I actually planned on writing this post months ago after coming back home from my very first Airbnb experience in Sydney. But…I never got around to it. I’ve got two more Airbnb experiences from Buenos Aires to draw from now, so I figured it’s a good time to share my thoughts.
Travel with Airbnb, how does it work? If you aren’t familiar yet with Airbnb, let me fill you in. On Airbnb, anyone can list a room or an entire apartment that travellers like you and I can rent. If you know where you’re travelling too, you can simply filter by neighbourhood or price, making it super easy to find a place that suits your needs. The fun thing is that you can make travel with Airbnb as cheap or expensive as you want it to be. From full- fledged penthouses with a rooftop pool to a basic studio close to the city centre, you name it and it exists. Because there’s such a big variety of different options and price ranges available, you’ll always find that suits you.
Where most hotels are centred around the city’s most prominent attractions, with Airbnb you have the opportunity to stay in those trendy residential neighbourhoods where no hotels are. I personally think travel is so much more fun when you get to know cities and places beyond their main must-see’s and attractions. Sure, the Eiffel tower and The Louvre are great, but what’s even better is to feel like a true local having your breakfast at an authentic café that isn’t completely flocked with tourists every morning. And in all honesty, you’ll get to see the city’s main attractions no matter what anyway! The best personal example I can give you is from apartment where I spend my second week in Buenos Aires, when I stayed in the loveliest studio in Palermo Soho. The location is simply incredible, with so many nice café’s and shops to choose from. A good thing to keep in mind as well is that restaurant prices are generally speaking much more decent in the less touristic areas, a big plus!
Whether you rent a room in someone’s home or an entire apartment for yourself, there’s always opportunity for interaction with the owner of the place you’re renting! They’re locals, so they know better than any travel guide or website what the good places to eat are or what you absolutely shouldn’t miss out on during your stay. If you’re travelling solo and staying in an apartment with someone (like I did for my trip to Sydney), it’s also super fun to be able to just have a chat about your day or maybe even hang out together! The truth is that most of apartment owners that list their properties on Airbnb are truly passionate about hosting guests and always go above and beyond to make you feel home. At least, that’s my experience.
On A budget
Another good reason to opt for Airbnb is the fact that you’re staying in an actual home. That means that there’s (usually) access to a kitchen to prepare your own meals, whether that’s breakfast, lunch or dinner. We all know that expenses for food easily add up when travelling, so this can make a big difference on your budget, even if you’d only prepare your own food every other day instead of everyday. I’m not much of a difficult eater, but when travelling I do start to crave my own healthy food habits so I like having a kitchen even if it wouldn’t be for the budget.
Feels like home
Sure, hotels are pretty cool for a few days (if it’s a good one!), but soon enough I start to crave that ‘home’ feeling. A cool and personal interior, having books, a little office area: the little things that make you feel home. Especially if you’re going to travel for a while, staying in a home environment can really make you feel lots better, especially if you’re someone who’s easily home sick.
If you haven’t used Airbnb before, it’s not strange to have some safety concerns. After all, you’re staying either in a home with someone or you’re renting a place of someone. Both guests and hosts have their IDs verified through Airbnb (simply scan or take a photo of your passport) and you can connect through your social networks to confirm your ID and personal details. The most important feature for me though to decide whether I’m renting a place, is the reviews of previous guests. These reviews give a lot of information on what you can expect from both the place and the host. Is the place really as it shows on the pictures? Is the location good? Is the area safe? Has the host been kind and helpful? Reading reviews will give you the answers on most of the questions you’ve got on your mind.
What’s your experience with Airbnb?
See below some photos of the studio I stayed in Buenos Aires (Palermo Soho). Cool interior, hey? The view from the balcony was pretty good too.