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Old 12-13-2017, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,320 posts, read 6,989,633 times
Reputation: 3504

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Lots of threads on here with plenty of info for you. Search airbnb.

Anyway some basic thoughts:

If you haven't booked yet, research the market and read the listing and reviews carefully. Airbnb listings range from 0-star to 5-star in terms of quality as well as service. So just be aware that there is a risk. A super host with dozens, or perhaps even hundreds of reviews, will be the safest way to guarantee you get what you expect. Also note there are cases where hotels are better value than airbnbs. Since you are staying longer than a week that's probably not the case this time...plus Cleveland probably is a good airbnb city (just a hunch, no personal experience). However, unlike hotels, if you like a listing you need to book it sooner rather than later cause there's only one of each. And also you will have to pay upfront, and cancellation policies vary so please pay attention. Some hosts allow you to cancel up to a day before, some don't allow refunds at all.

As far as after-booking, my advice would be to connect with your host to let them know who you are and why you're coming. You can ask any questions you want, and hopefully they will be very polite/friendly and answer all your questions/concerns. If they aren't and don't then that's a red flag to me. (Ideally this would be done prior to booking) Then touch base again a day or two before your travel, confirm the check-in procedure and address. You can always contact the host through the airbnb app but you should also save their phone number (provided in the app) so you can contact them by phone if necessary. And just always know you can call airbnb customer service at any time if you have any issues at all. In my fairly extensive experience with airbnb (as both guest and host) they are extremely good about customer service on both sides.
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:28 AM
 
Location: annandale, va & slidell, la
7,415 posts, read 3,059,791 times
Reputation: 6228
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpl1228 View Post
Any advice? Going to be in Cleveland doing the cheap Airbnb thing for over a week. However, I'm no millennial and that seems to be the typical demographic.
Staying in someone's house sounds gross. Who inspects the place----and bathrooms in particular before a new guest arrives?
Check for boogers smeared under the kitchen table!
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:30 AM
 
Location: New Mexico via Ohio via Indiana
1,544 posts, read 1,346,414 times
Reputation: 2453
OP here. Thanks all and keep 'em coming.
I'm basically using the Airbnb room as a low-cost home base for ten days while I visit with friends and family and do some business stuff. In short, I'm not expecting meals, movie nights, daytrips, activities, etc., and I was friendly but made that clear in the request and my profile. I won't be in the house much at all.
As this is my first time I had a tiny profile with no pic and got rejected on my first reservation attempt yesterday. So now I know. The pic is up, my profile is extended and amended (I now feel like I'm online dating, yuck), and I found a good room with a decent-appearing host. I also know Cleveland like the back of my hand, so that helps me with selecting decent neighborhoods for this, etc.
UPDATE: The second one rejected me as they are "remodeling" though the ad said it was available for the dates I selected. The site also said that they may hold my PayPal funds for up to seven days. Ouch. Luckily the refund was swift and immediate.
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:53 AM
 
840 posts, read 543,481 times
Reputation: 339
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarisaAnna View Post
Staying in b&bs in the U.K. and also in Quebec has left me with an appreciation of Holiday Inns and the like. Where I know the hot water will work, the bathroom likely complies with the fire regulations, there is some sound proofing and I do not need to socialise. Will not even think of trying Airb&b.
I agree. I really don't see the benefit of Airbb unless you need to rent a house (which I did once). I don't want to worry if things are working and such. I rather pay a little more and have my expectations met from a hotel.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,751 posts, read 4,764,587 times
Reputation: 28415
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfertx View Post
I agree. I really don't see the benefit of Airbb unless you need to rent a house (which I did once). I don't want to worry if things are working and such. I rather pay a little more and have my expectations met from a hotel.
I guess it depends on what kind of traveling one is doing. I'm not on vacation, I'm looking for a place to live.

I've been on the road for a full month now and while I adore hotels, the cost adds up. If I could find a clean reliable VRBO with privacy at 2/3 the cost of a hotel, that would be a win.

