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Old 12-13-2017, 03:09 PM
 
2,980 posts, read 2,706,964 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frihed89 View Post
Yes, Homeaway is usually less expensive. No service charge as I remember. On the other hand, their booking system is not as smooth as AirBNB. A lot depends on the personality of the owner.
I have used Airbnb three times and two out of the three I went through hell with their booking system. I dealt with one incompetent stupid person after another, five in all over a four hour period, just for one reservation. The three rooms and owners were ok, though one of the places could have used a good cleaning, but because of their reservation system/business model, I will find other places to stay, not Airbnb.
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Old 12-13-2017, 03:13 PM
 
2,980 posts, read 2,706,964 times
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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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo980 View Post
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.
Those pricing details look like the add-ons on a bill for a short stay at a Hilton Hotel. They must have hired some used car dealers to write those pricing details.
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Old 12-13-2017, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Fort Payne Alabama
1,209 posts, read 1,586,266 times
Reputation: 2304
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo980 View Post
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.
This does seem somewhat excessive but on a individually owned vacation rental you can expect a Cleaning Fee as most places have a company come in, clean up and change the linens. If one is looking at a 4-5 bedroom house, changing and cleaning all those linens and towels is not a cheap task.
Many places with a hot tub charge that fee, IF you use the hot tub. If you use it, not only does it use gas but it will have to be drained and possibly cleaned before the next guest.
Booking Fee tells me you are looking at a property managed by a PM, with an individual owner there would be no Booking Fee.
Taxes are a way of life, even your Motel 6 has to pay them.
Service Fee, Welcome to Home Away/VRBO or Airbnb....
All the above being said, say their is a 4-5 bedroom house, 4-5 couple plus kids, not only can you not compare this to Motel 6 but you are looking at less than a $100 a night per couple.
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Old 12-13-2017, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
6,543 posts, read 7,809,700 times
Reputation: 15999
Middle aged and use airbnb. No problem.
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:51 PM
 
13,092 posts, read 13,693,439 times
Reputation: 9157
i've used air bnb and had good experiences.

definitely watch the add on fees. plug in dates and see what total cost is with all add ins, it can vary widely from property to property. Also watch for the cancellation policy, some will charge you for the whole stay, some just for the first night, so if you want flexibility in cancelling if your plans change, which I do, then I only book in the ones with the most lenient cancellation policy.

i like that i can use it for business or fun and choose different properties accordingly. When i am traveling alone on business, i really like being in a home that has a washer for me to do laundry, a refrigerator to store food, and trees in the back yard. Those to me are more comfortable than a sterile hotel room that just feels gross to me no matter how expensive it is.

what i probably love best about airbnb is getting an entire home for family get togethers: we have a kitchen, a fire place, we are all together, it feels cozy, we don't get that in a hotel, and the cost is much much less. Sometimes we just pick a cool looking house and have that be our vacation, regardless of where it is. i like seeing the decor of the rooms, this for me adds ambience and is important to me: pleasing art, quilts on the bed, stone fireplace, whatever is inviting to you and you get to pick it ahead of time and see it before you book.

the other thing i really like about air bnb is they will answer questions ahead of time about the area, even before you book, which is great if you aren't familiar with the area, and especially great if i'm traveling to a country i've never been before or don't speak the language.

personally i don't like interacting with hosts, and most respect that.
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Old 12-14-2017, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,464 posts, read 5,933,005 times
Reputation: 16160
Quote:
Originally Posted by elhelmete View Post
I'm in my late 40s and started using ABNB about 3 years ago.

I definitely look for properties where there is no expectation of socializing with the owner. Only once was I wrong and it was a little awkward; I just have no interest. I know that runs counter to the supposed spirit of ABNB but whatever.
This was my experience with our one and only traditional B&B stay. It's funny, I am very outgoing and friendly with strangers. But when on vacation I really didn't enjoy sitting in living room full of strangers as they discuss their kid's soccer games. When we returned from dinner all eyes in the living room looked at us. It was like saying at your aunt's house only you just met your aunt for the first time.

