Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Travel Diaries: My First Experience with Airbnb

Last week, Dylan and I both happened to have 3 free days in a row, and we decided to spend that free time in New York City! We've been once before, and we both absolutely fell in love with the vibrant city, and we've been itching to go back ever since. We booked our overnight Greyhound bus tickets, and then we started to search for a hotel. If you've ever visited NYC, then you'll know how expensive hotels are. Add in trying to book the night before, and we were stuck. We found a one star hotel with a customer review disclosing "dried up flies on the wall that were painted over". No thank you. Another hotel had shared bathrooms and mesh ceilings. What?! And these options were all still about $200 USD per night. I then decided to check out Airbnb, which is a site where real people rent out their homes, apartments, etc. Sounds crazy? That's what Dylan thought at first, but now we're totally convinced!

Airbnb rentals in NYC still aren't cheap, but you'll still get a much nicer place compared to the still expensive 1 star hotels available. There are a ton of listings, and you have three main choices when it comes to your accommodations - Entire Place, Private Room, or Shared Room. Of course, these three options will affect the cost of your stay. We decided to go with Private Room, as we weren't planning on spending much time at all in the apartment - we were only there for 1 night and there's a lot to see and do in NYC! The apartment we decided on had 3 rooms - 1 for the host, and 2 that were available to rent. The apartment was right in Hell's Kitchen, which ended up being the perfect location! A short 10 minute walk to either Times Square or Central Park, and you're surrounded by incredible restaurants. When we arrived in NYC in the morning, we met up with the host's friend, who gave us the keys to the apartment, and let us drop off our bags & freshen up. Our room wouldn't be ready until 2:00 pm, so we really appreciated being able to drop off our luggage early! So, we dropped off our bags, and we headed out on the town!

Airbnb NYC

We headed back to the apartment before dinner, just to quickly get changed and charge our phones a bit. We then headed out to a comedy club in Greenwich Village - there was a subway station not far from our apartment. We arrived back at the apartment around 1 a.m., as you do in NYC. I showered, and fell into bed, exhausted from walking around the iconic city all day long. We allowed ourselves to sleep in until about 9:30 a.m., and then packed up our bags as check out was at 11:00. Again, we were allowed to leave our luggage in the living room for the day, until we had to catch our bus home at 10:45 p.m.

Airbnb NYC

Our room was $160 for the night, which definitely wasn't cheap, but for New York City, it's a pretty fair price. The location was perfect, and we were quite impressed with the accommodations. I also love that we had access to the kitchen, so if we were staying for longer we could have picked up some groceries to help keep food costs down. The payment goes through Airbnb directly, so the renter doesn't see any of your payment information. This is definitely a different way to travel for us, but we've had our fair share of run down hotels that don't always match the photos you see online. There are definitely advantages and disadvantages to booking with Airbnb, but our first booking went so smoothly, I'm sure we'll be booking with them again soon! If you want to book an apartment rental on Airbnb, feel free to use my referral link, which will give both of us a $31 CAD Airbnb credit!

Have you tried Airbnb before? I would love to hear about your experiences with the company!

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  1. Perfect timing as I was wondering about Airbnb... might be using the service soon! Thanks so much for sharing, will try to remember to use your link! Glad everything went smoothly and that you enjoyed NYC! :)

    1. Oh where are you planning on going!? You'll have to let me know about your experience :)
      Ya you should definitely use my link - it's a win-win!

    2. I will be going to Greece in September! I just used your link! :)

    3. How exciting!! Greece is super high on my travel wishlist!


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