Can you imagine staying in a large air-conditioned apartment in Guadeloupe, for 6 people, for less than € 200 per night? How about staying in New York, within walking distance of Manhattan, for € 180 a night? How about sleeping on a houseboat in Amsterdam for € 150 a night?
With these prices, you might think that hosting would be questionable. However, you could find yourself in an attic apartment or a comfortable room that is clean, well decorated, often luxurious and incredibly comfortable.
For thrifty travelers, this scenario may seem incredible. After all, if you want to pay € 90 a night in Paris, you usually have to stay in an inn somewhere and risk a bedbug infestation or a snoring roommate. With Airbnb, you can stay in some of the smartest areas of a city on a budget.
What is Airbnb?
The Airbnb website connects travelers to local residents who allow people to rent a room in their house, or rent their entire house, for one night, several weeks or months. Airbnb offers accommodation at often considerably reduced prices. Most of the time, you stay in houses, lodges or apartments of the same quality, or better, than accommodation at comparable prices booked on other websites. Of course, “cheap” is not always the case; many houses and rooms (or apartments) are as expensive as a hotel. However, you do get a unique place to stay compared to a bland hotel room.
You get all the amenities of a regular home, including a kitchen so you can cook your own meals, and a host who can give you valuable insider tips to make you feel like a local, instead of a tourist .
People who rent their apartment often do so to meet new friends and earn extra money. Most Airbnb owners rent an extra room, but many also rent their entire apartment. Sometimes the house or apartment is a vacation property; other times, you stay in the owner’s main residence. The owners can leave their house while they have tenants, or they can be present during your visit.
How does Airbnb work?
Say that you are planning a trip to visit Guadeloupe and that you want to stay in the beautiful village of Deshaies. You have checked Expedia and you already know that Hotel rooms cost on average between € 300 and $ 400 per night for 6 people. Ouch.
You stay a week, prepare breakfast and lunch in the apartment (the Coco Lodge in Deshaies, Guadeloupe, of course), save your money for dinner at the restaurant in the evening, shopping or visiting various attractions of Guadeloupe ( Deshaies Botanical Garden, Grande Anse or Pearl Beach …). You end up having a great trip, for a fraction of what you would have paid in a hotel.
In addition to saving money, Airbnb hosts offer customers the opportunity to experience something unusual: personal attention. Many guests also compliment the hosts on the location of their homes, especially the homes located in metropolitan areas of the downtown area.
There are many advantages to using Airbnb, including:
To save money. Do a quick search on the site and you will see that staying in a house or apartment in Guadeloupe booked via Airbnb often costs less than staying in a hotel (but not always). You could end up paying as much as you would for a hotel, but in return, you receive a whole apartment or a room in a house in a great Deshaies location. You can even cook when you stay at many Airbnb homes, to save even more on your trip.
Greater comfort. Impersonal and impractical hotels do not offer guests the comfort of home or apartment. Most hotel rooms do not have kitchens. Airbnb homes are often much more comfortable and welcoming than hotels. Staying in someone’s house or apartment means exactly that – you are staying in a real house. You can relax on the couch, prepare a quiet breakfast and sit on the back patio with a glass of wine.
Personal experience. Sometimes you stay in a house or apartment with the owners. Other times, you have the house or the apartment for you. Either way, most hosts can pass insider tips about their city. In fact, many travelers have reported that their hosts took them for a night in the city, taking them to little-known restaurants, bars, clubs, and attractions. Staying with a local means that you receive a personalized “local” experience in the city you are visiting. You could also make a lifelong friend in the process!
More options. Over 70,000 people have listed their homes or apartments on Airbnb. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling to Johannesburg, South Africa or Mobile, Alabama; Airbnb offers accommodation worldwide. You can even rent an entire island in Fiji if you wish.