Holiday accommodation choices are changing. With around one million listings around the world, including 35,000 in Australia (Choice Australia), the growing popularity of peer-to-peer accommodation platform Airbnb, means a short term holiday rental in someone’s home has become a genuine alternative to a hotel or self catering apartment.
The ability to cook for yourself, have a unique experience, get a deal or get outside the normal tourist trap areas (Airbnb says 85% of its listings are outside traditional hotel districts) are just some of the reasons an Airbnb rental is an attractive travel option.
We spoke to Sydneysiders Michael and Rebecca, regular Airbnb users, about what they love about the service and what they look for in a holiday rental.
When did you first start using Airbnb?
“The first time was on a backpacking trip in South America, Michael explains. We’d been staying in hostels for about three months straight and craved the space and independence of an apartment all to ourselves.
We were flying into Buenos Aires and we knew we were going to be there for a week. We’d heard about the site, so we went online and we found the most perfect apartment in San Telmo, which is at the bohemian end of town.
Our host was beyond amazing and left us all these detailed tips about where to eat and what to see. We had the best time ever. From there, we started using Airbnb regularly, adds Rebecca. We’ve used it in Japan, Hawaii, New York and in about 15 or 20 places around Australia.”
What floats your holiday accommodation boat?
“For us it’s the ability to find exactly what we’re looking for that appeals so much about Airbnb. It’s the first place we look when we’re interested in a weekend away, Rebecca says. The search functionality and the app is way more sophisticated than other holiday rental services and the fact that we can use it to find pet-friendly places (we have two dogs) is a real bonus.
On top of that, we’ve managed to stay in some totally unique places, Michael adds. We've stayed in a converted church, a miner’s cottage, a completely sustainable yurt and an artist’s loft in our travels. You don’t get that at The Meriton!”
Any bad accommodation experiences?
“The one negative experience we had was at a place in Australia that was self-clean, which meant you didn’t pay a cleaning fee but you had to leave the place as you found it, explains Michael. Unfortunately the people who had been there before us hadn’t cleaned the place properly and had left rubbish everywhere, which was disappointing because the house was lovely apart from that.
In the end though, it didn’t take long to clean up and once we told the host (who was mortified) he offered us a return stay at half price, and sent a cleaner over to give it a further clean while we were at the beach! It didn’t put us off though, says Rebecca, in fact, I don’t think we’d ever stay in a hotel or serviced apartment unless there were no Airbnb rentals available.”
Check out the Airbnb site here for some amazing holiday rentals.
Already using Airbnb or Stayz as a host? Find out more about ShareCover’s new insurance for holiday rentals.
ShareCover is issued by Insurance Australia Limited ABN 11 000 016 722 AFS Licence No 227681 trading as ShareCover Enterprises. When making decisions about a ShareCover product, always read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). To help you make an informed choice on insurance visit the Australian Government website: www.moneysmart.gov.au.