|airbnb.com home page|
Whilst searching for a cheaper alternative but fairly 'nice' accommodation I stumbled across a site called airbnb and can't sing it's praises high enough, so I thought I'd blog about it. It's a site where anyone in the world can let out their sofa in Brighton through to a mansion in Beverley Hills over a short or long term period.
I'm a cautious traveller. The stories of people paying hundreds (unprotected) for a villa or hotel they have seen on a website only to find that it doesn't exist or looks like a building site, are etched into my mind. This was the reason why we booked our first 2 weeks accommodation from the UK with a reputable company. However, airbnb holds your payment, passing it the 'host' 24 hours after your agreed check-in date. Meaning that should the worst happen, you are protected. Likewise, the host is protected with a security deposit that airbnb holds and returns to the traveller on their departure if no complaints are made.
The 'hosts' and the 'travellers' all have the opportunity to create a short profile. After your stay each party is encouraged to write a review of the other to help future hosts or travellers decide if the property or share is right for them. Airbnb also allows you to verify you are who you say, by linking in with the most well known social sites. For me the social element adds another level of confidence when booking with your host.
Airbnb has created a unique site that plays on the popular social trend. I can't explain how easy it is to use, whether you are letting your property or wanting to rent a property. You don't have to be a 'traveller' as such either. If you prefer holidays in apartments, houses or villas then airbnb is sure to have a property that suites you, whether you are on a tight or plush budget. If you are back-packing however, and looking to keep costs down, some of the house shares, in awesome locations, work out cheaper than hostels.
If anyone back in the UK is reading this, living close to the Olympic Park, with a spare room...do you see where I'm going with this? Perhaps a great extra pocket money earner. And you may even meet some great people!