Has anyone used airbnb before ?

Reply

Oct 13th, 2018, 03:51 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 1
Has anyone used airbnb before ?

I've heard about airbnb before but never used it! Can anyone give me there thoughts about using it and is there any chances of getting scammed ?
sallytakenontheworld is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 13th, 2018, 07:02 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,135
Millions of people have used airbnb. There is always the possibility of getting scammed no matter how you book your accommodation so read the reviews, do your research and minimise advance payments. Then there are the ethical considerations about people buying property to rent to tourists, negatively impacting locals who want to live in that location. That applies to many sales channels, not just airbnb. Be particularly cautious in places like Paris and Venice in this regard. If you want more info, there's heaps of comments on this forum and others.
dreamon is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 13th, 2018, 10:23 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,137
Originally Posted by sallytakenontheworld View Post
I've heard about airbnb before but never used it! Can anyone give me there thoughts about using it and is there any chances of getting scammed ?
In Europe, be very careful where you use AirBnB. In Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam there are huge problems with it, because their business model of maximum liquidity of private apartments means that residents are being displaced, because real estate and social housing is now used to deliver that liquidity. In Amsterdam, AirBnB (and other "matchmaking" sites) will be banned next year in specific neighbourhoods. In Paris there's a registration scheme.
menachem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 13th, 2018, 11:28 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,147
I have used AirBnB a couple of times when travelling with a large family group and we wanted a property where we could all stay together, have a kitchen, living room, etc. One was a house in Bath, England, and earlier this year a house in a beach suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. Both were good experiences. Were I travelling as a single or couple I would stay in a hotel or a registered B&B where I know what to expect. Some AirBnB properties aren't very well maintained.

I agree with the ethical issues mentioned by above posters. Residents of the island of Santorini in Greece are having trouble recruiting teachers for their children because they have nowhere to stay they can afford on teachers salaries. Many of the rooms previously available to them are now rented out as AirBnB.
Heimdall is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 13th, 2018, 11:55 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,135
When on holidays, I have been renting people's spare room, empty holiday house and tourist apartment for nearly 40 years. The difference now though is the scale (both of accommodation availability and the number of people travelling) and the ability to book online in advance rather than just turning up. It's not the same market place any more. I would much rather stay in an apartment than a hotel but I feel that I need to be sensitive to my impact on the communities I visit. I've somewhat sadly started to hesitate in booking apartments in small villages because I can't work out when I'm displacing local residents and when I'm supporting the local economy. It's a change of mindset that I hadn't foreseen even ten years ago. Perhaps it's a good thing to be more aware but it also complicates things!

OP, if you have an interest in this, then I recommend you read some of the other threads on this forum and others. I'm sure that all this has been said many times before.
dreamon is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2018, 12:43 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 23,980
I have used AirBnB four times, only one was an unqualified success. I no longer use them for the reasons given above. The situation is a prime example of the "tragedy of the commons". Renting space in private homes was not a problem when it was small scale, but it is a major problem on a large scale. Ask yourself how you would feel if your apartment/condo/coop building became effectively a hotel, or the house next door became a party house?
thursdaysd is online now  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2018, 12:55 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,755
Agree with all the above.

Plus always read between the lines, and try and put yourself in the place.

We've used Airbnb 3 times. First in Kathmandu where we had a wonderful week staying with 3 generations of a Hindu family in a lovely, but simple villa. We were immediately immersed into their daily way of life.

Then in Bali, which was a bit of a disappointment. But I suppose we got what we paid for.

Finally in Nicaragua which was a bizarre, but unforgettable experience, staying on an American owned fruit farm on the outskirts of Managua. The owner was in a strange marriage to a much younger Caribbean Nicaraguan woman, and her extended family. It was all very weird. But the setting was spectacular.

