Just curious--why Airbnb?


Sep 13th, 2017, 07:18 AM
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Just curious--why Airbnb?

Really, the title of this is my whole question.

Is Airbnb cheaper? More comfortable?

More what?

I like the idea of a mid-range, predictable hotel. When I'm on vacation I don't want to cook at home. I want to vacation. I want to ask the receptionist for information. Of course, I'm not trying to do Europe on the cheap. If I can't afford the trip, I will save some money and wait until next year.

It sounds to me like I'm being a little snippy, and I don't mean to be. I just want to know what is the attraction.
Pegontheroad is offline  
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Sep 13th, 2017, 07:25 AM
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I like hotels too. But more often these days I find I can have nicer accommodations for considerably less money using Airbnb. It therefore contributes to a better quality trip and I can afford to travel longer & more often. If cost isn't a factor then there may be no reason to use them, though the variety of interesting places to stay may be an incentive all it's own, places that aren't cheap but offer a unique experience not available elsewhere.
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Sep 13th, 2017, 07:25 AM
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In my case, I would not do the share a room in someone's apartment, but want the whole apartment to myself and traveling companions. I want someplace to sit other than a bed when I come back to the apartment at night.
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Sep 13th, 2017, 07:26 AM
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It is often cheaper. Certainly no guarantee of more comfortable. I can see it for families with kids who need more space as hotel rooms can be very small when kids are included. I presume you are not referring specifically to Airbnb by any vacation rental apt?

I don't know, I think a lot of people have gone batty over this idea, it makes no sense to me, as I see people talking about renting apts for cities where they will only be a day or two AND they are solo or just a couple. This makes zero sense to me given the inconvenience of doing that, and the hassles (sending money, deposits, arrangements for arrival, departure, and you have no idea who these people are, etc). How much time are you in a hotel room in a day or two short visit, anyway, what difference does it make is my attitude. I have rented them for longer-term stays when I'm not a typical tourist, though.
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Sep 13th, 2017, 07:29 AM
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I've only used airbnb once but usually book thru vrbo or home away. We prefer apartments as we like to have more room, a kitchen for breakfast and snacks and an occasional dinner in. Not much on hotels as I find the rooms fairly small in Europe and while it is nice to have beds made and fresh towels daily, I don't mind not having these services. This is just my opinion. I also understand about being on vacation and not wanting to cook, etc and sometimes we do stay in hotels for a short stay.
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Sep 13th, 2017, 07:32 AM
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They're the best way to see Paris.
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Sep 13th, 2017, 07:41 AM
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I first rented an apartment with 2 friends in Barcelona many years ago and after we woke from our afternoon naps, we sat around a beautiful, heavy wood dining table breaking bread, drinking wine, eating charcuterie, fruit, and other amazing finds at the Boqueria. As I gazed up at the gorgeous wooden beam ceilings and looked out at the wide, charming balcony, I thought, "I'm never going to stay in a hotel again."

It was wonderful to be able to have so much beautiful space and while we didn't technically cook anything, having that kitchen was wonderful. I don't enjoy emptying mini-bar fridges trying to make room for just a few drinks, etc. and enjoying food is a huge part of my travels. (I put more hours of research into choosing restaurants than probably anything else when I travel).

Now that I have young children, it's even more important to have a full apartment so that I can put the kids to bed, shut their doors, and be able to comfortably lounge about in the living room.

I don't mind small boutique hotels but I find most hotels to be rather soul-less and nondescript and I tend to reserve them only for business /conference travel.
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Sep 13th, 2017, 08:04 AM
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Why is the choice hotel versus airbnb, not hotel versus apartment? Does "apartment" equal airbnb and nothing else? There are other ways of renting apartments.

I like renting apartments, in particular for longer stays, because they come much cheaper than hotels, I can prepare my own meals at a fraction of the cost of hotel breakfast and restaurant dinner, they give me more room and more equipment, and no cleaner etc. enters my privacy.
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Sep 13th, 2017, 08:06 AM
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Our standard rule of thumb is that if we are going to be in a place three or more nights we will rent an apartment. As others have said, we like to be able to spread out, we like having a kitchen facility even if we don't do much real cooking at all, and they can be found in some very intriguing and interesting locations.

I don't care about having someone coming in to make the bed and change the towels every day. And, realistically how much of a mess can just two people make in one day? I really don't need to do any cleaning.

I will say though that when we rent from AB&B or VRBO (and we've rented a lot of places from both), I am very careful to fully vet the place and the owner before I give them a dime.

We never use the staff services that hotels offer (other than perhaps asking how to get somewhere). Hotels have to cover the large expense of all of that staffing. It is reflected in their prices. As someone up thread said, we can find much nicer accommodation for less money when we go direct rather than just booking a standard hotel. Plus, soulless hotels do absolutely nothing for us anyway. And, we are not willing to pay the price of a fancy boutique hotel.

It is all in your own personal style and what works best for you.
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Sep 13th, 2017, 08:11 AM
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"Why is the choice hotel versus airbnb, not hotel versus apartment?"

I think the original question didn't make distinctions between Airbnb accommodations, rooms or apartments. Those who rent apartments know Airbnb isn't the only choice. And those who rent rooms from Airbnb know hotels are generally the alternative. I don't see anyone else specifically narrowing the discussion.
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Sep 13th, 2017, 08:14 AM
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I like apartment rentals because:

typically it is cheaper than getting 2 hotel rooms.

