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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.
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.
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!