For quite a while now I have heard people I know talking about Airbnb. When it first became big I was slightly skeptical about staying in strangers home, not going to lie. But as time went on, the idea started to grow on me! It really makes a lot more sense for families or large groups than a hotel. So on my recent trip to Denver we decided to try it out!
I honestly didn’t know what to expect at first. But it was so worth it! We stayed in a nice 4 story condo on the outskirts of downtown Denver, and had a patio view overlooking the city! It was honestly the best thing we have ever done. We ended up having about 10 people stay there every night, although only 6 of us paid for it. But there was more than enough room for everyone, and we had a full kitchen to cook in! So bonus: We saved money on eating out.
As much as I loved the experience (and am totally going to do it again!) there are a few things I wish I would have known before my first Airbnb experience.
First of all, someone should warn you about the application process! When booking an Airbnb you choose your house that you want to stay at, but then you have to fill out a questionnaire and be accepted by the host. If the host doesn’t like you or doesn’t want you to stay there for any reason, they can refuse your offer and you have to find a different house.
It isn’t too intense of a questionnaire but it does ask about why you are traveling and what you plan to do while there. The questionnaire will also ask about you and the people you are staying with, including everyone’s email address.
Once the host has accepted you, an email will be sent to all guests to accept the stay. This ensures that if the host gives you a review (good or bad) it will show up on every person’s Airbnb profile. Reviews can determine if future hosts will let you stay at their property or not, so strive for good reviews!
How much did it cost?
Our Airbnb was a 7 person townhouse right on the outskirts of Downtown Denver. It was in the LoHi district which is an up and coming part of the city. It was a one mile walk to Market Street which is where all of the night life is. Also about a mile away was 16th Street Mall, the Baseball Field, and University of Colorado. So we were in walking distance of pretty much everything!
As far as price, the Airbnb we chose was a total cost of $1540 on the weekend we stayed. We stayed for 3 nights and there were 6 of us pitching in which made it $256 per person. This included a nightly fee, cleaning fee, service fee, and taxes. We also ended up paying an additional $100 deep cleaning fee because we got glitter all of the poor guy’s couch and carpet, ooops! But he was very nice about it and we were not upset about him asking for the additional money.
Arriving At Our Airbnb
Michael, our host, happened to be out of the country so he texted us his entry code. Some hosts choose to meet their guests and others leave you a code or a key and let you arrive on your own. Each Airbnb should have a house manual. The house manual will have information like wifi password, TV information, door codes, and anything else they think you need to know!
For the most part, we had everything we needed! We did have to ask our host about was turning on the balcony lights. And let’s be honest, we probably could have figured that one out eventually! The information proved is very useful and it is so convenient to have it all listed out for guests.
Perks of Airbnb VS Hotel
One thing that I learned from this is that you need to take full advantage of everything an Airbnb has to offer! Cook in the full kitchen instead of eating out for every mean. Enjoy the privacy! Of course you want to get out and enjoy the city but unlike a hotel, you can have a little party without disturbing anyone! And it saves a ton of money you would normally spend at bars and clubs if that is something you plan on doing. We would pregame before we went out each night and then walk downtown and have a blast!
Hotels don’t offer this same privacy and many hotels frown upon alcohol in their rooms. We also enjoyed waking up and enjoying coffee and mimosas on the 4th story balcony looking over the city. It was way better than a crowded breakfast buffet at a hotel. We also didn’t have to worry about people above or below us that would complain about our noise. Having privacy was a huge bonus and we thoroughly enjoyed it!
Okay, this makes sense but I wish I would have known more about it before our stay. Airbnb offers hosts the option to review their guests and guests can review their stay at a host’s home. It is important because as mentioned previously, it can determine future stays! Kind of like Uber, a good review will make it so hosts want to accept your stay. If you get a bad review, it might take a very forgiving host to give you another chance.
Don’t freak out too much if you do receive a bad review, you have a few options. If you feel that it is completely out of line and uncalled for, you can report it to Airbnb for further investigation. If it cannot be removed then you can reply. You can justify your actions or clarify claims made against you. Then you just have to hope that the next host will read your response and offer you another try!
Overall, I would give Airbnb 10/10 and all the stars in the sky. It was an amazing experience. Honestly, I will have a hard time staying in hotels from now on! So if you are planning a vacation and thinking about Airbnb, DO IT! And if you have a home in a vacation destination, become a host! Our host said he loves it and it has been an awesome experience for him as well!
Thanks for a great service, Airbnb!