• Sara Christopher

To Air BnB or not to Air Bnb that is the question?

I’ve had a lot of people ask about Air Bnb. Most travel agents are against them as they are not commissionable. I Personally love travel and want people to travel regardless if i get commission or not. I personally have stayed at Airbnb’s 4 times in different cities, with some good experiences and some not so good experiences

*my first experience was a beautiful home in the mountains outside of Annecy, France. This place was gorgeous! The owner lived underneath the rental and was available if we needed anything( which we didn’t) This was a great experience.( The picture below was taken from the back window at this rental)

*my second experience was at a cute flat in Paddington area of London. It has great reviews and was very cute. It was tiny, as I imagined most London flats would be. Unfortunately the wifi did not work the entire time.( I called and email the air bnb owner and it never was fixed) normally that wouldn’t be an issue, but since I was traveling with out my child, I wanted to face time her and talk to her while I was away. The showers were freezing cold and we were kept up most of the night by the neighbors very loud “activities”. We tried to put on the TV to cover the noise, but the TV also did not work. It was not a great experience.

*My third experience was outside of Athens, Greece in Nea Smirni. This was a beautiful little apartment that was so cozy. The owner Kosta met us there to make sure everything worked ( wifi, cable etc.) This was a great place, I loved staying there. It was very neat and clean and decorated very modern.

*My fourth and most recent was in a town in Cambria, California. We were staying in a town that definitely had a hippie vibe. The owners lived in the apartment above the rental. The owners were super friendly and made cookies for us and everything. The place was ok, the only downside was that halfway through our stay some one in the owner’s apartment started smoking marijuana and the smell seeped into our room. I had my 2 year old child with me and personally did not like the fact that our place smelled like pot, it made me sick to my stomach.

While talking to a friend the other day, she as well shared her good stories and not so good stories with Airbnb. Her worse story I’m going to share. She rented a Yacht for 2 days. When her and her husband got to the Yacht, it was not a yacht at all but it was a rickety boat with cobwebs and spiders. It was 100% not the same as the pictures. They had to leave and rent a hotel room. When they contacted the seller he refused to reimburse and since they didn’t think to take pictures, when they contacted Airbnb they were told there was nothing they could do. So they were out $1000 for that rental and had to pay a pretty penny to rent a hotel at the last minute. Yikes!

So would I stay at an Airbnb again, sure, If I could not find a hotel in the area I'm looking I would definitely stay in one again. But I go in knowing, it might be great, it might not be and if it is not the same space as advertised to take pictures. As long as you know the risk before you book, than go for it. I, as a travel agent, would not book if for you though. I don’t want to be blamed if you get a dud. You’d have to do it on your own. ;)

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