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So I finally signed up with Airbnb, and all I can say is I totally should have done it sooner. My first time staying at Airbnb was a great experience, better than hotels and motels I’ve stayed in for sure!
What is Airbnb?
For those that don’t know what it’s about, it’s basically a Bed and Breakfast(if breakfast is provided–not always) at someone’s house. That may sound a bit weird at first, but at all the places I’ve stayed at the hosts are super friendly, and prepare the place like it’s a real B&B, making you feel completely welcome!
Some of the places you can stay at are in person’s house, or side apartment, or could even be a glamping tent like we stayed at in Monument Valley or other unique place of stay. They could be really creative places, and even more comfortable than a hotel room would be!
Is Airbnb Safe?
Airbnb has a really good review system in place where after you’ve stayed in a place, you’re requested to write a review-and most people do. The host is also asked to write a review of their guests-and neither party can see each others review until both have submitted one. People review how they like the place, cleanliness, etc., along with-and most importantly-the hosts themselves. And they have their reputation to uphold if they want to continue to get bookings, so those reviews are really important!
How does it work?
You go on their website type in the dates and location of the area you want to stay at, and a map will pop up with listings and their prices, along with descriptions and reviews from others who’ve stayed there.
You can often times find a place cheaper, or just as expensive as a motel(the prices range from $30-40 on up to motel/hotel prices). And you’re staying with locals, people who live in the area you’re visiting, so they know a lot about where to eat, what to do, etc, and can offer you good advice. You can get a little taste of what it’s like to really live there, instead of just being a guest in a hotel with plain old hotel rooms.
I’ve stayed at numerous Airbnb places so far, and I can honestly say that whenever I travel somewhere, I will go with Airbnb if I can over a motel/hotel any day.
My First Time Staying at Airbnb
I was a bit nervous going into our first stay with an Airbnb host. The place looked nice from pictures, and the couple we were staying with sounded friendly; all reviews were good. However our flight landed late, and it was dark out by the time we arrived. I immediately sent a text message to our hosts letting them know we were delayed and they got back to me quick-saying it was no problem and that they weren’t home now but they left a key for us hidden outside. Ok that was fine by us!
By the time we got our rental car, set the GPS heading out, stopped for something quick to eat(husbands are always hungry!), it was 11pm at night. We pulled into the driveway of the Airbnb host(thanks gps-got us there just fine!) and started to look for the key where they told us it would be. No key. Great…ok, maybe I misread the text. Hm, nope, not there. Maybe it fell or got pushed while we were searching? Dangit..should have brought a flashlight! Ok this is no good, really can’t find it. Stumbling around in a strangers yard is not a good way to start a vacation! It’s 11pm, they may very well be sleeping, but we have to send another text!
Well luckily they were still awake and met us at the door. Everything turned out fine!
The couple we stayed with at our first Airbnb stop were super nice. They showed us around and welcomed us, even late at night when we arrived. We had a comfortable bed and our own bathroom in a beautiful house. The next morning a light breakfast of juice, coffee, fruit, and bagels was provided, along with some great conversation and tips and advice on the area while sitting out on their patio. I actually got up early to watch the sunrise over Lake Mead that day! I’d never have been able to get all this for the price of a hotel, in such a beautiful location! I wish we were staying there more than just one night!
Tips for your First Airbnb Stay:
- Read the reviews! Read as many as you can to get a good sense if this is the type of place you’d feel comfortable in, and people you won’t mind staying with. Sometimes the owners have a room just down the hall from you; sometimes they’re not at home at all.
- Communicate any issues you may have with the owners as quickly as you can. They should be very responsive via text or Airbnb App.
- Usually the owners are very friendly, and can help you out with finding good places to eat locally, things to do, etc. for your trip. This is a good way to talk to and question them before your stay. You’ll see how well they communicate with you!
- Don’t be alarmed if the owner isn’t around when you’re there. Everyone is different really, and some of them absolutely will meet you right at the door, some will leave a key for you because they’re not home right now. It depends on schedules and they should communicate this to you clearly.
- You don’t need to leave a tip. I was informed of this after we did leave a tip at our first place of stay and given the money back. Everything’s included in the price you pay online!
- Towels, bed sheets, and the like are almost always provided unless noted in the listing. Even soaps and shampoos were there at pretty much every place I’ve been-but don’t count on these for certain, bring your own soaps to be sure.
If you’ve never stayed at Airbnb before, you can click on this link to get a discount code! It’s $40 good for any listing on their site just for signing up! I hope you’ll also have a great stay with somebody through Airbnb. I’ve had many already and can honestly say I’d never recommend it if I didn’t use it myself!
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