Airbnb is the ultimate hotel booking platform for those looking to try something new and stay in unique hotel accommodations across the world. Based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb has helped over 60 million travelers stay in 34,00+0 cities (191+ countries) across the world. Since 2008, Airbnb has helped travelers stay in castles, villas, apartments, and other unique spaces. 

The Good

  • Accommodation booking
  • Unique experience
  • Booking options
  • Sorting tool
  • Reviews and ratings

Accommodation Booking

Traditional travel booking sites try to get users to book as many accommodations on their site as possible. In this attempt, several travel sites provide the exact same services without providing anything unique to the traveler. Fortunately, there are platforms like Airbnb that make up the difference. Rather than spreading efforts thin to obtain as many reservations as possible, Airbnb solely focuses on their accommodation booking service.

Unique Experience

Airbnb offers a unique experience to those looking to stray from the typical hotel perspective of traveling. A network of "hosts" must qualify to list their properties on Airbnb. These hosts can be found in the U.S. and internationally. The ability to stay in the middle of a big city or off in a small, rural town is something that makes Airbnb stand out from traditional booking bureaus.

Booking Options

With Airbnb, travelers can book for just a night, a week, or even a month depending on the listing and location. One of the benefits to using Airbnb is that travelers can experience a unique side to their travel destination not otherwise available in a hotel. For instance, travelers can book the following:

  • Apartments
  • Town homes
  • Condos
  • Homes
  • Villas
  • Castles

A prospective traveler who uses Airbnb and is traveling to a location that the site operates in will be able to sort based on price, listing type, and even number of travelers. Another beneficial aspect to using Airbnb is that larger groups, for instance, can book a home for one low nightly cost. When split between the traveling party, the Airbnb option becomes much more affordable and often times provides a more comfortable living situation.

Sorting Tool

Since Airbnb has millions of properties for travelers to choose from, finding the right accommodation can take some time. To minimize the research process, Airbnb instituted a sorting tool. This feature allows users to filter based on the following criteria:

  1. Pricing (range or low to high, high to low)
  2. Guest star rating - based on what real customers have experienced
  3. Amenities - what is included in the property
  4. Proximity - distance to landmarks or airports
  5. Type - accommodation type whether it is condo, apartment, house, etc.

The listings on Airbnb cannot be found with any other travel agency. The accommodations they have for travelers are specific to their network which means they open up a whole new world to booking living quarters.

Reviews and Ratings

Another feature that benefits its travelers are the reviews and ratings. The rating system is also a helpful took to prospective travelers and even for Airbnb hosts. At the end of each stay, the host will rate the guests (based on how their property was treated) and the guests will rate the listing/host. These ratings help those who are looking to book using Airbnb and keeps guests from booking who find it difficult to treat the properties with respect.

The Bad

  • Restrictions
  • Accommodations booking only

Restrictions

While Airbnb is a worldwide platform, not all destinations are available for lodging. Various laws and other restrictions keep Airbnb from being able to work in specific markets. There are also some limitations as to where a traveler can visit and stay. While they do operate in nearly 200 countries, there are some cities that do not allow Airbnb listings. So, if a traveler is set on one of those cities, they will need to book a traditional hotel.

Accommodations Booking Only

While Airbnb does provide an entirely original traveling experience, it only takes care of one aspect of the booking process. Most traveling agencies allow their travelers to book a number of their accommodations through their bureau, but Airbnb focuses solely on where the traveler will stay throughout their trip. That means the following cannot be booked using Airbnb:

  • Flights
  • Travel Activities
  • Cruises

Since some of the listings are rather lavish, the prices may seem to be more expensive than if a traveler were to simply book a hotel. There are deals and discounts available through Airbnb and prices per night will fluctuate depending on season, length of stay, and size of the traveling party.

