I’ve been talking about Airbnb a fair bit lately, if you are wondering “what is Airbnb?”, I talked about that already! I also interviewed Jenn, about her experience and decision to rent out her home using Airbnb.
This past spring, my spouse, a friend, her boyfriend and I all went to the Caribbean. When we set out to plan, we knew there were a few different things we wanted to ensure:
- We didn’t want to break the bank
- We wanted to stay in places with two separate bedrooms, not shared
- We wanted to visit several different places, not just stay in one town or on one island for the whole trip
- We really wanted access to a kitchen, in part for cost and in part due to allergies
- We wanted decently located places to stay, not places that were far from the things we wanted to see
- While most of the Caribbean is tourist destinations, staying in places more like where locals live or at least vacation, was attractive
Those were our motivations for looking into Airbnb properties. We also looked at VRBO.com, homeaway.com and ownerdirect.com. Those sites all have their merits, as well. That said, I find their interfaces a lot more difficult to navigate. Here are some reasons why:
- No listed price on the search results page
- Well hidden minimum stays, that still show up after you have put in your dates
- No personal relationship or profile, to get a better vibe for the location
- The other sites frequently listed luxury properties in the Caribbean, though I know they don’t always do that elsewhere. We weren’t looking for $2500/night places, though there were many to choose from!
In addition to those things that made the other sites less attractive (we still booked several things through those sites), we had several problems where the pricing or minimum stay information listed on the site was vastly different than the quotes we received when we went to book. For example, one place came back with pricing that was $75 more per night, and with an additional night minimum stay. When we asked them to honour what they had listed on the site, they said no! I checked again a few weeks later.
They hadn’t updated their listing at all. We weren’t impressed.
That, and my good blogging friend The Asian Pear gave me a $25 credit, which helped! Guess what? I can give you a $25 credit, too! If you sign up using any of the links in this post, or by clicking on this button, the credit will be waiting for you whenever you decide to go on your first Airbnb trip. All you have to do is create an account with one of my links.