AirBnB is not a BnB in the sky, but it does let you create a personal BnB experience out of thin air which is also pretty magical. The concept is local hosts renting out their own home (in over 190 countries) to visitors on a convenient website.
My experience with AirBnB has been incredibly positive. I've been on several trips in the past year with my boyfriend, and it's our go-to accommodation hat trick. We stayed in a Villa in La Spezia, a tiny apartment in Milan, a home in Pacific City, Oregon, and a cabin in Leavenworth, Washington. We were even savvy enough to snag this brilliant review (translated from Italian), "Aaron and Ashley are sweet like as jam that gave me. I'm happy to have them hosted. They are kind and transmit serenity. Great guests!" Considering how connected we are to our own friends and family because of technology, it can be difficult to meet people from different parts of the world, let alone build genuine connections and friendships with them. It has given us opportunities to not only friendly folks and get recommendations from locals but also save a ton of money when compared to the cost of hotels. If you're nervous to try it out for the first time, here are five tips to make you feel like an Airbnb pro.
1.) If you're new to the Airnb community, start with only booking established places with multiple positive reviews.
It's more of a risk to pilot new places, so if you're hesitant about the process, stick to places others have gone before. Blaze your own path on your trip in other ways until you feel comfortable, especially if you're traveling alone.
2.) Ask a lot of questions.
I usually ask a ton of questions about what amenities are in the room so I can pack as light as possible. I've never stayed somewhere without the basic toiletries or a blow dryer. We also like to ask what the noise level is like and if it's OK if we're coming and going late at night so there's no surprises for either party.
3.) Bring a parting gift from your hometown.
We always bring a jar of jam from Aaron's family company, Berry Noir. It's a little thing that goes a long way in building an authentic connection between cultures.
4.) Plan ahead
For the best selection on price and location, we always try to book at least 1 week out. Result? Usually the best deals.
5.) Have a backup plan.
Have an idea of another hotel or hostel you can stay it, just in case. We've never needed it, but peace of mind goes along way while on the road.
When you're traveling, you're creating a new chapter in your story. Make it one with friends from foreign lands and book an Airbnb (use this link to save $25 your first stay).