I’ve been aware of Air BnB for quite some time now. I’ve curated multiple lists of “dream destinations” and spent countless hours scouring the site for the coolest listings. However, whenever we’d need to book a place, a hotel would end up being cheaper.
For those of you who don’t know, Air BnB is a network of vacation rentals. You can choose to basically couch surf, you can rent out a “suite” or you can rent out an entire apartment/house/boat/what have you. You are generally staying in someones home – or a vacation property meant to feel like home.
For this last trip to DC, the stars aligned and we were able to find a listing in our desired location of Dupont at a reasonable price. I was both excited and a bit nervous to for my first Air BnB experience – what if the place was dirty? Or what if something goes wrong? What if the host is crazy and they leave me a bad review?
I decided to take the plunge and “request” the apartment. Within 30 minutes, I was given my confirmation, saying my trip was set. I didn’t really know what the next step was, so I just waited. I didn’t hear anything from the host, so a few days before our trip, I contacted her letting her know when we’d arrive. She messaged me back right away, saying that there would be a lockbox on the front gate with the keys. She gave me the combination and her phone number, saying that I could contact her if I needed anything.
Once we actually got to the apartment, the excitement really set in. It was in the perfect location. I think that’s the best part of Air BnB – you are getting to experience a place like a local would, not a tourist. We weren’t near any hotels, but we were close to the metro, close to restaurants and nightlife.
The host had left the apartment spotless and welcoming. There was a list of instructions (things like where to put the dirty towels, how to take the trash out, etc) and an area guide on the coffee table. Everything was super easy and laid back.
When it was time for checkout a few days later, we took the trash out, put the towels in the hamper, cleaned the dishes we’d used and locked back up. The next day, I received a great review from the host and I wrote one for her as well.
Honestly, I will use Air BnB as often as possible in the future. It was easy, laid back and we truly felt at home. We had access to a fully stocked apartment with free wifi, cable, a comfy bed and a full kitchen. The host had a hair dryer for me, plenty of bath towels, shampoo, conditioner, really everything I needed. Plus, it was in a fantastic location and it was cheaper than a small standard hotel room. I’m completely sold on the process.
If you decide to book with Air BnB, I’d just go with a host that has good reviews. I don’t know if I’d ever chance staying somewhere without any reviews – but that’s up to you. If you want to try it out, sign up through this link and you’ll get a $35 travel credit. It can be used for trips totaling over $100.