Based out of San Francisco, Airbnb burst onto the scene in 2008. It was founded as an accommodations site which allows travelers to book unique temporary visits all across the world. The Airbnb community made it possible for travelers to book apartments, homes, villas, and even castles in over 191 countries at a reasonable rate.
Over 60 million people have booked their travel accommodations using Airbnb to date and they have over 2 million listings worldwide. It is important to note, however, that the only travel booking that can really take place on the Airbnb platform are lodging reservations.
Keep reading for pros and cons, plus Airbnb reviews from real users.
Unlike traditional booking sites, Airbnb doesn't simply list prices and star ratings of the large hotel brands and chains. Instead, 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.
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. For those interested in staying in the typical run-of-the-mill hotel chains, Airbnb will likely not be the best platform to use.
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:
Rather than spend time sorting through thousands of possible accommodations, Airbnb users can quickly filter through search results to find their desired accommodation. A prospective traveler who uses Airbnb 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.
Another feature that benefits is 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.
Airbnb is included in the "travel booking" industry because of the ability to book lodging; however, there are some services missing. 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 platform, but Airbnb focuses solely on where the traveler will stay throughout their trip. That means the following cannot be booked using Airbnb:
There are also some limitations as to where a traveler can visit and stay as well. Airbnb is a bit different from traditional hotel systems, so there are varying regulations placed on where they can operate. 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.
Travelers looking to save on lodging will most likely want to try a different platform (unless traveling in a large group). 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, demand, and size of the traveling party.
Used to find a place to stay during travel basketball season. We found a place large enough for our family really easily.
AirBnB always has great coupons and specials available. The places and locations are unbeatable and hosts are always willing to go above and beyond to make vacations extraordinary. Also very easy to make reservations and cancelations.
We used air bnb while in arizona. We got a whole house to ourselves for the best price!
I booked an awesome airbnb in anchorage last minute and I felt safe booking through airbnb
Fantastic, great website, simply formatted. I love that they connect you directly to your host, none of this awkward middle man stuff. Our experience was great.
I love Airbnb!!! It allows me to travel with more freedom knowing I can get a place for cheaper in any area I want!! I love having the privacy of having a house to myself!!!
I prefer Airbnb over hotels ANYDAY. Usually they are cheaper and more convenient. I have not had an issue regarding where I stay, so so far my experience with Airbnb has been great. They have also responded to me pretty quickly whenever I've gad questions.
We live booking places to stay through AirBnb and feel like we are able to get the most bang for our buck traveling this way. The places we’ve stayed have been exactly as described and wonderful.
Airbnb is one of the greatest things that has happened for people who love to travel! There are so many options, the hosts have reviews so you know who you’ll be staying with/renting from, and it’s usually cheaper than getting a hotel room!
Air bnb is a great way to book a room if you are on vacation or want to travel. When I went to Europe, however, one of the hosts wrote a bad review about my friends and I that was very falsified. We were not able to respond to the false accusations and thus look bad when we try to book another room on Air bnb.
Airbnb has completely changed vacationing for me. It's provides a more intimate and private experience than a hotel, not to mention at an incredibly affordable price! I highly recommend Airbnb for any vacation accommodations!
I like the creative options and less touristy places to stay....sailboats! I also find that the owners are friendly and accommodating. the prices are usually better than national sites.
Me and my friends went to the voodoo festival this past year and we needed a place to stay for cheap so we looked on this site and found somewhere to stay. The website gave us a lot of options as far as places we could stay in a fairly close area and it allowed is to stay where we thought would be the best option for us money wise. Navigating through the website was easy for everyone in our group, even Diago who has a hard time with technology.
Customer service is really nice. Very easy to see your selection on homes to stay in. I stayed in a beautiful house over the summer and didn’t have a single issue.
Airbnb has made it so easy for me to travel to the places I want to go on a much cheaper budget and still stay in nice accommodations. Every Airbnb I've stayed at has been a pleasant experience.
This is a way better and cheaper option than booking with a hotel. I feel safe knowing that they’re are numerous reviews on each option and have stayed at great locations by using Airbnb.
I love the selections and the site is very easy to use and provides plenty of information and reviews from other people who have used that bnb
We did an Airbnb in Costa Rica. I love that they had good quality choices. And honest outcome. I would’ve hated going to all the way to Costa Rica and finding out that things weren’t as they said they were.
I like Airbnb because you can find actual houses to make it more comfortable to stay and cheaper than a hotel. Super stoked about the site and has helped me a ton on vacations
This saved my trip to Atlanta a few years ago when I couldn’t find a hotel room I could afford.
Way cheaper than getting a hotel. And at times can be way more fancier than a hotel. The people that legal you use their home are friendly and make accommodations for you if you follow their rules, which are fair. You can find a location in many places and they’re in local communities.
