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Airbnb usually first search made when looking for accommodation, but in recent times ended up using BDC, mainly down to price.
Had a little mini break in Granada with my daughter a few months ago and couldn’t believe some of the prices on Air. When you factor in parking (up to €25/30 per day), it was hardly surprising a lot of the places I looked at had plenty of availability as their prices were just ridiculous, especially out of season. The folks with more realistic prices had very little availability, and none for the dates we wanted. Ended up with a BDC apartment with parking at €10 per day.
When I’ve been going back to the UK it’s been a similar story. That said, we had a great stay in an Airbnb property in June, but that’s the first non BDC property for a long time.
I’ve used Air four times. 3 times because I needed to stay over in London after work and once as a short break when my cousin got married by the seaside. The first was a shared flat, four lots of strangers, door slamming in the early hours was annoying though to be fair they were quiet after that. Not bad, very hot and not in a part of London you could leave the window open in (due to noise). The second was quite scruffy, fairly cheap for London, again poor ventilation and noise issues but still much much quieter. The second was a room in a home (like me). Third one nighter was very expensive but still (to me ) noisy. The 3 day break was a whole flat, fairly nice but a bit on the expensive side. It was literally round the corner from the wedding venue so it saved me loads of hassle.
It’s different for everyone. If someone uses it “every time they travel” and they go somewhere once every decade they’ve used it once. I was overboard with covering all the bases so I just reduced to these three options and asked for comments. I’ve seen hosts say they will “never” use it which I think is fascinating. I’m just interested in how many hosts have guest experience as well.
What’s an “expensive” hotel? I’ll stay in an “expensive” Airbnb/VRBO over an expensive hotel every time based on my experiences so far. It just depends on what is important to the guest. For example, I greatly preferred having only my friends at the pool, spa and bar but we had to mix our own drinks and there was no chance I was going to have a stranger make a pass at me. LOL. So there are trade offs.
We travel using Airbnb 2 to 4 times a year. I perfer it over impersonal hotels. I look for
Cooking facilities or host provided breakfast (whie vacationing I don’t generally want to cook meals but aslo don’t want to waste time looking for a breakfast place.)
Then I check reviews/stars to narrow it down.
I know it has been covered in other threads but I’ll mention it here as well - I hate cleaning fees. It feels like a bait and switch. Just tell me up front what the overall cost will be (I understand booking fee and taxes are added but the host doesn’t have control over that). I automatically put those with a cleaning fee at the bottom of my list because I had been searching in my price point. Maybe not a great analogy but a cafe doesn’t tack on a “dishwashing fee” , however you do expect your bill to come with taxes added to it and you expect to tip (in the US).
Many of us have named our properties and have websites. If you find a property with what looks like a name (“thank you for your interest in Caille Blanc”), then you just google that and sometimes find them.
Twice, both using my superhost voucher. First was a wedding anniversary stay in a converted railway carriage in the middle of nowhere. Second was a whole apartment near to where my daughter was in hospital. Searched more recently when looking for somewhere to stay for this year’s anniversary trip to Dublin but nothing suitable available, probably due to short notice, so booked via bdc.
We’ve used AirBnB about three times a year for the past three years - usually B&B places in various parts of England, from Cornwall to Northumberland, plus one place in Greece doing an overnight while waiting for a ferry - much cheaper then a harbour of airport hotel. Next month, though, we’re going to a self-catering flat in Brussels - looking forward to it. We always try to pick up hints from the B&B places to improve our own place; only once was a place we stayed in not worthy of 5* - the host had only just started and there were a number of things she hadn’t realised were needed.
I use Airbnb/VRBO often and started doing it partly as research before I did my own listing. I only screwed up the first time. I rented in New Orleans from a multi-property rentalpreneur (never again!) to attend a family wedding in the French Quarter. It was in a moldy-smelling shotgun apartment building, decorated in “bro.” The only kitchen equipment was a few knives and spoons and lots of bottle openers, the toilet leaked, there was a big hole in the wall, the chain lock on the back door to the courtyard had been ripped out and was dangling uselessly, and I had to step over the homeless guy on the stoop coming and going.
Well, the one I’ve stayed at more often than any other here is $249 per night I think so that tends to be a bit of a yardstick. And preferably a hotel nowhere near an airport as they tend to be pretty basic and not too nice.
Good question! To be honest, I’ve never seen an Airbnb in a location I’ve been going to that has had the same facilities as a goodish hotel. Yes, I’m one of those awful people. It seems that expensive tends to mean huge and accommodating 6 people. However, I must admit that I don’t spend much time looking at listings so I’m sure that some splendid ones exist
When it’s a case of just finding a place to stay and if I’m paying for myself it’s a different matter though. Then I’ll look for an Airbnb with a cap of about $130.
Have never used it yet as a guest, but I have a reservation for one next month. (So I have used it as a guest up to the point of booking but not staying yet.) I have to attend a continuing education conference out of town on a weeknight in an in-state tourist destination where hotels are overpriced and motels are run down and cost what you expect to pay for a hotel on a weeknight. I found an adorable little guest cottage a few blocks from the convention center and used my $40 travel credit. The price was about equal to what I normally spend in a motel.