ï»¿We stayed at Airbnb residences for the first time during our trips last month to Dublin and London. I had always kept Airbnb in mind as way to travel to help keep costs down. Using the private rental system will especially come in handy when we are less gainfully employed, meaning when we retire or simply drop everything to further satisfy our travel cravings (that day is fast approaching, I sense).
Being that we were making last-minute arrangements for our trip to Europe last month, it seemed wise to consider an alternative to the high-priced hotels in those two busy cities. So we popped over to Airbnb.com to check out what was available.
Our experience with our two accommodations was mostly positive for our first Airbnb stays.
We stayed in a bedroom of an apartment owned by two nice fellas in Dublin. They allowed us full access to the kitchen and living room, if needed, and were very friendly people, who were willing to give us all the details about what was happening in the city that weekend and how to get around. It was great to essentially have our own personal concierges at hand.
The price was about $100 a night over the St. Patrick's Festival weekend, a nice discount from some of the name-brand hotels in the region.
In London, we had a flat in Soho all to ourselves for about $200 a night. This was not a significant discount, if any, compared with other places nearby. But we had a full kitchen, laundry, and more space than at a hotel, plus we were integrated right within a bustling neighborhood full of bars, restaurants and theaters as if we were true residents of London. I did shopping at the local Tesco for groceries for the week, which saved us a nice chunk, too.
The best part of using Airbnb was that communication and assistance was excellent from the owners at both locations. The Airbnb website has a thorough review and rating system that helps you select your residence and offers insight into just the type of experience to expect. This feedback is invaluable in guiding your choice of where to stay. The owners also can review their guests, meaning you should be considerate of a place where you are staying if you want to remain eligible to be invited into other homes that participate in the service. It provides an efficient, transparent and democratic feedback loop.
Some people might not like sharing space. We had no problem with it for a short stay, but on a longer stay in Dublin, we probably would have preferred a little "private time" for our extracurricular activities.
You can select places that give you full privacy or choose spots with shared spaces. Prices will vary, and it's up to you how you want to travel. Some of you are more social than others, of course.
There are a wide range of properties available in the service. In exotic locations, you'll find pools and beaches. Or, you can plop in a room for the night on a futon or air mattress. Some offer meals with the hosts or simple continental breakfasts.
Now, that we've tried it, we probably will be scoping out some more Airbnb locations for our travels, especially when the price and amenities make an attractive combination.
Thanks for reading. Hope this review helps in your happy travels.