As a traveler, you would want to check out all of the possible options you might have in choosing the best accommodation to stay in for your trip. I knew about hotels and hostels already and from reading travel forums and blogs, I discovered Airbnb. (Obviously, this is my Airbnb review… Teehee).
What is Airbnb?
As taken from the company website,
…Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 33,000 cities and 192 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.
In short, if I have a place I can rent out, I can advertise it on the site for other people to check out and book. Hosts and guests communicate through the site and payment is done securely on the site, as well. Airbnb also helps guests and hosts settle disputes and investigate claims for refunds or other complaints.
For my stay in Paris, I was able to find a room for rent in a house in the Vincennes area. I contacted the owner, Muriel, through Airbnb and we discussed my stay and how I will be able to find her place. I also told her that I was already booking the room while my visa was still being processed and that should my application be rejected, I will have to cancel my reservation. She was okay with it and I booked the room right away.
I’d like to note that credit card details are required for booking rooms, apartments, houses, etc. on Airbnb. My credit card immediately got charged for the payment. However, from my understanding, my payment was still with Airbnb and was released only to my host after I left her place.
Just like other booking sites, you can read reviews of the property you plan to rent and view pictures of the property. Here are some pictures of the property I rented as well as pictures I took of the actual property when I got there:
PICTURES FROM AIRBNB:
TIP: I always checked for photos that have the Airbnb.com Verified Photo mark on the top right of the picture as an extra assurance that the property really looks as how it is shown in the website.
ACTUAL PICTURES OF THE PROPERTY: (PICTURES TAKEN BY MOI)
Was the property fairly represented in the Airbnb site? Definitely! I found the property exactly as how it was shown through the pictures.
Did I have any problems with the property or the host? NONE! None at all! My host was theeee BEST. The only thing was that the wifi was a tad bit weak and only my laptop could pick it up but that was not a problem for me. I was still able to upload all of the hundreds of photos I took. And did I mention the bed? That bed was just the center of my stay. After a day of walking, I was more than willing to get sucked into that very comfortable bed. And my host did my laundry for me too! (For a 5Euro fee of course).
Will I recommend Airbnb? YES. Do give it a try. Just like with booking hostels and hotels, be responsible in choosing your Airbnb property. Read reviews, look at the pictures and facilities, read the property rules and cancellation rules, and COMMUNICATE with your host. Communication is vital!
Be a responsible guest, too. Remember, you’re staying in someone else’s house and you should take care of it as if it’s your own. Don’t just let other people in your host’s house or take the party home. Remember that your host can also give feedback about you and this will be seen by other hosts and will definitely affect your reputation.
There you have it! Airbnb is definitely worth a try and it will make a difference in your trip.