Another way that can save you boatloads of money is to take advantage of peer-to-peer lodging. And when it comes to this part of the marketplace, Airbnb rules the roost.
I used Airbnb for the first time on New Year’s Eve in Fort Worth. And, to sum up my experience in a word, it was unique.
After you sign up, you need to find a host to actually stay with. Which can be slightly annoying, as I found out. I messaged four or five different hosts. Some never got back to me. Others did, but couldn’t host anyone the night I was gonna be in town. Finally, after about roughly three days of thinking this wasn’t gonna work out, I found a host that accepted.
The next thing you have to do is pay the host. That makes it, I guess, official. One of the perks of using Airbnb for a stay somewhere is it’s typically cheaper than staying at a hotel. And that was certainly the case. The cheapest hotel I could find in Fort Worth (near the downtown area) was roughly $130 a night. Using Airbnb, I ended up paying $90! Instant savings of at least $40!
After you find a host and pay them, there’s kind of a waiting game. At least there was for me. Seeing as it was my first time, I messaged the host to ask about any kind of standard operating procedure he may have had. What time is check-in? Is there anything I should know before getting there? You know, things like that. Well, the host messaged back simply saying his roommate will be handling the visit, and that he’ll send his roommate’s info “closer to the day.” He did just that, and for the most part the stay went fine.
What bugged me?
The roommate was a little slow on getting back to me. That bugged me because I couldn’t make plans as quickly as I would have liked. But, I guess that’s the risk you take when you stay at someone’s place (and not a hotel where, for example, they have a lobby that operates 24 hours a day). Besides that, I was happy with the stay.
There are things that you have to remember if you plan on using Airbnb:
- You’ll need to make sure you can pick up the key from your host. Or, at the very least, work out a drop location of some sort.
- If you’re not sure whether you can do something, ask.
- You’re staying at a person’s home. So be extra courteous. Don’t leave a mess. Basically, leave it like you found it.
I would use Airbnb again. I would use those same hosts again. Yeah, it was a unique experience, but I bet it’s like that for every Airbnb stay. I recommend trying them out at least once. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up loving it and never use a hotel again.
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