10 Ways To Be A Terrible Airbnb Guest

Most people by now have heard of Airbnb and as the awareness of the site spreads, so does the use of it. Airbnb provides affordable and interesting accommodations that are a nice alternative to hotels when traveling, especially if you like to meet locals when you’re in a new city. But Airbnb guests are sometimes a nightmare for Airbnb hosts, as is documented on AirbnbHell.

Here are 10 ways you can be a terrible Airbnb guest (Of course, avoid doing these things to be a good guest).

1. Use the site to commit a crime
This might seem like it goes without saying, but it doesn’t. When a host opens up their home to a complete stranger, no amount of verifications Airbnb gives a host to make them feel safe changes the fact that the host is putting him or herself, family and personal possessions in a vulnerable position. Airbnb had to change their entire approach to host safety after a woman had her apartment ransacked in San Francisco when she rented it out via the site. Other hosts have had to deal with identity theft, drug addicts, prostitution and ruined personal possessions, among other things. Dear criminals, Airbnb is not the best outlet for your intended crime. You will be tracked, you will be caught and you will receive the most terrible karma ever for taking advantage of someone who gave you the benefit of the doubt. 2. Cross personal boundaries
You have to have decent discernment and social skills to be a good Airbnb guest or host. One Airbnb host wrote about her bad experiences with guests for CNN and detailed a guest showing her porn he had made with his girlfriend. Know what might be considered offensive to a host and don’t cross personal boundaries without clear and enthusiastic consent.

3. Ask for a discount
Airbnb hosts have already thought through their pricing carefully and are charging you, in most cases, far less than a hotel would. Don’t push your hosts to give you an even better deal than they’re offering. If you want to pay less, find a listing that charges less.

4. Try to get your “money’s worth”
You’re already getting your money’s worth when you use Airbnb. You’re getting affordable accommodations, local insight and breakfast. Don’t push your hosts for additional food, drinks, rides or anything else unless offered. And remember, even when extras are offered to you, you don’t have to say yes to everything offered. Understand that hosts are doing all that they can to be kind to you and make you feel comfortable, but that they also have lives and jobs to balance while hosting you.

5. Leave a mess
Some Airbnb listings include cleaning fees and some don’t. Either way, don’t be a slob. You’re in another person’s home and you should treat it as such. The best guests wash their dishes, keep their things contained to the room they’re renting, clean up messes they happen to make and put the towels and sheets they used in a pile before leaving.

6. Argue about politics/religion/etc.
I believe it’s polite to not talk about potentially controversial issues in any sort of loaded way before making sure you’re in agreement with the other person. Some Airbnb hosts make their political and religious views clear on their profiles or in their homes. If you are staying with someone who has different beliefs than you do, respect that you are in their home. Avoid conversation on those topics if conversation is going to mean an argument.

7. Use things that aren’t yours to use
Most Airbnb hosts make it clear in the rules section of their listing what you can use and what you can’t. For the things that aren’t so clear, common courtesy should tell you when you need to ask permission before using something in another person’s home. You don’t need to ask permission to get a glass of water. You should ask permission before opening a bottle of wine. You don’t need to ask permission to take a shower. You should ask permission before playing one of the host’s instruments. It should be obvious.

8. Make yourself too at home
Airbnb hosts want you to feel comfortable, not take over their home. The rules regarding this tip are a bit different depending on whether you’re renting an entire place or just a room. But if you’re renting just a room, don’t monopolize the rest of the home. Don’t take naps on the couch, invite your friends over, turn the kitchen table into your personal office, perform a seance or redecorate the place. The home is not yours, you’re just staying in it.

9. Complain unjustly
If you have a serious problem with the space you’re renting through Airbnb, you should talk to the host about it. You deserve to have clean sheets and towels, for instance, and you should address this with your host if you don’t. But don’t complain to your hosts (or in your review) if the neighbors are throwing a party, if you rented a room with a loft bed but are suddenly afraid of heights or if you don’t like cooking with the appliances and other kitchen equipment in the house. Know the difference between a warranted complaint and a petty complaint.

