Airbnb - Beyond the B&B – Luggage Factory

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Airbnb - Beyond the B&B

Airbnb: Beyond the B&B Many travelers look for ways to make trips truly unique and authentic, avoiding the conformity of tourism. In pursuit of an alternative to large expensive hotels with identical rooms all clustered in one area of a destination, some have turned to bed and breakfast inns (B&B’s). The B&B is not new, as people have been searching for alternatives to hotels for years, but in today’s world of growing global connection and shared information, individuals increasingly strive for unique experiences when they travel. That’s what the B&B represents to many travelers today, a way to make vacations more personal and meaningful while seeing different sides of a destination more than the typical tourist lens. What is a B&B? B&B’s are family run private, lodging services that house guests in separate rooms, apartments, or houses for the duration of their stay. Much like many hotels, bed and breakfast supply guests with a breakfast meal. However, the comparisons between hotel and B&B stop there. Typically, few other guests stay with you at a B&B, whereas a hotel or resort is flooded with a number of other travelers from all around. In addition, staying in someone’s home affords visitors the ability to truly live among the people for a brief time. The hotel experience usually takes individuals far away from the residential regions, anchored in the more expensive, value inflated destination areas. How does it work? Visitors make arrangements ahead of time with traditional B&B’s, typically calling ahead to schedule a stay or book online for more commercial B&B’s. Once scheduled, the trip proceeds the same as any other vacation, swapping the hotel for the B&B. Renters, or B&B operators, either arrange to clean the rooms themselves, or may hire a company to clean rooms accordingly. There might be a package featuring special amenities and trips connected with the B&B itinerary. Where are they? B&B’s are all over, in every country throughout the world. Major cities and major sites are often accompanied by a network of nearby B&Bs where people immerse themselves in the culture of the region. How do you know which places to stay? As with all services in the world today, an extensive network of online reviews gives individuals an in-depth look at what they are walking into through the eyes of someone in a similar situation. These reviews have become the life blood of the B&B industry, as positive and negative reviews really make or break a bed and breakfast operation. Researching on the internet is the best way to find out where to stay when traveling far from home. So what is Airbnb? Airbnb extends the B&B idea beyond the traditional hotel-mimicked structure of planning a stay. Instead of rooming specifically with a place designated only for B&B, essentially running a strict B&B business, Airbnb operators post rooms or apartments online, offering individuals unique stays in warmer lodging. Anyone with a living space may rent a room, house, or bed out to a traveler. “Hosts,” as they are referred to at Airbnb, provide a detailed description of the room, place, or shared space being offered. They attach pictures to all potential visitors to discern whether or not the space meets their needs, and list prices based on the expected accommodation. The listing is solely carried out by the host. Airbnb does not alter or adjust individual listings based on similar listing pools. How do you use Airbnb? Those looking to travel via Airbnb must first make an Airbnb profile detailing some of the more important particulars. Travelers may also provide forms of verified identification, enabling hosts and Airbnb to cross-reference some of their background. Photos of individual travelers are important as a means of familiarizing host with potential visitor. A complete and detailed profile goes a long way to establishing a positive relationship with both current host and future stay possibilities. In order to host Airbnb travelers the process is similar. The profile is the first, most important step to establishing a positive relationship with both Airbnb and future visitors. Providing forms of verified identification is crucial for future reviews. Hosts accompany each listing with photo grouping showing off the lodging, and a description of all amenities and extras. How do you connect with a Host? While traditional B&B’s have business mantra attached to them, Airbnb sometimes feels less formal to travelers. In order to bridge the gap between host and traveler, Airbnb allows visitors and renters to message each other via; therefore, the transaction and discussion between parties takes place in a verified medium. Just as reviews make or break a traditional B&B, reviews of Airbnb properties, available when searching potential stay locations, drive travelers toward or away a host location. Why is Airbnb Controversial? While the travel experience is new and refreshing, Airbnb has encountered some push-back due principally to property rights. Depending on the city and state, property laws may prohibit the renting of a space, room, or home based on the length of time an Airbnb user stays with a host. Hosts have been fined in the past for illegally renting spaces through Airbnb for less than the required time frame. This is the biggest issue facing Airbnb hosts. It is crucial to understand the rules of Airbnb use, its designation, and the property laws within your district before listing. The other big issue facing Airbnb users is protection for host from damage incurred during a stay. Airbnb heavily relies on trust between strangers; therefore, misrepresentation of properties, amenities, and space remains an issue for the company. No matter how closely the Airbnb monitors listings, hosts are primarily responsible for describing properties, creating a significant variance. Conversely, credibility of the visitor based on his or her profile may be altered, causing discrepancies between host expectation and visitor actuality. If renting a private home, it is difficult for hosts to monitor the traffic in and out of their house, so security is a chief concern. What does Airbnb do to combat these issues? As highlighted previously, the verified identification and communication networks function to limit some of the uncertainty between renter and traveler. Some insecurity still remains, but verified picture identification and pre-stay communication helps to resolve some issues that might arise when visitors charge in blind. Reviews also help to establish expectations and trust between renters and visitors, highlighting which places to stay and which to avoid. In terms of property protection, Airbnb offers “The $1,000,000 Host Guarantee. Their guarantee states that they offer money in the instance of property damage up to $1,000,000. There are a number of conditions and commodities that are not protected under the guarantee including animals, money, and adjoining spaces, but they do offer protection for hosts willing to list their space with Airbnb. Traveler’s Verdict: Airbnb offers a unique option for many travelers looking to remove themselves from the typical travel hotel atmosphere in favor of an immersive destination experience. Airbnb’s influence has expanded well beyond young travelers, to business professionals looking for an escape from the mundane, and families looking for a cultured visit. As with any new endeavor, it is important to research the bed and breakfast options, Airbnb hosts, and host process before traveling out on a limb. The potential payoff is well worth any risk, as the individuals you may meet, and the experiences enjoyed are often spectacular and make the trip. Source: Information from

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