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.
- Accommodation booking
- Unique experience
- Booking options
- Sorting tool
- Reviews and ratings
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.
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.
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:
- Town homes
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.
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:
- Pricing (range or low to high, high to low)
- Guest star rating - based on what real customers have experienced
- Amenities - what is included in the property
- Proximity - distance to landmarks or airports
- 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.
- Accommodations booking only
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:
- Travel Activities
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.