First Time With Airbnb Review [Travel Hacks Series]

First Time Using Airbnb: Review and Advice!

I tried a few new "travel hacks" during my recent work + travel trip, including trying Airbnb for the first time!

This is going to be a three-part series with three different travel hacks I recently tried out, starting with a review of Airbnb, then T-Mobile's international data plan, and finally packing cubes.

Each post will be packed with information and tips so you can see if these trendy travel hacks are right for you.

Let's get started with this review of Airbnb!

If you'd like to try Airbnb, make sure to use this FREE $40 travel credit before you book! It only works on your first booking.

First Time Using Airbnb

Before my trip I knew I'd be in four countries on continental Europe, and stop in Iceland for a couple days on my way home.

Since Iceland was at my own expense and not part of my work + travel experience, I had to find my own place to stay.

First Time Using Airbnb Review and Advice

After some thought I decided to check out Airbnb and finally get firsthand experience staying at an Airbnb!

I tried out Airbnb for a 2-night stay in a private room in Reykjavik, Iceland in July.

Booking an Airbnb

The booking process was really easy online. I did some light research on where in the city I wanted to stay and found a place with an excellent location.

Want to try Airbnb? Here’s a free $40 Airbnb discount code for your first stay.

The price of the private room was in line with what you'd pay at a hostel in Reykjavik ($65/night; with fees it came out to about $75 per night).

I went back and forth between wanting to stay at a hostel or an Airbnb, but considering I hadn't yet tried out Airbnb I decided to go for it.

I'm glad I did since it was cool to meet my host and get insider tips from a local on where to go and what to eat. I even had my own set of keys to the apartment - it felt like I was living there!

 The search function and map make finding a place really easy - this screenshot shows some Airbnbs in Manila, Philippines

The search function and map make finding a place really easy - this screenshot shows some Airbnbs in Manila, Philippines

Check out my tutorial on how I search for places to stay when traveling:

The apartment I chose was pretty simple and small, and I just booked the private room, but I wasn't looking for a spacious and super cozy home anyways as I was only staying two nights.

The main purpose of my stay was to have somewhere to sleep as I was out and about all day. 

 This was our room!

This was our room!

(If you are looking to rent a full home, Reykjavik had plenty of options, as do the other cities).

Safety with Airbnb

Airbnb has multiple verification steps and my host was verified multiple times by AirBnB. She was new to the site when I originally booked and there were no reviews yet, but I decided to book anyway.

As my stay got closer, I checked back and saw she had multiple 5-star reviews! That was very reassuring.

If you run into a problem, you can check Airbnb's Help Center and get in touch with them. I didn't need to use it as my experience was completely smooth.

I have rarely heard of negative experiences with Airbnb, but please always take precaution no matter where you stay (even if it's at a hotel, hostel, or staying with friends of friends)!

Overall I would definitely recommend trying Airbnb on your next trip. It was a cool, unique, and more localized experience that cost the same as staying in a hostel would. 

The private room experience was great as a solo traveler as I got to chat with a local and get insider tips on the city.

I also am definitely open to renting a full home in the future, especially if I'm traveling with a small group or am staying somewhere longer.

Update 2018 - Do I Still Use Airbnb? (Yes!)

Since I’ve tried Airbnb, I’ve had a great experience using the platform and booking trips around the world. So far I’ve used Airbnb in Iceland, New Zealand, Mexico, and New York! I’ve booked both private rooms and full homes.

It has been really nice to be able to have an alternative to a hotel, one that is also often less expensive and/or has local conveniences like a fully equipped kitchen, wifi, and a desk for doing work. 

If you'd like to try Airbnb, make sure to use this FREE $40 travel credit before you book! It only works on your first booking.

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