How Airbnb has Changed Travel

Airbnb is a game changer. While already popular, the use of Airbnb will continue to grow as more and more users try out the service. The concept has massive appeal due to convenience, low price, and the opportunity for cultural experiences. I can’t hide my enthusiasm, I really like the service, and I think Airbnb has changed travel forever. Booking with Airbnb is one of the keys to being a Thrifty Traveler.

 

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Convenience

It’s easy to use Airbnb’s search interface to find a room for the night almost anywhere in the world. This is especially true for developing nations such as Cuba. Last spring I visited Havana, but I had a very difficult time finding a place to stay. Cuba has very little internet connectivity so communication was difficult. Airbnb made it very easy to get in touch and set up a room for the night. No matter where you travel, Airbnb is there!

 

Sample Airbnb's in Havana, Cuba

Sample Airbnb’s in Havana, Cuba

 

Price

Many people want to travel but live paycheck to paycheck. I’ve been there. The prospect of paying $300 a night in New York or Paris is what holds many people back from traveling. Airbnb affords Thrifty Travelers the ability to stay in incredible locations for less than half of what a hotel would cost.

I always recommend Airbnb to travelers on a budget. First, find a flight deal here at Thrifty Traveler and then start searching around for places to stay on Airbnb. You can easily save thousands of dollars by using this method for your next trip.

Another great use for Airbnb is group travel. Mrs. TT and I are planning a group trip to eastern Europe and Oktoberfest this fall. We were able to find several incredible Airbnb locations, which could host up to 10 people per night for less than $250. You really can’t beat that kind of value! Instead of booking multiple expensive hotel rooms we were able to rent out a whole house! VRBO works well for group travel as well!

Airbnb is a win-win for users as well as hosts who rent out their properties. Airbnb guests save cash and hosts make a little money on the side. Many Airbnb hosts earn a living off of the service. For example, in Cuba homeowners can now profit from opening up their homes to tourists. Previously, only hotels were allowed to host guests, and most Cuban hotels are state-owned. Airbnb keeps money with the people instead of large corporations or the government. Airbnb has changed travel for the better.

 

 

Cultural Exchange

I’ve stayed in hotels all around the world and while some are incredible, many are stuffy and generic. Staying at an Airbnb can offer you an opportunity to stay in incredible locations and experience life in the city you are visiting. The extent of your cultural experience is up to you. You can rent a whole apartment, or just rent a room in an apartment where someone else also lives. Sharing an apartment allows you to connect with a local and learn more about the city or destination you are visiting. You may even make some new friends.

My trip to Cuba last year was very memorable as the owners of the hostel I stayed at did not speak English. I have basic Spanish language skills but it was very different than your typical Holiday Inn experience. I also had the opportunity to eat incredible breakfasts each morning, enjoying a Cuban meal I would typically never have back home. It was a great experience I’ll never forget.

 

 

Bottom Line 

Before booking your next hotel stay, I recommend doing a quick search to see what Airbnb has to offer. You might be surprised by the options available. Before booking, make sure to read reviews and only stay at properties with positive feedback. You will want to find an organized host who maintains good communication. This will make your whole experience more enjoyable. I’ll be staying in quite a few Airbnb properties this year, and I’ll be providing more tips along the way!

 

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18 Responses

  1. jmaj says:

    I don’t think it’s that mainstream yet, but I agree, Airbnb has changed the game completely. Well, at least for me. I rarely look at hotels anymore, there’s no point, I know they’ll be to high.

    From May to June, me and my girlfriend will be in Chicago, Charleston, Savannah, and Myrtle Beach. I looked at the hotels at each of the places and it was too expensive. Holy crap the hotels in Chicago, Charleston, and Savannah were $250-400+.

    I try to always keep tabs on the latest flight deals, if I get a hotel at each place we go to, then they wouldn’t really be deals. I can stay in The Loop(Chicago) for $250 a night or I can find a Airbnb for $100-125. It really is a no brainer, we don’t mind staying at home and cleaning up after ourselves. I think Airbnb will change how a lot of younger view hotels, and I don’t think hotels change the look will help them, it’s the price guys, the price.

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