Have you ever been travelling, but had bad experiences with hotels? Are you bored of strict rules of hostels? Do you want to travel and get to know a city from a perspective so different from usual? If you have answered yes to either one of those questions then you may have heard about Airbnb, which is an abbreviation of Air Bed and Breakfast.
It is a website designed by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia in October 2007. This quite new endeavour started as a place, where you could find a short-term living accommodation. Even though it seems like a site that just lists different hotels, it doesn’t. The difference is that it lists apartments, rooms and quarters from private people, who do not run any kind of official hotel. It started out from necessity — airbnb founders moved to San Francisco, where they’ve rented a loft that they could not afford so instead of moving, they have found a better solution. They’ve created a website and used it to list their living room as a bed and breakfast. People who didn’t manage to book a hotel in time could pay them to sleep in their home on an air mattresses - hence the „air” in their name.
A simple idea turned into a serious business when they’ve partnered with Y Combinator company, which is an American seed accelerator. After that, everything happened very quickly — after a year the website listed not only air beds and small spaces of students, who want to minimise their cost of living, but also whole properties. Right now, people can use this website to find a room for a night, people with higher expectations or families can search for whole apartments. If you are looking for some more luxurious venture you will be interested in renting a villa for a month. Or perhaps if you want a royal experience you can try to rent a castle!
The history of the company is quite short — over the course of few years they’ve moved from being a company with only 15 people working from home to becoming a company that earns millions of dollars and handles hundreds of thousands reservations in more than 34,000 cities in 191 countries. If you decide to choose a place in a private home, you will most likely get valuable tips from your host about the city that you’re in, so you can get to know it as locals do.
At airbnb you can be a guest or a host, so you can either save money while traveling or earn money by letting others stay at your place. Using the website is easy. If you are a guest, then you have to follow only three steps:
Step 1: Search
Browse airbnb website to find the best offer for you. If you know your destination you can just use search bar where you have to write the name of the city, the date of arrival and departure as well as the number of people that are coming. It’s as simple as that.
If you haven't decided yet, you can find an inspiration at airbnb website. It features destinations all over the world in every price range, so you will be faced with difficult choice. Whether you look for a weekend trip to Sydney or want to spend two weeks in Europe discovering Prague, airbnb is the place to go. Some destinations, like Prague, offers short explanation why is it worth visiting supported by great photos. But every offer comes with a description of the host and list of amenities like wifi, kitchen or air conditioning and reviews from people who stayed there.
Step 2: Book a date
There are few ways of booking, which depend on the host. The fastest method is Instant Book, which allows you to book a reservation simply by clicking a button. Many hosts would like to check who is going to live in their places, so instead of instant book button you will see a „Request to Book” button. The host has 24 hours to review and accept or reject your reservation. Finally, you can send a message to a host and quite often you may receive a pre-approval or Airbnb Special Offer from host, which may include special pricing or dates!
Step 3: Travel
You know where you’re going and where you’ll be staying, so what’s left? The journey, of course!
Looking for some additional Airbnb promo? Go to https://www.picodi.com/au/ and type in „airbnb” — all promos and deals available in Airbnb will be there.
Travelling with airbnb allows you to stay in a place that will feel like home for a fraction of a cost required by expensive hotels. Quite often those places are in the near vicinity of such hotels. Furthermore, you can save some more money by following airbnb referral programme. Go to Airbnb invite page and invite your friends to use airbnb — you both can get airbnb coupons. Get paid $45 when your friends travel and even a $100 when they host!
If you prefer regular hotels then check out HotelsCombined, which allows you to compare different hotels, Wotif to search for flights, accommodation or entire packages and Luxury Escapes for exclusive offers in luxurious hotels.