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Old 07-12-2015, 06:29 PM   #1
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Airbnb

Has anyone used Airbnb in their travels? We will be trying it out for one night in Seattle and will report our experience, but in the interim, thought we might get some input from our friends here at FIRE.
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:50 PM   #2
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I used it for a long trip I took earlier this year and was very pleased with the experience. It allowed me to find an almost perfect place to stay for an extended period near several different areas I wanted to be close to during my trip. I ended up meeting some great people as a result of my decision to stay there, and I got a good, competitive rate on the lodging itself, so all in all I felt like Airbnb really worked out for me. I would definitely recommend trying it out for yourself, especially when you're not finding exactly what you want through other, more traditional means.
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:52 PM   #3
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We used airbnb when we went to Costa Rica in February and were very happy with our experience. Would definitely use the system again. Much more reasonably priced than traditional hotels and much more personalized. The owners lived on site and were extremely helpful.
Enjoy!
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:54 PM   #4
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My friend and I just booked 2 stays in Scotland, 4 nights in Edinburgh and 3 in Inverness, for August and September.

We have been very pleased with the process in every way so far.
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:00 PM   #5
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Airbnb

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Originally Posted by jpjr View Post
Has anyone used Airbnb in their travels? We will be trying it out for one night in Seattle and will report our experience, but in the interim, thought we might get some input from our friends here at FIRE.

I used it for a couple 3/4 night stays in Reykjavik and a one week stay in New York City ( lower east side ) . I was pretty satisfied but I always had a backup hotel in mind in case something went sideways - as a side note. there are newer hostels now that are nicer than the hostels of old - private rooms , nicer facilities etc. I like these when they are available at my destination. E.g

http://www.kexhostel.is


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Old 07-12-2015, 08:00 PM   #6
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We have used airbnb once (thus far) in Porto, Portugal, (generally we've been using HouseTrip or Wimdu), and were quite happy with them.
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Old 07-12-2015, 08:55 PM   #7
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We have booked apartments for early next spring - one week in London and one week in Berlin. So far the booking and the contact with the homeowners has been very smooth. Since there will be 6 of us traveling (2 couples, and 2 children) renting apartments on Airbnb is much less expensive than hotels and we will be staying in great areas. I'll let you know how it turns out, but the apartments have excellent reviews, so I don't see a reason to worry.
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:25 PM   #8
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My Wife has "Super Host" status and you can set the filter to only show apartments with that status.
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:41 PM   #9
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We've had no problems with AirBnB. They've got accommodations in every corner of the world. My only gripe is their billing your credit card when the reservation is made instead of just using it as a deposit.


The landlord doesn't get paid until after you've arrived. And AirBnB is wanting your feedback on the property immediately upon your leaving. They're also asking your landlord to rate you as a renter immediately upon your leaving.


They're going to be a major force to be reckoned with in the hotel/motel industry--with a great future.
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:49 AM   #10
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Used it a couple times. Nice to get a place with a kitchen for an extended stay.
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Old 07-13-2015, 12:56 PM   #11
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I've used similar services to rent apartments in New York City, London, Paris, Vancouver, Tokyo, and Kyoto. Always happy with the result. I used Airbnb to rent an apartment in Oaxaca, Mexico, and to rent a room in someone's apartment in London last March. Both were good experiences.

I like the mutual reviews - they give both parties incentive to be on good behaviour.
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Old 07-13-2015, 03:05 PM   #12
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We have used airbnb in New Orleans, Austin and in Goa, India. All three have been good experiences.
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Old 07-13-2015, 03:35 PM   #13
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I've been looking at Airbnb to rent a week in Manhattan in the fall. One thing that concerns me after reading some of the reviews for the units is the number of last minute cancellations that show up in the reviews such as; "The host canceled this reservation the day before arrival. This is an automated posting." I'm assuming at a minimum I'll get my money back but is there any additional protection from these last minute cancellations? It would suck to make a long trip only to find out when you get there that you don't have a place to stay.
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Old 07-13-2015, 06:41 PM   #14
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Yikes. That would suck donkeys. I wouldn't rent from that host. There would be lots of other hosts in NYC who don't do that.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:54 PM   #15
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I've used it 4 times so far. Great experiences with 2, horrible with 1, and we are heading toward rental #4 in Tulum next week (currently in a VRBO rental in Oaxaca till then).