10. Expect hosts to change their lives for you
In case this isn’t clear to you already, it’s not appropriate to expect your Airbnb host to wake up at 5 a.m. to let you in, take you around town, wake up before you in the mornings, be available all day long for conversation, watch your pet while you’re out all day every day (unless a rate for dog-sitting is agreed upon beforehand), do your laundry for you (although if you ask nicely when they are already doing laundry, they might say yes) or drive you to the airport upon departure. Have some manners and understand that you should be grateful for any extraordinary efforts a host makes to accommodate you and reciprocal in generosity when possible.

Airbnb Requires Passports From Users; Blocks Iranians

Book A Night On An Airplane With AirBnB

AirBnB airplane hotel
HotelSuites.NL

Vacation accommodation website AirBnB has no shortage of unique places to stay, from a “boatel” aboard a converted ferry, to a private island in Fiji. For airplane nuts and those wanting the luxurious exclusivity of a private jet, AirBnB has a collection of airplane accommodations.

Accommodations range from a New Zealand two-unit motel inside a 1950s Bristol freighter plane (rates start at $180 per night, sleep in the cockpit or tail), to $10,000 for a night on a Gulfstream G5 jet in Beverly Hills (rate includes one hour of flight time and three hours of flight attendant service. Divide that by 18 passengers and that’s…still a lot of money, but a priceless experience. Don’t want to leave the airport? If you can find a flight into Teuge Airport in the Netherlands, you can stay aboard a former government plane, now fully tricked out into a private suite. If you’d prefer a more traditional place to stay, you might enjoy the Wine Country Airplane House in Sonoma county, which has not only an airplane tail on the front of the secluded house, but also a piece of the old Golden Gate Bridge.

Check out more unique AirBnB listings in their collection of wishlists.

Is Renting On Airbnb Cheaper Than Staying At A Hotel? A Graphic Comparison Of US Cities

Venturist, Flickr

Airbnb has become one of the go to sites for travelers looking for a more authentic experience while traveling. After all, if you are in a city for more than a few days, it’s certainly more comfortable to have your own kitchen and space for chilling out after hours of adventuring.

But it’s not just about having a cool place to stay. Renting from individuals on Airbnb is cost effective as well.

Pricenomics did an official breakdown of hotel vs Airbnb prices. Overall, you will save yourself about 21 percent if you rent an entire Airbnb apartment, and 49 percent for a single room. Of course, there are some places where your wallet will be happier opting for the hotel option than for a full apartment – Las Vegas and Houston, for example.

Often times full Airbnb apartments are around the same price as hotels, but pack them full of a few travel buddies and not only do you have a cheap place to stay but an instant travel party as well.

Check out the full findings and infographic here.

Via: Fast Company

I Lost My Airbnb Virginity In Charlottesville, Virginia (And Paid Just $49 For The Privilege)

105 Caty Lane CharlottesvilleWhat kind of accommodation do you expect for $49 a night? Are you visualizing a place with 800-thread-count sheets, a memory foam mattress and free Perrier and gourmet coffee? Or for $49 bucks, would you expect a place where they rent by the hour, where you might be mingling with junkies and prostitutes and want to wear latex gloves before you touch anything?

If you’re a skeptic like me, you might have a hard time believing that it’s possible to rent a luxury apartment for $49 in Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and a host of upper-crust types who have dogs worth more than my car, and horses worth more than my home. But I found out this week that it is indeed possible to stay in style in CVille for less than fifty bucks a night.I’ve never used Airbnb before, but when I noticed they had a listing for a “luxury” apartment in Charlottesville for just $49 per night, I was intrigued. The owner of the place described the apartment as “the intersection where chic luxury & modern cool meet Eco-responsibility.” Geoffrey, the apartment’s owner, advertises the following amenities in the apartment: stylish décor made from eco-friendly materials, vegan toiletries, a charging station for electric cars, 800-thread-count sheets, a memory foam mattress, a full kitchen, Direct TV with Netflix and Amazon Instant, Egyptian cotton towels, bathrobes, stocked kitchen, washer, dryer, laundry detergent and on and on.

My first thought was: bullshit. The apartment had no reviews and I figured that it was too good to be true. Perhaps it was a scam whereby someone would jump out of the bushes and carve us up like Thanksgiving turkeys. Or maybe it was trick photography or simply hyperbole. I had no idea but I booked the place for a total of $165 for three nights, including Airbnb’s service charge, and hoped for the best.

