It’s been a long, difficult year. You may be breathing a less pandemic breeze and wondering where the wind might take you nowhere last year. You want to take it away, but you can’t spend some money right now. Airbnb protects you. It’s the sharing economy’s response to accommodation on the road.
What is Airbnb?
Airbnb, Inc. launched as “Air Bed & Breakfast” in August 2008 when some san Francisco money-seekers had the idea of offering their empty rooms as short-term rentals to three travelers looking for a place to stay. They are no longer short of cash.
The initials for “B&B steam mattress”, sometimes abbreviated for the stock code “ABNB”. Airbnb hosts and guests link together through peer-to-peer arrangements on the internet. Airbnb does not own any of these facilities. Landlords rent out more space to tourists. In fact, you can pre-order a private room, or an entire house, condominium, or apartment, in more than 180 cities – think New York City, Barcelona, and Los Angeles – and 190 countries around the world. Your Airbnb experience will each time be possible by hosts interested in home-sharing agreements in one form or another.
Is Airbnb safe?
Airbnb verifies all personal profiles and listings on its page. It checks people on both sides of the equation – servers and clients – through ID verification and background checks, including public record checks in some cases. It also provides a messaging platform so you can contact your landlord before arriving at check-in.
Homeowners must certify that they have attended workshops on home safety or been educated by the local fire department and/or EMS services. Their list should include whether they have set up smoke alarms, first aid kits, and fire extinguishers.
For that COVID monster, Airbnb said it has created a mandatory list of things to do safely for both hosts and guests in response to the pandemic. The rules are not arbitrary. They must be obeyed. These include the usual mask requirements and social distancing, and a five-step checklist of deep cleaning for the servers to perform among guests. The cancellation is free if you have reason to think they don’t care about the goods.
The bottom line here is that you’re staying in a home, not a commercial hotel. You can forget about small amenities like room service, wake-up calls in the morning, and make your sheets at night. But prices are usually much lower than at a hotel or resort. That said, Airbnb charges guests” service charges that can range from 6% to 12%. Landlords are also allowed to charge additional cleaning or additional guest fees.
Hosts set their own prices – Airbnb has no say in this. But overall, both Forbes and The Street report that Airbnb rooms are cheaper than regular hotels around the world. The best prices tend to be for homes located outside of large urban areas.
How to book accommodation
The Airbnb website offers an easy-to-navigate online experience. It’s set up with all sorts of filters to help you determine the right listing for your getaway or vacation rental, including reviews from other guests. It will guide you through the booking process. You must register and create a profile, along with a photo and identity authentication for verification. This process is free.
The site provides a 24/7 customer support community/team if you have questions or need help. You are protected as long as you speak one of 11 languages. And you can also contact your server directly to ask questions and confirm where you have to get your keys or otherwise to gain access to the property. Some servers will confirm reservations immediately, but others will take up to 24 hours.
Paying in a business model is simple: Airbnb collects and transfers all payments, so you won’t directly transfer your credit card information to the server. It accepts all major credit cards, as well as alternatives such as PayPal, Google Wallet and direct deposits.