RULE NO.1: READ THE RE­VIEWS

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - TRAVEL WISDOM | AIRBNB - JENNY HEWETT

From a bam­boo tree house in Ubud to an apart­ment over­look­ing Ta­ble Mountain in Cape Town, I’ve slept in count­less strangers’ homes on my trav­els. And I’m not the only one dab­bling in the home­shar­ing mar­ket as an al­ter­na­tive to ho­tels. Last year, on­line por­tal Airbnb re­ported that it ac­com­mo­dated more than 100 mil­lion guest ar­rivals and the com­pany is grow­ing so fast, it’s now worth more than some of the world’s ma­jor ho­tel chains in­clud­ing IHG and Hil­ton.

I don’t al­ways choose Airbnb over ho­tels, but when I do, I make sure I’ve done my re­search. And there are a few things I’ve learned along the way.

READ THE RE­VIEWS

Number one rule in the Airbnb hand­book: al­ways read re­views about the host and prop­erty from pre­vi­ous guests and avoid list­ings that have never been re­viewed. The feed­back, which is made pub­lic, is a good way to gauge what peo­ple have liked or dis­liked about the stay and will give you first-hand in­sight into the host’s per­son­al­ity, hos­pi­tal­ity style and the con­ve­nience and vibe of the lo­ca­tion.

OPT FOR SMALL COM­FORTS

Past re­views are a good way to find out about any thought­ful touches or ex­clu­sions that can make or break your stay. In South Africa, it’s com­mon for hosts to leave a com­pli­men­tary bot­tle of wine for guests, while else­where, tea, cof­fee, milk, bread and or­ange juice are more stan­dard. Many also do nei­ther.

TAKE THE RIGHT KIND OF RISKS

Ac­cord­ing to the on­line por­tal, Airbnb now has more than five mil­lion list­ings world­wide and a hand­ful of them in­clude unique spa­ces such as cas­tles, tree houses, tents, ryokans, yurts and car­a­vans. Stay some­where you nor­mally wouldn’t (as long as it has glow­ing re­views, of course).

RE­SEARCH THE LO­CA­TION

Once you’ve de­cided on an area,

PICTURE: AIRBNB

Airbnb of­fers ac­cess to out-of-the-or­di­nary ac­com­mo­da­tion such as this tree­house in At­lanta, Ge­or­gia.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.