While the hospitality industry is skyrocketing, and so are hotel room fares, every traveler is faced with a question of luxury versus function. Do I stay in a hotel near the city with a pressurized shower head and tiny bottles of shampoo and conditioner, where staff replace my used towels during my stay for the bargain price of $300/night? Or, for the latter option, do I stay in a stranger’s home and experience local living, enjoy breakfast options provided by the tenants, and only splurge out $45/night?

As a former college student who loves to travel and isn’t too great at math, I would choose the latter. It’s an absolute no brainer! Sure, luxury is preferred and is the easier choice, but the easier choice isn’t usually the most wallet friendly. So far, I have stayed at six homes with Airbnb, each with its own unique story and experience.

Here is what you will need to know when making that “luxury versus function” decision:

WHAT IS AIRBNB?

Airbnb is a budget traveler’s best friend! Airbnb is a spin-off of the traditional bed and breakfast you may be more familiar with. While breakfast is usually a part of a b&b experience, that is not always the case for an Airbnb, which is usually disclosed before you book so no worries if that is your selling point! With Airbnb, homeowners have the ability to rent out their rooms or even their entire house for budget travelers like me and you to stay in.

IS IT SAFE?

I have stayed in six Airbnbs and I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t safe. Half of those were when I was traveling solo in Europe and the other half was when I was traveling with friends. Regardless, Airbnb runs a number of background checks on their homeowners, this way you can ensure you will be safe while you stay in someone’s home. To make my accommodations even safer, I read reviews about the stays and the area, and I also notify my friends and family with where I’m staying and when.

IS IT CLEAN?

How can you guarantee anything is really “clean”? Well, you could carry your own sheets, pillow cases and towels when you travel, or you can take a sniff test (what I do most of the time). You can never guarantee anything is clean unless you wash those things yourself, so you kind of have to trust the process. All the times I stayed at an Airbnb, I didn’t have trouble with cleanliness. And as I mentioned before, it doesn’t hurt to read the reviews! There are cleaning fees associated with Airbnbs, which are unavoidable and can sometimes be nonrefundable, but that is a good thing! It guarantees the cleanliness of the home you are staying in. If this happens not to be true, you can contact Airbnb and they will take care of you.

IS IT EXPENSIVE?

Usually, Airbnb’s are extremely affordable, which make them popular among travelers balling on a budget. They can range anywhere from less than $10 per night to $1,000+ per night, depending on what you’re going for. There is a home for whatever experience you are trying to gain from your trip, so you control how much you pay and you are not limited to Motel 6’s and Ritz-Carltons.

If you are looking to spend some extra cash shopping or indulging in some awesome food instead of wasting money away at a hotel, stay at an Airbnb! Click here for $40 off when you sign up for Airbnb and take a trip!

Until next time,

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Posted by:Diana Haddad

A 20-something travel, fashion and food blogger

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