None of my 3 experiences would have suited everyone, so you really need to widen your expectations too.
LancasterLad is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2018, 01:48 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,573
We also stayed in AirBnB apartments 3 times, though nowhere near as exotic an experience as LancasterLad's! We were in 2 apartments in Spain (Madrid, Cordoba) and in Paris (just came back). All 3 were wonderful. All 3 were "superhosts" and I read the reviews very carefully and saw that they were consistently excellent reviews. I also make sure there are enough reviews to see if they are consistent. I want to rent directly from the owners, not through an agency - if I want to rent through an agency, I go to the agency! I made sure the Paris apartment was legal (had a license number). The Cordoba apartment had a good referral from someone on TA who I corresponded with. I correspond with the owners prior to rental. And they were exactly as described - no surprises. In fact, they were all better than expected. But I did the research to make sure that the risk was low.
progol is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2018, 02:55 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,217
Airbnb rentals take many different forms with different ethical considerations for each. From renting their sofa or spare room to people renting their flat or house when they go away for the weekend to people who go away for the summer and rent it out for a 3 month block to places bought and held for the sole purpose of renting out.

I agree with the comment above that the difference now is the scale, ease for the consumer, and popularity. Of course the basic concept of renting homes to tourists has been around for ages. This topic very quickly goes to a broader topic of the impact of all kinds of tourism. It's very complicated and it's hard to categorically say that Airbnb or its model itself is unethical. Stay in a hotel instead? A big hotel towering over a small former fishing community, for example, has it's own potential ethical concerns and negative impact on a community. But then it creates jobs. Want to fly somewhere cheaply? Well you could argue that discount airlines like EZJet and Ryanair have had a much more significant impact (both positive and negative) on tourism ills than Airbnb ever will. So should you avoid discount airlines? Then how do you fly? Why would non-discount airlines have a higher ethical horse than discount airlines? Discount airlines just give people what they want and they've changed the whole industry. Flying is cheap overall. Many could not fly without the revolution in airfares. Many would not experience other cultures and people.

Anyone who travels around Europe will probably agree that opportunities to travel for many more nationalities has had a huge impact on European tourism. Far more than Airbnb. Forty years ago most tourists in Europe were Europeans from the rich countries - West Germany, UK, France, etc. and Americans because they had the money to travel. Now everyone is there due to the growth of middle classes in many countries. Was it "more ethical" when only those people could travel and Eastern Europeans, South Americans, Chinese, Indians, etc could not travel in mass?

I think that travel ethics is like ethical investing. Everyone has their own ideas and priorities over what is ethical and unethical and it's very personal. Some want to invest in companies that promote opportunities for women and other forms of diversity. Some avoid natural resources companies. Some prioritise companies that help humanity. Often prioritising one set of values leads to a need to compromise other values.

No different with travel ethics. Are your issues the impact of travel in terms of environmental (global warming, fossil fuels, etc), impact on communities, jobs for locals, threats to ways of life and cultures, threats to nature and historic features, etc, etc. This is all personal and arguments can be made for and against just about all forms of travel in terms of ethics.
walkinaround is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2018, 03:36 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,137
Originally Posted by walkinaround View Post
Airbnb rentals take many different forms with different ethical considerations for each. From renting their sofa or spare room to people renting their flat or house when they go away for the weekend to people who go away for the summer and rent it out for a 3 month block to places bought and held for the sole purpose of renting out.

I agree with the comment above that the difference now is the scale, ease for the consumer, and popularity. Of course the basic concept of renting homes to tourists has been around for ages. This topic very quickly goes to a broader topic of the impact of all kinds of tourism. It's very complicated and it's hard to categorically say that Airbnb or its model itself is unethical. Stay in a hotel instead? A big hotel towering over a small former fishing community, for example, has it's own potential ethical concerns and negative impact on a community. But then it creates jobs. Want to fly somewhere cheaply? Well you could argue that discount airlines like EZJet and Ryanair have had a much more significant impact (both positive and negative) on tourism ills than Airbnb ever will. So should you avoid discount airlines? Then how do you fly? Why would non-discount airlines have a higher ethical horse than discount airlines? Discount airlines just give people what they want and they've changed the whole industry. Flying is cheap overall. Many could not fly without the revolution in airfares. Many would not experience other cultures and people.

Anyone who travels around Europe will probably agree that opportunities to travel for many more nationalities has had a huge impact on European tourism. Far more than Airbnb. Forty years ago most tourists in Europe were Europeans from the rich countries - West Germany, UK, France, etc. and Americans because they had the money to travel. Now everyone is there due to the growth of middle classes in many countries. Was it "more ethical" when only those people could travel and Eastern Europeans, South Americans, Chinese, Indians, etc could not travel in mass?

