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.
When we used Airbnb we found their site a bit difficult to navigate. On one occasion we were looking for a cabin in Utah and found an attractive option but when we went back at a later time, if was very hard to find again. We also found their "extra" charges (deposits, cleaning fees, etc.) to be somewhat expensive.
Using Airbnb has allowed us to stay in some awesome places that were better than hotels.
Stayed in an Airbnb this past summer for the first time. We were able to ask questions online prior to our vacation. The payment process worked great. Make sure you read all the fine print and ask questions. That is what lead us to a positive experience.
Airbnb is great! there are so many things you can do on airbnb, when i went house shopping it help so much!
I've used Airbnb in multiple cities and have had overall positive experiences. All of the homes were clean and the hosts were helpful/responsive. My only complaint is that the initial pricing and availability that comes up in the search can sometimes be misleading.
Airbnb is a great option when you are looking to get out of town and stay in a unique or comfortable home as opposed to a traditional hotel. My friends and I booked one when traveling to Washington D.C. for a bachelor weekend, the host was easy to reach and easy to book on the website, the accommodations were great for the price!
I've never had a bad experience with Airbnb. Also prices and amenities can surpass hotels at times.
So convenient and affordable. I always stay at Airbnbs whenever I travel with a big group of people, especially my college friends!
This app is so helpful and you can find such cheap places to stay at the coolest locations which is so much easier than figuring out hotel bookings
I love using Airbnb as opposed to hotels. They give you so much more freedom to allow you to make the most out of your visit. Also, you get more for your money. There's so much more space and options of what you can do with your time. I enjoy that home away from home feel.
I recently booked an air bnb so I could go to Universal and it was so much cheaper than a regular hotel. The location was also nice, and free wifi and breakfast was even included. I definitely would book with air bnb again.
We recently used a Airbnb for a family vacation. We had a few families and we used to homes in the same neighborhood. We were thrilled with the home that we rented. It was fully stocked, well maintained, beautiful, comfortable home. We would definitely use an Airbnb again.
Airbnb is a great place to find cheap places for quick getaways. It's perfect for college students, since there are great prices and a lot of options for many different locations. I will be staying in an Airbnb this upcoming weekend with my friends, as we're planning to see a concert and I'm really excited!
Airbnb should do a better job in verifying the houses/apartments they allow to be listed to reduce the amount of dissapointment customers receive when they arrive at a house that is nothing like they paid for.
Airbnb is such a great site because you can find whatever you are looking for. There are many accesible rooms and you can find a great variety of houses you can stay at.
I think that Airbnb is a great, cheap alternative to hotels, but I don't like the scheduling feature. It is really confusing how it selects a date of your stay, but it only counts it until 10:00AM. I would rather count only complete days that I stay in the Airbnb.
Airbnb is great, unless your wife books it alone for your stay in Philadelphia. Some of the locations seem kind of dangerous, so be sure to choose wisely!
Airbnb was very easy to use and I loved the place we found in Hawaii. It was the perfect spot for our stay. It was easy to find reliable location based on the reviews. I loved the way all communications with our host was done through Airbnb.
We used this to set up our family reunion last year and the location was awesome. The price was way better than we expected and it was worth every penny.
Airbnb is one of our favorite things about traveling! Recently, we took a trip to Europe and were able to mainly stay in Airbnb accommodations on our way. We love that we get to stay in a more personalized space for a great value, especially on holiday overseas where we could experience the local culture and hospitality along the way. We will use Airbnb again and again. Highly recommend!
Why stay anywhere else? Every experience has been positive
They have everything you could think of on this website for you to stay and for a fraction of the cost of a hotel sometimes. I have stayed with people in their home by renting a room and I have stayed in a whole house we have rented. Not a bad experience in the least. I read the reviews before and make sure that they are good reviews, then I know that the place is ok to rent.
The website is fun to browse through and they have so much selection. We have yet to use it I know we will in the future when we can travel more.
We took a team to Florida for nationals. We had a set budget, but the houses we needed exceeded the budget. I contacted the superhost, and explained our situation. They offered us the house at our budget. They were very helpful in preparing for our arrival, and made for an excellent experience
Airbnb has become more popular than normal hotels for us lately. They are cheaper and there are no hidden fees. I can purchase exactly what I want, where and when I want it.
Very happy with all of our Airbnb experiences. Much better than staying at a hotel. The website is very user-friendly, too.
I've stayed in a few different Airbnb's and I really have enjoyed it. When staying together as a large family it is definitely an easy and cheap way to all stay together. The downside to airbnb is you only communicate over the site, so if it ever crashes and you need to contact the homeowner then you are out of luck (speaking from experience) .
Airbnb if great because it gives me so much information about the place I am traveling to. I love that I can refine my search when looking for a place to stay so easily but I also love that I can also gain insight on sights to see in the place I am traveling to.
I once had a terrible situation happen while I was renting an Airbnb, but the Airbnb customer service was amazing. They listened and took my complaint/situation very seriously. They reimbursed me and even paid for my hotel I stayed at that evening.
Great service. We use it all the time to find accommodations off the beaten path. We've met some really nice owners, too.
Love Air BNB - we can always find a cool and unique place to stay wherever we travel.
I have used Airbnb a few times and it gives me a great option when I just need a room or more. The reviews give me the information to make an informed choice and I feel like family instead of a visitor.
Airbnb is simple to use and probably the cheapest way to find somewhere to stay. The deals aren't always great though, and often I've found that it's cheaper to just stay in a hotel.
I love how the app is organized so well and it makes it so easy to know what you're going to get!
Airbnb is a great option for big families that don't want to buy multiple hotel rooms. However, I wish the list prices were true. After numerous fees are applied at times the prices can double in cost.
We used Airbnb for our stay in Cooperstown NY and we got a great home in a great area. Saved us a lot of money on hotels.
We just used Airbnb to book a large home in Orlando for a volleyball team and parents there for a tournament. The listed price was higher than the budget provided by the team. However, we contacted the super host, and made an offer of what we could afford. They were very accommodating and accepted our offer. It was super easy and a great experience.
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.