Travel | A Review of Our AirBnB Experience

Over the last couple of months I've shared all the highlights we had from our Summer holiday to the West Midlands including our trip to Oxford and my birthday lunch at The Fourteas in Stratford Upon Avon. Now I really want to let you know how we felt about booking and staying in an AirBnB property! I'm going to start with some of the things that we liked about our experience. 

  • The process is very easy, especially if you use the 'Instant Book' feature. We paid (in full) and then after a quick message to each of the owners to let them know when we'd be arriving we were sorted. No checking in or paperwork needed just a simple handover of keys, and once they were even just left hanging in the door ready for us!

  • It can be very cheap. We were looking at Hoseasons cabins with hot tubs in the West Midlands to begin with but they were hardly any of them to choose from and those that we found were expensive. The AirBnb apartments offered cute self-catering options and they were good value for money.

  • Some of the owners are the most friendly people you'll ever meet (which is a bit unnerving for those of us more used to London). At the second property we stayed in the owner was very keen to make sure we were ok and more than happy to help with any directions, ideas for days out etc. She even stocked the kitchen with tons of essentials including croissants and jam - yum!

  • It's nice to try somewhere different. When booking a holiday it's easy to fall into the same tourist holiday camps that everyone else goes to but booking with AirBnB helps you feel a bit more local and means you aren't surrounded by other holiday makers (and their kids). The apartments we stayed in were much more unique from overlooking a busy village high street to sitting in the living room next to a working farm and seeing a huge (seriously huge) tractor come right past your window!

Now there aren't a huge amount of cons as we did really enjoy our holiday but there were a few things that frustrated us and would put us off booking with AirBnB again. To begin with:

  • It's harder to relax. When booking into a hotel, or through a travel agent, you get a certain amount of reassurance and although the AirBnB review system and general policy is very good, there is room for quite a bit of doubt along the way. It's also very difficult to escape the feeling that you're in someone else's property, even if they only use it as a holiday let. It's a bit visiting someone and never knowing if you should take off your shoes.

  • The listing stated the property had it's own access? Well it did - through the owner's back garden where they sit most evenings. A bit like Rightmove the listings can be truthful but  misleading, watch out for images shot from very well thought out angles!

  • That cup of tea you split and thought would wash out of the sheets? Well your host skipped the vanish and binned them outright giving you a bad review in the process. I'm a very clean and tidy person so I was mortified to get a less than perfect review from one of the properties we stayed in and therefore felt very uncomfortable in the next. The thought of being reviewed put me very on edge (fortunately other reviews I've been left were lovely!)

I would consider using AirBnB again if we were looking to go on a short UK break but I don't think I'd use it all the time. We booked a cabin with Forest Holidays a couple of years ago when we went to Cornwall and I definitely enjoyed that more although it was also a lot more expensive! Having said that I would recommend trying AirBnB or having a browse because there are some amazing properties available, it all depends what you are looking for!



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