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Travel

Travel: My first experience with AirBnB [Review]

We all know that London is an expensive city. We also know that the dollar isn’t as strong as it used to be, while the sterling pound is at its strongest ever. As I planned out my trip to London, I had to find a way to make my dollars stretch as much as possible while staying within my tight budget. At first I considered staying in a hostel. Several online searches led me to a wonderful YHA hostel that offered a bed in a 6-bed dorm room for £26. I’d get a bed and access to a shower for £26 a night – everything else (like wireless internet, towels, food, etc.) would be extra but that’s still a great deal, right? Kind of. Despite being unsure of my decision, I convinced myself that this was the right economical decision and booked my stay for six days.

In August, just two months before my London trip, I found out about AirBnB on Twitter. Someone I follow found a great deal on a room in Italy and was absolutely enjoying herself. I signed up immediately and within three days, found the perfect place for me!

For only £32 a night, I was told that I’d be getting my own room, free WiFi, free laundry, hot showers and access to the kitchen & living room (TV). My host, Guy Levy, was excellent with communicating. I felt like cancelling my hostel booking and going the AirBnB route would be the best choice for me. My biggest fears were 1) living in a house alone with a strange man and 2) that I’d have to pay airbnb.com the full price + site fees upfront before I even got to the place (hotels, hostels – no one does this!). I went with my gut feeling and I am so glad that I did.

Not only did I get everything that was promised online but I was treated to much more. On my first night, my host and his girlfriend took me out for a ‘welcome’ curry dinner. There were loads of great conversations had in the mornings and late evenings. We even stayed in and watched tv one night when the weather was horrendous. My first AirBnB experience was a FANTASTIC one. At the end of my time there, I’d made friends with my host & his girlfriend. I still keep in contact with them. Neither of them wanted me to leave and if it were not for my Europe tour the next morning, I would not have!

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Here is the actual review that I posted on the AirBnb website:

The Host: Guy is really great. From the minute I met him, he gave me a big hug & bolted up the stairs with my heavy bag. He’s very helpful, always answering questions, doing things if i couldn’t do them myself, etc. As a new member of airbnb, I was so nervous with the idea of being a solo female traveler living with a strange man in a foreign country but not once did I feel unsafe or uncomfortable in any way. He’s very friendly & accommodating. His face lights up at the thought of curry & he was happy to share that passion of his with me. The Location: safe, quiet neighbourhood || 6 mins. walk from the Turnpike Lane Station on the Piccadilly line. || Only 20-30 mins away from touristy areas. || Grocery stores, coffee shops, fast food, ATM, are all around. The Room: clean & comfortable. I think Guy needs to update the pics of the bedroom on this site because it looks much better & seems more spacious in person compared to pictures on this site. There’s also a vase of fresh flowers which was a nice touch. I notice things like that. The overall experience: I felt like I was staying with a friend while visiting London. It was hard to leave. Ha.

I got ALL of this for only £6 more a night than the cost of a thin bunk bed in a hostel dorm. CRAZY! So if you’re traveling and in need of affordable accommodation with less of a touristy feel, I strongly recommend finding a place to stay on AirBnB. Just be wise during your research and pay close attention to the reviews of the host before you book.

[And in case you’re wondering, I am in no way affiliated with airbnb, nor do I benefit in any way from posting this review.]

Get traveling!

~BahSun

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About BahSun

Bahamas born. Addicted to travel. In love with sunflowers. Blogging through my discovery of self & the world around me.

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Travel: My first experience with AirBnB [Review]

  1. I also discovered AirBnB earlier this year & I also learned of it through twitter. I haven’t gotten a chance to try it out overseas yet but the two times I’ve used it here in the States was fantastic. So glad to hear that somebody else had a great experience with them!

    Posted by Rita Bellinger | November 3, 2012, 12:09 am
    • Twitter is powerful, isn’t it?! I was so scared to do this cuz I was a solo traveler but I had the best time. It’s not just about finding a great room at a good price but also making sure you find the right fit with a host. I lucked out!

      Posted by BahSun | November 3, 2012, 12:18 am
  2. Hi, I’m planning a solo trip to London for a week.
    Can I have the contact / details for your airbnb stay in London?
    It’s my first time staying at airbnb. Feeling a bit “scared & nervous” also.
    Thank u.

    Posted by Vivi | October 11, 2013, 2:23 am
  3. Nice looking apartment Bah Sun, sounds like a great experience. We had our first Airbnb apartment a few months ago in Montreal and we were honestly disappointed; there was a film of dirt over everything, dirty kitchen appliances, and smelly clothes handing openly in the bedroom. It was a pretty apartment and if the owner had taken care if the little details (ie. proper maintenance and cleaning) it would have been fine. But it soured our experience.
    We have our 2nd Airbnb experience coming up in Bangkok and the lady sounds much more professional. Hopefully will be as good as your experience.
    Frank (bbqboy)

    Posted by BBQboy | September 24, 2014, 8:19 am

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