Bonus: 35 Euro to travel to your account with Airbnb
I first learned about Airbnb back in 2010, and since then I use the service regularly. Only in the last year I rented a house with it 9 times and finally decided to write my personal review on BlogoItaliano.
I want to immediately note that I used Airbnb not only in Italy, not only as a guest, and not every time I paid for services from my pocket - often with the owners the service itself paid for me. The positive and negative aspects of Airbnb, as well as ways to travel the world without paying for housing, will be discussed below.
What is Airbnb?
Airbnb is a rental service: an Internet site where anyone can place their home for rental and anyone can rent it. Airbnb - the most popular private rental site in the world, and therefore you can use it to plan trips to anywhere in the world.
I use the service quite often, even more often than hotels
Since most of the lessors in the service are private individuals, the options that they offer can be quite exotic. This is an economy, and VIP, and many truly unique exclusives. Often among the proposals you can find converted for rental mills, trailers and even ships.
By the way, you can rent not only whole housing through Airbnb - it may well be one or two rooms, or even just a sofa in the living room. Recently, hotels and hostels have often slipped among offers, so you also need to be prepared for this.
Among the offers very often come across truly unique options
Of course, being a platform on which the parties find each other, Airbnb takes a commission for this from each transaction. But, on the other hand, he acts as a guarantor of relations with the owner, allows you to contact him and get acquainted with the reviews of other travelers about the object of interest.
Through Airbnb, you can not only rent housing, but also rent out - I did it too. A personal review of the experience of renting apartments is painted on my Greek website.
How to book accommodation
The service interface is intuitive. If you have ever used booking.com or another hotel portal, the principle of Airbnb is very similar. You choose the place where you are going, the dates of the trip, the number of guests and click "Start Search".
The system interface is intuitive
Further, the system selects all the options available for your dates, and it remains only to choose the one you like.
Although everything in the housing profile is described in sufficient detail, I always contact the owner to check with him whether the property is available for the selected dates (it happens that it is not) and whether it is possible to get a discount. The chances of success of the discount can be guided by the link "Watch the calendar": if the average occupancy rate is low, the owner will be more likely to cede.
In the profile of each object there is information about the owner. Here you can not only read reviews about him and his housing, but also to specify how often he replies to messages, as well as how much an average response is expected.
On Airbnb, the more loyal, quicker and more accurate the landlord is, the higher his ad is
Initially, you have access to all the information necessary for making a decision about the property, including the ability to send a message to the owner of the property; only his exact address and contacts are closed. This data becomes available.only after booking.
Good to know: the first options shown during the search, as a rule, belong to the most loyal and responsive owners. Since the service is directly interested in making your efforts a success, by default it pulls up those offers where landlords most accurately keep a reservation calendar and quickly respond to their potential guests.
Bonus: 35 Euro to travel to your account with Airbnb
Where Airbnb doesn't work
When I first learned about Airbnb, it was still relatively unpopular on the Russian-speaking Internet - the choice of housing at that time also left much to be desired. Now, however, it also has its own nuances: although formally the service works all over the world, far from at all points the range of offers can fully compete with hotels.
For example, I really like the city of Nafplio in Greece and I think that this is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Every time I want to run away somewhere, Nafplio is always on the list of potential destinations. But the range of Airbnb offers in the city is rather scarce, and here I still use the good old booking.com.
Guest reviews can be left by the hosts. Thus, the next landlord will know what to expect from you
I faced a similar situation when traveling around Montenegro: in some small resorts the choice in Airbnb was so small that it turned out to be very situational to use.
My positive feedback
I do not want to deceive and write that I use only Airbnb. Not only. Even when there is a good selection of apartments in the place where the trip is planned, I still look at several sites before making a final decision. Sometimes the choice is made in favor of the hotel, sometimes - apartments.
It depends on the mood, prices and expectations of the trip. But lately, apartments have been winning this choice more and more often. And the point here is not only that part of the expenses is covered by Airbnb (I will write about this in more detail below).
Since apartments are rented by individuals, their choice is usually much wider than hotels, and the market for offers is more diverse. Therefore, among them it is much more often possible to choose exactly what you want in this particular case: more privacy, proximity to the sights, atmospheric atmosphere, view, etc.
