What is Airbnb?

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The cheapest way to find hospitality while travelling around the world

What is Airbnb? – It’s a new way of travelling in the days of the Internet and social networks; the platform was in fact founded in San Francisco in 2008. It is an online community that allows:

  • to travellers, to find cheaper accommodation than the traditional hotel
  • to rent a room or the whole house for short periods of time.

The idea, as in the best tradition of the most innovative start-ups, came in 2007 to three young Californian students. Joe Gebbia and his roommates Nathan Blecharczyk and Brian Chesky to earn a few dollars, decided to offer their air-beds for rent. These are inflatable mattresses that can be used as beds, from which the service takes its name.

The accommodations available on the portal are the most disparate and there is no lack of extravagant solutions. In addition to the shared room in the apartment in the historic centre of a city capital, you can for example find:

  • a treehouse
  • a castle in the countryside
  • an old abbey.

The service differs from Couchsurfing (renting a sofa for sleeping) or from home-exchange. It does not presuppose the exchange of free hospitality; also it provides the payment of a fee in cash to the owner of the house.

[To become an Airbnb host read this article]

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All the pictures are from Airbnb Facebook page.
How does Airbnb work?

Using the Airbnb service is simple for both travellers and those who want to make a small profit from their property.

The first step to take advantage of it, is always to register on the site and you can do it in two ways:

  • by accessing the portal directly and filling in the specific registration form
  • using your Facebook account (widely used system).
Travellers will have to choose:
  • the destination
  • the dates they wish to travel
  • the number of people involved in the trip

Once the choices have been made, the photos of the available apartments will appear, with indications of price and location.

The payment methods are different:
  • credit card,
  • Paypal,
  • bank transfer
  • check.

By paying with a credit card, for example, the portal will charge the cost only when the request is accepted by the owner of the chosen house. In this case, the applicant’s data will also be sent, such as an e-mail address, telephone number, etc.

Even those who want to rent a property must register with the portal, inserting their advertisement, accompanied by photos and the description of the house and some information about themselves.
This last aspect is particularly significant because Airbnb attaches great importance to personal relationships. Telling who you are is essential for the traveller to understand how you can be useful, providing him with information, news and support in a foreign country.

Who rents has complete freedom on the applied tariffs and the announcement will remain active until you remove it.

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All the pictures are from Airbnb Facebook page.
How much does Airbnb cost?

The cost of accommodation found this way includes:

  • the price of the accommodation
  • the commission recognized to the portal.
  • The latter is generally between 6 and 12%, varying according to the total amount spent.

For those who offer accommodation, the commission is 3% instead.

Is Airbnb a secure system?

This new way of travelling is a tried and tested method, thanks to the economic crisis and the desire of the people to not give up travelling around the world. To get an idea of โ€‹โ€‹the success achieved, just consider a few numbers:

  • distribution in 190 countries and 34 thousand cities
  • over one million ads published from all over the world
  • over 26 million travellers every year.

The service is guaranteed, however, both to prevent scams and ruined holidays and to avoid endangering the integrity of the housing offered.

A first way to make a selection, for example, is to choose the accommodations whose images carry the Airbnb watermark logo. They are photos taken with an inspection by the photographers of the site and certainly belong to the described house. The professional photographer is made available by the site for free. Being a social community, users are asked to leave feedback. It is therefore very useful to read the reviews, both of those who hosted and of those who were guests.

For those who accept a reservation, insurance cover is provided, the Airbnb Owners Guarantee, which covers theft and vandalism up to the damage of 35,000 euros (depends on the country).

A telephone assistance service is also available 24 hours a day.

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Rent your apartment with Airbnb – REGISTER HERE
Go to our Travel Resource link page

Author: Voluntouring staff

Become a volun-tourist! Discover the opportunities to volunteer and travel meaningfully around the world! We add new opportunities every day: www.voluntouring.org Follow our updates on Facebook!

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