Should I use Airbnb?

Is Airbnb safe?

Is Airbnb better than hotels or hostels?

Yes, yes and yes.

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This year, 2014, we have used Airbnb almost exclusively for our travels through Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Ireland, Wales, England, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and Turkey.

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It provided sincere contact with locals, which led to many great experiences and conversations. It added another dimension to our travels and our understanding of different cultures. It has restored our faith in the kindness of others and how safe and friendly people all over the world really are. And we love reading people’s profile pages and choosing who to stay with.

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With our own place rented out long term in Australia, we have even used Airbnb when we return home for Christmas to see family and friends.  It makes sense not to have the hassle of cleaning, re-advertising and re-leasing your home and also keeps the rental income coming in.

If we are staying only one or 2 nights we will often stay in a hotel near the bus station, railway station or airport, but for stays of 3 days or more, which is almost always the case as long term travelers, we will book a place using Airbnbcom.  One exception was when we did a road trip around Ireland.  We pre-booked single and double nights through Airbnb for a 18-day road trip.  This not only saved us the hassle of trying to find a suitable B&B almost every afternoon, but we saved as much as 50% on the rates at traditional B&B’s.  It obviously helps out the owners financially as well.

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This year we stayed in more than 40 Airbnb places in our travels and all of them were enjoyable.  We received positive reviews from all our hosts and gave generally great reviews in return.  We never had what you could term a bad experience.  One host was somewhat reserved and stand-offish.  Another situation had too many people sharing a single bathroom.  But overall we would have to say that our experiences were fantastic!

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Top 10 reasons for using Airbnb?

1.  They have an excellent, user-friendly website with many great features.

2.  It is much cheaper than using hotels.

3.  You get to meet fantastic local people.

4.  All your trips and ‘conversations’ with owners are tracked through the site.

5.  The system of host and visitor profiles and reviews is fantastic.

6.  You can often stay in ‘the guts’ where hotels often cost a fortune.

7.  Your host will often be able to provide local insights that you may be unaware of.

8.  Your host will sometimes provide transport to or from your point of arrival, or other ‘extras’.

9.  Airbnb is a massive organization which guarantees all your bookings and is very secure!

10.  It is available in virtually every country in the world.

If you are thinking of hosting, all of our hosts love it!

Also, a big thank you to all of our Airbnb hosts, many of whom are featured in these photos.