Since becoming a ‘sort-of’ member of the travel blogging community (I’m trying to get into twitter at the moment…It’s such a great way to chat to other bloggers.. but it’s also a platform that I’m not that naturally drawn to….. which is weird…. because it’s the one social media platform where I feel it’s okay to just ramble… which I’m clearly good at…. because this paragraph is currently longer than the rest of this blog post….) AirBnb is something I’ve come across time and time again. For anyone who might not know, AirBnb is an accommodation-finding site that allows people to rent out a room in their house, or a holiday home that they aren’t using, to travellers. It’s a rating-based system, where guests and hosts rate each other. The major draw of Airbnb is that it can work out cheaper, and it allows you to live like a local. I’ve so often been tempted to use Airbnb, but the scaredy-cat in me kept thinking “what if the host cancels on me and I have nowhere to stay?“, “what if the host is a crazy person that steals my stuff or comes in while I’m sleeping horror-movie style” and “if it’s a rating-based system, how do I even get started?!“. I have to say, that last question is still something I’m wondering about…. but I’m now on board with the whole Airbnb system [always years behind the trends, me].
When we went to Norway with our friends, a lot of the accommodation near the start of the Trolltunga hike was SUPER expensive. Our friends have used Airbnb loads of times, and so they booked us a little apartment through their account. I have to say, we had such a great experience. Our host was the most lovely lady. She messaged us earlier that day to let us know she would be out with friends so had left the apartment unlocked for us (apparently Odda is very safe!!), and then checked in with us later that night to get to know us a little. Renting an Airbnb also meant that we had our own kitchen! Eating out in Norway can be pretty expensive, and so this allowed us to save quite a bit of money. But my favourite thing about our Airbnb? THIS was the view from the front garden:
I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have had such an incredible view if we stayed in a hotel! On the morning of our hike to trolltunga, we were treated to the most delightful sunrise over the perfectly still fjord. Heaven!
So, now that I’ve stayed in an Airbnb (allbeit through our friends account) I’m such a fan of the whole system!! On the website, you can read host reviews, which allows you to avoid people cancelling on you last minute. I actually think that the host is charged money if they cancel too close to your booking and they lose any ‘superhost’ status they have earned. From reading online, it seems like the Airbnb team are also pretty good at offering whatever help they can if you get stuck. The one thing I would say about Airbnb is that it doesn’t always work out cheaper than a hotel, particularly for short stays. Our place in Norway was much cheaper, but I tried looking on the site while planning our recent trip to the USA, and in that instance hotels worked out cheaper. All in all, Airbnb is definitely part of the future of travel. It provides an alternative travel option with it’s own perks, but I also think it puts pressure on hotels to up their game and keep their prices reasonable. Well done Airbnb.
Have you got any tips for using Airbnb? Feel free to comment below or message me [or tweet me…. help me be a better blogger!!!!]
You can watch my video diary of our Norway trip (including our hike to Trolltunga) here:
Other posts from my Norway blog series: