I had heard about Airbnb but until recently never had the opportunity to experience it. That opportunity arose when I was travelling to Atlanta, Georgia, but could not find a hotel room close to downtown.
However, there were a couple of Airbnb offers but I was nervous as this was new to me in every sense. Still, I took the plunge.
It went flawlessly. Once I expressed interest in an apartment, the owner replied almost immediately, accepting my interest. Then I made the payment. Airbnb charges close to US$100.00 as processing fees, which is considerable. On the positive side, it tries its best to ensure that the hosts are serious and sincere hosts.
I had booked a whole apartment – a single bedroom with kitchen, bath/toilet, living room and kitchen. It also came with cable TV and wi-fi connection.
The apartment was elegantly furnished. They were clean and towels and toiletry were provided. Air conditioning and fans were available. The kitchen had a refrigerator, range, microwave and dishwasher, as well as minimalistic cooking utensils and cutlery.
In other words, the apartment contained everything promised in the Airbnb web brochure.
Airbnb poses a challenge to the established hotel industry but faces its own challenges. Hotels generally are bustling places, whereas Airbnb places are what they are – apartments or rooms. No restaurants, no reception, and at times there will also be no pool or gym.
But they offer convenience and comfort. Whether you are a solo traveller, a couple or a family, they can provide you with all the necessities, and often times at a cheaper price.
This is a concept I am keen to explore more.