Has anyone used airbnb before ?

Oct 14th, 2018, 08:33 AM
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swandav2000 is online now  
Oct 14th, 2018, 08:55 AM
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Curious - since the olden days. Join date June 2016. OK you have your explanation.

But the point is the unexplainable ignorance of the OP of airbnb.

If he/she is from the US or Europe this is just not believable. For the rest of the world ...
nochblad is offline  
Oct 14th, 2018, 09:20 AM
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To answer the OP's question without all of the social consciousness twaddle; yes, you can use Airbnb with minimal danger of getting scammed. That is one of the attractions of the platform. The way it works is that you book through Airbnb, with plenty of opportunity to ask
nukesafe is online now  
Oct 14th, 2018, 09:28 AM
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Darn, I hit something too soon! To continue, the guest has plenty of opportunity to ask questions and interact with the host. The guest pays Airbnb and they hold the funds until 24 hours after the guest checks in. If the property is not as advertised the guest has access toa hotline through which they can get any problems resolved. If the issues cannot get cleared up the host does not get the money and the guest gets a refund. Of course that may mean you have no place to stay that first night, but IME Airbnb makes every effort to find alternate accommodations for you.

There is no incentive for the host to scam anyone, as they don't get your bucks and probably get kicked off Airbnb.
nukesafe is online now  
Oct 14th, 2018, 09:52 AM
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Which means Nuke, that one must avoid to pay direct to the host, as it is a sure way to get scammed : if the host asks so, then you're probably sure he wants to scam somebody. Airbnb at best, you at worst.
thibaut is offline  
Oct 14th, 2018, 10:17 AM
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I’ll admit to having raised my eyebrows when I saw the question. It did look odd.

but more because they’re a brand new poster, asking a question that practically tailored to get a few fodorites going. I don’t think it’s odd that they’re unfamiliar with it. I probably would be if it wasn’t for this board, and I know several people who only vaguely know what it is, mostly from marketing. IME, people are either really into it or it’s not on their radar.

I think it’s too much hassle, personally. I did try to do it once. I much prefer just booking a hotel or b&b. But if it works, it works, and in some cases there isn’t a good available alternative.
marvelousmouse is online now  
Oct 14th, 2018, 11:02 AM
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"If that was all or even most of the rentals it wouldn't be a problem. It is not."

Before one makes a broad statement such as this, one should do more research. Variations from place to place are great. For instance doing an Airbnb search one could see that many to most of the Paris AirBnb rentals in the outlying arrondissements (except the 18th) are perfectly legal while many in the tourist ghetto are not. Properties in outlying arrondissements are in general not bought on speculation as rentals to tourists. One size does not fit all,.

Last edited by Envierges; Oct 14th, 2018 at 11:19 AM.
Envierges is online now  
Oct 14th, 2018, 12:01 PM
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We're used it in the US a number of times with great results. Only once in Europe...in Venice, and it was a great experience.

That said, I cannot guarantee good results every time. Renting from a Superhost and reading the listings and review carefully is your best insurance against a disaster. I fully understand the problems in Paris (being a regular Fodor's forum visitor), so I've never tried to use it there.

One nice thing about AirBnB is that they hold your money when you book and do not release it to the renter for 24 hours after check-in. This gives you a chance to notify them if there is a major problem. Having never needed to use that service, I cannot say whether it is effective and responsive or not. And NEVER, NEVER, NEVER [did I stress that enough???] send money directly to the host...always send it through AirBnB booking process.

I guess my feeling is this: I would not recommend your first use of AirBnB in a foreign country. Get some experience with it at home, first.

ssander is offline  
Oct 14th, 2018, 12:24 PM
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About three months ago I asked an almost identical question on another forum - probably for the same reasons. The OP's question might have been better phrased, but it is a fair one to ask if you are lookuing at using a service for the first time.

I've been using apartment rental websites for nearly 20 years, but up until last month, had never used AirBnB - and I had always sort of pigeonholed as some sort of "rent out a spare room" site, rather than apartment rental.
For what it is worth, I found it very easy to use, found two excellent apartments (one in Turin, the other in Bologna) that were well within my budget, had no issues whatsoever and will happily use the site again in future.
willit is offline  
Oct 14th, 2018, 05:27 PM
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You have received good advice here, Sally, on how to approach using Airbnb. Used with due diligence Airbnb will work and work well. It can also go awry, as it did for us twice. The first time was in Amsterdam years ago when Airbnb was just getting started. The accomodation was absolutely unacceptable, with no door on our "private" room, and the occupants of seven other rooms expected to use the single bathroom. We walked out to find our ageing bodies on the street on a Friday night and no place to stay. That was, as I said, when Airbnb was just starting and they did not have a 24/7 hotline that we could reach from Europe on the weekend. We were highly ticked off, but did find a room eventually and got our money back from Airbnb, a travel credit, and an apology. The second time was in Portland, Oregon, where my wife booked an apartment that had been listed on Airbnb, without the knowledge of the owner, by someone who himself was renting the place. It was a shambles, as the false host did not show up with the keys, In that case Airbnb booked my wife into a nice hotel room. Both of those chinks in the Airbnb platform have been fixed; the first with a responsive hotline, and the second with a rigorous vetting process for hosts.

It also can and does work well for hosts. Full disclosure, we are Airbnb hosts who rent our guest bedroom here in the Pacific Northwest. It has a private entrance and a balcony overlooking the Salish Sea and the San Juan Islands. We started with Airbnb about seven years ago when the kids stopped visiting and using the room very often. It has provided us with the extra funds that let us do our own travelling, as well as having allowed us to meet some really special people from all over the world. We were worried at first about strangers not treating our home well, but soon found that to be not a concern. In seven years we have not had a single "bummer" as a guest, and we are listed as "Super Hosts" with over 400 five star reviews from our guests.