Several years ago I found the company Airbnb and have booked over 10 homes/condo's through them. My favorite part of Airbnb is that there are a lot of customer reviews that help me narrow down my choices. I also like that they are all around the world. So far, I haven't had anything but good experiences with Airbnb. The people who own the vacation rentals always get to me quickly and answer all my questions. I would recommend Airbnb if you are traveling and need a space for large families.
Offers options I can’t find anywhere else and much cheaper prices! You can be closer to the attractions and get a better idea Of life in given place.
An intuitive concept on renting out free spaces love the interesting and aesthetic housing options
I love Airbnb! I used them so many times while traveling in so many states! It's super cheap compared to most hotel rooms and you get the whole place to your self! There are other options too, but this is my preferred way of rooming while traveling! You can't beat the privacy or price!
I love this app! It has allowed for my friends and I to travel and find safe places to stay at!
Airbnb has been very helpful with planning group trips to new locations. Without having family in a new area, there are few options besides hotels. Airbnb’s can be cheap group options.
I really like Airbnb. For me all these travel booking sites are very similar. The one thing that sets a travel booking website over another is price. Ive found that for the places I like to travel to, Airbnb has the most property listings with the most reasonable prices. Ill check other sites just to price shop, but I usually always come back to AIrbnb.
Even if I don’t find anything on airbnb I know what’s out there and what to compare. I like Airbnb for traveling with the kids and larger groups and find that cheaper. Great prices locations spots available anywhere you go.
Love Airbnb. I have stayed at 3 airbnbs and loved all 3 experiences. I like to be able to read the comments on how everyone else’s stays at a particular location was as well.
I like the idea of this. However, I despise that the posted price is never close to what the actual price is. I would appreciate a better idea of overall price upfront. A 60 dollar room does me no good if it costs $150 after all the taxes and fees.
We like the selection of homes offered on Airbnb. We enjoy browsing with our friends to find a great, affordable place to stay. We have used them to help find a place to stay in Tahoe and in Las Vegas. We often stay with a few couples, so finding homes with multiple sleeping options is a must. Though the homes have not always presented as advertised, Airbnb was helpful in resolving any issues. They provide a great service and their customer service is awesome.
It’s amazing the deals you can find with Airbnb. We saved so much money by using Airbnb. It was so worth the price. We got an Airbnb when we went to Vegas and it saved us 100’s. It was clean and the people were very professional.
We used Airbnb in Portugal and Spain over the Summer. The website was easy to use and we had good communication from all of the owners. Price-wise, they beat the hotels we were looking at. The rooms themselves in Portugal had all the amenities and was located in a charming neighborhood near the Tram 28 line in Estrela - great location. The apartment in Madrid was nice but did not have air conditioning, not even a fan. That would have been nice to know because I doubt we would have rented it had we known. The service itself worked well and I am glad that there is a rating system for both the renters and owners - keeps everyone honest. Airbnb has an amazing variety of paces to rent and we look forward to using them again in the future
We were able to find some great locations of stay through Airbnb. It's easy to find a place to stay that meets the needs of our large family. So much more affordable then Hotels often.
I love AirBnb. It allows me to travel on a budget. They have really nice options for good prices. It also helps me stay comfortable and feel at home.
Booking is a breeze and most contacts are nice although some can be rude. They need better selection of homes.
Airbnb is first rate in rental availability. I used them for a few vacations and found excellent rental accommodations, easy contracts, and good customer service through Airbnb. Excellent all around.
I have stayed in Airbnb is my sister has been the one who’s dealt with them for the most part but they’ve always been clean and it’s always been a good experience there was only one time that we ever had an issue and I got cleared up very quickly and so yes everything was good
Airbnb has been amazing as I have been traveling abroad. I trust the companies information, and the homes themselves are exactly as listed.
I have looked at multiple places on Airbnb for vacations. My biggest issue with Airbnb is that the prices you see in the beginning don't reflect the end price. There are so many extra fees, that by the end the total is quite a bit higher than the advertised price. I do like how many places are listed to view on the site though.
Airbnb is an awesome company and I love using them when travelling, it makes the cost of staying out of town super cheap and affordable
I have used Airbnb as a host and a traveler. I thought the fees as a host were a little steep, but at the end of the day it was a great and easy process. They make it so easy to get your place set up online and guide you with ideas of how to be a great host. As a traveler, We have stopped staying in hotels as much and use Airbnb more because of the online app is so easy.
Use Airbnb when I go to the beach. Totally worth it. The quality of care and ease of use was fantastic.
Have always had good experiences with Airbnb. Have used it multiple times in multiple states to find the location and the accommodation for the number of people we have. Great for family reunions and travel.
Super easy to use and we have found a number of great places to stay. It’s very simple to find a great place for a great value and by reading others reviews you can ensure your location will be the perfect fit.
Airbnb has always helped me have a more authentic (and usually cheaper) experience while traveling.
Love air b n b for all your vacation needs. You can travel anywhere and stay somewhere affordable
When I went to Italy for vacation, I booked three separate AirBnbs. The first was amazing but the other two were not as described in the listing.