Story of airbnb
Airbnb started in 2007 when Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky, who had met five years earlier at Rhode Island School of Design, were struggling to pay their rent. There was a design conference coming to San Francisco and the city’s hotels were fully booked, so they came up with the idea of renting out three airbeds on their living-room floor and cooking their guests breakfast. The next day they created a website, airbedandbreakfast.com. Airbnb was born.
Today, more and more people are using airbnb to plan their vacations.
Why book a airbnb
The reason why it has become so popular is that it allows you to travel abroad and either book a room or an entire place to feel like a local. You are able to go to the local grocery store, cook at home and save your food budget money. But also have some insights on the best places to go to from people who already live in the city.
It brings more authenticity to your travels and you do not have to stay in a hotel and do the classic touristic tours.
You are the one in control and plan your day like you would do in your own country. Their motto is “don’t go there, live there”. Airbnb is really changing the way we travel and plan our holidays. We more and more look for comfort, authenticity and experience living like a local.
Think about it. If you are traveling to a foreign country and would like to experience the local culture. Do you want to stay in a hotel and do everything as you would do back home, or would you rather stay at a local’s place and experience their culture, their food, their history?
Before you would have needed to have a friend who live in the country you visit to experience this. Now with Airbnb, you have got someone willing to welcome you in their home wherever you go and experience a city like a local rather than a tourist.
So, how should you use Airbnb to book your next holiday?
First, go on the website and create your account.
Then, fill up your profile with a clear photo showing your face and a quick description of who you are. You will also need to setup your payment details to facilitate your future bookings and that’s it you are now ready to plan your holidays with Airbnb.
Airbnb offers 3 type of services
You can search for home you would like to stay at and filter them by categories depending on the type of traveler you are. Small group, big group, solo, work, etc…
To book your home for your next holiday, just search the destination in the search bar. If that is your first time booking on Airbnb you can get 30€ discount using my promotional link here. For this example I will search for Dublin, Ireland. And then select “Homes in Dublin”.
Here is below what the result page will look like
You can use the map on the right to search for home by areas. If there is a specific neighboorhood you would like to stay at, this is very helpful to have a quick overview of the cost per night.
You can also filter your search by dates, number of guests, home type, the price per night depending on your travel budget, hosts that accept instant booking. Some home will require an enquiry and communicate with the host directly to know the availability. Trip type, whether you travel with your family or for work. And finally More filters that allows you to select the number of beds, rooms and bathrooms but also recommended hosts.
Once you see a home you are interested in, just click on it and you will be able to see more information about it.
You can share the listing with other people you are traveling with to get their feedback
You can save the listing for later and add it to your destination list
You can view the photos and get a closer look at the place you are planning on staying at
You can check the rating of the listing. Each listing is rated from 1 to 5 stars. The more stars and reviews made by travelers the better.
You can check the availability of the listing by putting in the dates you are planning on traveling and number of people you will be traveling with. Note that some listing do not accept groups of travelers.
Once you are happy with everything, just click on the “book” button
The process is pretty straightforward and the reviews made by the previous travelers help to get a general idea of what to expect. Once your booking is approved, your host will contact you with more details regarding the exact address of the listing and the check-in process.
During your stay, your host is your main point of contact. If you need anything, just use the message feature in the airbnb application to communicate.
Pro tip: Make sure to keep all communication within airbnb application as it makes it easier for the Airbnb support team to help you in case anything happen.
No ideas where to go out and enjoy a great meal in the new city you visit and tired of all the touristic pricey restaurants? Airbnb offers you a list of restaurants recommended by local hosts so that you can enjoy your vacation like a local.
They even categorised each restaurant per type of cuisine. No need to spend hours and hours scrolling through forums to look for a great restaurants that is often recommended by tourists as they share their experience. With Airbnb, those restaurants are only recommended by local hosts.
You would like to do some activities but don’t like spending a day in tourist buses? Why not enjoy an experience of your interest with a local? Airbnb offers a wide range of experience you can pick depending on your interests.
You can plan your days and do activities you love with locals and have a unique experience of the city you will be visiting. Sure, the guidelines of the experiences remains the same for everyone, but locals often adapt the experience for their guests. So if you have any special needs, do not hesitate to ask them.
Overall, Airbnb is really a great way to experience a foreign city or country you visit for the first time and feel like home. I have used it for the past 2 years as a guest but also as a host ( you can read about my experience in this article The Ultimate Airbnb Hosting Guide) and I am loving it. It really breaks the barriers of traveling to a foreign country and having to plan your days by scrolling for hours on forums or blogs to find what would be interesting to do.
What I love the most it the possibility to customise your trip according to your preferences. From the type of home you would like to stay at to the type of experience you would like to do and type of foods you would like to taste. It really gathers all the elements you need when traveling abroad. This is a proper travel tailored experience and that is the reason why it is changing the travel industry and the way people travel nowadays.
Some websites are even specialised at finding Airbnb hidden gems to experience something unique. Do you want to stay at a luxury villa for a night or two, you can do it. Do you like nature and would like to stay in a wood cabin in the middle of the forest, you can do it. Do you like sea side and would like to stay in a cottage, why not!
Everything is possible.
If you are a digital nomad or traveling on business to a country for a month or two, Airbnb also offers long term accommodation to match your needs.
I’d say the only downside of Airbnb is for the locals. Indeed, a few cities around the world have seen the rental market prices increase due to the decrease in long term accommodation supplies. Landlords are making more money from Airbnb than they will do with long term tenants. This obviously affects people who live and work in those cities as the cost of living just keep on increasing.
But from a traveler point of view, having that flexibility to tailor made your travel experience is really something powerful and unique.
What about you? Have you used Airbnb already? How was your experience? Let me know in the comments below.
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