Eye Spy: Airbnb
By: Kristi Guillory
It's summer time, aka vacation time! Several nights in a hotel can be pricey. Some people are turning to other options for accommodations, such as Airbnb.
Airbnb is a program that can be accessed from the web or downloaded as an app on your smart phone. Hosts can rent out space in their home to travelers; a portion or the whole house. For many people this is ideal when traveling for longer stays so that they can have the option to use the kitchen and eat in some nights to save money. It's also beneficial to have an entire house when traveling with children. Have you tried getting a toddler to nap with several people in a hotel room? It just doesn't happen, friend!
Each experience varies by owner, and reviews are very helpful when choosing accommodations. When booking a place through Airbnb, it's a good idea to stay in touch with the owner of the property within a week of your trip to make sure the home will still be available and to find out which items will be in the home for your use, such as clean linens and toilet paper.
I spoke with several people who have used the service. Many mentioned bad experiences simply because of a lack of communication. One couple arrived late at night to a home with no toilet paper or blankets for the beds. This could’ve easily been avoided by experience and communication. The overseas opportunities were wonderful according to the people I interviewed. Many people found apartments in Paris with amazing views for the fraction of the price of a hotel!
Airbnb is much like VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) and if you are interested in renting out your property, it's easy to get set up. You simply create an account and then create your listing including pictures and pricing. You then set the dates it will be available and can even list a preference for the types of renters you wish to host in your home. Once your listing is complete you will be verified by Airbnb and users will be allowed to find your home through searches.As with any endeavor, research is key, as are safety precautions. FACE Magazine would love to hear about your personal experiences with Airbnb! Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.