Have you heard about AirBnB? The accommodations service lists vacation rentals – at great prices – all over the world. I’ve used AirBnB twice and both times have been a tremendous success. In this post, I will share my personal AirBnB stories.
How does AirBnB work?
AirBnB’s website, http://www.airbnb.com/ , serves as a search engine. Type in your vacation destination and see the available properties. People who have second homes, cottages to rent, or an extra room can sign up to be a “host.” People like us – the tourists – can book these beautiful properties right on the website.
What’s so special about AirBnB?
Much savings can be had by booking a vacation rental through AirBnB and forgoing the standard hotel room. Perks such as free laundry or free parking (which can be costly in a city) often accompany the rental. Many AirBnB properties have kitchens so you can save money by cooking your own food instead of dining out.
Another perk of AirBnB is the personalized service. Property hosts often live on-site and will share little-known treasures and best kept secrets about the area. When searching for rental properties, you can communicate directly with the hosts via the website.
My AirBnB finds
AirBnB is always my first stop when planning a vacation. I’ve used them twice in the last year and been very pleased. My husband and I rented a cottage in the Florida Keys last spring. A room at one of the Keys’ mega-resorts would have cost us over $250 in the height of tourist season. We paid $115/night for this idyllic cottage. Here’s a link if you want to check it out: http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/15997
The lanai of our AirBnB rental in the Florida Keys
Decor at our AirBnB rental in the Florida Keys
A month later, I rented an apartment in Seattle’s trendy Belltown neighborhood with friends. We were attending a conference and opted to find our own accommodations instead of paying $200/night at the conference hotel. Our rental was simple, but perfect and only $65/night. We especially enjoyed purchasing fresh fish at Pike Place Market to cook in the tiny kitchen. Here’s a link if you want to check it out: http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/6200
The Virginian, an AirBnB property in Seattle
The fine print
Use common sense – check the property rules before booking – read the reviews – know the cancellation policy – research the neighborhood to make sure it’s safe.
Find your next vacation rental at http://www.airbnb.com/
©Jessica Leigh Rosier 2012