The worst part about booking a trip is getting reamed by extortionate hotel prices and packages – but the alternative will change the way you look at travel.
Alright, we’ve got to get this off our chest: if you still haven’t tapped into the power of Air BnB, you’re officially having your Millennial card revoked and having “octogenarian” printed onto your forehead. We’re far past it being a fringe app folks – this is the way to travel.
In the same way that companies like Uber and Lyft have utterly disrupted and changed the way in which people think about driving services like taxis and shuttles, Air BnB has upended the public’s view on hospitality and tourism. If not getting into stranger’s cars was just paranoia over stranger danger, then contacting strangers over the internet to sleep in their homes is a wholesale refutation of it.
If you like the view from your bedroom, wait ‘til you climb to the rooftop deck. This penthouse on the slopes of Table Mountain makes you feel like you’re high above it all, even though you’re only a short walk from the city center—and an even shorter one from blueberry flapjacks at the Sidewalk Cafe. ⠀ Photo: @vikisfashionmoments
Yes, when one frames the company in such a light, it becomes much harder to erase the thought of being snuffed out in your sleep by a less-than-friendly property owner. And yet, the reality is one much more along the lines of personal treatment and cultural enrichment than anything else.
Let’s think about it this way: when you stay at a hotel, you are interfacing with a brand. A good hotel chain will do everything in its power to get you to walk away from the establishment thinking “Damn. I love staying here.” Everything from how the ambiance of a room feels to the tone in which the hotel workers greet you – everything is made to present the brand in the best light possible.
And you know what? Sometimes that’s perfectly fine. If you’re in Vegas for the weekend, there’s nothing wrong with schmoozing it up in some overpriced room if you feel that’s what you need to get the most out of the trip.
But the problem takes root when we allow that to become our conditioning. Where an industry has succeeded so well in peddling its wares to the consumer that the buyer is completely unaware of an alternative. Alas, word of mouth has carried Air BnB farther the media coverage ever has. With those in search of additional income through their extra space organized into the same space with those yearning for a more personal stay wherever their travels take them, the company has sunk its fangs into the market and is refusing to budge.
Take a moment to compare the sort of rate that you’d get in a city you want to travel to with hotel stays and Air BnB stays. It’s cool, we’ll wait – and we know what you’re thinking. There’s just no competition. As far as the financials are concerned, Air BnB wins out overinflated hotel fees every time. Couple that with city-central locations and you’ll start to question why you ever went with hotels in the first place.
Pour une vue imprenable sur la Tour Eiffel, faites-vous un café et ouvrez simplement les rideaux de ce charmant appartement parisien. Inutile d'affronter la foule, ni même de mettre un pantalon pour admirer chaque détail de ce monument iconique. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Grab a cup of coffee and throw back the curtains of this charming Parisian home’s window to get a private viewing of the Eiffel Tower. You won’t have to fight a crowd, but more importantly, you won’t even have to put on pants to take in every detail of the iconic tower. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Photo: @travelwander.lust
We’d be remiss to address the worry of negative experience on the platform, and there certainly can be some. At the end of the day, you’re expecting to get what you pay for – and you’ll inevitably feel cheated. While there’s no way to prevent negative experiences in business interactions, Air BnB make it painless to file a complaint or address issues between hosts and visitors. With the majority of its workforce employed to maintain the platform, Air Bnb have some of the best-in-class support representatives available – a far cry from what you’ll typically have to go through at a booking agency.
Are hotels obsolete? Far from it. But the initial disruption that Air BnB created has become a tidal wave that could see them poised to corner the market on hospitality for an entire generation – and we’ve no qualms with that.