I’ve used it once this year for a show; first time of using it ever. But I’m thinking about it for a possible trip to Europe, for a few days in Venice and then in Budapest. I’m thinking it has potential if you are going to be staying in one place for a few days. A place with a kitchen would be a big plus (not that I’m going to cook, but it would make breakfast and that first cup of coffee easier).


I’m wondering what the potential pitfalls might be.  Has anyone given this a try? Thanks

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  • I have and also vrbo. You really need to read the reviews and between the lines. Pics are important but one thing you can't tell in a listing is the smell:). For airbnb I always choose entire place. I don't want to share a bath or kitchen or living room. That is just me. I have had a few problems but all I can deal with and sort of new there might be some.
    1 in Lima the apartment was on the water, awesome, but I knew that lima doesn't usually have A/C. So it was musty but I aired the place out ASAP.
    2 most places I get in Miami have the same musty issue, it's Miami. I air is out immediately on arrival and ask the host to do that before I arrive. The only place I have ever rented in Miami that wasn't musty was new construction. Great place but the owners loved to hang out at night with the guests around the common fire pit and pool. I thought this may be an issue since the pics and description mentioned it was shared. I had my info.
    3. Cheap basement apartment a few blocks from a downtown show. Pics showed beams, so I figured low ceiling and yes even I had to duck to avoid hitting my head. plus the owner was a young 20 something. The couch was a futon and the furniture looked like college stuff. They also had dogs that shared the yard. I knew this meant dog poop in the yard and possible bathroom sort of clean. I was correct but brought did a quick clean of the bathroom on arrival and stayed out of the back yard.

    These are the rare problems I have had. I use airbnb and vrbo at least 10 times a year. Most of them ate excellent. You just need to do your research and figure out cost vs convince.
    • Thanks, Melanie! I will look up vrbo.


      "For airbnb I always choose entire place."


      How can you tell? That's a question I have about my one local booking, plus the listings I see for the cities I'll be in in Europe. Is it a parameter of the listing somewhere that I have not found? 

      • You can choose entire place, private room or shared room in your search criteria on Airbnb. There are a lot of different filters you can choose
        • Thanks! Having only used it once, so I didn't notice that.

  • My son (early 20s) has used AirBnB in Italy and I think Switzerland. He recommends this option, especially because he can keep a little food there and not eat out every meal. (Bread, salami, cheese, fruit, etc.)

    Do you have specific questions you would like me to ask him?

    • Thanks, Camryn! Somehow I didn’t see your reply til now.


      I guess if it has worked out well for him, he wouldn’t know of potential pitfalls!


      I am wondering what recourse one has if you book and pre-pay (I believe it is all pre-paid, I know my local one is/was), then arrive, and something has fallen through: it’s rented to someone else, you can’t get in, etc. Or the place is misrepresented, such as, a one bedroom with kitchen turns out to be a studio with no kitchen. I gather (but am too new to know much) that it runs on trust, and Air bnb doesn’t stand behind accuracy of the bookings, all you can do is write a bad review of a given host.



      And, being, as I said, very new: are these usually rooms rented out in people’s houses/flats where the owner is present to solve problems?  With some spaces like the kitchen shared with the family/other guests? Or is it more likely internationally that hosts have leases to apartments they have just to rent out, and they themselves are not resident?


      I don’t know if language barriers are a big issue, with making sure you are getting what you think you are.


      This is before Air BnB, but I remember booking online a “bed and breakfast” in Rome 12 years ago, for my husband and kids, which turned out to be a for profit apartment with 4 bedrooms. All the proprietors knew was that we were coming on one date and leaving on another. We knew 2 words of Italian and they knew no English. We didn’t know where they lived or how to reach them. Breakfast was a freezer full of hard white bread rolls and a half empty jar of jam. Luckily my husband found a market and started making our own breakfast. It worked out, but….!  

      • Also, he would know of potential pitfalls. He is 24 1/2 years old and he knows everything.


        • I did actually have one problem and contacted airbnb. It was Sunday night after doing a long hot show in Boulder CO. After breaking down we drove to Denver to check in to our next air bnb. I had asked for the instructions for checking in days before. Of course I lost track Of the fact that the owner never got back to me because I was in the middle of a show. She was new to this. She had forgotten. I called and texted and emailed her the second we started driving. We showed up and still no answer. I was hot and tired and hungry and pissed:). We went to dinner, still no answer. I unpacked our traveling bar and had a drink on the porch and still no answer. My contacted airbnb to tell them we were going to have to check into a hotel for,the night. Right before we left the owner contacted us and was so sorry and we got in. Most of the places have a lock box. I have friends who vrbo a bunch of homes and the husband does this all the time so I felt for the lady and let it go. The next day airbnb got back to me and gave me $100 credit for the inconvience. They didn't have to do that but was glad they did.

          Another thing to look for, when you contact an owner at first see how fast they respond. The good ones respond with in a few hours if not right away. If they take longer than 24 hours move on.
      • I actually know someone's son who works for AirBnB -- the company itself should assist if you arrive and things aren't right. There is a pretty good evaluation system, with feedback on both parties. Interestingly, recently I got a note saying my host/owner had filed feedback on me but I could NOT look until I filled out my own evaluation. So you can't do tit for tat; it has to be honest more or less. (And she had given me a good review anyway, but I thought it was interesting that both parties have to file feedback before either goes public.)
        My friend whose son works for AirBnB said if any property gets less than stellar raiting, they check up on the situation, call the owner, have things fixed. So I don't think you arrive, and are out of luck if it's not as pictured. It would also be hard to be listed with AirBnB if you didn't match the description, as the first tenant/renter/guest would be all over it.

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