As a newbie, I found Airbnb’s booking process to be a little cumbersome and confusing. I didn’t mind verifying my identify and even enjoyed the step where I held up my driver’s license and watched in amazement as my cam scanned the thing. But after I paid for the apartment, I got an email telling me that my card wouldn’t be charged if my request was denied. But why would it be denied? The email went on to say that most hosts respond within four hours, but they have up to 24 hours to reply.

“In the meantime, please continue to contact other hosts,” the message said. “This will considerably improve your odds of a successful booking.”

But I was due to arrive in Cville in about 36 hours and Geoffrey’s apartment was the only one I saw that looked appealing in the budget category. After spending quite a bit of time making the booking, the last thing I wanted to do was continued to look. No, I wanted Geoffrey’s luxury apartment for 49 bucks. Luckily, Geoffrey responded promptly to confirm the booking, but if my request had been denied 24 hours later, I would have been stuck scrambling to find something at the last moment.

I also recently booked a vacation rental apartment via Trip Advisor’s Flipkey site in London and I think their booking process is more straightforward. In any event, when we pulled up to a newish looking apartment above a garage a few miles outside central Charlottesville on Tuesday night, my expectations were modest. So long as there was a bed for my wife and I, a sofa bed for my boys, and no one there to mug us, I’d be happy.

Geoffrey sent us a code to enter, so we were able to access the apartment at 105 Caty Lane without having to track him down or schedule an arrival time, which was very convenient. He even asked if we needed any toys for my kids. I was amazed to discover that the place was even better than I imagined. It’s a brand new apartment, and the word “luxurious” isn’t hyperbole. Geoffrey left us a dozen fresh bagels from Bodo’s, the best bagel place in Cville, along with cream cheese, a personalized note and a free tote bag.

Along with the bagels, the fridge was also completely stocked with complimentary bottled water, Perrier, two kinds of juice and organic milk! The kitchen was also fully equipped and there was a Keurig coffee maker and free gourmet coffee. The bed is just as comfortable as my Tempurpedic at home and Geoffrey’s shower has twice the water pressure I have in my apartment in Chicago. The place is so high-tech that even the garbage cans have “open” and “close” buttons.

I’ve stayed in plenty of rental apartments in a variety of countries, and usually these places are always lacking something – toiletries, adequate cooking utensils, cutlery or who knows what. But this place seemed to have everything – umbrellas, q-tips, cocktail mixing accouterments, a set of sharp knives, detergent and even to-go coffee cups! The moral of the story, for me, is don’t be afraid to try a place that has no reviews. The place might be brand new and the price could be lower.

The only downer is that we are due to check out and now we don’t want to leave. Alas, the place is booked for the next few days. And once word gets out about this place, we’ll probably never get to stay here again. Or, Geoffrey will increase his price. I sure hope not because the world needs more cheap but luxurious accommodation options like this one.

Host Faces $2400 Fine After Judge Rules Airbnb Rental Illegal

Screen capture from Airbnb.com.

The outlook isn’t good for those seeking cheap accommodations in New York; CNET is reporting Nigel Warren, a tenant who leased out his rented apartment through Airbnb, now faces a $2,400 fine for breaking a state law.

The news outlet reports that although Airbnb stepped in to defend the host, it was ruled the rental infringed upon the illegal hotel law, a statute banning property owners from renting their homes on a temporary basis when they are not present. The fine was originally issued to the landlord, but Warren officially accepted responsibility for posting the listing online.

Earlier this year, it was found that nearly half of Airbnb’s New York listings were actually illegal under the law, which prohibits stays of less than 30 days where the owner of the property is absent. Hosts and renters in and out of New York should tread carefully: there’s a potential that more people could run into issues with the law, especially in cities where regulations are not clear cut.

Want to know if your New York rental is legal or not? Skift.com has put together nice cheat sheet to help tenants (and travelers) out.

[via Gizmodo]

Editor’s Note: Due to erroneous data from our source, a previously published version of this story incorrectly identified all Airbnb rentals in New York as illegal.