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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.
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I love using Airbnb. It is so simple and you can find the best prices for the best housing while you are traveling.
Will never stay in a hotel/motel again! Airbnb is the way to go. It's nice to be able to rent out a whole house for the same price of staying in a hotel!
I love Airbnb. It is the easiest website to use and you can always find the best deals on places to stay.
Love booking with Airbnb. Can definitely find super cheap places to stay that are very cute and so nice. Great pricing and hosts are always super nice
Airbnb is simple to use and very clean. I wish there was a return policy however. I had to go through a second party to get a return on a bad house and was unable to access it due to not being in the same country.
I've stayed in an Airbnb multiple times, and every time I was very very pleased. Such a great company, and the hosts to the homes are always so nice and willing to help. Pricing Is perfect and not expensive ever.
I have always had a good experience using Airbnb It’s always easy and convenient
So many cute little and even big houses to stay in. Perfect for family reunions or even just a weekend get away. Cheaper and the hosts are always so nice. Booking through Airbnb is very trust worthy and easy
Love this company, always reliable and great prices. The service from the hosts of the airbnbs are always so nice. Stayed in some airbnb and they were everything they showed and said plus some.
great company to book through when you want cheaper and sometimes even nicer places to stay. always have had good luck when booking through airbnb.
I love Airbnb. It has helped save me lots of money on vacations. I feel like they are very trustworthy and I always find the best deals. Their website is great and can help you find exactly what you’re looking for!
Great way to stay for vacation with out spending ever penny you got. Loved the quality of the housing, Custer service from the host. Website easy to navigate and understand.
I use Airbnb every time I travel because I always have a great experience. The rooms are cheap and it's easy to find exactly what you're looking for anywhere in the world.
Airbnb is the best place to go if you’re looking for a nice affordable place to stay while on vacation, and it’s available pretty much everywhere you go. The service is very safe and extremely easy to use. I recommend it for any type of travel any place in the world.
Took my family in a weekend getaway and booked a house through Airbnb. Loved everything about it! The price was so cheap and the house was everything and more!! Will decently be using Airbnb more!
Airbnb is a great website for people like me who don't have a lot of money but love to travel! The website is easy to navigate and has a wide variety of options. I have only ever had one problem with an Airbnb that I've booked: it wasn't quite what is was advertised to be so I had to quickly find a new lodging option. I didn't get a refund which was unfortunate, but because it was so cheap to begin with, it wasn't a huge deal. But other that than one instance, I have had great luck with this website!
Stayed at a super cute Airbnb and loved it. The host was so sweet and was always willing to help us with anything we needed. He even showed us where we could get food! He was there to greet us when we arrived super late at night. The property was kept nice and cleaned and the rooms were as well!
I recently used Airbnb for the first time. I loved it! I was hesitant but I would highly recommend. Their website is so easy to use and you can find some of the best deals! I will be using again.
I have gotten a house through Airbnb a few time and have always had a good experience! The houses are more then perfect and exactly what is shown!! Will continually use them!
I really like them. I feel like it's a really good service and an excellent idea. Good company.
I've stayed at Airbnb for the first time on vacation in the Dominican Republic and I have been very impressed. I like Airbnb a lot more than hotels because they just feel homey and see fun for a big group of people. The website gives all the information I could ask for and the hosts have been great so far.
My family loves Airbnb’s. We find a good Airbnb for family trips instead of hotels now. We like how you can just use the app to get everything done and it’s easy and quick and shows you all you need to know.
I love using Airbnb to find cheap lodging for my family and friends. Usually the Airbnbs are centrally located which is nice when we don’t know the area super well. My friends and I have been using Airbnb a lot for our vacations recently.
Found a great, beautiful, and cheap place in Thailand through Airbnb. It was so easy to use and the service was great.
I love Airbnb. I always price check their website versus other hotels and usually AirBnb offers a better deal. In addition, booking through them ensures more of a local experience wherever I travel instead of a touristy one. They are a good company and I've had no problems with their service.
i love airbnb. recently me and some friends got an airbnb and we loved it. it was literally so fun. and wasn’t too expensive because we split the cost between us. which was so nice to be able to do so you don’t spend so much money.
Airbnb is so awesome. It’s a great site for finding whatever accommodation you’re looking for. You can use the filters to set a price range, group size, amenities you want, and varios other things. Then you can find some awesome places, and easily with your budget. You can also use Airbnb to find experiences, which is a great way to plan a trip. They work out to keep things honest and safe for everyone involved. Love it.
Airbnb is the only way to go when trying to find a place to stay while on vacation. I have used it for extended family gatherings as well as with friends for a short getaway. The nice thing with Airbnb is that you often get a lot more for your money than you would with a traditional hotel. They are really nice for large gatherings because you can all be together in one place instead of in separate rooms. We plan to use Airbnb in the future for all of our traveling needs!
