Les and Kathe talk about their AirBNB Experience!
Why did they use AirBNB* and why is it a great hotel alternative?
Les' brother invited us to watch his team play in the Rose Bowl. It was last minute. Right after his time won. We said yes, and immediately started looking for a hotel room. But, oh no…all of the hotels were fully booked. EVERYTHING was sold out.
The nearest available hotel was in Los Angeles, which was WAY to far! We had to find a hotel alternative if we wanted to see our family. As a lark, I started checking AirBNB as a hotel alternative.
I was really nervous because it was our first time in using this service. We weren't sure what to expect. Would it be dirty? Would the owners be lurking around? What kind of people would let us stay in their spare bedroom? And…Les is VERY private.
The first few places I found on the website were whole apartments. Those looked great! The bad news was that they were $800. That's right… $800 for one night. Ouch! A bit pricey for us.
Finally, after a lot of searching, we decided that it would be OK to stay in someone's spare bedroom. We found a room in someone's house. It looked cute, like maybe it was built in the 1940s. And just like the house, the owner seemed cute too. She looked very artsy. But to be honest, it was the fact that she played the harp that sealed the deal for me. So I submitted my request.
We had a great online conversation about harps and she wanted to know who I knew that played the harp. It's funny that I know two people!
Our First Stay:
We drove to Pasadena and found her house. We had made arrangements to park in her driveway so we wouldn't get a ticket. That was another way we saved money…no parking fees! A hotel would have charged us to park on premise.
Once there, we “checked in”. She wasn't home, but had a combination lock on the back door. After entering the home, we followed the signs to our room. Painless.
Outside her house was a very cute “library”. Another thing we never would have seen if we stayed in a hotel that weekend.
The first thing we saw inside the room was a small mini-fridge. two wine glasses and a bottle of wine sat on top of the fridge. Fresh flowers brightened up the corner of the room. We took a peek inside our mini-fridge and we found almond milk, coconut water, eggs, and blueberries for our breakfast.
Our initial observation was that we felt very welcomed and attended to, just like you would feel at your grandma's house! This was a very different experience from a hotel.
We met her later that day and she gave us some tips on the Rose Bowl. We were so glad that she allowed us to stay in her home for a reasonable fee (I think it was around $200 a night. Still pricey, but not $800!)
So now that you know that we were adventurous enough to stay in someone's bedroom, let's talk about the service that allowed us to go that.
What is AirBNB?
AirBNB* is an American company which operates an online marketplace and hospitality service for people to lease or rent short-term lodging including holiday cottages, apartments, home stays, hostel beds, or hotel rooms, to participate in or facilitate experiences related to tourism such as walking tours, and to make reservations at restaurants. The company does not own any real estate or conduct any tours; it acts as a broker. They receive a percentage of the cost of each stay. Like all modern sharing services services, AirBNB* is an example of person to person sharing. This company has over 4 million listings in 65,000 cities and 191 countries and has helped with over 260 million check-ins.
We really enjoyed our AirBNB* experience is definitely a good one. We can say that it is a great hotel alternative.
Why is it a great hotel alternative?
- It is cheaper than a hotel room
- Hosts get to meet people from all over the world
- Guests can ask the host about tourist spots and how to get there
- Hosts can provide valuable information about their area
- Service quality is more personalized
*Note: If you use my AirBNB link you will get a discount and I will earn a commission.