My First Time: Airbnb

by Shavaun

I’ve been interested in trying Airbnb for a little while now. Call me a millennial, but the idea of staying in a home in the heart of whichever city I choose feels a lot more flexible, freeing and authentic when compared to a hotel stay.

For those of you who don’t know, Airbnb is a website that offers private lodging accommodations in over 33,000 cities and 192 countries worldwide. The company refers to itself as the “world’s largest community-driven hospitality company,” and that community aspect is what made my first time using Airbnb so easy and comforting.

Every property is associated with a host whose profile includes recommendations by other users, reviews by previous guests, as well as a response rating. I didn’t have to venture off to a third party site like Yelp to see what people were saying (this, had I chose a hotel). The reviews on Airbnb were from other members who actually stayed at the locations that were on my radar, and those reviews were honest and in plain sight. Plus, I received a referral code from a friend which granted me a discount on my first trip—even better!

I recently planned a trip with a friend to San Diego. My friend was ‘Team Hotel’ and I, not a paid sponsor nor investor in the platform, was ‘Team Airbnb.’ I was convinced we could find a larger space for less than the per night cost of a hotel, and that we wouldn’t be limited to just a room. I was right.

Her borderline obsessive Google and Yelp searches yielded nothing but mediocre and out of the way hotels for our particular budget. I, on the other hand, with the help of Airbnb, was able to secure a two-story, two bed, one and a half bath, full kitchen apartment with a patio in the heart of the city of our destination, all for less than the hotel rates she pulled in the area.

Personally, I have zero interest in hotels for my future travels. The idea of staying in a home of a local adds value to my travel experience. And with the potential of staying in an apartment, versus an uptight hotel room, I feel like I’m getting more bang for my buck.

If by chance you’re traveling solo or are not interested in staying in an entire apartment, there are options to search for your own room or shared room through Airbnb. Hosts on the site set up their home or property as if it were a hotel, so small essentials like towels, toiletries and cleaning (before and after your stay) are included in your costs.

There are also opportunities for you to play host and earn income through Airbnb; it’s not just a traveler’s market. If you’re out of town for a short period or have an extra room or spare property, you can consider the platform to share your space with travelers from around the world. There are risks in everything, of course, so do your research.

I was fortunate to receive a referral code from a friend which granted me a monetary Airbnb travel credit that; I used it toward my stay in San Diego. You can take advantage of this discount too when you sign up here.

You’ll get $25 off your first booking!

Happy lodging and safe travels!