About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

19 March 2012

Thoughts on AirBnB

Except for Antwerp (where a hotel was more convenient) and Seattle (where I stayed with a friend) I have relied on AirBnB for accommodation. AirBnB has been on a massive growth spike this past 18 months, morphing to one of the biggest travel services companies in a very short space of time.

AirBnB focuses on sharing of rooms and/or couches in personal homes. The idea is, many people have a spare bedroom or want to share their couches and host visitors who are traveling in return for some money. For visitors, they would be staying with the locals and experience the city from a local perspective.

Of the three hosts, my hosts in San Francisco were the most organised and well set-up. They clearly liked to host visitors and share their experiences of San Francisco. I think my experiences in San Francisco were definitely impacted positively by M&M.

My host in Helsinki, A, wasn't as organised; but it was definitely not an unpleasant stay. It did shed a different light on Finland, but A was definitely hosting on a semi-business arrangement. This is not to say that M&M were not deriving a financial benefit; it just didn't come across that way.

The last host W, in Munich, was very much engaged in a business endeavor. Together with his partner, they owned a series of rooms and apartments in Munich. The rooms were very well furnished (tv, hi-hi, etc) but it lost some of the charm of actually staying with locals.

In South Africa, almost all the hosts on AirBnB are BnB operators; having stayed at many I am not sure I would particularly choose a BnB over a hotel. That said, for future trips AirBnB will definitely be the first place I consider.

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