Overall, I love it. We can get 2-3 BR apartments with full kitchen and decent amenities for the price of a low to mid grade hotel room. Spending a week in a hotel room isn't that much fun, and much less so with 3 kids. Spending a week or two in a decent to nice apartment or house for a week or two is very nice and relaxing. We cook some meals, have separate areas to relax, and different rooms for sleeping.

The only bad experience was a really dirty (but very cheap) place in Quebec City, Canada. Reviews were generally very positive, but we realized the landlord rented just a bedroom sometimes and other times rented the whole apartment. The bedroom was clean enough as was the bathroom. The common areas like living room and kitchen were pretty gross (cat hair, cat poop, cat litter, more cat hair, grime all over the floors, greasy dirty rugs, etc). We cancelled the rental as soon as we could. After contacting Airbnb, they suggested we should have called them immediately and they would have found us a different place and provided a discount to help if the prices were higher. Instead, they offered a full refund of all nights plus their fee and gave us an extra $150 to use toward a future rental (just used it in Mexico City). Very happy customer here even though the one rental didn't work out.

Just read the reviews and ask questions if you are concerned. I also wouldn't go for the absolute cheapest properties unless you don't mind dirt or feel like taking a risk. Also look at all the filters in the search engine. I would screen out apartments that allow smoking and allow pets since I'm paranoid about getting a stinky dirty place now.
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:43 AM   #16
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Just read the reviews
Airbnb/HouseTrip/Wimdu.......we always read the reviews.......although often/sometimes the unit is 'new' and there aren't any yet - in which case we might 'take a chance', but if it's a toss up between a bunch of good reviews and none at all, we'll likely go with the reviews..

The more positive reviews, in whatever languages, the better.
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:59 AM   #17
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Airbnb/HouseTrip/Wimdu.......we always read the reviews.......although often/sometimes the unit is 'new' and there aren't any yet - in which case we might 'take a chance', but if it's a toss up between a bunch of good reviews and none at all, we'll likely go with the reviews..

The more positive reviews, in whatever languages, the better.
We took a gamble on our Mexico City rental for 2 weeks. Photos looked decent and they showed all the bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. Zero reviews though. I chatted with the owner and expressed concern over zero reviews and also mentioned we really wanted a clean place to stay.

He explained it well - they landed a long term renter for 4 months right after they listed the unit and he just moved out as I was booking, and his review was forthcoming. As for cleanliness, he said they have weekly maid service and that it is very clean.

We were in a bind since our previous Mexico City rental cancelled on us last minute (last minute surgery said the landlord), and we were having a hard time finding a new rental that met our specs (nice, cheap, clean, 2 BR, near the subway, etc). We took a chance and were very pleasantly surprised. I think the landlord at our new place priced it low to attract tenants and get reviews built up. $46/nt for an almost new 2 BR apartment in a decent part of Mexico City.
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:43 PM   #18
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Have used airbnb to rent a house once and the experience was OK. The place wasn't as clean as it should have been, but otherwise OK. Not too many options in the town we needed to be, and this one had no reviews.


I noticed the whole way the site works kind of encourages people to make a personal connection with each other, obviously a throwback to the original idea of renting a room or even your couch to someone.


The host told me this was the first time she used airbnb, although she rented it often. That's when I realized I probably should have checked VRBO to see if the cost was any different and if there were any reviews there.


My daughter has used airbnb several times in Europe and was very pleased.
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:15 PM   #19
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The host told me this was the first time she used airbnb, although she rented it often. That's when I realized I probably should have checked VRBO to see if the cost was any different and if there were any reviews there.
It definitely pays to check VRBO and other sites in addition to Airbnb. We saw a few places through flipkey or VRBO that were also listed on Airbnb but they were more expensive on airbnb.
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:49 PM   #20
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Used Airbnb in NYC last year. It was very clean, 2 bed, 2 bath. My only concern was the owner was out of the country and I was worried about how to get the key. Also, there was a part -time doorman, and NYC has started cracking down on ST rentals. Didn't have any issues, but I was a bit nervous. But for the $ we got a nice place to hang with our friends (living room), kitchen to bring in wine and snacks, leftovers etc.
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