Do you know AIRBNB?
Airbnb is a website that lets tourists and travellers from around the world find short-term accommodation (a few nights or a few weeks) in many cities and holiday destinations.
Instead of booking into a hotel, you can book into someone’s house or apartment, or just rent a room in their home. If you rent a room, you will share the apartment with your host. Or rent the whole apartment for your sole use while the owner is away on holiday.
So instead of being restricted to a small hotel room, the guest has a whole apartment at their disposal, sitting room, kitchen, bathroom, facilities like washing machine and dishwasher and – if you are lucky – outside space.
As we live in central London, which is a magnet for million of tourists from around the world, I had been trying for years to convince Mr C that we should rent our apartment when we are away on holiday, but he was not convinced. Who are those people who come to stay in our home, what if they break something, what about our expensive TV, computers and other equipments or valuables?
This year I managed to convince Mr C to try out Airbnb.
As we were going to stay in our Croatian holiday home for 3 weeks, and being August and therefore peak-time for tourists coming to London, why not give it a try? I must have been nagging a lot, and he was also convinced due to some other friends having rented out their London apartment the same way.
So we took the plunge, posted our best pictures (as shown in this post) and engaging description of the facilities and of our central London location, and put an advert on Airbnb.
We soon got some bookings!!! we were amazed, surprised and a bit apprehensive when we left the UK for our holiday in Croatia, and left our cleaner Svetlana in charge of meeting the guests in London, giving them keys and cleaning in-between changeovers.
During the time we were away in Croatia, we had bookings from two families. One family from the USA and a family from France, who were in London for the famous Notting Hill Carnival.
Our cleaner Svetlana kept us updated with sms and email, informing us that guests had arrived, or when guests had left and returned the keys to her, everything went well and smoothly.
Both sets of guests were very happy, and wrote us some lovely emails after their visits, with many thanks for our hospitality and compliments for our apartment.
Would we do it again? absolutely! You make some foreign travellers and tourists feel very welcome in your home and your city, and make a few Euros or dollars while you are away on holiday. Why not??
Have you tried Airbnb either as a host or a guest?
What has been your experience?