Some links to products and partners on this website will earn an affiliate commission.
Airbnb certainly has its critics (even here at InsideFlyer!), but broadly speaking I’m a big fan. The sheer scale and variety of options available, all over the world, can make finding the ‘perfect’ place to stay much quicker, easier and cheaper than it used to be. Plus, you can get £25 free airbnb credit to try it out.
Is Airbnb really any good?
These judgements are always highly subjective, but my experience of Airbnb has been extremely positive.
I stay at a lot of hotels each year, but for quite a few of my trips they just don’t make sense. Sometimes it’s because I want more space, somewhere to cook, or to stay in a particular location. For other trips, it can simply be that the hotel options are limited, poor quality, overpriced or even (occasionally) non-existent/full.
Over the last year or so, I’ve stayed at Airbnbs in Nice, Lucca, Seville, York, Amsterdam and the Algarve. The types of property were all very different, suiting the different sorts of trips (business, family holidays, weekends with friends, etc), but they were all excellent and exactly what I was looking for. I do spend quite a lot of time choosing and always looks for properties that have a good number of reviews – I would do the same when booking a hotel though.
Recent improvements to Airbnb
In the last few months Airbnb has introduced a number of improvements:
Split the bill with friends/family
This is a simple but really useful addition (particularly if you have a friend who usually needs ‘reminding’ to transfer you the money for things…)
“When you split the cost, you pay your share when you book and the reservation is put on hold until it’s paid in full. Although we divide the cost amongst the group, anyone can pay anyone else’s share. To pay the remaining reservation balance, you’ll need to pay all of the unpaid shares.
If the full amount isn’t paid by the payment deadline, then the reservation will be cancelled and everyone who paid will get their money back”.
The feature is really easy to use too which is great.
Pay less up front
You now have the option to pay for part of your trip at the time of booking – usually a 50% deposit – and pay the balance closer to the check-in date. In order to take advantage, the total stay must cost ~£180+ ($250) or more and be booked at least 14 days in advance.
If you’re booking somewhere expensive a long way in advance and need to save up, this can be very useful. Even if you’ve got the cash handy, nobody wants to tie up money before they have to, surely?
Airbnb has just introduced ‘Airbnb Plus‘ – a new selection of the very best properties, all of which have been visited in person by Airbnb representatives and undergone a ‘100+ points inspection’.
The ‘Plus’ properties can currently be found in Austin, Barcelona, Cape Town, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Milan, Rome, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sydney and Toronto, with more cities to follow soon presumably.
If you’ve fancied giving Airbnb a try, but have been a bit concerned about whether the reality will match the pictures etc, then this seems like an excellent way to get started.
£25 Free Airbnb credit
If you haven’t booked with Airbnb before, sign-up here and you’ll get £25 free Airbnb credit towards your first booking (of £55+)! (this is my personal referral link – many thanks if you use it! Please feel free to leave your own in the comments).
It’s good to see Airbnb continuing to make improvements to the user experience and providing more options for potential guests. If you haven’t given it a spin yet, don’t forget to claim your £25 free Airbnb credit!