Wednesday, 15 October 2014

5 Reasons Why You Must Try Airbnb While Travelling is a huge success story in online travel. Yet many of us in India have either never heard of this sharing economy company or else never tried.

Since Shilpi and I (Manish) have been running Cinnamon Stays for the past 5 years and now Granny's Inn in Varanasi we have had the opportunity to use airbnb for getting guests at our place.

We also used airbnb extensively when we travelled to Europe this summer. Most places we visited, we booked the room / apartment through airbnb. 

It was a great experience. So, here we share why you must try this fascinating concept which is redefining stays & travel around the globe.

1. From hassle to play. In the pre-airbnb days, finding a room was a hassle, a task; but with the millions of beautifully curated pads around the world, searching a room/ apartment/ villa on airbnb is a playful, joyous activity. We found an artistic studio in Interlaken, Switzerland in June this year. These 2 nights spent there were infinitely better than a bland hotel room in our budget!

2. The wisdom & warmth of local hosts. To really know a place when time is at a premium you got to lean on the local hosts. And most are better than the majority of hotel employees. In our own trip, the airbnb hosts volunteered to pick us up from airports and tube stations. They took us out for authentic Italian meals; gave access to private beaches. Cooked for us. Helped plan a day shopping trip in Zurich. Even found us a Saravana Bhawan in Paris :-)
You can get tons of local tips - from bus and metro timings, to which restaurants to eat, the coolest pubs, where to shop for veggies and where to shop for moments and gifts! You get all this information and more over a beer or if you are lucky even a home cooked meal. 

 3. Having the flexibility to cook. With our non experimentative, almost vegetarian food habits, having access to a kitchen where we could make simple daal, rice every alternate day was a big boon:-) Sometimes after a tiring day, just the comfort of making maggi in your own apartment far outweighed meals in a fancy restaurant. Almost all the apartments had very clean kitchens with cooking utensils and cutlery. This made our trip very comfortable and enjoyable. 

4. Safe & convenient. As a first timer, we would recommend that you only book the place which has a few reviews. Airbnb reviews are invariably genuine and give you a fair idea of the place and the host.
Google maps gives you an accurate idea of how to reach the B&B. In fact in many listings, past guests mention bus and tube routes, landmarks and other tips which makes life a lot easier for travelers. 

5. Mobile app is awesome. The airbnb mobile app now makes it possible to book a room, apartment on the move. You can make a booking or accept one 
(if you are a host) on the go. Clean interface, intuitive navigation makes it a very friendly app! 

As hosts of B&B and avid travelers, we would urge you to try airbnb on your next vacation. We are convinced, like us you will get hooked onto this new way of booking a stay and traveling. You may never go back to the standardized and expensive hotels which have all the amenities but often lack soul and a story, essential to make travel memorable.