It’s affordable, it’s residential, and it seems to work very well. That’s why we have been using AirBnB for places to stay when we travel this year. Our friend Tom told us that this was the service they used when they were traveling during their London sabbatical year.
If you don’t know what this is, people rent out their spaces to visitors – anything from a room to an entire house. While searching for places to stay, you can see photos of the place and read reviews by others who have stayed there. Now that we have stayed in five places, I feel qualified to give a review of the system.
The simple review: we really like it. Each place is completely different, each is in a real neighborhood where locals live, we book one with a kitchen so we can have a fridge for breakfast supplies, and the internet is usually faster than one you find in a hotel. Sometimes you can stay longer on the check-out day, depending on who is coming in and when.
Our first stay was in Paris, and it was the cutest efficiency where every square centimeter was used for something. The bed was on a track so that you could push it up to the ceiling in the morning. The neighborhood was the Marais, and our host gave us a nice introduction to the area with maps and advice. You can see it here.
In Vienna we had a good location – close enough to the train station, but the flat was nothing noteworthy. We did have a great coffee house and several fabulous restaurants in the neighborhood. Pictures here.
What set the Munich place apart was that is actually the host’s own apartment which she must rent out when she is out of town. So, you share her space. The most noteworthy thing in this flat is that there is a mannequin in the bathroom which scared us almost every time we went in, at least at first. Pictures here (no mannequin shots, though).
Prague’s place had some administrative problems, but I think the host is pretty new at it, and she’ll get things straightened out. The apartment is in a fabulous location, in an old building that has been updated. See it here.
I chose the Budapest apartment for the hallway photos! That, and it was across the street from the Basilica and it was spacious. Like all the other places we’ve stayed, the pictures are pretty accurate to what we found.
If you do happen to click on the links here, just note that the price per night can fluctuate. I’m sure the hosts can and will charge more during peak season.