Air BNB is different. Just get a unit with a private entrance and you have the option of stopping to chat with others at the picnic table or simply continuing to your room
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:42 AM
 
Location: New Mexico via Ohio via Indiana
1,544 posts, read 1,342,244 times
Reputation: 2453
I'll also be honest: I'm doing Airbnb for the money savings. Even with the tax and fees, it'll be a grand total of $250ish for ten days total.
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
3,199 posts, read 4,850,915 times
Reputation: 4753
I feel a rant coming on. I've tried Airbnb three times (I'm middle-aged) and had a disappointing experience each time. Twice I rented an "entire place" and once a "private room". I will think really hard before trying it again.

First, Airbnb is really grabby with your money. The first time I sent a request to a host, I wasn't quite ready with my dates, but I had to request specific dates. I still wanted to check airfares to see when the best travel dates would be. Before I knew it, the host accepted my reservation request even though I had only wanted to check dates. And my credit card was charged by Airbnb for the full amount instantly. It surprised me that the host could charge my card without my permission. This was several months ahead of my travel date. So I had to go through the process of cancelling that and redoing the reservation when I knew my travel dates for sure. I prefer the hotel reservation method where they don't usually charge you until you check in, although you reserve with a credit card. I don't think it's fair for Airbnb to charge you in full at the point of reservation, nor is it fair that a host can trigger the credit card charge when you have not made a final decision yourself.

Second, none of the three places I rented were nearly as nice as the glowing reviews. And obviously the hosts take photos of the nice things but not the junky things. I no longer trust the reviews because I think a lot of guests write polite reviews in order to earn good reviews for themselves. I fell into that trap myself although apparently the host doesn't see your review until they post one of you. It wasn't until my last experience that I wrote a really bad review.

My main complaint with all three was noise. Even though you may have rented an "entire place" for yourself, it can be an apartment attached to the host's noisy family home with only a flimsy door separating the spaces. Or a cottage in a back yard where small children play (and scream). One host would knock on my door several times a day to ask when I was leaving and coming back, so that he could plan when to mow the lawn, or set off fireworks for his daughter's graduation party, things like that. A real hassle.

And the "private room" I rented wasn't very secure. The host never mentioned there would be a parade of cleaning ladies, gardeners, and family members (who don't reside there) with keys to the house walking through the area adjacent to my "private room" which had no lock on the door. Made me feel uneasy to say the least.

I rented these spaces for their convenient locations, and I do like the idea of staying in a residential neighborhood rather than a motel off a freeway exit (or whatever) but I don't like giving my money to people who own multi-million-dollar houses and are using their extra space as a cash cow (all three rentals were in the Bay Area).

Last edited by aries63; 12-14-2017 at 12:33 PM..
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:24 AM
 
Location: On the road
5,954 posts, read 2,895,036 times
Reputation: 11397
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).
Getting a small apartment with a sofa, kitchen to prepare food, etc. for the same price as a hotel room that has a bed and maybe a desk is a benefit I see.
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:06 AM
 
Location: On the road
5,954 posts, read 2,895,036 times
Reputation: 11397
Quote:
Originally Posted by aries63 View Post
First, Airbnb is really grabby with your money. The first time I sent a request to a host, I wasn't quite ready with my dates, but I had to request specific dates. I still wanted to check airfares to see when the best travel dates would be. Before I knew it, the host accepted my reservation request even though I had only wanted to check dates. And my credit card was charged by Airbnb for the full amount instantly. It surprised me that the host could charge my card without my permission.
Woah there, how is this anyone's fault but your own? You requested that host book you for those dates, airbnb is quite clear when you click the "request" button that you are attempting to reserve and pay for the time frame and if the owner accepts then you have a deal.

How would it be fair to owners if people are able to request to stay in their place for certain dates, they agree to it and those dates black out from other potential renters, but you can just say "nah nevermind" because when you requested those dates you didn't really know when you'd be flying in? I can't imagine how it surprised you, airbnb (not the host, they don't actually get money until your stay starts) is quite clear that by requesting a reservation your card will be charged if the owner accepts.
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