A New Way to Travel
Greeting and salutations everyone, I am back with another post about Travel and more specifically today I am talking about travel accommodations. We all know the hassle of looking for a hotel to book. Even with the apps and everything it can still be really difficult and time consuming. But with websites like AirBnb you can stay at someone's house for less than you would normally pay at a hotel. Its good to have your laptop with you using this option so you can access the actual website and for the solo traveler I would recommend a laptop backpack( you can find used laptop backpacks here http://www.forsale.co.za/laptop-backpack) as the apps for these websites are still buggy, but it with a laptop or tablet with you it can be a dozen times easier than booking a hotel room.
I recently got back from a trip with my girlfriend around the world, and we used AirBnb for about half of our paid accommodations. Those that we didn't were usually because of deals we found or in place with no listings on AirBnb as i general we always had a good experience. I brought my laptop backpack with me so that we were able to access the wifi and look up our next place to stay on AirBnb’s very useful website. All of the hosts we stayed with were lovely except for one who didn't have much experience hosting and woke us up early every morning with laundry but we still had an amazing time. When we stayed in Germany, our host spoke only German and Turkish and me my my girlfriend spoke of combination of English, Spanish and Khmer so we could not communicate well, but thanks to the help of Google we could say enough simple sentence to each other that it worked.
How AirBnb Started
A big part of AirBnb is the reviews. As a guest, you are expected to review every listing you stay at. And not just the listing itself, but the community it is in and the owner as well and anything else that could have impacted your stay. These reviews are very important to the listers as they have to stand out against the hundreds or even thousands of potential renters persuading you to vacation in their house. This can lead to some listings having really low pricing for their first couple days/weeks/months in order to entice people to stay and leave a good review. We managed to stay somewhere that was less than half of any room in the same borough when we went to Vancouver this summer and it was simply because he had listed the apartment only one hour before we saw. If we hadn't used my laptop we wouldn’t have gotten it, just another reason to make sure you have your laptop backpack with you. This also adds another layer of safety to the whole thing so that they can try and avoid the tragedies that have happened with couchsurfing.
The other side or AirBnB reviews is the reviews of the rentee by the renter. This is used to help the renters choose who they want to stay at their house which in turn helps to prevent damages and things like that happening to the listed property. Because of this dual review system both the renter and the rentee are encouraged to leave reviews for each other as you cannot view your review if you do not leave one of your own. This can of course make it so that negative reviews are not as prominent as if you don’t leave a review for someone you know is leaving a negative review they are not seen, or at least not seen very easily.
Impact on the Accommodation Industry
One of the biggest hurdles that all the giants of the accommodation industry have to deal with is travel taxes and permits. Currently AirBnb does not fall under any exact category so tax payments from renters are small or non existent. This is causing an unfair advantage similar to Uber vs. Taxis, where Uber drivers did not have to be anywhere nearly as regulated as taxi drivers have to be. AirBnb also provides their own form of renters insurance, and after speaking to some relative that are renters it is incredibly cheap which makes sense when looking at the times AirBnb has been in the news for not paying for trashed properties. They apparently even have insurance that can carry onto vehicle, as my relatives let guests use their expensive mountain bikes and go for rides on the boat during the summer which other wise would be a huge liability. My family is doing well with it though so I hope whatever happens to level the playing field doesn’t affect them too much. I think i might actually give them a call now, have a good weekend everybody.