What is Airbnb? Is it Right for You?

A couple years ago my sister and I decided to try our hand at hosting on Airbnb. We honestly had no idea if it would be successful or not, but we figured it would at least be worth a try! So we took pictures of our house, put together our profile, started taking bookings, and quickly hosted our first guest. Since then we’ve collected quite a few Airbnb tips as we hosted lots of guests and used it as guests ourselves so we decided it was time to share what we’ve learned.

As with most of my posts, some links may be affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you, I may make a small commission on anything you buy through the links.

What is Airbnb?

In it’s simplest terms, for guests Airbnb allows you to stay in other people’s homes when you travel, often saving money from traditional accommodations. For hosts, Airbnb allows you to host other people in your home when they travel, giving you the opportunity to earn extra money.

It should be noted…Airbnb is different than staying at a hotel and so while Airbnb is a great thing, it is not for everyone! Here are a few of the differences between Airbnb and hotels…

*With Airbnb you are staying in someone’s home so their personal belongings are there…not a bad thing, just different than a hotel!

*With Airbnb guests and hosts have the opportunity to review each other so there is a high level of motivation for guests and hosts to be awesome!

*There is no daily maid service with Airbnb listings so you’ll need to pick up after yourself

How do I know if Airbnb is right for me?

HOSTS: If you are thinking about hosting on Airbnb as a way to make some additional income I would suggest asking yourself the following questions…

*Am I okay with other people (strangers!) sleeping in my home? If you don’t feel comfortable with strangers sleeping in your home than Airbnb might not be a good fit for you

*Am I okay with cleaning up after other people? You can either hire a cleaning service or clean up yourself, so if you don’t like cleaning up after others, than Airbnb might not be a good fit

*If I rent out my entire house/apt do I have somewhere else I can stay?

GUESTS: If you are thinking about being a guest on Airbnb, I would suggest asking yourself the following questions…

*Is it important to me to save money when I travel? If it is, then Airbnb might be a great fit for you because it is often cheaper than a hotel

*Do you have food allergies or dietary restrictions? If you do, Airbnb might be a great fit because most of the time you’ll have access to a kitchen so you can prepare food that fits your needs.

*Do you like fresh towels every day and having your room cleaned? If you do, a hotel might be best for you because there is not daily maid service with Airbnb

*Do you need flexible check-in and check-out times for your stay? Depending on your host they may not be able to accommodate early check-in and check-out like a hotel with multiple rooms. If you need flexibility during your stay, check with your potential hosts to see if that works, otherwise a hotel might be a better fit.

If you are planning a trip this fall I would highly recommend looking into Airbnb and seeing if there is a listing that is just right for your needs! If you’d like a discount ($40 in travel credit!!) on your first Airbnb stay you can sign up through our link.

Tweet: If you’ve ever wondered what Airbnb is and if it’s right for you @jmdenouden answers your questions http://bit.ly/1gLj8Pk #Airbnb

More Posts in the Airbnb Series

How to be the best Airbnb guest ever

How to be the best Airbnb host ever

Top ten reasons to try Airbnb

If you have any questions about Airbnb feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at girlonthemoveblog01 {at} gmail {dot} com.

If you’ve used Airbnb as a host or guest comment below because I’d love to hear about your experience!

Whether you are looking to become a first-time host or guest, these Airbnb tips will help you decide if this a good fit for you as you travel.

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28 comments

  1. I wrote a post similar to this a few months ago! I think another important thing to add is if you are looking for a more local experience. Airbnb can be a great way to do this, as you’ll meet some local people- who are often super friendly and willing to help make your stay amazing! I would also always recommend to read the reviews like crazy- travelers are pretty honest, and will tell you what to expect!

    1. Reading the reviews is definitely on both my upcoming posts with tips for guests and tips for hosts! And I agree…you get so much more of a local experience by using Airbnb!

  2. I’ve looked into Airbnb for some of our stays although it didn’t work out for us to try it at the time. But, I would check it out again when we have large family gatherings away from our home. I’ve only heard good things.

    1. Renting an entire home/apt can be great for larger groups…I know I’m booking a large home for an upcoming girls trip!

  3. This is such a great idea! I wish this was around when I was traveling throughout Europe and through the states, it would have made my trips a lot cheaper! I also feel like if you stay in someone else’s home, you learn a little more about the culture of the place as well. Great post, thanks for sharing this!

    1. As a host I’ve loved meeting and learning about people from all over the world and as a guest I think you get a much more personal/local experience with Airbnb than at a hotel!

  4. This sounds like an awesome way to travel! I’m a very social, laid-back and easy to please kind of person, so I can see myself totally doing this to 1) save on travel costs, and 2) experience a new way to lodge. My husband, however, is a little more reserved and private and cautious. I don’t see him ever wanting to go this route. Haha! I’ll have to save it for a girl’s getaway or something 🙂

    1. The great thing about Airbnb is you can choose whether you want to stay in a room at a house or rent the entire house/apt. So we rent out our entire house/apt so our guests have complete privacy because we are not there at all! The great thing about Airbnb is there are so many different listings so you can find the one that is right for you and your family.

    1. Most of our guests are actually families! Because we rent out our entire house/apt it is quite appealing to families because they have multiple bedrooms, living room, full kitchen, laundry, etc

    1. Don’t let it scare you! I think there are ways to help make sure you have a safe experience with Airbnb! I’ll be talking about those in the next few weeks in this series!

    1. I agree! Sometimes a hotel is exactly what you need but often it’s really helpful to have other options!

    1. Maybe Home Away or VRBO…I think those are the other two I can think of off the top of my head. Or Couch Surfing…but I’m guessing your mother in law doesn’t use that service lol

  5. I love doing Airbnb — both as a host and as a guest. My husband and I had a ton of fun hosting for a year, and we’ve had great experiences while traveling. Soon we’ll be staying at an Airbnb in Istanbul! I’m looking forward to getting more of a local experience. Plus our host has lived in Boston!

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