The Bottom Line

The Airbnb service is not necessarily for the person looking for the typical hotel room reservation. Instead, it is more for the adventurous type or those looking to try something new. Travelers interested in staying in places that would not be available to them otherwise would most likely enjoy using the Airbnb service. However, those looking for a more comprehensive way to book their travel may want to use another resource. Travelers who book their accommodations through Airbnb can expect the following:

  1. Unique travel accommodations - stay in properties that would not otherwise be available
  2. Cut costs on large groups - split the costs per night to save money
  3. See the world - Airbnb has listings both in the U.S. and internationally
  4. Extra booking efforts required - travelers will need to book their flights and other travel necessities elsewhere
  5. Sorting tool - quickly filter through hundreds or even thousands of lodging options

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User Reviews

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McKinzie Figueroa
February 6th, 2019 Provo, UT DETAILS
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Airbnb was great. It is a good way to find they type of place that you are wanting to stay at. We have used it when we go on vacations and want to stay in more of a house than a hotel with our dog. We are able to find places that fit what our lifestyle needs. If you are needing something you often have to contact the owner of the place where you are staying. Everyone that we have had to contact has been great and responded quickly. Almost every time that we have stayed we have found places that are cheaper than what a hotel would be and is closer to what we are needing for our vacation.

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Isabelle Hong
October 30th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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My family used Airbnb on our trip around Europe. There was a quality Airbnb in every place we visited except a tiny town in France. Airbnb was very useful for my family of five because there weren't many hotels that could accommodate all of us, but there were many Airbnbs available that could do just that. Staying in an Airbnb made us feel at home.

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Shari Evers
September 17th, 2018 Lehi, UT DETAILS
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Airbnb is still new to me, but when I remember to look I always love what I find. We found a great beach house via the app. It makes it easy to compare places and prices!

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L Fowler
August 28th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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This is one of the first places I go to find rental for my trips. I've been able to find great deals and have found a bigger place to stay for the same price of hotel. Great place to book for a family vacation or just a weekend away.

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Nathan
April 9th, 2018 Layton, UT DETAILS
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I love using Airbnb. It makes looking for places to stay so much easier. I will always be using this app when I travel.

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Patrick
December 15th, 2017 Orem, UT DETAILS
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It was a great experience. It is cheap and efficient way to find a hotel. Airbnb has a great value.

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Lindsey
December 6th, 2017 American Fork, UT DETAILS
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I and my family have booked hotels on Airbnb. They have super cute options. There are so many options of places to stay in any city you'd want to be in. I also love the reviews that they have on each property.

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Hyrum
October 26th, 2017 Sandy, UT DETAILS
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Super easy to use. It was easy to communicate with the host and they were responsive. The property itself was just as good as advertised.

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Jenna LeStarge
June 8th, 2017

We used Airbnb when we relocated for my husband's job. It was great! Pricing was very reasonable compared to corporate rentals and hotels. My only complaint is that actual availability did not match what we saw on the app.

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Breanna Jones
June 8th, 2017 Herriman, UT

I really like using Airbnb for my stay on vacation. Website is very easy to use and I have never had a bad experience at someone's home. Everyone responds is a timely manner. When I am looking to a cheaper alternative to a hotel this is where I go. I would say majority of the time Airbnb is cheaper than a hotel.

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Denise H.
June 8th, 2017 Mona, UT

My experience with Airbnb is just okay, not great. You never really know what you're getting, and it can be a little awkward to stay in someone else's home. My daughter had a bad experience with booking an airbnb out of state; when she got there, the person wasn't home and wouldn't respond to phone calls, texts, etc. They ended up having to find a hotel.

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Gary H.
June 7th, 2017

I've used this service a couple of times, I don't feel comfortable staying in other people's home. When we stayed at one facility in Vegas, it was more of a resort/condo room and hadn't been accessed for a few weeks so it was dusty/dirty when we got there. The folks in charge were helpful and prompt in getting someone in there to correct the problem. The service has real possibilities.

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Kari Staheli
June 1st, 2017

AirBNB is a great alternative to hotels. When I planned my trip to Paris last year we used AIRBNB. The hosts replied quickly and the translation service they offer works well. I felt comfortable making reservations through AIRBNB because of the reviews from other people. This is a great way to save money and meet people from other countires and areas.