbnb is a website that connects local homeowners to traveling visitors where homeowners can rent a room or entire home for short periods of time.  They provide different options to guarantee you can get what you want.

The first step is to get on to the Airbnb website and create a profile.  Similar to Facebook, you upload a picture, describe yourself, and search.  Instead of searching for friends and businesses you search the places where you would like to stay.  Select a location, a price range, and if you want to rent a whole home or just a room.  Then you can view pictures & read reviews to find the perfect place to stay.

When you arrive, it is common to meet the owner or maybe just a lock box.  Up until that point, the owner will have been in contact with you via email or cell phone so you won’t feel like you are in the dark.  Usually, there are little rules like removing your bedding before you leave or putting plates into the dishwasher before departure.  Nothing too overbearing!  Situations will vary depending on the host but otherwise Airbnb is a great opportunity.  And it really does make you feel like a local!

I have used Airbnb several times.  To be honest, I have had good and not so good experiences.  The best part though is that the Airbnb company has always had great customer service.  My bad situation was partially my fault, I didn’t put a diligent effort into reading all of the reviews.  The small flat I stayed at had a young cat.  Small as in 12′ x 12′, and a teenage-esque cat needs more space and more attention than he was getting!  He drove me crazy and Airbnb gave me some credit for my troubles. That made me happy!

Other than the crazed cat, I have had nothing but good experiences with Airbnb.  I read reviews and have really enjoyed the hosts I have met through the site.  I highly recommend making your own profile so it is ready whenever you need it.  Airbnb is usually much more affordable than a nearby hotel and often they are in better locations as well!  Check out the site and see for yourself.  Click here for more!

-HH

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