My Airbnb experience

My Airbnb experience

Airbnb was founded in 2008. Its popularity has been snowballing over the years since then.  However, I had been shying away from using the portal because of a (mis)conception that it entailed sleeping in a room in someone's house while they were there too. As I value my privacy and space, this did not appeal to me. Here is my Airbnb experience.

My Airbnb Experience

While booking accommodation for my family in Windhoek, Namibia, I had been disappointed with the options I found on other portals, like - which I normally use for my travels in other continents. I had credit from signing up through a referral link which entitled me to an Airbnb discount off my first stay. So, I decided to have a look at what Airbnb had to offer- one day before travelling. Airbnb Experience

I was pleasantly surprised at the Advanced Search options which allowed me to enter the exact parameters I was looking for. Dates, number of people, budget etc. The main field for me though was an option to tick whether I wanted the “place to myself”, a private room or a shared room. Of course, I chose the first option.

I browsed through the results, shortlisted them, then decided on an apartment under the name of “Faanbergh”.  Airbnb asked me to upload a photo so that my host could recognise me. I booked the apartment and the host responded with a positive confirmation almost immediately.  As my booking was for the following day, this was a big plus. After my credit, the apartment cost me R.671 for four people, not a bad deal at all.

When we got to the street address given, we couldn't find an apartment by the name of “Faanbergh”.  We asked a friendly Samaritan who was parked nearby. He called the number given to us and obtained the name of the building where we would find the apartment- Merensky Tower. It was just a block away. We drove to the building where we were met by our friendly hostess, Modesta. She showed us to our apartment.

Airbnb Experience

The main bedroom

The spacious apartment had two bedrooms, a bathroom, and an open-plan lounge, dining and kitchen area. It was clean, neat, and modern. The kitchen was fully-equipped. There was a small balcony too.  Complimentary wi-fi was provided although it was slow. All we needed was soap and shampoo. The building had 24 hour security and free parking. We spent one night there.

Airbnb Experience

Kids' bedroom

After checking out, we were rated by our host. However, we could only see the rating after leaving our own rating. It was good on both ends.

Airbnb Experience

Lounge area

We were pleasantly surprised by the luxurious accommodation and our first Airbnb experience . Apart from the minor problem of finding the apartment once we were in the correct street, it was all good. The portal was easy to use and all misconceptions were dispelled. It is definitely something we would do again, although I would still not choose a place to share.

Airbnb experience

Kitchen and dining area

Advantages to using Airbnb over hotels (and other traditional accommodation)

  • If you book a place to yourself, you usually have more space. When travelling with family, this could mean multiple rooms.
  • Apartments usually have kitchens. If you use them to cook, this will save you money spent on buying food.
  • Apartments often have washing machines. This will save you money on laundry bills.

I have subsequently experienced Airbnb in Barcelona , Spain and Airbnb in Lisbon, Portugal. Both were good.

Before you book - Here are some Airbnb tips for guests

  1. Do read the reviews before booking an establishment.
  2. Look out for Superhosts. It is better to book with them as they have been highly rated by other guests.
  3. Check the cleaning fees before you pay as they can be quite high sometimes. The step before payment usually reveals the cleaning fees if applicable.
  4. Contact your host to ask any questions you may have that are not answered in the Airbnb description. Eg. Are there steps to climb? Are toiletries provided?

See more essential tips for booking on Airbnb.

How to be a good Airbnb guest

  1. Let your host know what time to expect you - and be punctual.
  2. Don't abuse the facilities - treat them as you would treat your own at home.
  3. Remember that this is not a hotel with huge teams of cleaners. Try to leave the place neat and tidy.
  4. Don't bring additional guests that were not mentioned when booking.
  5. Don't host parties.
  6. Leave an honest review after your stay.

If you are an Airbnb host, follow these tips for Airbnb hosts to minimise the chances of problems.

Have you had an Airbnb experience ? Let me know what it was like – good or bad.

Read The Airbnb Story, an amazing, behind the scenes account of Airbnb's journey.

My Airbnb experience 1

Disclosure: 17.

8 comments on “My Airbnb experience”

  1. Hey! Does your Airbnb code still work?
    I used your link to book but it didn’t show any decrease in price.

  2. We stayed in an Airbnb last week at Lake Tahoe and loved it! Being in a condo community on a golf course allowed us to meet a lot of people who live there. We felt a part of the community, which you don't get staying in a hotel. We change it up and stay in hotels too, but sometimes Airbnb turns out to be the perfect way to experience a location.

    1. That sounds amazing, Sharon. Hearing about other travellers' experiences makes me even more keen to experience more Airbnb's

  3. Love Airbnb! Looks you found a super neat one for your first time 😀
    I always go for an Airbnb when I'm traveling with company. Such a great way to feel like you're living in a new country!

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