airbnb

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So, what IS Airbnb anyway? That’s what I wanted to know before I decided to book my first stay.

I had heard so much about it and seen it advertised on TV.  It was about time I found out for myself what all the fuss was about.

As a travel enthusiast, I’m always looking for new ways to make my trips fun and interesting.  As a travel blogger, I’m also always on the lookout for new things to share with you.

Here’s a little background on the company.

 welcome

What is Airbnb?

Airbnb describes themselves as “a marketplace for people to list, discover and book unique accommodations around the world.” Its currently in 191 countries and growing every day.

In other words, its another website where you can search for and secure lodging.  However, the types of lodging available through Airbnb can be as unique as a teepee or treeehouse. There are other differentiating factors as well, some of which are mentioned below.

How long has Airbnb been around? 

“Airbnb co-founders Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky started out as two cash-strapped roommates in San Francisco in 2007. In order to make their rent, the two loaned out rooms in their apartment to visiting designers from the International Design Conference after hotels in the area were booked up.”

The types of lodging available through Airbnb can be as unique as a teepee or treehouse. Click To Tweet

Why is it called “Airbnb?” 

The two [founders] called their new endeavor “Air Bed and Breakfast,” a reference to the air mattresses the guests were staying on. While the sleeping accommodations sounded less than appealing, guests loved the breakfast and city tours the pair provided.

Eventually, they spread the idea to other apartments, which led to the growth and further development of what the world now knows as Airbnb.”*

When I was planning my recent trip to Charleston, SC, I wanted to incorporate a stay at an Airbnb into my trip.  My trip was 4 days/3 nights.  Each night, I stayed at a different place: a friend’s place, the Airbnb, and a hotel.

I (like most of you), have stayed at a friend’s house and at a hotel before, so I knew what to expect from each of those experiences. However, I was not sure what to expect from my stay at the Airbnb.

GETTING STARTED: CREATING AN AIRBNB ACCOUNT

In order to begin my search for an Airbnb, first I had to create a FREE account (use this link and get $40 off your first stay).

Then, I started my search using similar criteria to when I search for a hotel: desired location, dates for check-in and check-out, the price range, number of guests, and so on.

However, Airbnb offers quite a few search filters that you don’t find when looking for a hotel.  These enable you to REALLY get what you’re looking for:

  • Type of Room (private room, shared room or entire house/apartment)
  • Number of Bedrooms, Bathrooms & Beds needed
  • Type of Cancellation Policy (flexible, moderate, strict)
  • Booking Option (Instant Book, SuperHost)
  • Type of Property (apartment, house, B&B, boat, condominium, townhouse)
  • Amenities (indoor fireplace, hangers, first aid kit, etc.)
  • Host language (English, Spanish, French, Dutch)
Airbnb offers quite a few search filters that you don't find when looking for a hotel. Click To Tweet

Since I was traveling by myself, I didn’t need much so my search was pretty basic.  When the search results came up, I found a few that appealed to me and read each host profile to see what each one offered.

Once I chose the listing I was interested in, I reserved the room and paid securely on the website.

Before my reservation could be completed, I had to verify my identity using my LinkedIn profile. This is an additional step but is added security for potential hosts.

 Give Airbnb a try and get a $20 credit toward your first stay.

Have you ever stayed at an Airbnb? If so, what was your experience like? Please tell us in the comments below. We’d love to hear them!

Until next time, wishing you awesome travels!

Amy
A Traveling Broad

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* Source: “Where did Airbnb get its name?”, Erik Kayata, Boston Globe, October 31, 2015

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