Airbnb sounds too weird to me -- think I'll just stick with VRBO for now.
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:05 AM
 
6,040 posts, read 4,447,056 times
Reputation: 16753
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfertx View Post
I agree. I really don't see the benefit of Airbb unless you need to rent a house (which I did once). I don't want to worry if things are working and such. I rather pay a little more and have my expectations met from a hotel.
I've only used ABNB for specific areas where hotel rooms are in short supply and where they tend to price gouge (seasonally), especially with crazy 'resort' fees. For the first few years I was getting excellent accommodations for less that 40% of the local hotels.

I have noticed, though, that the price gap has narrowed considerably.
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
29,038 posts, read 45,076,715 times
Reputation: 20425
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
One tip: Watch for hidden add-on fees. The rates quoted are sometimes jacked up quite a bit without you realizing it. At least a hotel doesn't charge me a $75 cleaning fee.
Yeah, no kidding! I was just browsing on VRBO (since I'd only heard of AirBnB until now), and found this one house for $196/night - but the total for 3 nights was quoted over $1000!! I was like "how??" until I opened up the pricing details:

$195.67 x 3 nights = $587.00
Cleaning Fee = $165.00
Hot Tub Fee = $30.00
Booking Fee = $70.38
Tax = $83.54
Service Fee = $92.00
Total = $1,027.92

Utterly ridiculous that the added fees nearly DOUBLE the total price, and that they charge both a "booking fee" and "service fee" - which are basically euphemisms for "squeezing more money out of you with no justification." And should they really charge $30 for the hot tub, when it advertises as having one to use? If a motel says it has a pool and HBO, one assumes those are included in the cost of the room. Right? Housekeeping is also included in motels/hotels, and even if it weren't, I could find a maid for waaaay less than $165 to clean up after a 3-night guest. Meh, I'll stick with my Motel 6s.
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
29,038 posts, read 45,076,715 times
Reputation: 20425
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
I guess it depends on what kind of traveling one is doing. I'm not on vacation, I'm looking for a place to live.

I've been on the road for a full month now and while I adore hotels, the cost adds up. If I could find a clean reliable VRBO with privacy at 2/3 the cost of a hotel, that would be a win.

Airbnb sounds too weird to me -- think I'll just stick with VRBO for now.
Out of curiosity, why is Airbnb weirder to you than VRBO? Maybe I'm not familiar enough with the services (having never used either), but aren't they essentially the same concept? Unless you're renting a ROOM through Airbnb, but most people I know who've used them only do the "whole house/apartment" options.
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:17 PM
 
Location: North State (California)
39,850 posts, read 3,021,832 times
Reputation: 13086
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfertx View Post
I agree. I really don't see the benefit of Airbb unless you need to rent a house (which I did once). I don't want to worry if things are working and such. I rather pay a little more and have my expectations met from a hotel.
If it is only a one night stay, it is always a hotel/motel for us. I would only consider airbnb if we needed a house for a week or so. They appear to be expensive for a one night stay (bnb)
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:59 PM
 
9,437 posts, read 7,119,392 times
Reputation: 12212
I've done it twice.. Once a few years back renting a cabin in Gatlinburg and last summer for a trip to DC.

I had great experiences both times. The house in DC cost about the same as getting 2 hotel rooms for the night. The house had 3 bedrooms and there being 5 people, that would have basically required a suite or 2 hotel rooms and I think I got it for just under $200 a night and that was at the end of July, which is a busy time for the DC area. The cabin in Gatlinburg.. We went during the summer and it was just 2 of us.. I think the thing was only about $60 a night.

I agree with GreggT.. It's important to read the listings carefully.. ask questions ahead of time. Most times the renters are quick to respond and quite honest. And don't do something stupid like paying via cashiers check.. Do all the booking through the site. That is, unfortunately, rather common, that someone gets their account hacked and a scammer will contact someone offering a 'discount' if they book outside of the site. You're NOT getting a discount at that point.

The only down side to them is that you don't generally get an address and it's always a roll of the dice because pictures can show what they want to show.

There's places that I would probably never use HomeaBNBedia.. Such as Vegas. It might be cheaper, but the time you factor in driving and parking..
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