Airbnb disrupted the travel industry when it launched back in 2008. Since then, the hotel and bookings industry has had to mitigate falling demand, forcing hotels to close or drop their prices. Airbnb gave people a better variety of dwelling choices at a lower price.
However, fifteen years later, is Airbnb losing its charm? Prices are now rising with the increase in demand. Those looking for a whimsical adventure, lodging in a fairytale holiday setting, are pushing prices up.
Some people in a recent online discussion share their insights. Is Airbnb still popular?
For Three But Not For Me
“Hotels for solo,” shares the first poster. “Airbnb for groups.” I agree with this traveler, especially for women who travel alone. The security of a hotel is its unique selling point — unless you hire security to wait outside your rental.
The Inevitable Corporate Takeover
One former Airbnb fan describes how great it was to find a unique abode in a faraway land, “But it quickly became just massive conglomerates buying up land and churning them out as Airbnbs with no service and care.”
Straight to The Source
“I recently saved $1,000 by just Googling the property name and finding the direct website for the property management group where I could rent directly without using Airbnb,” claims a crafty customer. “Everything worked out great.” I have done this several times with other travel-related services. Going direct to the vendor is never a bad idea.
Hard Cash For The Win
A kindred traveler has a similar approach to their predecessor. “I’m surprised more people haven’t figured this out, especially in southern Europe or Asia; the property management company will likely cut you a deal for paying cash,” says the commenter. “So much easier working with them directly.”
Cleaning Fees Suck Worse Than A Vacuum Cleaner
Be warned about the dreaded cleaning fee — especially the unofficial kind. “We had an Airbnb host send us a message prior to our stay demanding a $50 cleaning fee for a one-night stay,” warns a beleaguered customer who couldn’t believe it when the host demanded that she pay the fee off-site. In other words: this was a shake-down.
Cleaning Fee? What Cleaning Fee?
Another attempted micro-extortion ended with a customer win in this anecdote. A contributor explains how when in Rome, a landlord tried the unofficial cash-only cleaning fee ruse. “I told him I didn’t have cash and that we would deal with it at checkout,” they assert. When they checked out, the host called, expecting a cash payment. “I told him … I didn’t leave it and that it’s against the terms and service.”
“I stayed at an Airbnb where the owner would just stay at his girlfriend’s house if he had a booking,” says a one-time Denver visitor. “All his clothes were there.” The traveler even signed up for two of the host’s package deliveries! The things we do for a discount.
No Neighborhood Anymore
Some posters lament what Airbnb is doing to their local beach communities. “I was absolutely shocked that almost every house on South Carolina and North Carolina beaches were vacation rentals,” she says. “Totally messes with the housing market for owner-occupants.” Unfortunately, this scene is becoming a common problem everywhere.
You Can’t Get The Service
“Ski towns have a huge problem,” claims a mountain lover. “There’s no affordable housing left, so it’s hard to get employees to work in restaurants, ski lodges, grocery stores, and such.” Sadly, it means local services suffer, the local economy is bare, and going out for a meal takes three hours.
No Way, Jose
Finally, another previous Airbnb fan cannot budget for them anymore. “I used to book Airbnb for two-day mini-hiking trips to upstate NY,” shares the commenter. “Now, the price is shocking, so I reserve it for groups and get a cheap hotel off the highway if I’m by myself.”