I had sent no less than 24 messages to different AirBnB hosts in different cities since last Monday – and the result.
I booked with zero.
Okay, you get the idea.
In theory, AirBnB is more beneficial, offers amenities regular hotel stays wouldn’t offer – such as living like a local – there are many flaws I’ve found with the system by just ‘trying to book’. I’ve found the booking to be a little stressful to say the least. First of all, as a AirBnB n00b, you need to differentiate Enquiry and Request – an Enquiry is where a potential guest messages the potential host about a potential booking – and if the host agrees, then the guest is pre-approved to book. An Request is something more direct – a guest shoots a host a booking request without jumping through the loop of the Enquiry and the hosts can either accept or reject.
AirBnB operates on the principle that hosts wants to offer their ‘places’ up to make money, and you’d want a decent priced room that feels like a home away from home.
Pretty straight forward, right?
Yes, in theory. In practice however, hosts are not obligated to rent out to every person who asks. In other words, for most it’s more of a side income, than a main income – hence the process can be snail-paced and I found more often than not, you’d find yourself waiting for hours, or days – then your phone goes off with a text message whenever someone replies, with more rejections than approvals – or maybe that’s just my bad timing, trying to book New Years Eve and New Years, where everyone’s either leaving town, or not leaving their bed after too much fun.
Either way, after going through the loop of not finding anything on AirBnB, I went back to Booking.com where I found myself a place in under ten minutes. Oh well. Maybe in the future I will give AirBnB another try. But until then, I’m sticking to more traditional traveling techniques.
And for those experienced with AirBnB out there. What are some of your thoughts and overall experiences? Leave a comment below and let me know!