Anyway, it works for us, and I recommend that the OP gives it a try.
nukesafe is online now  
Oct 15th, 2018, 04:07 PM
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My wife and I have used AirBnB in Amsterdam, England, Scotland, Switzerland, France and the US. We have yet to have a bad experience. We got to stay on a farm in France run by a wonderful women (who didn’t speak much English). We got to stay in the house of a Scottish couple and meet their family. We stayed in a county house in Switzerland and had dinner with the owners, an experience I would not trade for a stay in a hotel.
They told us without the income from AirBnB they would not be able to keep the house they love, so that is the other side of the ethical questions.
You have to carefully read the reviews and be flexible. The place isn’t always exactly what you expect.
In Switzerland it was listed as having wifi. It did, but you had to sit in the hallway on the stairs to the owners living area to get it.
Bindery is offline  
Oct 15th, 2018, 11:40 PM
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nukesafe is online now  
Oct 16th, 2018, 04:44 AM
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Nukesafe, you live in a beautiful area. I am happy your able to rent out that extra room. We are going to do a Whidbey Island flight next year and can't wait to explore that area. I think because I live east of the mouse we see so many vacation rentals. It pays the taxes and insurance on many. My sister in law owns two condos near Disney. They live in NYC so rent them when not there. Airbnb has really tightened the screening process since I first used. I have three European rentals coming up so expect no problems. I have used four times in the states and last visit they gave me the option of splitting the bill with my friend. I loved that. No collection hassle on my part.
Macross is offline  
Oct 16th, 2018, 05:30 AM
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Not sure the OP has been back, but we just returned from three weeks in Italy - all accommodations through airbnb. We had lovely, large apartments that cost less than a Super 8 here in the states. One of our apartments, in a very small mountain hamlet, had belonged to my host's grandfather! The host and his own dad were onsite one day to do minor repairs to the outside of the medieval building. It was utterly cool. When it comes to any accommodation situation, you just have to read the reviews, etc. very carefully. We accept that there is always a bit of risk involved. Even hotels and bed and breakfasts can turn out to be less than advertised.

Last edited by Rocket79; Oct 16th, 2018 at 05:35 AM.
Rocket79 is online now  
Oct 16th, 2018, 07:33 PM
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Two years ago, I stayed in an Air BnB place in Venice for a couple of weeks. I returned a month ago, but rented it direct from the owner, cash on arrival, and it worked well.

Ditto for a VRBO place, first time through the agency, subsequent visits with cash on arrival.

Of course you need some sort of relationship to make that work.
Peter_S_Aus is offline  
Oct 16th, 2018, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by nukesafe View Post
To answer the OP's question without all of the social consciousness twaddle; yes, you can use Airbnb with minimal danger of getting scammed. That is one of the attractions of the platform. The way it works is that you book through Airbnb, with plenty of opportunity to ask

Social consciousness twaddle? Anyway, glad to know that in Amsterdam AirBnB and similar will be banned from operating in neighbourhoods that have been particularly blighted by it. It's fine if you rent in a hamlet in rural Whatever. But in a major tourist destination: stick to a hotel. If that is too high for your budget, don't travel. Traveling is not a right.
menachem is offline  
Oct 16th, 2018, 11:50 PM
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"Traveling is not a right." Do you really believe that menachem? I consider it one of my fundamental ones and would deeply resent anyone who would try to take it away from me. To tell anyone that they are not allowed to travel unless they have the funds to stay in an expensive hotel seems elitist at best or even dictatorial. .

As to my "social consciousness twaddle" comment, I was merely trying to directly answer the OP's question without resorting to the spleen venting that seem to clog concise answers to any question on this Forum that relates to apartment rental.
nukesafe is online now  
Oct 17th, 2018, 01:20 AM
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Hotels do not have to be expensive, unless you insist on things like concierges and on-site restaurants. Properly licensed B&Bs (other than in the US) are not expensive. Once you add in all the fees AirBnB is often just as expensive as other options, if not more so.

It is not "social consciousness twaddle" (good god!) to be concerned about the impact of AirBnB on neighbors and neighbohoods. How would you like it if the house next door was hosting a continuous stream of frat boys partying into the wee hours? Or if your apartment building became a de facto hotel? Is it really desirable to have the locals and businesses catering to locals priced out of central cities?

No, travel is not a "right". How could it possibly be a "right"? Until comparatively recently hardly anybody traveled unless they were in an army, fleeing from an army, fleeing persecution, evicted (whether for religious or economic reasons), on a pilgrimage or one of a small group of traveling actors (aka vagabonds, lol) or merchants. You were born into a village and you lived there until you died. Travel is a privilege.
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 17th, 2018, 05:11 AM
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I had a 50.00 cleaning fee added to my airbnb in Paris and a 35 service fee. 98 a night so average for my rental is 112 a night for a one bedroom with kitchen, bath, washer dryer in a lovely area. It has a registration number and properly vetter by superhoet. 2 people allowed and will be met by an airbnbsitter. That seems to weed out the riff-raff. I have grown up renting cottages at the beach since the 60's. There are apartments for sale and for rent in Paris but am sure the areas tourist pick are high for the average worker. I live in a tourist destination and would love to live on the beach but we can't afford to live there. I love airbnb and VRBO. I have never run into a frat party in a rental but have in hotel and cruise ship. . You stay in that shoebox but I will pick something else. Two nights in Brussels this trip so did pick a hotel for that stay. It is small but only two nights.

Last edited by Macross; Oct 17th, 2018 at 05:14 AM. Reason: .
Macross is offline  
Oct 17th, 2018, 10:34 AM
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Where's Sally?
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