|FYI this is not the Airbnb apartment I stayed at. But how cute is it?|
Airbnb is under fire from the hotel industry. And honestly, I think the hotels are throwing a hissy fit because now they have competition. If anything, they should learn from the popularity of Airbnb and consider lowering their rates in popular urban areas. Maybe then they would take back some of their business. But what do I know about this?
I've only had one experience with Airbnb. And it was wonderful. I would never have been able to visit NYC for a week if I had to pay for a hotel room. FOr $90 per night (divided 3 ways) I got an 800 sq ft one bed/one bath apartment with a terrace. Can you give me that Marriot? I don't think so. While I ended up staying a little farther out of town than I would have liked, I was still close to everytihng I needed. My host actually lived in the building and was available to answer any questions that came up and even met us at the subway stop to make sure we were able to find the building ok. The apartment was spotlessss and the kitchen came fully equipped to make meals. Since it wasn't someone's actual home, it had the perfect amount of lived in vs. clutter.
Given the opportunity, I would find a place to stay through Airbnb, no questions asked. And here's why:
It allows you to visit urban areas without paying a fortune on lodging.
When you are traveling, do you want to spend the majority of your money on a hotel that you sleep and shower in? Or do you want to spend it on visiting attractions, or more importantly to me, eating at really good restaurants. That is a no brainer to me.
Like I mentioned earlier, this should be a wake up call to the hotel industry.
Hotel prices in popular destinations are outrageous. And, before, they could get away with highway robbery because they didn't have any competition. We live in a free market, and I understand why they see it as a little unfair that Airbnb hosts are not subjected to all of the regulations as they are, but I think this is the time for the hotel industry to rethink their age-old business model.
You get to live like a local and experience real neighborhoods.
I stayed in Washington Heights. Which is not a tourist attraction by any means. But it was interesting to see how New Yorkers really live. Not everything is the upper east side or the village (as much as I wish it was...) Since I had a kitchen I was able to cook a few meals and order Chinese take out on a few nights it was too rainy and cold to want to stay out.
Finally, the hosts are able to make extra money.
If you are willing to live with strangers for a short period of time or are willing to let people take over your apartment while you're out of town, then this is genius. If you are able to rent out your apartment while you travel, you may just break even and travel for free.
What are your thoughts on Airbnb vs. the hotel industry/cities wanting more taxes? It resembles a David vs. Goliath match up to me.