To Airbnb, or not to Airbnb: that is the question?
Almost everybody has had to deal with it: when searching for a hotel, you can't find a hotel for the date you are looking, and when you do find one, it is too expensive. Do you really want to book such hotels? We have asked this ourselves a dozen times while looking for hotels.
For one of our trips, we had to book a hotel in San Francisco. We couldn't find a damn hotel. We even consulted a travel agency, but they were also only able to find expensive hotels, way over our budget. We were really thinking about skipping San Francisco, when we took a quick look on Airbnb to see if there was any availability in San Francisco. To our surprise, there were plenty of apartments available for reasonable prices. Without hesitation, we booked an apartment via Airbnb next to the Coit Tower. The price for three days in this apartment was not even close to the price for one night in a hotel. We (and our wallet) were really happy.
A few weeks later, we arrived in San Francisco. A taxi brought us from the airport to our address in San Francisco. 'Uhh, do you guys sleep here?' he asked when we arrived at the location. 'Ah..., I get it, Airbnb.' At the same time, the owner of the apartment came out to do some groceries. She showed us the apartment, which looked really great. We had our own bathroom, a kitchen and sleeping room. It wasn't very spacious, but that is a hotel neither. Most important was that it was clean, at least cleaner than some of the hotels we have stayed in. We left our luggage behind and went outside. The Coit Tower was indeed less than 5 minutes away, and the rest of San Francisco was within walking distance, exactly like it was stated on the Airbnb website.
Some months later, we were planning a trip to Rio de Janeiro. While searching for hotels, we were only able to find way too expensive hotels. We therefore again searched the Airbnb website. We were able to book an apartment at the beach, with ocean view. The apartment had a living room, kitchen, sleeping room, bathroom and large balcony with ocean view. The total price for three days was way less the price of one night in a hotel.
In both situation, communication with the owner before and during our stay was really pleasant. They provided numerous tips and even send us a text message asking if everything was ok. Great experience. To answer our title question: 'to Airbnb, or not to Airbnb?', we would highly recommend it as we have had great experiences so far.