Amy GrinsteadComment

The pros and cons of staying with Airbnb

Amy GrinsteadComment

As promised a few days ago, I'm filling you in on what I found was good and bad when I stayed in five different Airbnbs over two weeks.

It seems to be something a lot of people want to know about, so hopefully this can help answer a few questions.

PRO
It's cheap - depending on where you stay. There are some incredible places on Airbnb which you can pay a ridiculous amount for, but at the other end of the spectrum it's great for budget travel.

J and I set ourselves a limit of about £60 a night for the both of us. Sometimes we might have paid slightly over that, but in other places we might have only paid about £45 a night.

However you look at it, it's usually cheaper than staying in a hotel and nicer than staying in a hostel.

It's worth thinking about what you might need to sacrifice for the cost per night. Place A might be cheaper than Place B, but it could cost you more to travel into the city centre each day.

CON
You can't really be sure what your host will be like. Airbnb has a good verification system where you have to prove that you are who you say you are, but obviously that doesn't mean you'll get along.

We encountered a host on our trip who we wouldn't have chosen to stay with, and won't be staying with again. 

I know this could happen anywhere you stay - you could be holed up in a hostel with people you can't stand - but it's always a bit awkward when you're staying in someone's home and don't really feel comfortable there.

Cool Scandi design in our Copenahegn Airbnb

Cool Scandi design in our Copenahegn Airbnb

PRO
You can get some great insider's knowledge. Contrary to my last point, most hosts are very friendly and will be more than happy to share local tips.

Thanks to our hosts, we did things on our trip that we had no clue about before we went but loved - like experiencing a Danish Midsummer celebration in Copenhagen and wandering for hours around the Botanical Gardens in Gothenburg.

Locals will also know where you can buy food and drink for cheaper than tourist prices, so it's always worth asking.

CON
The language barrier. It's another one that could happen wherever you stay, but is just a bit more awkward when you're living with someone.

We stayed with a guy who only spoke Swedish, Spanish and no English, and it made day-to-day things and checking out a bit harder. 

PRO
Home comforts. I think this is a really big thing Airbnb are trying to hone in on with their recent rebrand, and it's true - it's nice to have a place to go home to, even when you're in a different country. 

It's so useful to have a place to base yourselves, and more often than not you'll have access to a kitchen and living room so you can pretty much look after yourself like you are at home.


Overall, we had a great trip staying with Airbnb and we'll definitely consider booking somewhere on there for our future travels. There are always going to be negative points, but we found that the positive outweighed them.

What do you think? Have you travelled with Airbnb or are you sticking to hotels?