Any painkiller has side effects. Use with cautions.
The winter sun stroke my worn-out face as I stepped out of the yellow cab in mid February. Small piles of snow sat every here and there on the edge of 85th Street, and what caught my eyes first was the glance of Central Park, just steps away from where I stood. Becca, a friend from Minneapolis who was accompanying me on my trip in New York City welcomed me at the cobbled stair of the 4-storey old building. She escorted me to the room just behind the front door, and when she opened the door, my excitement beat my fatigue after the long flight. The studio room was warm and spacey, with a comfy king-sized bed, a wide couch and parquet floor. A small kitchen with a fridge full with supplies nestled beside the cozy bathroom with a bathtub. Not to mention the fast wifi! What stirred me the most was the fact that our flat was at the first floor, which made it all very easy for me and my big luggages, since NYC’s old buildings often don’t comprise elevator. It was my first love to AirBnb.
What is AirBnb?
Founded in August of 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone.
At this moment, there are more than 11.000.000 travelers around the world that have been using Airbnb services, at any price point, in more than 34.000 cities and 192 countries. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences.
Why do we love AirBnb?
1. Location, location, location
All travelers know this is the most important thing when you are choosing a place to stay. Whether to experience the hustle and bustle in the city center or to taste the peaceful countryside, AirBnb got it all. Mine at Central Park West in NYC was the perfect choice for me. Nothing can beat the elegant feeling of the Gossip Girl neighborhood! Everything was around, Central Park was within less-than-5-minutes easy walking distance, the subway metro was just a half-block away, and it was a very safe area. Even sometimes, when you are looking for an accommodation in a certain area you want, there is no option but AirBnb!
2. The out-of-the-box accommodations
I was staying at a comfy studio room that made me feel at home, but if you are looking for a unique experience, go for it. The AirBnb filters made it easy to find anything you want, a private room or a spacious entire place. Or maybe you want to try something different… A beachside villa? A castle? A boat? A caravan? Or… A treehouse!
3. The price!
This is one of the things that made me excited about AirBnb the most. While all the hotels at Upper West Side cost more than $200, Becca and I paid only $50 per night each! With all the comfort and facilities of a wide studio room (and the precooked foods my host provided), nothing can beat this. AirBnb also features the filter for any budget, which made it a lot easier for us to choose what fits us best.
Plus, AirBnb is safe – they pay the host only 24 hours after we check in. If we unfortunately find any problem with the place upon arrival, we can always call the world-class costumer service.
4. Blend with the local
My first AirBnb place at Upper West Side was a studio room; the host didn’t live there and I’d never met her since Becca was the one who arranged it all with her. Having the place for your own was also a genius option of AirBnb. But the second AirBnb I rented at Queens was an apartment I shared with the host, and she was the most helpful one. She helped me carrying my giant luggage to the second floor, provided the room with printed informations I needed (cab company numbers, directions, her number etc), and the best part was when she helped me checking out my flights since she noticed the weather was alarming – even when I was still wandering in other country. Not to forget the fully filled kitchen in the morning. For somebody who travels solo, this is very pleasing – and also a good start to make new friends in new places. Can I mention that an Indonesian friend of mine is now dating her AirBnb host in England? 😛
You can always ask anything about the place you’re going to rent to the host via the message feature in AirBnb – and hospitality is one of the considerable points for me to decide. The hosts know it well too – most of them are really nice and helpful.
5. Support the community
AirBnb support people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions. You can easily list your place and rent it to travelers from around the world – and make some extra bucks of it. As a place owner, you are covered by their $1000.000 Host Guarantee – no worries. They also help you to promote your space on your page by providing free photographers – what could be better? Maybe someday I will rent your space!