Saturday, March 22, 2014

Travel and Stay Cheap with AirBnB

Have you heard for AirBnB? I just came to know about this last year and have used it 3 times. This is how I can settle down here in Australia with not so expensive accommodation. It is something that you can consider if you want to stay at a cheaper place than hotel for your next travel trip.

AirBnB is something similar to "Couch Surfing" if you have heard of it before. The only difference is AirBnB is not "FREE" but Couch Surfing is. It is basically a system that allows to earn extra income from your unused space. You become a host and rent it out your place.  On the other hand, you can also be a customer to stay in the hosted place.

Since "Couch Surfing"  is free, it is lacking of security and guarantee as compared to AirBnB in my opinion. However, it doesn't mean AirBnB has no risk at all or completely safe. It is just relatively safer in that sense. If you can take high risk, go for Couch Surfing. If you prefer lower risk (like I do), go for AirBnB. If you really can't take risk at all, go for hotel. The world is very fair, the risk gets lower if you pay more. I"m medium risk of person, so I love AirBnB!!! :)

Besides getting cheaper accommodation, you can also get to know more people especially the locals, the one who hosts you. All hosts I have met are very friendly and they brief me on what I can do or eat around that area.  You won't able to have this kind of local experience if you stay in hotel.

The payment system is also very user friendly and all can be done online. The only tip that I want to share with you is "don't book or make the reservation immediately" although you see the dates are available. Try to always contact the host first (there is a contact button), wait until you get their approval, then only proceed to reservation. Reason is once you make the reservation, you need to make payment but if it is not approved later on, your payment will be refunded by AirBnB. I just find this troublesome personally. So, I think is better just to contact the host directly and you can also see how fast the host respond to you which tells you how serious they are. You can also contact more than one host to increase your chance. During this process, you need to provide justification or purpose of your travel to allow the host to approve or reject you.

After you check out or leave the place, the review system kicks in. This is how most hosts build up their profile there by having a good ratings and reviews. They can write review to comment about you and you can also do the same about them. You can also choose to be anonymous which means the host won't know the review or ratting is from you. In that case, you can safely give a bad review especially you do not want the host to know. :)

For my next travel trip, AirBnB will be my first priority for accommodation. It is worldwide in case you don't know that. If you're interested, you can check it out their website here.

I also maybe will consider to host with AirBnB one day to earn some extra income and know more people. :) Thanks to AirBnB!


Kris said...

I heard of this before :D

Kinda weird renting our your room to strangers. They might be weirdos banging to your bedroom at the middle of the night ...

ChampDog said...

Yupe, that's why have certain risk there to both side.

It is also something similar to BnB (bed & breakfast) concept but I think this more common in oversea especially he developed countries.

As a owner/host, you can set what mandatory requirement that you need (e.g. fully certified ID and etc.).

You can also review the applicants profile and see if they have used AirBnB before and what is the review written on them.

I spoke to my previous AirBnB host, he has been hosting for > 1 year and only have 1 time that he had to ask the tenant move out and refund the money to them (due to the reason like you mention above).

So, technically you still can ask people to move out and refund their money if certain circumstances happen. Since that is your horse, you have the rights.

On the hand, this also means it puts risk to the tenants. So, the risk is both side. :) But I believe, we can learn how to reduce the risk. Like in any investment! lol! :)

ChampDog said...

Sorry for some typo, just wake up (semi conscious now) and straight away reply to this post. :)

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