I have been a huge fan of Airbnb since staying in Airbnb rentals during my first trip to Europe in 2013. We stayed in the most beautiful spaces and had the most amazing experiences. I sing the praises of Airbnb to my friends all the time and try to stay in Airbnb rentals whenever I travel, especially internationally. This is not a sponsored post, I just want to share my positive experiences with this company and encourage others to give them a try since I believe it really enhances travel. See my reasons below…

1

Live like a Local…

When I travel, I love to experience new places as the locals do. I am not a fan of “tourist traps” and find them to be a waste of money. In general, when you stay in Airbnb rentals, you stay in neighborhoods where you are surrounded by the local people of the area. This allows for a deeper experience of your chosen destination and gives you an inside view of what it is like to live there.

 

Delicious tiramisu at a restaurant near our Airbnb rental in Trastevere.

I stayed in Airbnb rentals during both of my visits to Rome. Each time, I stayed in the Trastevere neighborhood which is packed full of amazing authentic Italian restaurants serving dishes unique to Rome. Though Trastevere is not closely located to the more popular tourist attractions like the Colosseum and the Vatican, it is easy to travel to those places and be away from the hustle and bustle of high tourist areas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

Get the Inside Scoop…

From my experience, most Airbnb hosts usually have a written guide which outlines how to get to popular destinations and recommend nearby places to eat. Many also give you directions for how to get to popular destinations via public transportation. Unlike hotel concierges, when hosts recommend a restaurant or attraction, I know it is because it is a great place to go and not because they are getting a commission for leading me there.

Delicious treats at Kasalta in San Juan, Puerto Rico

When I visited San Juan, Puerto Rico, our host recommended a local bakery and sandwich shop, Kasalta which had the most amazing selection of desserts. We couldn’t pick just one so as you can see. It did not disappoint and the place was full of local residents who clearly loved it.

I am sure you are noticing a trend here, desserts, lol. Food is a huge component of a vacation. The better the food, the better the experience.

 

 

3

Feel Connected…

I must say, the hosts that I have encountered have been so kind and accommodating. When you travel abroad, it can be very disorienting to be in another country alone. Many of the Airbnb hosts serve as an unofficial tour guide and built-in ally. The majority of my Airbnb hosts have offered to provide transportation to and from the airport at no additional cost. Additionally, they are extremely accessible through the app or by phone. I definitely felt a security in knowing that I had someone I could contact for assistance if anything untoward happened during my visit.

I had an exceptionally awesome experience with my Airbnb host in Santorini, Greece. (See my previous post about my visit to Santorini for details about my trip). My host was extremely accommodating and made us feel like family. He offered to take us to popular destinations and exposed us to places off the beaten path with the most amazing views. My interaction with my host truly enriched my visit and made it more than just a vacation.

Our host drove us to this church atop a mountain. (It was a harrowing drive up a winding road with no guard rail, eek!) But the journey was well worth it. Inside, we met the caretaker who told us this responsibility had been passed down through his family for hundreds of years.

 

4

Pay Less for More…

I am certain that I have saved tons of money by using Airbnb’s when I have traveled abroad. Traveling in groups offers the greatest value because, in general, when you split the cost of staying in a home with a group of friends you will pay much less than if you had to get multiple hotel rooms to accommodate the same number of people. I have also had the opportunity to stay in REALLY nice places in prime locations by splitting the cost of renting a home with a group of friends.

The amazing view from our apartment located right on Condado Beach in San Juan.

 

Side note: Another cost saving advantage is that most places have full kitchens. One huge cost associated with travel is eating out. When staying at Airbnb properties with full kitchens, I like to splurge on one meal per day during my stay and prepare foods myself.

5

Your opinion REALLY Counts…

Airbnb emphasizes the importance of reviews from both the host and the guest. This emphasis on giving honest reviews means that hosts try their best to give the best customer service and anticipate needs. Unlike large hotel chains, who can rest on the laurels of their overall company’s reputation, Airbnb hosts depend on good reviews to attract future guests.

I hope you decide to try out Airbnb after reading this post. If so, use this link to get a $35 credit toward your first rental!