Hotels are noisy if you want to sleep in
(slamming doors, hallway noise).

Having a common area to relax.

If we want to save some money we can buy food at the market and cook at home. Or at least have some snacks and beverages.

Also sometimes it's fun to use a washing machine that is all in Icelandic. Or hang your laundry out the window like everyone else is doing! Makes us feel like we are locals!
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Sep 13th, 2017, 08:23 AM
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In Italy Airbnb is mainly an internet platform for landlords & b&b owners who would be renting their space anyway. It just used to be harder to find (esp if you didn't speak Italian). There is a long tradition in Italy of people renting rooms in homes in tourist destinations, or people renting out inherited property to travelers, etc.
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Sep 13th, 2017, 08:24 AM
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For 5+ day stays, I like apartments because I don't go out in the evenings (I'm usually exhausted from walking & sightseeing all day), and since I'm a solo traveller, I prefer to have a nice lunch in a restaurant and relax "at home" at night. I like having a comfortable sofa or chair to watch TV, read or journal, versus sitting in bed. Also, having a fridge is crucial for breakfast yogurt, wine, soda & cheese.
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Sep 13th, 2017, 08:29 AM
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My situation and feelings about where I stay are very much like vickiebypass's. I like to be "home" in the evening, like lunch out, dislike dinner out, who knows why. A comfortable place to sit & read is paramount and something not usually provided in a hotel room except maybe in those beyond my budget.
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Sep 13th, 2017, 08:33 AM
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By the way, I'm practiced in making myself tasty dinners in hotel rooms, too, but an apartment is better, even studios with "kitchenettes". All I need is a way to heat water, whether it's an electric kettle or an immersion heater that I bring myself. Many Airbnb rooms have kettles or allow use of their kitchens for that purpose if not for cooking.
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Sep 13th, 2017, 08:49 AM
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There are many more apartment and room options than just AirBnB. I think that people use that designation for anything that isn't a hotel. There are a whole host of private apartment rental sites on the intranet. Many owners post their rooms and apartments on multiple sites.

For me apartments are preferable when I am somewhere more than a couple of nights because I like having more space. Yes, I also like having the option of meals in. One thing that is really nice is not having to worry about when the maid or other hotel staff wants to come into the room, particularly when I'm somewhere that I may be on a totally different time schedule.

If I'm staying somewhere for more than a week, I can't even imagine staying in a hotel.

That said, I can really enjoy a nice hotel for a few days in a big city.
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Sep 13th, 2017, 09:02 AM
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"I think that people use that designation for anything that isn't a hotel."

While I realize that apartment & B&B owners post on multiple sites, many (most?) of us do mean exactly Airbnb when we say so. I've never rented from VRBO because I find far fewer options and generally higher prices. I have, however, rented from owners' own sites after seeing them on Airbnb, when the price is similar and they take credit cards.
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Sep 13th, 2017, 09:13 AM
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It is not just a choice between hotels and AirBnB, especially in Europe. There is long tradition of licensed B&Bs, pensions, guesthouses etc. I rarely stay in large/chain hotels, but I do stay in smaller ones and especially B&Bs (gites, zimmer etc.), and the occasional apart'hotel. I have gone off AirBnB because I understand that it is very unpleasant for people to have their apartment buildings and neighborhoods turned into de facto hotels, plus in some cities it has impacted the long term rental market to the detriment of the locals.
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Sep 13th, 2017, 09:31 AM
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I never rented via Airbnb but rented several apartments via booking.com or hotels.com.

As said above : handy. We usually ahve breakfast but hardly ever dowe cook. These apartments I stayed in were clearly not inhabitated and only for tourist purpose. Clean, nice and well situated.

Lately we had apts in Firenze, LLubljana, Lisbon and Porto. We also always rent apartments when skiing, never did hotels at ski locations.

The only thing I don't like is that often you only have 1 bathroom per apartment. We are always min 4 in the apartment, me being the only male, or 6 with a potential son in law added.

Needs to decide who washes when. Apart(ment ;-) ) from that - works just great.

But yes, never an apt for less than 3 days.

When alone : always in a hotel, my wife complains I get used to it and behave at home like I were in a hotel. Totally false and unjustified accusation of course. True ! I even do the cooking on most mondays. The rest of the week my wife does it ;-)
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Sep 13th, 2017, 09:44 AM
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I have had so many wonderful, amazing Airbnb experiences. I view the concept as godsend. I can recall only one disappointing rental, and I was able to leave an honest, detailed review of that situation. The owner was seriously dishonest. I love the review process at Airbnb.

If I could rent out my home and be a renter, I would do it on Airbnb. My typical budget for a night is $60 or less when I travel. I spend very little time in my room, but I hate feeling claustrophobic. It is very difficult to find a decent hotel room for that price. Single rooms in most hotels are a joke.

I also am too frugal to eat 3 meals out every day. I find most restaurants a waste of my time and a money pit. Any room rental that has access to a kitchen is ideal for my style of travel.

The Italians had it right with their pensione. I love the Italian hospitality. They have long understood the joy of inviting a travel guest in their homes. This is the best way to bond with a culture and form lasting friendships. It should be made legal everywhere and laws should be created to support it. It makes the world a better place to see and experience and live in.
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