There’s no denying that Airbnb has changed the travel landscape. But is it always the best option?
Airbnb is an online marketplace that connects people who need a place to stay with people who need to rent out extra space. It is a convenient way to find accommodations for short-term stays, becoming increasingly popular in recent years.
I have been using Airbnb since 2015, with more than two dozen reviews. We have had good and bad surprises. But we won’t be using them this time. When you are having a family vacation, I strongly recommend it. There are so many unique types of facilities, and sometimes an Airbnb is the only place available in the area you want to stay.
Here are some things to consider before booking your next stay.
The Pros of Using Airbnb
- You can find unique places to stay. This could be a treehouse, castle, villa, etc., that you would not be able to find on a traditional hotel website.
- The prices are often lower than hotels in the same area, especially in expensive cities.
- It can be more convenient, especially travelling with a family or group.
- There is more of a sense of community when using Airbnb. For example, many hosts will leave a list of their favourite restaurants or activities in the area for you to enjoy during your stay.
- You get to live like a local! This can be a great way to travel if you want to avoid tourist traps and get off the beaten path.
The Cons of Using Airbnb
- There is less regulation of Airbnb properties so that that quality can vary widely.
- Airbnb can be unpredictable. You never know who your host will be or what kind of place you will stay in. Even following the reviews and ratings, there can be surprises.
- You may have to forego hotel amenities like a daily maid service or an on-site restaurant.
- There have been some incidents of guests being scammed or taken advantage of by their Airbnb host.
- Airbnb is not always available in the area you want to stay in.
- You need to pay upfront or at least a deposit, even if it is refundable.
The Bottom Line – Flexibility
We are booking so many properties over 86 days, and while we have locked in our air flights, some of our visits have not been fully finalized. I don’t like to be stuck without having a place to stay. As of this date, I have 20 properties reserved, and only three have been prepaid.
Booking.com allows us to secure a booking without having to pay upfront. As long as I track the reservations, I can always cancel if I find a better property. While not all our reservations are with Booking.com, using one source has most of our stays listed on one convenient app.
If you want to use Airbnb, check if they are listed elsewhere, such as regular BnB sites. Many established Airbnb properties are now listed on some of the more traditional search sites.