Have you heard about Airbnb? I’ve been following them the last few months and am impressed. So is actor Ashton Kutcher who just invested heavily.
Overview: Hosts can list a room or their entire home to rent by the night. It’s a new way to connect with locals while traveling. Airbnb has links to Facebook and Twitter plus an on-line community.
What I like best
1. Reviews can only be written by guests who have stayed at a particular property.
Since Airbnb handles the financial transaction, they only post reviews of paid guests who have completed their stay. (Friend reviews are listed separately).
2. Sense of community.
Both the guest and host have a profile and can communicate in the Airbnb portal.
3. Advocate if something goes wrong.
Airbnb doesn’t release the money to the host until the day after check-in. If you find the listing not as promised, you can call Airbnb for help.
1. Booking fee is 6-12% of the total reservation.
This is how Airbnb makes its money. They also charge a fee to the host.
2. Groups are not easy to sort through.
I still haven’t figured an easy way to search this. Hosts for example can list their property by interest (yoga, vegetarian, etc). Once you’re in a group I haven’t found a way to sort by location.
Airbnb may offer a way to save money on your next Hawaii vacation.
If you decide to try them, or already have, please share your experience.