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.
Make sure to check back for the other reviews and see if I thought they lived up to the hype!
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!
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.
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.
Check out my tutorial on how I search for places to stay when traveling:
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 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.
(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.
If you'd like to try Airbnb for the first time, feel free to use my referral code for a $30 discount!
Have you tried Airbnb? If so, what did you think? If not, would you be open to it? Share in the comments below!