My first thoughts of this website and service was “WOW great idea”. The most significant feature that really grabs your attention is the prices of places to stay, that are often very expensive areas. On this particular occasion a friend and I were looking to book somewhere in London, after a variety of searches across various hotels, I was averaging a price of £90 – £160 for one nights stay on the edge of the city.
After a few clicks I managed to locate a dozen properties ranging from £39 upwards – I finally settled on a property in Westminster at a price of £49.00 all in. The one thing you do have to watch is the AirBnB fee, although not expensive it could tip you over if you are on a tight budget. The layout and is very simple to use and has good map interface that allows you to enhance your search. A nice feature is the drag element of the map, when you move your position the system shows you properties available in that area.
I signed up, confirmed my email address, registered my payment details and paid – all in all, a very simple process. During the booking there is a space to leave details regarding your visit – for us it was business, dinner and a few drinks with clients. Again a nice touch, the last thing you want it someone staying at your property who intends on holding a massive party, at this point the owner has the ability to decline your booking and no money is taken.
If all goes well, the site notifies the property owner that someone has booked, they confirm and the payment is then processed. The site then send you all the information you need such as full contact details and the receipt for the payment.
A few days before we contacted the owner and confirmed what time we would be arriving and leaving etc, again a very smooth and easy to understand process. So, from start to finish a very enjoyable process and a complete bargain when it comes to staying on London. The site does feature properties world wide to suit all budgets and occasions. I have recently used the site again to help a girlfriend book a hen party in London – again we specified it was for a hen party. Our first choice was declined but our second option went through OK – a total bargain. The party have a whole 5 bedroom flat in the middle of London for a total of £380.00, divide that between eight people and you cannot go wrong – I’ll let you do the math.
Once you are done, both you and the property owner have the ability to leave each other feedback which is a great way for you to build up trust in the community. Visit AirBNB