I travel a lot and I love Airbnb! I always feel like I’m getting the best service for my money! I have always felt very safe using Airbnb which is a priority while traveling!
I love Airbnb because it is easier to search through Airbnb listings than look at different hotels websites, you can often get a bigger space for less money than a hotel, they have a great review system so you can feel comfortable that your host is doing a good job before booking, they have a great communication system set up that ensures privacy for both parties yet also allows ease of contacting with important questions or info, and they allow you to leave honest reviews after using their service. I also like that you are able to use specific search criteria, such as a single room or a private apartment. I have used Airbnb on several of my trips the past few years and have had better experiences with Airbnb overall than with hotels (I've been happier with the rooms and the feel of the place).
This company has come in handy several times while I have been traveling. They make it easy to find cheap places to stay. Sometimes the places are not the best quality, but you can use your better judgement
Our family loves using this company to ind inexpensive places to stay for vacations and quick getaways. It’s easy to use and find places for the entire family or for our friends to stay. Love this company!!
Never had an issue with Airbnb or their customer service. A room owner canceled on me, I got my refund quickly and was able to re-book within the same day.
Airbnb has been really fun! My friend and I found a great place in NYC and it was great to connect with the people who we stayed with though this interface.
AirBnb is probably one of the most genius company ideas ever. Hotels can be pricey and frustrating to deal with. Not to mention the fact that you can’t always see exactly what your room looks like before you go. AirBnb is cheap, the customer service is amazing, and you always know exactly what your apartment/house looks like ahead of time. Being that I travel a lot, I appreciate the authentic experience that staying in an AirBnb provides. Every host that I’ve met has provided me with insider tips for traveling and exploring the city I’m in. This has helped me avoid the tourist traps and get an authentic and wonderful experience!!
This was the greatest thing to ever come. It is so much cheaper than a hotel and you can find a place anywhere in the world to go. I love Airbnb.
I just reserved a Airbnb and it was so easy to find a house for us to stay in and they had many options that were so cheap! Is tells you things that you can do around too. The house was just as we expected! Would totally recommend.
If you are a dirt-cheap traveler like me, and just want a place to rest your head, this is the first place I check.
I love using Airbnb. I have probably booked 10 times with them in the past 2 years for travel to different areas. Here is why I love them - their website is fun to use and it is easy to immediately see if I want to stay in a place. It is easy to book a place and pay. I love to read the reviews and leave reviews of places I have stayed. Last year, I drove all over the UK, and stayed in many Airbnb units. This made it possible to save money while also enjoying perks like having a washing machine. I will continue to use them and recommend them to others.
They have a very easy to navigate and visually appealing website. I have always been able to find reasonable prices and locations. I haven’t booked with them yet because once I find a good Airbnb, I usually find a hotel in the same area for about the same price. If we had kids, an Airbnb that slept more people might be a better value.
I have used airbnb a number of times as I have been traveling. I had some great experiences when using airbnb services in Hawaii and South Carolina. The facilities were clean and the owners were very easy to work with. I would make sure to look into cleanliness and make sure to check the reviews for each facility before signing on them. Overall this is a pretty good company.
Airbnb is the way to go. I can go big or go small and I can choose the location and I can check out everything online including pictures. I love that they have reviews, so that I can get a better idea of what I am getting into. Last of all, being able to deal with a person that knows the area and that is always nice makes it even better.
Every experience I've had with Airbnb has been extremely positive. The hosts I've worked with have always been very responsive and have answered my questions. They make sure to keep in contact and try to make the experience the best possible.
We have used Airbnb quite a bit in the past few years and really like the places that we have stayed. I usually check with their website first before I book a place to stay because I can find something cheaper than a hotel. I have felt safe in every place I have stayed.
We love Airbnb when we need a larger house on vacation. Most of the time it is when we are traveling with another family and want to save money overall on the trip. Its nice to be able to have your own space rather than staying in a hotel. If you haven't used Airbnb it is easier than you think and you won't regret it!
I have really enjoyed booking homes through Airbnb. We mostly use them when we are going on vacation with another family and need an entire home rather than a hotel. Usually we spend about the same amount of money for a much better and private place to stay. If you have never used Airbnb you need to take the leap and try it. Once you do, you won't go back.
Great platform. Easy to use. Good pictures and easy way to communicate. Wonderful experience.
There were a lot of great properties and our stays were really nice. We tried to book one room and they denied us the room then changed the name of the person offering the room but had the same location and pictures. You have to be careful but it is a cheaper alternative to hotels.
awesome!! super convenient app to find accomodation at fingertips
It was great, i was able to speak directly with the owner & we were in constant communication