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Three years ago, I would have died laughing if you told me I’d be sleeping in a stranger’s home on vacation. My ideal vacation always had a fancy hotel room in sight. With fresh sheets, new towels daily, and a great view.
When my brother mentioned using Airbnb for our 2015 PNW trip, I was so disgusted and pretty creeped out at the thought of staying at someone else’s house. I quickly swept that idea under the rug and called it a day, which was a horrible decision on my part. Don’t even want to think of the money we could have saved…
I didn’t know the unique benefits that Airbnb offered and how it wasn’t so different from hotels after all. Here are 8 reasons why I changed my mind:
1. You can be at the center of everything
When I vacationed in Atlanta, Georgia, I stayed in a private room for $50/night with $25 for cleaning fees and $9 for service fees, totaling to $84 for one night. And I could literally walk to the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola! This also meant that all the awesome restaurants and bars were only 5-minute Uber rides away, so you can save a lot on travel costs as well!
2. You save money
Here’s another example if you weren’t so convinced with my ATL trip. In Los Angeles, I stayed in a private guest studio and paid $92/night for 5 nights with $35 for cleaning fees and $60 for service fees (minus the $40 coupon for signing up). This came out to $515. My Airbnb was only 5 minutes away from Hollywood, Sunset Strip, and Universal Studios! Hotels that close range from $150-200/night! I saved $250-$500 just by opting to stay in an exclusive, comfy studio rather than a hotel!
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3. It felt like home
Well, because it was a home.
It was comforting walking out into a neighborhood instead of a deserted hotel hallway. I also loved that it felt like I was a resident of the area! It’s the perfect way to know whether or not your vacation spot could be the next place you move to!
4. It ran like a hotel
I’ve stayed in Airbnb homes in Seattle (with a hot tub), DC (a spacious studio), and even took a trip to the small town of Roanoke, VA (a private room in a charming Victorian cottage)! All of the private hosts were incredibly accommodating, sweet, and had a clean and organized place right from the start–and I have pretty high standards for clean and comfortable living.
They provided enough clean towels for the duration of my stay (yes, it’s that important to me that I had to mention it twice). Some had a full-sized fridge, washer & dryer, and did I mention the hot tub?
I was also able to stay in contact with the hosts for any questions. And I’ve always received prompt replies! *knocks on wood*
5. You meet new people
As an introvert, I don’t really go out of my way to meet new people. Airbnb gives me the chance to spice up my social life without having to try! (Same reason I love using Uber and Lyft on vacation)
6. Awesome accommodations
If you’re worried that you won’t be able to use Airbnb because your red-eye flight lands at 2 am, there are Airbnb hosts that will hide the key somewhere you can access it. You just have to ask! Some even have a keypad door lock that you have 24-hour access to with a password!
One time we arrived in the city earlier than expected, and we couldn’t move into our Airbnb yet cause there were still guests staying there. Our hosts let us drop off our luggage and store them in the coolest part of the garage, so we could explore the city!
7. Airbnb hosts got your back
Your Airbnb hosts are pretty much your key to the secret hot spots and “must-visit” places that are far from your typical tourist spots!
And most importantly, they warn you of parts of town you should avoid walking thru. You can’t find this kind of info on a map! And you can protect your wallet in ways you don’t think of when planning a trip!
8. You can be adventurous
I’ve seen penthouses, castles, and houseboats on Airbnb. All for under $150/night!!! Even treehouses, yurts, and glamping in decked out RVs. You don’t need to trade in warm, hot showers for adventure. It’s the perfect way to meet halfway with your risk-seeking S.O.!