air b&b

(44 Posts)
paddleduck Sun 24-Aug-14 16:04:21

Since discovering air b&b I have been busy planning and booking various breaks and holidays for us. I'm so chuffed!

We go to our first booking in a fortnight. Was raving about it to a friend when she told me that it's basically all done on trust, there's no safety (your money. . The booking being honoured etc)

Am now pretty bummed and worried. Any thoughts. . Especially if you have used it yourself?

RaspberryRuffle Sun 24-Aug-14 16:10:53

I've used it once (booked by a friend). The owners would not give us the address (which my friend did not question), the apartment was quite dirty and arriving when we did there was not much chance of finding somewhere else. As it happened a small hotel would have been cheaper and a lot more pleasant.
The apartment was full of the owners' things, there was no effort to hide away personal effects and papers including phone bills etc.
However that was one experience, not all air b&B will be like that but personally I'd prefer something more structured, with a contract and standards.

booface Sun 24-Aug-14 16:16:28

We used it for the first time this year. It all worked out fine for us. You could check out the reviews, and if they have rented out plenty of times you should be fine. Also, your payments go into an airbnb account and are not released until you have the keys, and no complaints have been received by airbnb, so you do have a degree of safety in that.

I am currently housesitting for friends who are off airbnbing right now. Second time this summer and they love it. Another friend is off toNY in November, and thinks it's great, as do another couple I know. We are planning next years hols using it.

* to NY grin

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 24-Aug-14 16:18:57

We used it - got a great weekend in an apartment in Old Street with a crazy record producer and a view to die for. Cost £80 a night. Was fantastic.

mangofizz Sun 24-Aug-14 16:22:27

You have to be very careful with it in nyc apparently as most people arent allowed to sublet. If they get caught or you get caught out in the apartment you will be out on your ear!

On principle its a great idea, i'd certainly try it!

Costacoffeeplease Sun 24-Aug-14 16:27:27

Air bnb isn't really much different to any of the other listing sites like homeaway, holidaylettings etc it might have been in the beginning, but not now. As everywhere else, there are good owners and not so good, air bnb don't vet advertisers - only places like Sawday's do that

citysnow Sun 24-Aug-14 16:27:35

I've stayed in 6 places in 5 different countries and all have been fine. 2 were places shared with someone living there (ie just the room) the rest were whole apartments so nice and relaxing. All check ins fine. All money via airbnb.

chrome100 Sun 24-Aug-14 19:46:02

I have used it lots. Most places have been fine and the hosts pleasant.

Only one incident in Amsterdam when the guy didn't arrive to let us in until 11pm and we were stuck outside in pissing rain but overwhelmingly I've had positive experiences.

NannyR Sun 24-Aug-14 20:03:22

I stayed in a lovely place in Dublin a few weeks ago, the owners were very friendly, they brought me a loaf of home made bread and the kitchen was stocked with tea bags, coffee, cereal, milk etc. I had a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and private garden for less than the cost of a city centre hotel room. Would really recommend it and am looking forward to trying out somewhere else.

TinyDancingHoofer Sun 24-Aug-14 20:08:10

I've used it and loved it. Stayed in a beautiful townhouse with seven friends. Four double bedrooms, all ensuite, two massive reception rooms, BBQ area, garden, all for £350 for three nights. The lady was lovely, even posted back a forgotten ipad.
I think your money is protected if you do it all on their system. Make sure you check everything is working/look for stains on the carpets etc. before the landlord goes though or they can claim you did it and take the security deposit. It all depends on who the landlord is, this lady had multiple properties, I think it's a bit awkward when it is someone's actual home.

shaska Sun 24-Aug-14 21:15:56

We use it loads, never had a problem, had some wonderful times in beautiful places. It's not a hotel so I think people expecting that type of experience - a completely immaculate and impersonal room etc - would be disappointed, but I love it.

And we try to get the ones that are actual homes - I tend to find them more welcoming than the agency ones, plus for some reason I actually trust them more.

We've used it several times with very good experiences. You do need to be selective -- always read all the reviews, see how often it's been rented, and personally I wouldn't book one of the flats where they don't tell you where it is.

MaidOfStars Sun 24-Aug-14 21:24:08

I thought Airbnb hold your money until after your arrival, to ensure you aren't scammed (no apartment, fake ads etc).

MaidOfStars Sun 24-Aug-14 21:25:29

Apologies, the above was mentioned very early on.

DealForTheKids Sun 24-Aug-14 21:28:02

I used it in Paris and it was perfect - I'd recommend it to anyone. I got to rave it up in a beautiful Marais appartment for the cost of a hostel room. Amazing.

MerlinsUnderpants Sun 24-Aug-14 21:28:39

Used it in Russia and Italy with no problems and have now booked again for our next break. Just use common sense, read through all the reviews and see what people say. Also, look at things like the response rate and time, if the owner does not always respond or takes days it tells you that they are probably less professional which could lead to more problems.

MrsJamin Sun 24-Aug-14 21:31:44

We've used it in NYC, Memphis and Nashville, all were brilliant and really enriched the experience of being in different places, as it wasn't some anonymous hotel which could have been anywhere in the world. They are cheaper and also excellent for using as a family, as you have a kitchen to use so you don't have to sit in a darkened room once the children are sleeping, etc, and meals are as flexible as they would be at home. I would definitely recommend using highly rated apartments and see how responsive and personable the owner is before booking by asking some questions about the place and local area.

bedhaven Sun 24-Aug-14 21:34:59

We've used them in a few cities and had great experiences. In Copenhagen it was brilliant having a child friendly environment complete with high chairs, toys and garden. I've only heard horror stories about people who let their flats and came back to discover it's been used for sex parties or pop up brothels. Seems much more risky for the home owner than the people staying. Some places you pay for cleaning as part of the deal so I would expect those ones to be clean. The ones we chose all had more than a few reviews which were all accurate.

Rainbunny Mon 25-Aug-14 00:38:27

I've used it in Los Angeles with no issues however my friend and her DH used it to book an apartment in Rome and had a disastrous experience. A water pipe broke and flooded the apartment. They were forced to stay in a hotel and the apartment owners tried to stick them with the bill! AirBnB was no help at all - they don't get involved when anything goes wrong basically.

Just back from paris, had a stunning apartment through airbnb, triplex in st germain, could not have faulted the process, the accommodation or the owners.

My friend in Germany uses it to rent out her home for a few weekends every year. She and her boys (single parent) go and stay with her mum, and the money she earns pays for their summer holiday. She has never had a bad experience.

It's a really cute house if you are looking for somewhere in Hamburg grin

CustardFromATin Mon 25-Aug-14 04:28:42

We've used it loads!
Yes, it's on trust, but that trust is two way, IYSWIM? And we decided only to go with people who had a few reviews and who chatted at least briefly over messages first - and maybe we were lucky but in >10 experiences we had some great times and even made some new friends, as well as having a few funny experiences (so embarrassing having to tell your politely disbelieving host that the bed just broke in the middle of the night while we were asleep - though it was true!). There were a few oddball hosts, but not in a creepy or untrustworthy way, and we'll definitely use it again once our small people are at less destructive ages :-)

AnythingNotEverything Mon 25-Aug-14 04:54:37

We've just stayed in a lovely apartment in a European city through AirBnB. It's really hard finding hotel accommodation to suit larger families and this worked really well for us.

I agree you must read the reviews carefully and be open minded. You aren't staying in a hotel - you shouldn't expect hotel standard accommodation.

We've already got another trip booked later this year but that isn't in someone's home so may be a different experience.

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