There are several known ways of travelling around the world.
You can backpack across the country, you can travel by train, by cruise ship, or you can hop from youth hostel to youth hostel, seeing the sights as you go. You can also stay in a wide variety of hotels, from quaint BnB’s to stunning five-star masterpieces.
Now there is a new form of accommodation to add to the list. You rent and live in someone else’s home while you are on holiday, making reservations and payments through the website AirBnB.
Is travelling AirBnB a good way of seeing the world? Read on to find out the various benefits and potential disadvantages of using AirBnB.
How it Works (a Summary)
Travellers, otherwise known as guests, must create an AirBnB profile before being able to book any reservations. They can then search the database of all properties and can contact hosts using the form provided. The guests enter their payment details via a secure platform, paying a guest service fee of 6-12% on top of the reservation in order to cover customer support and Host Guarantee services among others.
As a guest, you will not be charged until the host confirms the reservation. Once the host confirms, the payment is held until a full 24 hours after check-in before releasing the funds to the host. This ensures that both the guest and the host is happy with the arrangement before the agreement is finalised.
Wide Range of Different Search Options
Travellers can search by price, room type, size, amenities, property type, host language; a whole array of options. If they’d prefer a property with a TV and computer, they can search for that. If they like the idea of their own private pool, there is an option to include that in the search.
It really streamlines the whole process and saves time when flicking between potential properties. Travellers can even look for specific areas of interest. For example, a beachfront or seafront flat may have the keyword ‘seafront’ which makes it easier for beach holidaymakers to find it in searches.
Security in your Booking
The AirBnB website has a number of ‘verify’ features to ensure that all customers are completely satisfied with their service. When you are renting your home out to other people, it can be a nerve-wracking and stressful experience, even for short periods of time. There have been horror stories of host members coming home to a ruined apartment, or guest members being unable to easily contact a host member in the event of an emergency.
AirBnB uses features such as Verified Ids, Profiles, reviews, an instant messaging service, Host Guarantee and property protection of up to $1,000,000 in damages in eligible countries in order to assure clients of the safety of such transactions. As with any type of exchange you are taking some level of risk, but AirBnB has pulled out all the stops in order to fully support both its hosts and its guest members.
Hidden Property Jewels
Hotels are pretty cut and dry when looking in terms of quality and price. You can sometimes get a hidden gem in a little-known hostel that serves up a wonderful breakfast with a quaint and cosy sleeping space, but most of the time you get what you paid for. This doesn’t always work out for the best for travellers living on a budget.
With AirBnB you have a lot more choice when it comes to picking funny or quirky properties. Many AirBnB properties work out cheaper than nearby hotels and they have the added amenities of, for example, a kitchen and dining area, which you might not expect to see in a hotel, particularly if you are strapped for cash.
A Different Experience from your Standard Hotel
Some people go on holiday to get away from it all. Others like the idea of having a home away from home in an exotic new location. AirBnB gives travellers the chance to experience a whole new city in a different country and to ‘live like a local’. Hotels can be stunning, opulent and carefree, without the need for organising your own meals or even making your own bed, but they are limited in terms of what you can experience living in that country.
AirBnB allows travellers to get a real feel of what it is like to actually live in Spain, Hong Kong, Morocco and anywhere else in the world. You can live on a budget and try your hand at cooking a few cultural meals using ingredients bought from local shops. You can get chatting with your neighbours and make new friends in different areas of the world. You can stay out all night without worrying that the front door is going to be locked when you come back to rest. The possibilities are endless.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with Marbella’s longest-running real estate agent Panorama.es
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