There was even a tennis table in the Lviv penthouse
For example, going to the island of Poros in the Aegean Sea, I wanted to have no souls around, rent a bicycle and travel around the island. In Rome and Athens - a panoramic view, in Crete we were a company of friends, and a large apartment went corny economically, and in Lviv a huge penthouse for 12 people was ridiculously cheap, but at the same time had a fireplace, tennis table, exercise bike and skylights, through which the stars were visible.
Moreover, apartments are people, not companies, and therefore the relationship with the owners is more personalized. After the first trip, they are much more willing to agree to discounts, and after the second - they already become good friends with all the ensuing consequences.
Pay attention to the calendar, it can tell a lot about the readiness of the homeowner for discounts.
Good to know: Positive reviews on Airbnb are very important for the owners, and determine the demand for their housing in the future. One negative comment can spoil the impression of 10 positive comments.
Landlords know about this and those who have been renting housing through the service for a long time, are very attentive to their guests, trying to avoid negative reviews. Probably, in half of the objects that I rented, the owner left a compliment in the form of a bottle of wine, a fruit basket, a refrigerator, etc. The owners often call back the next day to clarify whether everything is fine, and are ready to come to fix the problem. In some cases, the owner even came for me at the airport.
What type of accommodation can I rent through Airbnb?
In 2016, when I was in Rome, I rented a completely unique accommodation through Airbnb. It impressed me so much that it shot a separate video about him:
Bonus: 35 Euro to travel to your account with Airbnb
Mentioning the positive experience, you should add a fly in the ointment. I already talked about some points a little higher: this is still a limited choice and inflated prices compared to local sites in the absence of significant competition.
For example, in many cities of Ukraine, booking a house through Airbnb will be more expensive than renting through one of the local sites. In other countries, this is not so easy to check, but most Ukrainian sites are presented in Russian, and therefore it is much easier to compare.
Even if the ad is marked with "lightning", it is better to check with the owner if it can be booked.
Another nuance on which I got burned: booking instant offers (they are marked with lightning). In principle, such objects can be booked instantly, but in practice it happened to me twice that the apartments were busy on selected days, because the owner simply forgot or did not have time to update the calendar.
Of course, in this case, the service will return the money spent (and add it “from above” for inconvenience - this is checked twice), but it will take time. And if you need housing for today and you have the last money on the card - then what?
Therefore i now ALWAYS preliminarily clarify the owner, whether the housing is available for the date I need, not paying attention to the calendar. It seems like the hosts, who brought such inconvenience to the guests, Airbnb also fines, but this is not easier for us.
The owner’s profile always indicates how often he replies to messages, and how long he will have to wait for an answer
Finally, in my practice, there have been cases when the owner simply did not unsubscribe to the message. It was in 2014 in Montenegro: I wrote to two landlords, but I did not wait for an answer from them. As a result, he then ran around the night Tivat in search of a hotel. But in this situation, it was part of my fault: I flew to Montenegro spontaneously at the peak of the season, hoping to solve the issue of housing on the spot.
Therefore, with the owners of the apartments you liked it is always better to charge in advance, checking in reviews of them the degree of attention to their guests.
How to travel without paying for housing
There are several ways to travel through Airbnb, saving on housing, if not free. To begin with, by registering in the service this linkYou will receive a bonus of 35 Euros on your first trip.
This means that if you spend on renting an amount greater than a certain minimum ($ 75, if memory serves), you can cover 35 Euros from them from the bonus received. And if you are traveling by several people and several points along the route, then you can save a lot more.
By following the link, you will see a message about 35 Euro for your trip
Please note that registering in the service yourself, you will not receive this bonus. Of course, this amount of weather does not, but, nevertheless, looking at Airbnb is much more pleasant, having a discount than without it.
By inviting friends to use the service, you can also receive bonuses and exchange them for free accommodation. This is especially true if you have many friends: after registration, you can give your friends a discount of 35 Euros for the first trip, and if they use it, then Airbnb will also encourage you. I was invited so far that I almost do not pay for housing on trips - everything is covered by Airbnb bonuses.
In full details about this, I wrote in a review on my Greek site How to rent exclusive apartments in Greece and around the world for free.