Paying over $200, a night, for a descent hotel room adds up quickly. Choosing to sleep at a 2 star hotel may save money but you trade quality. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a happy medium to accommodate to? Airbnb is a great alternative for those of you who don’t want to pay the hefty price and want to have quality. My boyfriend and I used this service to travel to Virginia Beach and Charlotteville, VA.
“This is so easy!”
Finding a place is incredibly convenient. When I try to look for hotel rooms on other websites I have to click to the checkout screen to see the total cost. After 10 clicks and a hefty price I am not interested. What makes Aribnb so easy?
1.) Variety: No matter your taste there is an accommodation for you. When we searched for a location near the beach we found tons of places to choose from within our budget. Each host has photos to show off their location; it’s the matter of finding the fit for you.
2.) Payment: All the monetary exchange is done through the website. I have heard horror stories of the host being responsible of transactions on other accommodation websites and those situations not turning out well. With Airbnb they not only break down the costs but they handle the transactions meaning a random stranger doesn’t have access to your personal accounts and you have a company to back you up.
3.) Interactive: I love how interactive their app is. Within hours upon arrival Airbnb sent a reminder along with the house rules which was helpful to read so we knew where to park our car. They also do reviews which is a great way to sift through locations you are “iffy” about. Reading reviews is what drove us to the locations we stayed at.
4.) Safety: They do ask for your social media accounts and a photo ID to ensure you are a real person and not going to cause harm to the host. In addition, it is up to the host to take you in so you have better not send your catfishing site.
**What is great about the identification system is the sense of relief. My boyfriend pointed out that this process made him feel more at ease. I asked why and he said “because if they are asking this of me imagine what hoops the host has to go through before listing.” This was a great point. If you are a little unsure about the identification process know that it is for safety.
“This is so charming”
The two places we stayed at were phenomenal. They were both charming, well kept and felt like home. The first place in Viginia Beach had a private entrance, was about 10 feet away from a bike trail, across the street from the beach and a 10 minute drive from the boardwalk. Our other accommodation, in Charlottesville, VA, was a 10 minute drive from both Monticello and downtown, had a large window overlooking the hillside and had a greeting cat who I may or may not have wanted to take home with me. But why choose Airbnb?
1.) Local Touch: You get to experience your vacation spot from a local’s point of view which is awesome because they can share with you authentic experiences you wouldn’t find elsewhere. At our location in Virginia Beach we were on the portion of the beach for locals avoiding the traffic of tourist. This made our evening watching the sunset that much more intimate.
2.) The Hosts: I love to meet new people and staying with our hosts allowed for a more personal visit than if we stayed in a hotel. We had the opportunity to get to know Mary, in Charlottesville, we learned so much about her.
3.) Special In’s: Because you are staying with locals some may have special ins with businesses that offer discounts and unique experiences. Kathrine, from Virginia Beach, had a neighbor who owned a bike rental business and got us connected with him.
**There is one negative to staying with an Airbnb host. You are in someone else’s house. Some hosts have a private entry others you have to walk through their common space. Some accommodations offer the whole house which is great if you have 6 or more people with you. Just be mindful when picking a host how long you will be there and what kind of privacy they offer; this will dictate what place you stay in.
Example: We planned to stay at Virginia Beach for 2 nights and Kathrine’s private entry was best for that accommodation. In Charlottesville, VA we were staying one night which opened up the selection. Mary did not have a private entry but for one night it was fine with us.
“I’m so glad we did this.”
After all was said and done we don’t regret anything. We were able to stay in really nice homes for a low cost which meant we were able to enjoy our vacation that much more. But if that isn’t convincing enough here are other benefits to staying:
1.) Bank Account=Happy: As previously stated we didn’t break the bank which gave a freedom to be a little more frivolous in other experiences.
2.) Business: This is not just for vacation you can use this for business travel as well. We have a good friend who prefers Airbnb for business trips because it is cheap, comfortable, and gives him that local experience.
3.) The Company: Airbnb strives to make accommodations safe for travelers while promoting an entrepreneurship among hosts. The few bad publicity cases they had Airbnb went above and beyond to make right which is commendable.
4.) Special Perks: Airbnb has great promotions like referral links and coupons. In addition they offer a $50 travel credit toward your first business trip of $75 or more just by using your work email.
When traveling don’t break the bank on a place you will only sleep in. Take on a new experience by getting to know what the locals do. By going through Airbnb you aren’t just promoting a company you are helping another person which is better than throwing money away at a hotel chain that could care less about your personal experience.
Airbnb was such a great experience for my boyfriend and I on our roadtrip to Virginia. Click here to book your next stay through Airbnb. For more fun check out my blog posts about Virginia located under the Travel tab.