I think that travel ethics is like ethical investing. Everyone has their own ideas and priorities over what is ethical and unethical and it's very personal. Some want to invest in companies that promote opportunities for women and other forms of diversity. Some avoid natural resources companies. Some prioritise companies that help humanity. Often prioritising one set of values leads to a need to compromise other values.

No different with travel ethics. Are your issues the impact of travel in terms of environmental (global warming, fossil fuels, etc), impact on communities, jobs for locals, threats to ways of life and cultures, threats to nature and historic features, etc, etc. This is all personal and arguments can be made for and against just about all forms of travel in terms of ethics.
For me the issue is not "who can travel" but the fact that companies like AirBnB have a business model that demands maximum liquidity of - in their case - private housing. In many European cities, that includes social housing and rent controlled properties. So, in a very real way, this maximum liquidity displaces residents. The ethical question is: as a tourist does one want to contribute to this?

My answer would be: no. Book a hotel or a proper B&B instead. Easy.
menachem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2018, 05:44 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,821
I use flip key, VRBO and airbnb. I like all of them. Rent from a superhost, read reviews and make sure the Paris apartments have a registration number. I just booked a nice place in Paris for December and it has the registration number with a good explanation of what it means and what is real and not real concerning this number. If I am only going to in a city for three or less nights I get a hotel but for longer stays, I like a bit more room, laundry and a frig. My husband is an insomniac and I love having a bedroom and a living room. He can get up and go read in another room. I have rented in Ireland, Italy, France and Spain with no problems Booking.com has apartments.
Macross is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2018, 06:11 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 648
We've used them in the states, Ireland, UK, Denmark, Sweden and Norway and had a wonderful experience each time. For a family, it is nice to have room to spread out and is cheaper than reserving multiple rooms at a hotel or B&B. Read reviews carefully.
lolfn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2018, 06:33 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,456
So many just jump in with their experiences without first noting that the OP joined this month.

Not familiar with Airbnb . what planet is sallytakeontheworld is from?

Not from a country which might not be familiar with airbnb .

But is the name she has used suggestive?

Does she work for airbnb?

Sometimes I feel that Fodors posters are a bit too naive.
nochblad is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2018, 06:45 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,821
I replied simply because of the negative comments. I don't care who the op is. I am not naive nor do I work for airbnb. I belong to a spaceatheworld group and we have many that have never used airbnb. I have friends that had me walk them through the process just this week.
Macross is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2018, 07:45 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,456
Ever more curious!

A posting from someone who is not the OP but is there a connection with the OP?

This poster joined in 2016 and says - I belong to a spaceatheworld group and we have many that have never used airbnb.

Before any further postings from genuine Fodors members this individual and the OP really need to clarify who they really are.
nochblad is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2018, 08:01 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,552
Marcross posts here often -- which you can see by the number of posts s/he's made since joining two years ago.

That group obviously is for folks who travel Space-A, military folks hitching rides on military aircraft around the world. Other posts have made it clear that Marcross is retired or family member of someone in military service --

Nothing curious about it at all.

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2018, 08:18 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 459
I think somehow people are losing sight of the fact that AirBnb in many places is seen by local authorities and Airbnb as a completely legal and ethical way of using one's property to gain a bit on the side. In Paris this bloomed fully with the financial crisis of 2009. Now, of course, there are the abuses mentioned above but all in all many see this as an efficient way of using space that would go vacant while owners are on vacation. The issue of short term rentals is too frequently painted with a broad brush by those not understanding that situations from place to place are very different.
Envierges is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2018, 08:18 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,821
That is funny. Thank you Swandav. I need to investigate Nochblad now. I have been a member since the olden days but went from aol to yahoo and lost password many years ago and then got booted off the lounge and had to come back as a new person two years ago. That was the best move ever as my blood pressure settled down. Political post and someone really got to me one morning before coffee.
Macross is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2018, 08:27 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 90,020
I have never used AirBnB yet even I know the answers to the OP's question are yes / yes / yes

(So glad I opened up this thread, who knew the drama!!)
suze is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 14th, 2018, 08:32 AM
  #20
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 23,980
this as an efficient way of using space that would go vacant while owners are on vacation.
If that was all or even most of the rentals it wouldn't be a problem. It is not.
thursdaysd is online now  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:39 AM.