My AirBnB Experiences

I love AirBnB.  What is it?  It’s a social networking site for people renting out their places to stay.  Where runs the extremes – on the low end $5 for a yoga mat on someone’s living room, on the high end $10,000 for a full modern castle for yourself and your guests – complete with a staff.  I’ve only had one bust, partially due to missed expectations on our end and mostly due to pics and misrepresentations on their end.  Warning signs were there in some other reviews that I should have heeded, so I’ll say some of that is my bad as well.

I’ve been saving up my hotel points for… who knows what.  I am a deal finder and when I travel personally, alone or with a male friend, I’m pretty much looking for cheap that works and is nice.  This runs the range from priceline negotiations, hostels, to airbnb.  The last is really my favorite.  Per The Points Guy, paying with a Chase Sapphire card is even coded as a travel expense and earns one double points.

My first experience was in Cologne, I think the only time my buddy and I shared a bed.  Don’t worry we avoided all touching.

Did you note the interesting artwork pictured above?  Our host Kerstin had interesting taste…

She had lots of stuff in the room for us about the local area, as well as drinks, and we went out for a short tour, dinner and drinks later with her.  Great host and surely a different experience than we would have had at a hostel or hotel.

The one place we had a bust was in Munich – within a day’s notice we got out of that place and into a couple’s home who warmly welcomed us in.  They provided keys, instructions on how to get to the local biergarten, some beers and headed out to buy a new big screen tv.  We had the top floor all to ourselves.

Love this wall with pics from their trips!

Beers in their garden and the Munchner Haupt’ in walking distance.

The first picture in this article was from Dresden – we had the whole place to ourselves there.

To round out Germany, the last home we stayed in Berlin with our own room:

I’ve used this less, but in the US as well.  I visited DC during the height of cherry blossom season and tried to stay within walking distance of the national mall – 4 months prior to my trip the Hampton Inn was already sold out, at a rate of $250 a night!  I literally stayed one block north of it for $80/night in a room reservation I made a few days before arrival.

Their cat pretty much always looked at me like this.

Most recently I was in SE Asia.  By this time I had convinced my mom airbnb had nice accommodations and few murderers so I took less pictures of our rooms.  The view in Kuala Lumpur:

Our Vietnamese host took us out to play soccer…

Our host in Bangkok had an amazing place, room, location, price, and pup!  MaPrao!

I’m currently looking for places to stay in Stockholm and Istanbul.  I just got preapproved to stay with a couple of cooks and cats so I’m excited to jump on that offer!  In the end, I love the idea and the site and my experiences on it.  I’d avoid shared rooms – which is more of a dormy sounding scenario I believe – but airbnb is awesome for getting your own room in someone’s place or renting out the entire place.  There are lots of cool and quirky things to be found on the site as well, like staying in a treehouse, on a boat, in a castle, etc.

The stays in SE Asia above ranged from $40-65 a night, and that was the total for two people.  Germany was $70-100.  There’s cheaper to more expensive options and a very large range of experiences and people that can be met.  Affordable and a much greater experience than a typical hotel or hostel, I really think airbnb is a fantastic idea.

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