Finding affordable, comfortable places to stay can often be a hassle. As business travellers, this is something we deal with all the time. Often, you might be inclined to stay in a budget hotel, sacrificing comfort for convenience. You might be able to get a decent, affordable hotel through some service like Priceline, but you’ll still be looking at $100/night if you get lucky.
So, what if you could spend considerably less, for the equivilent of a Luxury Suite? What if you could do this in nearly 40,000 cities in over 190 countries?
Let me introduce you to my new favorite service: AirBnB.com
Through this site, you can rent fully furnished homes/rooms at a competitive price. Now, you might be thinking “I can do this through Craigslist and, honestly, I don’t want to get scammed.” No worries, AirBnB holds your money in escrow until you check in, and will give you a refund if your rental doesn’t match it’s description. Nice!
Choose your City, choose the type of rental (entire home, private room, shared room), choose your pricerange, choose your amenities (hot tub? washer/dryer?). You see high definition photos of the rooms, along with reviews left by other travellers.
I have used AirBnB four times in the past year. I’ve booked beautiful, affordable apartments in the center of Paris, Amsterdam, Warsaw, and London. In all of these places, I paid between $35-$75/night. Now, at these prices you will find quite a few shabby places, but there are always some GREAT gems. You don’t usually have to look very far for the gems, as they’ll have the best reviews. Of course, if you want to, you can search for something more expensive. And believe me, the more expensive places are NIIIIIIIICE. For what you’d pay for a Suite at the Hilton, you can get a villa on the Italian countryside. Or a penthouse in NYC. Or the treehouse of your dreams in California. Or a castle in Ireland (I’m serious).
But the best part of it all? You’re helping another human pay their bills instead of giving your money to some massive corporation. That makes me feel nice. And, since you’re host is personally invested in you having a good experience, you’re bound to get nicer service than that of your average hotel receptionist.
So, the next time you’re travelling for an audition, looking for a place to stay during a show, or going on vacation, look no further than AirBnB. You’ll save a load of cash, meet some friendly people, and live like royalty.