AIRBNB & ADVENTURE ABROAD:   The Pros and Cons of a Really Good Thing by Virginia Haynes Montgomery

The Pros and Cons of a Really Good Thing

Airbnb is a 21st century phenomenon that has grown so quickly in ten years, it is already in over 65,000 cities and 101 countries … and still growing. In case you don’t know how it works, people with an extra bedroom or an unused apartment rent out space to short-term visitors. It’s a great way to pick up a little extra money. For the guest, it is a less-expensive way to travel than staying in hotels and most of the time it is a comfy home-away-from-home experience with other benefits as well.

When renting an Airbnb abroad, there are a few things you need to watch out for because it is not so easy to make a change once you’re there. For instance, if you are told that one of the beds is a sofa bed, ask how thick the mattress is and if anyone regardless of age or weight can sleep on it without discomfort.

Should you be in a large city and plan to use public transportation, be sure you know where the closest metro stop is. This can save a lot of money, especially if you are a family. Also, look for an Airbnb property in or near the area you want to be.

This probably won’t come up if you’re traveling abroad but if you do plan to take your favorite family furry member, be sure to ask if pets are allowed.

Don’t trust photographs to give you a true picture of the place you are renting. They almost never do. Keep your expectations low and then maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

If the property is offered by a service, don’t choose the least expensive property just based on price. It can happen that suddenly this property is not available, you are offered a more expensive option and you can’t reach the original host. Hmmm, forgive me for being wary but this sounds a little suspicious.

In addition to saving gobs of money, Airbnb offers other very positive things. Airbnb hosts are being asked by headquarters to empathize with their guests and do what they can to give them a sense of belonging.  They will even offer unique tours if people are interested.  In France, you could have a cheese tasting with a French cheese monger.  Or, you could have a special wine tour in Italy.  That’s only a couple of possibilities and there are lots more.  However, if you are in a city on business, just thank your host and let him or her know you will not have time to do the extra things.  But be sure you have wi-fi.

When you arrive in your digs, check everything out right away while your host is present.  Are the bed linens and towels clean and have not been over-used?  Will the windows open?  Does the air conditioner or heat work?  Are there enough coat hangers?  Most Airbnb places offer body wash so if you require soap, be sure to pack it or request it before leaving home.

You can be assured that for the most part, Airbnb experiences are positive.  The company urges its members to encourage diversity and they fight discrimination so you will never be turned away because of race, religion or sexual identification. If something goes wrong, someone is there to fix it right away.  If your host is resourceful, he or she may find some things for you to do that no ordinary tourist can.  The savings over a hotel are great. And you may come away with some new friends in a faraway land.

Airbnb is one of the most positive things that has happened because of technology.  It’s helping to re-write society’s rules and we are better off because of it.

Click on for in-depth information on how to rent your room, apartment or house as well as how to become an Airbnb guest wherever Airbnb is situated.

All books are available at Click on title to learn more.
The Essential Guide to Airbnb
by Ronald Stone
Definitive Staying at Airbnb Guide
by Bradley Paul
The Upstarts
by Brad Stone

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