The time has come for me to start doing a bit of digging on what portion of my spending will be spent on accommodations. In some cities, I’m fortunate enough to have friends that I can stay with which eliminates the cost of room and board. However, most cities I will be supplying my own place to call home. Enter the great Airbnb debate. The debate isn’t so much as to whether an Airbnb is a better option than a hotel ( because it is- duh) but whether or not I should be booking single units or just a single room.
For those of you that aren’t too familiar with Airbnb, let me break it down for you. It’s a service that’s predominantly for short term rentals, usually requiring a two night stay minimum, that gives you the option to rent an entire property (interior, exterior, the whole shebang). Or you can rent a room and share the other accommodations with your “host” or the owner of the property/unit. At first, I planned to only rent entire units so that I wouldn’t have to share space with a stranger. However, upon beginning my research process, I realized that I may be looking at things the wrong way.
Not only is it much more cost efficient to rent a room as opposed to an entire unit (in Charlotte, NC a unit I was interested in averaged between $55-$80/nightly where as a single room averaged at $34-$50/nightly), but there seemed to be quite a few other perks. Based on the reviews people left on their experiences with sharing accommodations with their host, they were positive overall. Some things people mentioned were that their hosts were great mini guides to the city they were visiting. They had someone only a few feet away that could suggest good places to eat, activities to try, and what areas of town were safe to travel on foot. These are all things that will be very important to me during my travels.
On the other hand, having to share space with a stranger could have its down falls. What if we don’t get along? What if I’m uncomfortable around this person I’ve made a monetary commitment with? What if they made 50 different Airbnb accounts to leave a bunch of raving reviews of their property but they’re actually a raging lunatic? I realize that the latter taking place is highly unlikely, but you get what I’m saying!
So what should be more important; Low cost and endless inside details on the place being visited? Or higher cost but total privacy and no chance of awkward midnight run-ins on your way to the bathroom?
Have any of you ever rented a single room via Airbnb? If so, what was your experience? If you haven’t, I’d still love to hear your thoughts as to what points you think are most important.
Lastly, I’d like to note that regardless of which route I take, I will only be staying in places with positive reviews in regards to safety, location, and accurate representation of their property. I won’t be staying somewhere that is new to Airbnb and has no reviews- I have no interest in staring in my own personal Lifetime movie.