Airbnb was founded in 2008 and originally started out as a way for three roommates to make a few extra bucks.
The company is succeeding more than ever with over 160,000,000 guests having used Airbnb in over 65,000 cities.
I've used Airbnb's services since 2014 or so, and have used it 10+ times.
I would 100% recommend Airbnb, and will probably never book a hotel again for several reasons that you'll figure out below.
If you do use Airbnb, you can get $40 off your first visit with my code here.
Below are 10 pros and cons of using Airbnb.
1. Full house available
Airbnb's will have something hotels will never have, which is a full house experience.
With Airbnb's, you get the option of a fully stocked kitchen, multiple bedrooms, and bathrooms, office, fenced yard, pool, and more.
Staying in a place with a fully-stocked kitchen saves you money since you can cook at home.
This also allows you to eat healthier.
2. An authentic experience
You get the option of staying in an apartment or house in a town where very few tourists are found.
Hotels generally are all crowded together, making that area crowded with tourists, leading to stores and restaurants becoming touristy and not as authentic.
When you stay at an Airbnb, you're getting an experience as if you were a local.
On top of that, you can ask your Airbnb host any questions about the area, and ask them where they go to eat, shop, and any other question.
Tip: Living like a local means you're going to save money since touristy areas generally have inflated costs. You can get a meal for a third of the price when you live like a local, and not only that, your meal will be made from a dish from someone who lives locally and has probably made the meal for decades.
3. Save a lot of money
The costs of Airbnb's versus hotels have been compared for many years, and Airbnb's always won when it comes to being more affordable.
You get more bang for your buck.
You generally get more space, amenities, rooms, and other features that make Airbnb worth it over hotels.
Related: 50+ Ways To Make Extra Money
4. More kid and pet-friendly options
Another big seller of Airbnb's is how dog-friendly they are.
Many houses will have a fully fenced backyard (I just got back from a 3 week trip to Portland with 2 dogs).
On top of that, many houses will have playgrounds in the backyard, pools, and other fun areas for kids and pets to play around in.
If you travel frequently with pets or kids, Airbnb is a must.
5. Get rewarded for referring others
Airbnb rewards users for referring Airbnb out to friends and family.
For every new user you refer, they get between $20-$40, and you get $20 in return for future trips.
6. App and Website are easy to use
One of my favorite things about Airbnb is how user-friendly their app and website is.
They've made it so easy that even a person who is not familiar with technology can easily book an Airbnb stay.
You have the option to punch in your dates, filters (beds, baths, pets, etc.), and you can even message the host ahead of time to ask them specific questions.
On top of that, you get to see reviews from previous guests.
There is also a detailed rating system that shows you the Airbnb's rating for cleanliness, communication, value, and more.
Tip: I always stay at Airbnb's that have at least 5 reviews (at least 4 stars). I do not want to be the guinea pig for a completely new Airbnb.
1. Airbnb's get booked up fast
The downside of using Airbnb's is that they can get booked up quick.
However, with there being 3 million listings worldwide, I do not see this being a common problem.
I've booked plenty of Airbnb's the night before and have never had a problem finding a place to stay with good ratings.
There were places that I'd prefer to have stayed, though, either because the location was better or the price was lower. This is why it's important to book ahead of time, especially during peak travel seasons.
Tip: As soon as you know of a trip coming up, book your place as soon as you can. This gives you the best options for the lowest prices available.
2. Hosts can cancel
The reality of Airbnb is that hosts can cancel anytime they want.
However, this looks REALLY bad on them and hosts will rarely if ever do this because they know it will impact their ratings and reviews.
Guests do not want to choose an Airbnb in which a host has canceled, so don't assume it'll happen (it hasn't ever happened to me or any of my friends or family), but know that it could happen if you pick a host that has done it before or has no reviews.
3. Usually no “extra” features
If you enjoy the extra perks you get at a hotel (food service, pool, spa, gym, daily cleaning, or front desk receptionist), then an Airbnb might not be for you.
However, you should keep in mind that many Airbnb's do offer some of these features and more, and all you'd have to do is check certain filters where it says “filters” (easy I know).
For example, some filters are an elevator, hot tub, self-check-in, doorman, etc.
Tip: If you speak another language, you can filter certain languages when finding a place. All you would do is go to filter and scroll down to “host language”. From there, you can choose Italian, French, German, Korean, Japanese, etc.
4. No place to leave luggage after checkout
A con of choosing Airbnb is not having a place to put your luggage after checkout.
Say your flight isn't until 10 PM, but check out is at 12 PM. You wouldn't have anywhere to put your luggage, which leaves you the option of carrying your stuff around all day.
In a nutshell:
1. You get a full house with Airbnb, which can be a huge pro. A fully equiped kitchen is very helpful when you're traveling with family or want to save money on food.
2. You get an authentic experience.
3. You save a lot of money using Airbb.
4. More pet-friendly and kid-friendly options.
5. Get rewarded for referring others.
6. The Airbnb app and website is easy to use.
7. Airbnbs get booked up fast.
8. Hosts can cancel.
9. Usually no extra features, like hotels offer. (No spas, restaurants, arcade, stores, etc.).
10. No space to leave luggage before or after check in or check out.
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