6 Reasons Why Airbnb Is The Best
Looking for affordable, high quality and immersive accommodation while you travel? Then Airbnb is for you!
I just spent 25 days traveling around Europe. I visited 10 countries and 18 cities and saw more than I ever imagined I would see in a lifetime. Throughout my journey I realised one thing: Airbnb is really the best place to find fantastic and affordable accommodation. I have used it 10 times in 7 different countries and can honestly say that I’ll use it any chance I get when I travel again. For those who don’t know, Airbnb is a “community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodation around the world.” There are rentals in over 190 countries and 34,000 cities and the concept is starting to change how people travel. Here are some reasons why I find Airbnb to be the best option and why you should consider using Airbnb or other similar websites to find accommodation when planning your next trip.
1) It’s incredibly affordable
Most people head to hostels for budget accommodation. However, Airbnb can be incredibly affordable if you’re on a budget, especially if you’re traveling with at least one other person. I spent $20 per night for a nice room in the centre of Krakow for two nights. It cost me $30 per night for a flat shared with two friends in a perfect central-Paris location (a bargain for Paris accommodation!). With Airbnb, you don’t pay per person like you do with hostels; you pay for the room/flat for the duration of your stay. So if you find a flat for $40 per night and you plan to travel with a friend, it would technically be $20 for each of you. How can you turn that down?!
2) Great Locations
Because there are so many Airbnb rentals in each city, you have the chance to find a location that best suits your travel needs. Perhaps you want to stay at a place near great nightlife. Maybe you want to be close to the train or metro station so you can get around easier. You can choose to be as close to the centre of the city as possible or you can opt for a place that’s further away if you’ll be staying for awhile. Whatever your wishes, you’re sure to find an affordable place that suits you!
3) You’ll live like a local
With Airbnb, you’ll be staying in an apartment building with other locals. You most likely won’t be in an incredibly touristy area (unless you want to be in one). Because of this, you’ll get a real feel for what it would be like to live in the city you’re visiting. On your way to see the sights you’ll probably pass by a local bakery with a line out the door because all the locals know that it’s the place to be. You’ll get the keycode and your own key to the flat and will probably be mistaken for someone who actually lives there full time. You’ll have full use of the kitchen where you’re staying so you can grocery shop, and you might even be invited to drinks or a meal with the people you’re staying with. There’s no better way to truly get to know a new culture than from staying with those who live there!
4) Insider Information
Whenever I check in to an Airbnb, I always ask my host for restaurant recommendations. They usually know the best places to eat at that guide books and Yelp don’t know about yet. Want to find the best bakery within walking distance? Your host will know. The best and most affordable place to eat local cuisine? Just ask your host. My food experiences would have been much worse without the help of the people I stayed with!
5) Personalised touch
Most Airbnb hosts are very flexible and incredibly helpful. The rooms usually come supplied with guidebooks, maps and free Wifi. Most offer fresh towels, bath products and even laundry! With Airbnb, you are able to chat with your host over a messaging system to introduce yourself and go through check-in/check-out procedures and any questions you might have. Arriving really early in the morning and want to put your bags somewhere before exploring the city? Your host can probably help you out by letting you check in early. Arriving while your host is out of town or at work? Your host will make special arrangements and tell you how to get into the apartment when they’re not there. Whatever the concern, Airbnb allows for personal contact that you can’t get with hostels or hotels.
6) The rooms are clean and enjoyable (and private)
After a long day (and/or night) of exploring all that a city has to offer, I like nothing more than to head back to my room and sleep in a comfortable bed. While you can choose to share a room, most Airbnbs offer private rooms or even entire flats (with comfortable beds) for the equivalent price of a bed in a hostel room shared with 5 or 6 other people. While some people might prefer that social aspect, I’d rather get a good night’s sleep in my own room and get to know my hosts in a common area when I’m not trying to recover from an exhausting day.
Hopefully these reasons convince you to choose Airbnb next time you travel. I know that I’ll probably never stay at a hotel or hostel again if I can help it. My advice? Read all the reviews and ratings — they are very detailed and will help you decide if the location and host are what you’re looking for. Also, be a courteous guest — people live where you are staying so follow any rules your guest states on the listing because at the end of your stay, not only do you get to rate your host, but your host gets to rate you! Happy Airbnb-ing!