Why We AirBnB
I remember the first time I ever heard about Airbnb, it was around 5 years ago. I was sitting in a waiting room skimming through magazines. I can't remember which magazine but right there on the cover read something along the lines of 'why Airbnb is fading out.' I thought to myself, I've never even heard of this thing and now it's gone, what the hell is it? I did some research and it seemed so great.
Five years later, I couldn't imagine booking a trip without first considering Airbnb. I thought I'd tell you exactly why that is, right here on the blog.
First, I want to tell you how Airbnb has changed my family's life. My mother was a nurse for almost 20 years when she began having seizures. This forced her to stop working because if she was tending to patients, not only was she at risk if she had a seizure but her patients would be at risk as well. Sometimes things don't just work out as they should, or as you want them to. In this case, insurance did not want to cover my mother's disability and money was going fast.
Her income that she used to pay her mortgage was now gone. On top of all this, my grandmother, her mother was suffering from Alzheimers. Between going to her own appointments, she had to make sure that my grandmother wasn't escaping or doing anything crazy. She decided that she would have to sell her house because she couldn't afford it anymore. Then, she considered renting it out to a family, finally she decided on HomeAway but her inquiries were far and few between. Finally, I told her how often I use Airbnb when I travel and she should consider putting her home on it. I helped set her up with photos and made her a host profile on Airbnb
The bookings started to roll in and finally, my mother could breathe. She's now a business woman thanks to Airbnb. She's such an awesome host that I have high standards when I book now. If she has guests coming in for special occasions she makes sure to accommodate and add little touches to make their stay special. For instance, she's had two families fly in for weddings so she decorated parts of the house to look more festive. She always has a fresh bouquet of flowers for her guests and even has soap wrapped in "thank you for staying with us" wrappers.
Now my mother can keep her house, take care of my grandmother and stay in New York. None of this would even be possible without Airbnb. Whenever I book with Airbnb, I think of the small business owner that I could help support. I think of how much my booking can mean to them and their family. It goes beyond enjoying myself at these destinations, I'm giving back to their community.
Speaking of community, when I stay at an Airbnb, I get to feel like I'm part of a community. The best Airbnb hosts give local recommendations and you can really just melt into the lifestyle. The goal is to feel like a local and you can't reach that if you're sitting in your 5 star hotel. I'll be honest, some of my Airbnb's have been less than amazing. Like having to shower outside because the rain gutter has better water pressure. But other times, I'm enjoying a beautiful view from a penthouse at a crazy affordable house. I don't need those luxuries all the time, so to experience them when I'm traveling is just perfect. Perfect.
Another reason I love Airbnb is because I can find places big enough to stay with a bunch of my friends. On my recent trip to Cuba, there was 6 of us. Which would've meant 3 rooms minimum at a hotel, without someone sleeping on a pull-out sofa. We were all able to stay at the same place, have breakfast together, make sure we were all ready for the day etc. We became a family on that trip and we wouldn't have been able to get that same experience at a hotel.
Before Austin and I lived together, we were staying at Airbnbs on vacation. This gave us confidence going into an apartment together that we could live together. At a hotel, you have someone cleaning up after you everyday. In an Airbnb you have to take full responsibility for yourself. We always have respect for our hosts so we make sure to leave our vaca-home the same way we found it, spotless. So you can really get an idea of what it's like to live with someone when you share an Airbnb with them. Theres a relationship tip for you.
Lastly, Airbnb prices don't actually go up the longer you wait to book. The only risk you run is not having a property available for the dates you need. In which case, just book something else. In order to sign up for an Airbnb you have to verify yourself in a few different ways to make sure you're legit as a host and as a guest. So you can be sure that you're safe.
In conclusion, that magazine 5 years ago was so wrong. Airbnb is allowing people to see the world, experience it and find new homes abroad.